Jab Harry Met Sejal Scene by Scene Part 16: Train Trip!

Phew!  We get back to unspoken interpersonal shifts in this section, instead of that boring stuff actually happening in the last section!  Who needs THAT! (full index of JHMS coverage here)

(skip this paragraph if you remember what happened) Previously in JHMS, Anushka and Shahrukh were stuck together as tour guide and client.  But also more than that, there was a strange connection between the two of them which made them cling to each other. After only a week together, they were acting like teenagers in love, laughing and joking and tickling each other.  Shahrukh’s friend Mayank was stunned to see the way they were acting when he bumped into them in Budapest, and Anushka didn’t even notice his reaction because it all felt so natural to her.  Shahrukh did notice, but kind of forced himself to ignore Mayank’s reactions and tried to shut him up so he wouldn’t break through their bubble.  The bubble was still in place when they got a new clue to where the ring is that Anushka is officially looking for to explain why she is traveling alone with Shahrukh in Europe.  And so they get an address in Prague of a woman who might have taken the ring under false pretenses from a cafe where they lost it.



And now they are running through the gorgeous Budapest train station.  With Anushka making the dorky joke “Full aerobics in Europe!”  I love that joke.  Because it is so unfunny and she is so happy with it.  Plus, it gives you an idea of her context.  The only time she runs flat out like this is in her past life is during an aerobics class.  She is delighted with making this joke about running that you would think is for aerobics, but isn’t, because she is so sure her context is relatable and this makes sense to the two men with her.  Or, more accurately, she is sure she doesn’t care any more if they get the joke.  It makes her happy, so she is saying it.

Image result for budapest train station


It’s hard to see how different this is from the Anushka we first met.  She was always kind of talking to herself with Shahrukh, assuming he would put up with her because he was just a servant.  But she was also taking the lead.  Now, she is running along with Shahrukh and Mayank and still making those jokes.  They are no longer servants to her, but she still feels free to just be herself with them.

Speaking of “no longer servants”, as they run to the train, Anushka suddenly reminds Shahrukh “tickets, tickets?”  and he calls back “doesn’t matter”, and they jump on the train.  It isn’t a “hey, tour guide, I order you to buy us tickets” comment, this is a “oh shoot, did we forget tickets husband?” and a “don’t worry wife, we’re okay” kind of exchange.

And then they jump on the train and as it is pulling out, Mayank reminds Shahrukh that he has to be back in Frankfurt in 2 days for his engagement, if he gets there a little early, they can go shopping, buy something for his fiance.  Shahrukh looks a little conflicted but doesn’t commit to anything really , although he says that he will be there as soon as they find the ring.  And Anushka’s face flickers a bit as she thinks about that.  Mayank says something revealing, that they are both alone in Europe with no one else, they are like orphans.  And Anushka does a little subtle flicker on her face as this comment lands, and then quickly says that he shouldn’t worry, as soon as they find the ring, she will leave and Shahrukh will be free.  And then the doors close and the train pulls out as suddenly Anushka and Shahrukh both realize what that means and their faces look stunned.

Remember in my last post I came up with a timeline?  Watching the movie, only seeing the very intense moments between them, we feel like this is a deep relationship on firm footing and all that.  But in fact, for the characters, it could still feel like nothing.  They go from guide and client to friends, they enjoy spending time together, she saves him from an angry ex, but they can still be “practical”, it’s only been a week, officially they are still looking for the ring, why analyze or think to much about what is happening?  Until now, when they are suddenly confronted with the reality that they are about to separate and this might be over.

Now we see them sitting next to each other on the train.  The first bit I don’t remember well and it’s important!  So remind me in the comments if you do remember it.  I think maybe Anushka grabs Shahrukh’s arm in a comfy “girlfriend” style way and Shahrukh shakes her off and bursts out that he can’t do this, he can’t get used to this.  It’s loud, people in the train turn to look at him.  The perfect guide who always knows what to do and where to do it has lost sense of proper train manners.  And then he goes quiet and turns away.

This next bit I remember well!  Anushka asks Shahrukh if he hasn’t gone back to Frankfurt in 2 years, where does he stay?  He says he stays with the tours.  And when they are over?  Shahrukh looks away from her and speaks softly when he says “I am in tourism, I find a place”.  Anushka looks at him and translates “you mean you find someone.”  Shahrukh keeps looking away from her.  Anushka says, firmly, “you should go home.  You need to go home.”  Shahrukh stays turned away, and then turns back and asks “can I have a hug?”  and kind of gestures so she understands what he means “hug?”  Anushka grabs him and pulls him into a quick firm embrace, then shoves him away, only to pull him back again to a stronger embrace that lasts as it fades out.


I love this bit!  The first part is okay, showing the immediate emotional reaction to Mayank’s reminder that they are about to separate.  Shahrukh is trying to process it and has an outburst.  Anushka is trying to ignore it and grabbing on to him.  But after the initial emotion is over, that’s the important part.

Anushka is beginning to understand in a more intellectual way what she grasped by instinct during the “Radha” song, how very deep is Shahrukh’s “loneliness”.  Her time with him is making her grow up, making her have a deeper sense of human relationships and emotions and all the things that she was too childish to grasp before.  It’s an odd two part thing.  Shahrukh is her guide in how to be an adult, taking her to places she never would have been before, forcing her to see the world in a new way.  But he is also the goal of her changes, the reward waiting for her once she is an adult.  In a different, lesser, film, this would be some creepy thing about an older man grooming a younger woman into what he wants.  But no, the two things are clearly separated from each other in this movie.  Anushka is growing up thanks to spending time with Shahrukh.  But she is doing it for herself, not for him.  Because of him, because he started something inside of her that makes her need to grow up and be what he needs, but not for him.  She wants to help him, to love him, to save him, because that is what she wants for herself, it isn’t a sacrifice, it is what she needs herself.  And she needs to turn into that person who can do that.  So she is doing it, in her own way of stops and starts, forcing herself to rise to a series of occasions that each result in a surprising new level of maturity.  But which keep her still herself, she isn’t turning into a different person “for” him, she is turning into a better version of herself so that she can help him.

And Shahrukh is reacting to that greater maturity, he can no longer hide from her, use her naivety to protect himself from his own feelings.  That naivety had to be there in the beginning to suck him in, to trick him into letting her close because he thought he could control her.  But now, now she is growing up and she is already so close to him and he can’t handle it.  That’s why he has to turn away, knows she will understand what he means by finding a place.  But is too ashamed to say it straight out, ready for her to judge him.

Poor Shahrukh!  This is the heart of his issues, he doesn’t have a home to go back to.  And he doesn’t think he deserves a home to go back to, he is ashamed of how he has come to live since then, sleeping for shelter.  And Anushka, with her clear sight, sees that he isn’t a “womanizer”, he isn’t living the high life no matter how he may lie to himself, he is just sad and lonely.  And he needs to go home.

But for me, it’s all about the hug moment.  Shahrukh is so low that he doesn’t feel the right to just hug her, he has to ask, needing the comfort too much not to ask for it, but too ashamed to just take it.  And Anushka knows that, that’s why she does the two hugs.  The first is because he asked.  But she shoves him away and pulls him back for a second hug to show that he doesn’t have to ask, he doesn’t have to feel ashamed, she loves him and wants to hold him just for herself, not because he asked.

And now we are in Prague!  Music starts, white people music, and we see Shahrukh and Anushka at a strip club.  Just a week earlier, Anushka would have been super uncomfortable at a place like this, and Shahrukh would have been super uncomfortable to be there with her.  But now they don’t care.  They are a team, oriented around each other, Shahrukh is comfortable with her anywhere, and Anushka is comfortable anywhere so long as she is with Shahrukh.  And so it is no biggie for him to point out the woman they are looking for when she comes out to do her pole dance.  And it is no biggie for Anushka to look at her, consider her seriously, and then decide that she “rates” a diamond ring.

Okay, two things.  First, what the heck is up with the Playboy Clubs and Indian movies?  They were thanked at the beginning of this film, so I assume this was filmed at one of their locations.  And they were thanked at the beginning of Befikre too, and of course Ranveer helped promote the Playboy “logo” quite a bit in that film.  Stick with me for a second, my father went to highschool with the former head of Playboy.  Is it possible she heard through the grapevine that her old classmate’s daughter has a blog?  And then found this blog, read it, realized that Hindi films present a product placement opportunity, called up her old company, and that’s why they have been aggressively pursuing it ever since?  This completely makes sense!  (Or, alternatively, is this just a very strange example of globalization, in which a company that is out of date and forgotten in the US is just beginning to be noticed in other places?)

Image result for ranveer befikre

(Playboy branding!)

Anyway, let’s go back to that “worth” thing.  What is the word she is using???  From context, I can tell it isn’t exactly “worth” or “price” or “rate”.  But it is something like that.  Anushka is looking at other women and measuring herself against them and finding herself wanting.  Something she has probably been doing her whole life, but is just now saying out loud.  And saying it in front of someone who is hearing her, instead of ignoring her.  It’s not just about sexiness, although that is part of it.  She has been trained that a woman is an object with a certain value.  She can add on to her value through her law degree, her singing training, and by always being sweet and obedient.  But she knows there are other women out there who don’t have to try so much all the time, who men find valuable for other reasons.  And she is trying to figure that out, to figure out how those women are different than her, and accepting that she can never have what they have.  She tried, back in Amsterdam at that first club and the last time they were in Prague at the other club, and she failed.  But now she has accepted that this woman is just better than her, she is “worth” a diamond ring, while Anushka is only “worth” hunting for the ring, her fiance won’t want her just for her, he needs her plus a diamond.



Okay, a bit of a short post!  But I will try to go long tomorrow to make up for it.  I am in a hurry to get through this bit and back to the parts where nothing/everything is happening.


59 thoughts on “Jab Harry Met Sejal Scene by Scene Part 16: Train Trip!

  1. EMOTIONS! Oh, the irony of that early moment in the film where Sejal asks Harry, “Do you understand emotions?” Yes, he does, too well, and at that point, she really doesn’t. Outstanding! Whew!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly! And that exchange comes right after he makes the more sensitive suggestion. That maybe she should go home and let her fiance buy her another ring. She is covering it by saying it is sentimental, but really that’s what this is about. Her fiance values the family heirloom ring over her. Shahrukh, the better man, wouldn’t want his innocent fiancee wandering around Europe just for a ring, he would say “forget the ring, come home and I will get you a better one.” Which goes back to the end of this part, Anushka judging that the woman on the pole would be valued over a ring, unlike her.

      On Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 9:39 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

  2. You are so right that this movie could have gone creepy in some different ways, and doesn’t. Travel is the catalyst for Sejal to realize that she’s got growing to do, that she is not her true self and wants to be, and Harry is the catalyst for doing that work, that growing, even if scary and painful. Each helps the other to grow and heal, but each is doing the internal work themselves (not to sound too therapy-ish).

    The train conversation and hugs! I love it because Sejal really takes charge here. When Harry says, “Stop, I’ll get used to this,” she responds by gently questioning him. When he pushes her away more loudly, tells her it’s his personal life and she needs to stop interfering, she turns to confront him and says something like, “No! I’m interfering! What will you do? Huh?”. This continues the lovely theme that you’ve pointed out of her learning what he needs so quickly, and giving it to him unconditionally. So he finally feels safe to ask for a hug–just human comfort and compassion with no strings.

    Love your interpretation of the double-hug. And how they are “oriented around each other” and working as a team in the strip club. That continues so beautifully right through their post-Raula “break-up”.


    • There are so many movies with the creepy theme of an older man “grooming” a younger woman, and it is supposed to be empowering or wish fulfillment or something because she turns into a better version of herself. But this movie changes it ever so slightly for her to become a better version of herself, but he never really tried to do that to her. It just happened because of who he was. And without his “direction” really, she started growing the way she wanted to grow, not the way he was trying to make her grow. And he is changing as well, because of who she is. They are both doing things they never would have done before.

      Going back to the strip club, obviously she never would have come to a place like that just a few days earlier. He would have, but he would have been one of the cool guys standing there being all blase. And probably gone home with one of the strippers just to prove he could. Now, he is having a totally different experience of the place, seeing it through her eyes as an interesting cultural experience. And only mildly interested in the naked ladies in terms of the effect they are having on Anushka.

      On Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 9:49 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Jab Harry Met Sejal Scene By Scene Index | dontcallitbollywood

  4. Oh, and a personal story about the global reach of Playboy. In 1966, I studied in Mexico City for 6 weeks, staying in an apartment with two brothers and a sister in their early 20s. (I was 17). I developed a crush on one brother, and the other one had a crush on me, but I was hesitant about pursuing either one because there was a playboy towel in the shared bathroom, and I didn’t know if it belonged to Raul or Juan. Turns out it belonged to the sister, who thought the bunny logo was cute.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The double hug interpretation is really on the mark. The part we haven’t discussed is her “unkindness” or she says she’s selfish. He keeps saying, “Don’t let me get used to this.” And she ignore him. While that is nice for us; its not nice to Harry. At the same time she is also saying vehemently how she is going home no matter what. She holds that till the very end. And goes. When Harry’s friend says to him, “You never told her how you felt.” That’s a common rom-com trope, but its not actually true. He did tell her. He said, “Don’t let me get used to this because I love it, and when it ends, I’ll be sad.” She is selfish.


    • I think it goes back to the fact that part of his maturity is an awareness of his reactions, instead of just feeling them. Anushka isn’t stopping to analyze what is happening, because she hasn’t learned how yet. Whereas Shahrukh is hyper aware of what is happening to him, and to her, and between them. So when he makes a meta-statement about how he is feeling about his feelings, it just goes FWING right over Anushka’s head, because she doesn’t understand the idea of feeling something about a feeling instead of just feeling it.

      It isn’t until Mayank forces the issue that she slows down and considers what is happening instead of just going with it. And even there, almost immediately she goes back to simple reactions, starting that fight with him that doesn’t really make sense with the logical decision she just made in her head. I think that’s what changes when she goes back home, she has time to slow down and feel her feelings and realize what they all mean, and that’s why she breaks the engagement before she even hears from SRK that he is interested.

      The other way to look at it is that Shahrukh KNOWS all this about her! That was the point of the conversation pre-interval (the part of it I liked), he says to her “look, you are caught up in what is happening and aren’t thinking clearly/don’t know how to think clearly about this things”. So he can protest all he wants, but he knows on some level that she isn’t capable of understanding what he is saying so his protests won’t make a difference. If he really wants it to stop, he has to stop it the way he does at the end, by slipping back into the “as you wish ma’am” persona and not breaking it. But that’s where his own emotions take control, he can’t make himself do that any more, even though he knows intellectually this is wrong and unhealthy, his heart is taking the lead.

      Plus, going back to the Radha idea, it is that sort of blunt “I feel this way and I am going to act on it without thinking” that Shahrukh needs to save him. A different woman who listened to his protests would be just like all the other women he met, they would understand what he is saying and stop and be a little heartbroken. But Anushka just denies denies denies to herself because on some deep level she is so sure that she is what he needs and none of his protests matter.

      On Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 11:50 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t see anything wrong with being selfish. Her selfishness is what led her to him in the end, even if it meant disappointing her parents, cancelling what seems like a very expensive wedding and breaking up with Rupen. She didn’t care what any of them thought, she just did what she wanted.

      Note that she says she’s selfish, not that she’s practical. You can be idealistic and selfish and there’s nothing wrong with that.


    • Exactly! That’s why teenagers are so frustrating, if you ask them something like “why are you angry/sad/flirty/energetic/whatever today?” the question doesn’t even make sense to them. They are old enough to have crazy powerful adult emotions, but not old enough to control or understand them.

      And thus, teenage pregnancy. And general stupidity.

      But for Anushka, she finally fully “grows up” when she actually finds the ring. And that’s when she begins to fully understand what she is feeling, and what Shahrukh is feeling, and has to process all the things he has been thinking about but only within 24 hours, instead of a week. Which, I think, is why she reaches the decision right away that she has to leave. Because that was his first reaction, days back when he first realized he was falling in love. It was only after sitting with that decision for a while that he started to think they could have a future. But she is lagging behind, her first response once she has to think about it is “No, this is crazy, this can’t be real, it is too strong and too fast”. And then by the time she reaches the second thought stage, he has already booked the tickets and sent her away.

      On Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 12:03 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

      • I think she has to leave to complete the process. If she stays, it will always feel like a vacation from her life. Harry says in that poignant doorway scene that “we in the tourist business and we know vacations end and they have to leave.” Until she examines her decision in the “light of day” at home, in Mumbai with her parents and Rupen sitting across from her, she won’t really know that it is the decision she must make. You know those vacation purchases which look so good in Prague, Tokyo, LA and which look silly at home? Like that, on a huge scale. Okay, enough. I MUST get back to work!!!

        Liked by 1 person

        • How you get any work down with your wordpress icon starring at you, I don’t know. It distracts me every time your comments pop up!

          On Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 12:28 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


          Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, exactly this! A lot of Sejal’s growth comes from being away from her usual context, which throws the whole value system of her life into question. She becomes a new Sejal, but she can’t know how much of that difference is real or how new Sejal fits or doesn’t fit into her old life until she goes back. Harry knows this too, because he’s seen how leaving your home and family can change you so much that you don’t really fit anywhere anymore, and he wants to protect her from that.


          • Good point about wanting to protect her. He sees Sejal as on the brink of turning into him, not realizing that she has changed him into something else just as he has changed her. The two of them together have created something new.


  6. Last thought: (sorry about the multiple posts). When she gets home, she is finally the adult she should be. She realizes it isn’t fair to Rupen either. He is a “nice, sweet guy” and he deserves the girl she was, not the woman she is becoming. She does the right, scary and mature thing and cancels the wedding.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly! She grows up so fast, and Shahrukh doesn’t give her time to think through it all before he has packed her on a plane. She wants it to last a few more days after her realization of what is happening inside her and what it all means. Maybe she knows that just a few more days might change her decision, might teach her more about herself.

      On Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 12:07 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

  7. Joyomama, it is your “EMOTIONS”, that made me realize how far they had got in being intertwined, in feeling more and more valued and valuable… in an amazing span of time. They have been constantly on the move baring two short sleeping scenes and when sitiing in a train that moves for them.
    It’s the third train ride…and in their mind it’s the last time being together like that – in Lisbon Harry would fetch the ring, she would take it and leave. There is even not a yota of a doubt that they will not get some more time together…not on the move anymore. Whatever they may have had as hopes when running to the train, Mayank talking about his wedding makes Sejal realise that Harry will have no additional time to spend with her in Lisbon (because, hello, Mayank is his – only – friend!), and Sejal’s ‘I get the ring then I leave’ does in no way give Harry the joyful feeling that he would be ‘free’ afterwards.

    Oh, oh, they are really worried…her leaning into him, his wanting a hug, then both holding each other – quite desperately…I got teary-eyed for a moment…until I remembered the pics from the shooting I had seen and some short videos and I told them that they would be happy in Lisbon…that they would live their love there.

    Something else I found very important in Prague…actually two things. Watching Nastassja doing the pole dance triggered the wish to try these moves, too, later in Lisbon…and Sejal’s demeanour towards Nastassja was devoid of any negativity, she even was enthusiastic to get to know her. Taking a selfie (no, three selfies! the third the perfect one!) was like valuing her dancing work in the club…like an art form and like Nastassja was – whatever she may be otherwise – an artist. That is how much self-esteem she already has got. Wow!
    Harry has still a ‘long’ way to go…although he is sure of his feelings for Sejal, he is in no way sure of Sejal’s feelings for him. And Sejal…there is still that voice in her that spoils her butterfly-feeling by telling her that she has to go back to her fiancé.

    Liked by 1 person

    • For the surety that this is the end point, maybe that is what is going on with Sejal’s words to him. He wants it to just end because he can’t take it any more, but she wants to leave him better than when she met him, needs to give him that last little bit of comfort and advice, tell him to go home after she is gone.

      On Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 1:02 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh, oh, I’m a slow writer…Now. after having read what you all wrote in the meantime, I’ll do a double post 😉

    First I did a mistake by writing two times Lisbon when I meant Prague…I’m a bit confused with all these emotions I remember.
    I would like to object to Sejal still being on the teenage level of her ‘gowing-up’. And I don’t think that she is still selfish…in the contrary. Unfortunately I don’t know anymore all the dialog and I relate on what you have written, but I still remember my feeling of the situation in the train and that was that she did understand Harry’s loniless but also knew that it was a problem she could not solve (being sure to have to return to India the same moment they would get hold of the ring).

    Liked by 1 person

    • For me (and this is just me), “Phurr” is the real turning point for Anushka. She is growing up by starts and stops all along, and is almost there, but it is during “Phurr” that she truly finds herself. And everything after that is Anushka acting and making decisions as a fully grown person, fully herself, no where else to go. She just needs to get used to her new reality. Which is why that last trip back to India is so important, to realize how very different she is now and break the engagement. Although I am sticking with my argument (which others disagree with and that is fine) that if Shahrukh had asked her to stay at any point post-Phurr, she would have stayed. It’s better for her as a character and a person that she went home and it was fully her decision. But in terms of where their relationship was, I think she would have stayed if he had asked any time after “Phurr”. But not in this train scene, right now she isn’t quite there yet.

      On Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 1:25 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 2 people

      • I agree about Phurrr! That’s when they “meet in the middle”. I really wish Sony/Red Chillies would release a video of Phurrr that shows more of those scenes in the movie. So nice.

        I also think she would have stayed if he asked post-Phurr. She’s prompting him to ask in the post-Raula argument. But as others have said it’s better in the long run that she didn’t. Oh, what if Harry hadn’t gone to Mumbai for the wedding though? Will be fun to talk about when we get there…


        • I think she was waiting for him to say something even at the airport – at least hoping for it. She kind of gave him an opening by telling him she found the ring 2 days ago. I’m sure he put the timeline together in his head to realize that that means she wanted to have sex have with him after finding the ring and insisted on going to the wedding and taking him home. This after she was already done needing him for the ring finding mission. He wasn’t surprised about it because he had figured out long ago that neither the ring nor the fiance really meant much to her.

          She perked up a bit when he started to speak but he only told her to take care of herself.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yes, she explicitly didn’t say that, she said that she had to go back to Bombay, that was “real life”.

            I think during the time we saw her, it all happened too fast for her to understand that she didn’t want that any more. I think if Shahrukh had asked her to stay, she would have said yes. But if he had asked her if she still planned to marry Rupen, she would say “yes” too. She was in an in between start of awareness until she got back home. Just like Shahrukh took a while to understand that he had to try to stop her wedding, it took the distance from him to fully understand how important he was to her.

            Liked by 1 person

          • That airport scene felt so similar to the good-bye scene in Kuch Kuch at the camp. Kajol has her heart in her eyes, waiting for him to say something. And he just doesn’t, not until he goes away and thinks about it for a while longer.

            In the same way, Anushka has gone as far as she can go without him taking a step forward to meet her. She’s admitted to having found the ring, she’s clearly miserable, she’s waiting for him to do something. And he just doesn’t.

            I wonder if, in both films, the point is that the pain of love takes a moment to hit? He thought he could do the honorable thing, it would be okay. And then it took a while for him to discover that no, it isn’t okay, he can’t live like this, he needs her.

            Liked by 1 person

    • I think at this point in the story they have almost met in the middle in terms of “age” and vulnerability, emotional competence vs incompetence. I think Sejal is selfish in a good and self-preservation-focused way. If not, would she have ever stayed to “find the ring”, would she have manipulated Harry into staying with her? But I agree with you about this scene on the train–Sejal is not being selfish but desperately trying to help Harry, feeling the shortness of the time they have left.


      • I like that thought of self-preservtion…it’s a tool they have learned: Sejal in her family life – Harry in his life far away from home. They both have learned to put up a front.
        The search for the ring is – from the very beginning – an excuse for getting into an adventure, into another kind of search…and it is a convenient bond giving them a pretext to tell themselves that their growing togetherness is relatively short-timed, temporary, not made for eternity. They need that tool of self-preservation to not get lost.

        And yes! Then Lisbon happens and Phurrr…self-preservation flies away…and then Frankfurt happens…boy oh boy…

        Liked by 1 person

        • I actually think Sejal is being selfish for at least part of the trip. She really wanted to believe she was the type of cosmopolitan woman who could have this sexy adventure with Harry and then go back home to her pre-selected life without any problem. She wants to be desired by him, wants to enjoy what it would feel like to be his, keeps on clinging on to him even after she realizes it’s bothering him because all this makes her feel good.

          However, in the end, she really isn’t the type of person who can get into a situation like this without repercussions. She actually is the sweet and loving type she makes fun of, not someone who can dismiss all this as something fun and walk away. But it takes her time to recognize that. At least for 3/4 of the film, she was doing all this because it pleased herself, not realizing or understanding that she was going to harm Harry with her behavior.

          Liked by 2 people

  9. I watched the movie thrice now and I observed that hug in the train all three times(because its so funny and metaphorical!). There is a very simple reason why she hugged him twice. The handrest between the two seats was creating a barrier for them to touch their entire upper bodies end to end. So she shoves him away, removes the hand rest and hugs him again! 😀

    (I have experienced this while on a bus, so I immediately recognized it but I wanted to see it again to be sure!)

    She doesn’t say Nastajjia is worthy of a diamond ring. She just says Nastajjia is “layak” (Gah, horrid subtitles!!) so earlier when she was talking to Harry in that first disco scene she asks him if he thinks she is “layak” (worthy/deserving) and he says she’s pretty like a vase which she interprets as sweet, sister-type. Here layak means worth turning on a man, worth making a man lose his senses, basically worthy here = *sexy*.

    She has an inferiority complex where she thinks she isn’t sexy, which is why she is very touchy when he says that she had Rupen probably haven’t done “it”. (the first boat scene). Because they probably haven’t.

    Indian women of a certain class while modern to look at in every sense of the word- working woman, wearing jeans and short skirts, are not remotely sexual, they probably don’t even know how reproduction works.

    At the same time they are expected to announce “Good news” within months of getting married, have babies and tend to them for the rest of their life.

    There is actually an epidemic of couples who *dont know how to have sex with each other* in urban cities (a journo friend of mine wrote about this, will post the link when I find it!) because they have never been exposed to sexuality nor have explored their own but post an arranged marriage are expected to jump into bed on the first night and become pregnant immediately.

    Sejal wants to explore her sexuality(without the burden of marriage and without crossing into actual lovemaking with a stranger- well,at least not yet!), she wants to become a sexual woman, but she also is initially jealous of a sexual woman(Klara, she asks Harry, you think she is worthy and spent two years with her but you dont think I am??) and then later admiring of someone who she sees as obviously sexual and more “woman of the world” than her (Nastajjia).

    And she breaks free completely sexually post Harry telling her that she is in fact more “worthy” (of his desires) than Nastajjia! The sexy pole dance at home, her free sexy and fun (no more awkward/weird) moves during all of Phurr and of course her final maturing in that sexy velvet dress during Yaadon and later in Gas’ hideout.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I am working on the next section now and I was hoping I could get a better translation for that phrase before I got there. Partly because it took me a couple of watches to even realize it is the same phrase. The subtitles switch between “worth” and “rate”, so you lose the fact that it is a recurring question for her in multiple scenes.

      It seems so shallow that her whole identity is caught up in being sexually attractive, but in a lot of ways, like you say, it is the one thing that is holding her back, keeping her stunted. She is intelligent and confident and all of those things that a grown woman should be, but she is missing this one important part of herself.

      On Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 3:49 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t think its shallow AT ALL. Sexuality is a very important part of the human romantic experience. For her to be missing that is a big flaw. And she is logical and sensible enough to accept that flaw and want to fix it for which I give kudos to her 🙂


        • Also note that the first time she asks him if she is layak is just after she saw him break up with what looked like a beautiful european girl on the bridge and then later do that finger-navel thing with another European hottie (his friend’s girlfriend from the look of it!)

          So she already has a sort of competitive, inferiority spirit about it. She thinks wearing that sexy (To her eyes) jumpsuit and dancing sexily (again according to her) makes her sexy.

          When the truth is that Harry found her sexy in those home/night clothes she was wearing when he goes to confess to her what his problem was. When she’s trying too hard in that silver jumpsuit he thinks she’s funny and cute 🙂

          It reminds me of this dialogue from Love Aaj Kal where Jai and Meera are giving each other some home truths after their break up and Meera says “When you don’t try too hard, you look sexy, even I fell like that for you, when you try too hard you look stupid, stop looking at yourself in the mirror so much, don’t wear those red shoes and those ghastly shades that you think make you look cool etc etc”
          And poor Jai just asks “How do you not try? How does a person act like he’s not trying?” teheheheh 😛


          • Exactly! that’s what she finally figures out in the middle of “Radha”, she notices him noticing her when she is just casually taking off her jacket, then she switches to doing it sexy style, realizes he isn’t as interested when she is “trying” to be what she thinks is sexy, and then just gives up and goes back to being herself. And I think that’s the last time she bothers to try to be sexy, instead of just being herself and being aware that he is attracted to her.

            On Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 8:03 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


            Liked by 1 person

          • I think Imtiaz’ casting of Anushka here is genius. She has this image of a bubbly hyper girl but there is a tehrav to her that can be intensely sexy. Anushka in real life also can slide between these two shades very organically. Sejal just has to get to that point is all! 🙂

            *tehrav is difficult to explain but it kind of means a calmness and brooding softness.

            She gets that spot on in Yaadon Mein. She looks deliciously sexy even though she’s in tears.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Oh, that’s really interesting! And it’s the same thing that made her work back in her first movie with Shahrukh. She had that balance of being young and wanting things from life, but also having moments of maturity that made her an equal partner with her much older husband.

            On Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 8:26 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


            Liked by 2 people

        • I also love the moment at which Harry tells her she’s more layak than Nastajjia. Its just when they are freaking out over the goons and he knows he must distract her or she’ll go ballistic like she did the last time goons were chasing them. Once he tells her that, she completely forgets about the goons and the problems and just keeps walking with a silly happy grin on her face.

          Harry knows her so well. He knew exactly when to give her that compliment. ❤

          Liked by 1 person

          • I hadn’t thought about that part of it! And darn it, I just published my post on that scene so I can’t add it. I was thinking the same thing, that he knew just how important that compliment would be to her and was holding off on giving it. But I had different ideas for why he was doing it just then.

            On Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 8:31 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


            Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, she’s so pleased and happy after Harry tells her she’s sexier (more ‘layak’) than Natasha that she even insists on taking selfies with her. I think she wanted a memento of this sexy girl who according to Harry is still less sexier than Sejal. Anushka played this so well. She was making crazy facial expressions bursting with pride after Harry finally told her what she was desperate to hear.

      It was what she has been dying to hear from him and proved some kind of turning point for her. Now she felt free enough to do those sexy dance moves in front of him. Her sister also realized Sejal was acting very differently and told her to snap out of it. We also get an indication that Sejal has been ignoring Rupen who has been trying to contact her. The last time she spoke to him would have been right after the Radha song. That time she was so happy to hear from him that was bragging about his 5 whastapp messages. By the time Phurr happens, she has changed so much she is basically ignoring him and telling her sister that it doesn’t even matter how she treats him – she’s so sexy even his father wouldn’t be able to leave her.

      Liked by 3 people

  10. Picking up on procratinatrix’s retelling of the order of the conversation on the train Harry asks her not to cuddle up and put her head on his shoulder because he will get used to it. Sejal ignores the request and asks her questions, ending with telling him he should go home. That’s when he gets loud and the other passengers react, telling her it is his personal life and she responds (at least in the English translation) something like Well, are you just going to do what you want??

    That’s when he looks at her a little hard, or a little intensely, and asks for the hug. This fits with your interpretation but I think it adds a little more. Because the request for the hug comes after a short but heated exchange, it isn’t just because Harry is lonely. As I see this moment, he recognizes that Sejal is pushing back when he asks her to stay out of his personal business because she really, truly cares about him. Even if she is going to leave after they find the ring, he sees that she’s asking these questions and even challenging him because she cares. And that’s why he asks for the hug. He isn’t used to or can’t really remember a time when another person cared enough to be invested in his happiness and well-being.

    I agree with Anonymous that when Harry tells her she’s better than Nastasia it is a turning point for her. And the selfie bit is just plain funny. But I’m guessing you’ll get to all this in the next post. Which I can’t wait to read!

    Liked by 2 people

    • …at least caring enough to get through his defense mechanism. This hug – and especially the second more tight (after having get rid of an obstacle!) is a great sign of tenderness, of a non sexual closeness he wants and he gets.

      Now that I know what Harry told her relative to Nastassja’s pole dancing (when it comes to the words/subtitles I haven’t a good memory, my memory is better for what I felt the characters may have felt), I still see it as a reference to the selfie-taking of someone important to oneself (I remember smiling when Harry advices her the post position for the light)…and then there is also this incidents with the goons (showing again how Harry can keep his cool in (life-)threatening situations by simply talking others into a certain believing – here that he’s maybe police – which again shows that one can rely on him to solve certain problems. As they could not be sure that Nastassja tells the truth about gas having the ring (who, btw, gave it to Nastassja which made not really sense for me at that point – and I remember an astonished Harry – ) the selfie could serve in many ways.
      I too got the impression that getting to know that the ring should be to find in Portugal was really good news…and not because of the ring, I guess 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! Beautifully put. It is the non-sexual touching between them that does the most good for Harry in this story, because he hasn’t had that for so long. A friend of mine does movement therapy in Germany, and she tells me how starved men, especially hetero men, are for comforting, human touch outside the context of romantic relationships. Really sad.

      Having said that, I’m glad there’s plenty of romantic touching between them too, though. 😉


    • Yep, SO MUCH about that in the new post. So I will wait and bring our conversation over there.

      On Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 11:46 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  11. This part gets much more serious as Harry realizes how close Sejal has become to him. He doesn’t want to keep play acting boyfriend/girlfriend anymore. Sejal is reading him much more than he’s comfortable with, asking about where he lives off tour. When she pushes, he gets angry and tell her to not interfere.. But Sejal, being Sejal, won’t leave it alone. Finally, he seeks comfort in a hug. No one has been this concerned for his welfare (maybe his mother) before. He so needs to be loved for who he truly is. At the club in Prague, Harry is all business, finding out which one is Nastassia. I can see Harry has been in clubs like this before. Sejal is comfortable because she is with Harry. When Harry points her out, Sejal rates her as being worthy (sexy). When Harry tells Sejal that she’s better than Nastassia, it’s because Nastassia is the type of woman Harry used to sleep with (not one he respects). Sejal can’t believe it because Nastassia is beautiful and sexy or so Sejal thinks. For Harry, it’s not just about the looks, it’s about who Sejal is.


    • I don’t know if I would say he didn’t respect the women he slept with. I never get that vibe from him exactly, it’s more that he just didn’t make a connection with them. They were a body for him, nothing more. Whereas Sejal is that “more” to him, he finds her sexy not just because of her body but because of everything she is.

      It’s what we see later in the Raula and Butterfly songs, she doesn’t have to strip or pole dance or do anything besides blow him a kiss, and it slays him.

      On Fri, Sep 8, 2017 at 1:10 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • Once again, I bow to you Margaret. I guess not respecting the women he’s slept with was the wrong word. You’re absolutely spot on that there was no connection, and he didn’t want a connection with them.


        • Respecting is close, I would even say “doesn’t respect them as another person”. But there’s that connotation, you know? That he doesn’t respect them BECAUSE they will have sex with him, or that he only respects Anushka because she doesn’t give in. But it feels like he is more than that, he doesn’t respect himself either in these kinds of relationships, and certainly he feels some degree of guilt for what he has done, knows it is wrong, knows he SHOULD respect the women he has sex with as people, not just bodies.

          On Fri, Sep 8, 2017 at 1:51 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



          • I think respecting someone isn’t synonym with investing feelings into someone.
            Harry never gave a vibe that he looked down at any woman even when he had a dispute with one. But he made clear that he had no interest in getting emotionally involved. He isn’t cheap because he acts cheap, he is a womanizer because he gets women emotionally attracted to him without being emotionally attracted himself. He has shut this part of his feelings.
            When he admits towards Sejal (to make her look for another person to help her), he also opens the door to that closed part of himself. Although he knows that her reaction may be based on ignorance/innocence, her non-judgemental behaviour towards makes him receptive in a way he did not permit himself simply because of self-protection.


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