Jab Harry Met Sejal Part 17: Anushka Is “Worth It”

This is such an odd section of the film.  It’s very hard to describe without sounding really really stupid and shallow.  But it isn’t!  If you go on this whole journey with these characters, it makes complete sense. (full index of JHMS posts here)

Previously, lots of stuff happened!  In a very very short time span.  Anushka stayed back after her family went home from a month long European trip in order to quickly look for her engagement ring which she lost.  Her family insisted that Shahrukh, their tour guide, stay with her and babysit her.  After 3 nights and two full days together, Shahrukh and Anushka had already become something more than just tour guide and client.  Even though she was shockingly innocent and sheltered and he was shockingly not.  By the 4th day, they had all but abandoned the ring hunt, were doing karaoke together and sleeping together at night (not having sex, literally sleeping together).  Until Shahrukh’s friend Mayank surprised them and gave them a lead on the ring hunt, back to Prague where they first really connected with each other, to track down a stripper who might have lied and claimed the ring for herself from a cafe in Budapest.  On the train there, Shahrukh bursts out that he can’t get used to this, they have to stop.  And Anushka refuses to listen to him, instead pushing for more information about his life and then hugging him after he admits that for the past 2 years, instead of going to the closest he has to a home (an apartment in Frankfurt), he has just kept traveling, sleeping with women in order to have a place to stay.  Because nothing he can say will scare her away or disgust her.



Speaking of disgust, now they are in a strip club!  I talked about this a little in the last section, they are in a strip club together, the kind of place a sheltered wealthy young woman like Anushka would never ever have gone just a few days ago.  And which Shahrukh would have entered all hot and dirty and sexy and probably seduced one of the strippers just to prove he could and regain his manhood.  But now here they are and Shahrukh is only interested in the place in terms of how it might help Anushka find her ring, and Anushka is looking at it like an opportunity to gain data, considering whether “Natasha”, the headliner who is the woman that stole the ring, is more or less attractive than she is.

We cut somewhat abruptly from Natasha’s performance (which my consulting expert friend who does sexy dancing professionally tells me isn’t very good, and her costume makes no sense because you would never have a train that covers your bottom), to Natasha walking out of the club in street clothes.  Really sexy street clothes, an exercise bra and low slung sweatpants and an unzipped jacket. Which works for the moment that is about to happen between Shahrukh and Anushka which requires her to still be obviously sexy, but really doesn’t make sense if you think about it.  Why not zip up the jacket?

Shahrukh and Anushka follow her and Shahrukh calls out “Natasha!” but at the same moment a group of guys suddenly appear on the other side of her, seeming kind of threatening and saying “Natasha, Gas wants to talk to you.”  Natasha turns away from them, then hesitates when she sees Shahrukh and Anushka on the other side.  Shahrukh says quickly “we aren’t with them.  Anushka will walk you home.” And Anushka goes over to her and kind of steers her away while Shahrukh stays back and faces the guys.

In a different movie, this would be a super macho moment, we would be ready for a big fight scene.  But Shahrukh isn’t like that, he is a guide, he is all about arranging the situation.  And he has arranged for Anushka and Natasha to go one way, and now he is going to try to arrange for this group to disperse, go the other way, otherwise be rearranged.

Only, notice that he isn’t really arranging Anushka any more!  He tells Natasha “she will take you home”, but doesn’t say anything to direct Anushka, he just trusts her to do what he needs and work with him.  Which she does, before he has even finished speaking she has moved over to Natasha and started reassuring her.  We will see this for the rest of the film, the “Klara” interaction was really the last time they weren’t working together like this, from now on they move like a married couple of long standing, no need to say things straight out, they just know what is needed.  In situations ranging from this stressful stand off with goons, to a wedding reception (more stressful than a late night goon standoff?  I think so).

(I’ll talk about this more when I get there, but notice how Anushka is working up the crowd while Shahrukh sings, she isn’t just watching him, and he isn’t giving her clear directions on what to do, they just trust each other)

Plus, Shahrukh is treating Anushka as a grown-up.  It’s not just how they are working together, it’s the responsibility he is giving her.  Just a few scenes earlier, with Klara, he was trying to shoo her away.  Now, he is counting on her to reassure Natasha and get her safely home.

And the Hindi returns!  Shahrukh is talking to Anushka in Hindi, to give her “secret” directions, just like he has done all along, starting from that visit to the restaurant in Amsterdam when they had a huge fight without the staff knowing what was happening.  But this time, the Hindi is understood by the “bad guys”.  They are no longer alone in their little “Indians abroad” bubble.  The last section was a tiny bit of the world intruding, but this is a lot of the world intruding.  A reminder that the world is a dangerous place, at home and abroad, and Shahrukh has brought Anushka into danger.  Not “exotic” European danger, but real grounded desi style danger.  Danger from people who know their “real names”, if that makes sense.

And I think it is after this little reminder that this is a real danger, that this is really bad what could happen, not just fun time any more, that Shahrukh cracks and admits the one thing Anushka has been waiting for all along, the magic words that will wake the sleeping princess inside.  Which he knew, and has been resisting all along, because he didn’t want the responsibility of waking her.

What he says sounds terrible out of context, and even worse in the English subtitles.  Shahrukh is nervously moving about, keeping focused on the bad guys, trying to sort of posture them into submission (it reminds me a lot of what the border collie we had when I was a kid would do when she wanted us kids to behave).  He turns away for just a second to say to Anushka “you are worth more than her”, quickly like he needs to get this out but then needs to get right back to what he was doing.  She has a big reaction, a huge delighted “WHAT?” And he says it again, still in a hurry and without looking at her, but he isn’t jerky enough to hold it back once he has said it once, he knows she needs the confirmation.

The 4th time I saw this, on the ride home, my friends were saying they had a hard time with this because it felt like rating women against each other, like “she’s a 9, you’re a 10”.  Some kind of macho stupid objectifying thing.  But I think that is the flaw of the translation.  He isn’t “rating” them, he is valuing them.  P in the comments finally gave me the Hindi word (thank goodness!), “Layak”.  Which is “worth”, or “worthy”, or “quality”.  Very different from a simple kind of rating system, it is asking “am I, taken by myself, worth your time?  Am I worth anything to you?”  It also, I think maybe, picks up on the diamond theme of the film.  Anushka is valuing herself like you would value a jewel.  Her value is intrinsic to her, but also exists in comparison with other objects around her.   She already had the obvious lesson that her “value” is less than that of the diamond ring, her fiance was happy to break the engagement with her over the ring.  That alone could have set off this quest to discover her “worth” on the open market.  But the way she relates to Shahrukh, the way she wants him to want her and need her and to be able to be everything to him, that heightens it.

Image result for diamond value

(Like this, she isn’t in competition with other women exactly, she is more weighing herself against the standards they set)

The first time this comes up is in a kind of confused unfocused way at the nightclub in Amsterdam, wanting him to say she was “worth it” without really thinking through what she was asking or understanding why she needed his validation.  But when they met Klara, it came up again. Half-joking but half-serious.  She knows she means more to Shahrukh than Klara ever did, that’s why it is a joke.  But it’s also a little serious, because she knows she doesn’t mean as much to Shahrukh as she could, or she isn’t sure if she does or not.  And him valuing her is tied to her value of herself as a person.  Not just because he is a super sexy man, that’s what it was about in Amsterdam, but now it is a lot more than that.  He is the one person in the world whose opinion matters to her, just like she has become the one person who matters to him.  Her forgiveness of the Klara situation, her embrace of him in the train after he admits to having sex for shelter, it is healing him, it is the only validation he needs.  And that’s what he knows she needs from him, that’s why in this high stress situation he finally gives in and says it.  High stress in two ways, if they are able to get out of it alive, it is likely that Natassha will give them the ring within minutes and they will have to say good-bye forever.  This could both be his last chance to say it to her, and could be saying it so late that he doesn’t have to fear anything coming of it.

That’s why we need this ridiculously convoluted plot set up here.  We need Anushka and Shahrukh to confront the moment they have to say good-bye, and then get past it.  Over and over.  The moment on the train is the first time, Anushka giving him her final blessing and words of advice (“go home”).  Now, Shahrukh is returning the favor, telling her what she needs to hear.  But, it doesn’t end.  They keep going together, as two whole healed people, into uncharted territory.  Because of twists they can’t expect at this moment.

Image result for blue castle lm montgomery

(If you have not read this book, READ IT IMMEDIATELY!  It’s free on gutenberg.  And it gets at the same idea.  Our heroine thinks she is about to die, and so feels free to go after the completely inappropriate guy she likes, and he feels free to reveal more of himself than he would otherwise.  This is less depressing, just a trip, but it is the same idea.  There is an “ending” coming, so they are allowed to say things they would never otherwise say)

Woops, getting ahead of myself!  Shahrukh talks the “Gas” gang down by pretending to be an immigration official.  And, once he and Anushka are alone with Natassha, he calmly but firmly tells her that she has to give back the ring and slowly pulls her story out of her.  In English, which he speaks very well but she seems shakier on.  The story doesn’t quite hold up, she says that “Gas” gave her the ring and she threw it back at him.  Which doesn’t fit the theory of a ring that she stole from the cafe in Budapest, but Shahrukh is so sure by now that it is the ring that he just blows past that.  I wonder, is this a bit of fatalism?  He can’t believe that they would be lucky enough to get more time together, that they won’t find her ring, that this good thing won’t be taken from him?  And so he is sure that Natassha did take the ring and they are on the right track and it will be over soon.

Meanwhile, Anushka is dancing around them, thrilled, still flying that Shahrukh has finally confirmed that she is “worthy”.  Not just that, but more “worthy” than this hyper sexual woman in front of them.  At least, more worthy to him.  We never, before or after this, see Anushka try out her recently discovered sexuality on anyone else.  She just has no interest in anyone else, I don’t think she looks at Natasha and thinks “objectively speaking, I am sexier than her, I could work at a strip club”.  I think she looks at her and thinks “Shahrukh thinks I am sexier than her, I am ‘worth’ more than her to him”.  And Shahrukh knows that.  He has known it all along, as soon as she started following him around, that this is what she was waiting for.  So he is patient with her celebration, with her taking “selfie” photos with Natasha, even suggesting a place where she will find better light for the photos (showing his tour guide experience).  He is happy for her, but it doesn’t actually change anything for him.  See, remember, he has found her “worth it” since way back when, since that first time he looked at her face in the car, couldn’t stop staring at her legs in her hotel room that first night, held her in his arms on the bridge.  He just hasn’t said anything, has been afraid to say anything because of what it would do to her, how she would change, and what meeting that “new” Anushka would do to him.  I don’t think he would have said it if he hadn’t been so sure they were about to say good-bye forever, that he would only have a few minutes with this “new” Anushka that he had created.  Because he didn’t think he deserved to enjoy this “new” Anushka.  This was a good-bye gift he was giving her, just like her good-bye gift of telling him to go home.

Only, it isn’t good-bye.  Natasha, after all the photos and Shahrukh’s gentle pressing (also, notice how non-sexual this interaction is.  Just as Anushka is coming into her own sexuality, Shahrukh is losing his, he could easily flirt this out of her, but instead it is a completely friendly but businesslike conversation), finally explains that she gave the ring back to “Gas”, she broke up with him, he says “I own cafe, I am businessman, NO! He is criminal”, so she broke up with him and gave the ring back.  Great line delivery here by the way, much better than the usual standard of “random white woman in Indian film”.  Anyway, “Gas” is now in Portugal, traveling between two cities.  And Anushka looks at Shahrukh and says “Portugal?  We didn’t go there on our tour did we?”  And Shahrukh looks thoughtful and distracted and says “No, we never did.”

Boom!  Metaphor!!!!  They are now literally going into uncharted territory.

Pause here for geography refresher!!!!  The tour Anushka took started and ended in Amsterdam.  This is well-trod territory for her, and it turns into well-trod territory for the characters.  Anushka barely breaks out of her spoiled rich girl shell, and Shahrukh barely breaks out of his bad boy attitude.  And then Prague.  A place they are both less familiar with, just one stop on the tour where they only spent a day.  It’s a little freeing, Anushka can spread her wings and be something slightly different.  And Shahrukh can react differently to her, he doesn’t look at her and see that little girl from the tour quite as clearly as he used to.  They start to change in Prague.  Next, Budapest.  Where they arrive as different people than they were before, the train journey changes them.  Anushka asks Shahrukh to “be Rupen”, but notice she is no longer exactly “being” Anushka.  She isn’t reacting the way that she reacted back then when Rupen was there, she is something different.  And the day they spend together there changes everything, they are now in between, friends instead of work clients, friends who are starting to fall in love with each other.  And then back to Prague.  Back on that same train where Shahrukh started to realize he was falling in love but in new circumstances now.  And back to a sleazy club, but as different people, people who aren’t chasing one another and playing games, but who are standing there together.  This is supposed to be the full circle of the journey.  Amsterdam, Prague, Budapest, Prague, Amsterdam for her flight home.  With the validation Shahrukh has just given her to return her as a new woman, and the validation she gave him earlier to help cure him. But instead, now things are different.  They are spinning off in another new direction.

I wonder, is this also a new direction for the film?  There are those rumors that an original draft had them not ending up together.  From the film we got, I can’t see how that could have ever happened.  For both their characters, could Shahrukh have recovered from losing her, and could Anushka recover from being without him?

But perhaps the original film ended here.  Back in Prague.  Shahrukh is able to go home now, with her help and blessing.  And she knows her “worth”, knows she is worth more than the diamond her fiance put above her, will return ready to do battle for what will make her happy, not just what her family wants.  And that would be a nice bittersweet ending, the two of them changed to better people from being together, but not necessarily together.  That would be a different meaning of the “Jee Ve Sohaniye” song, that they wish happiness for the other even if the other is not “theirs”.


Only, this is a different film.  And so it takes a turn, and our perfect circle shoots off in a new direction, after it is “all over”, after the characters have done what they needed to do for each other, they are still there with each other, waiting to see what happens next.


28 thoughts on “Jab Harry Met Sejal Part 17: Anushka Is “Worth It”

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

  2. “We need Anushka and Shahrukh to confront the moment they have to say good-bye, and then get past it. Over and over.” So much yes to this!

    Regarding the whole sexually attractive=”worth it”, do you think that Imtiaz is commenting more deeply on the ambiguity both traditional and “modern” women feel toward performing “sexy”? Or am I seeing the movie too much through my cultural lens as a white American middle-aged lady?

    Also–so true that the non-Indian actors are marginally more competent here than in the other Hindi movies I’ve seen (a very small subset). Why don’t Hindi film-makers seem to care if the non-South Asian actors in their movies can’t act, even a little? I have to skip all the “at NASA” bits of Swades because the white supervisor is SO BAD!


    • To me, I think Imtiaz is more commenting on the kind of thing P has been saying in the comments, the very particularly Indian phenomenon of women who are trained to be totally asexual until marriage, when a flip is supposed to be magically turned. I hadn’t thought about this until just now, but that’s in the background for Anushka, if her life had gone as planned, she would go from knowing absolutely nothing about sex to having her wedding night in just a few weeks. And Rupen does not seem like a guy who would be super good at helping her through that transition. So this last “honeymoon” with Shahrukh, and all her experimenting, could also be seen as a sudden effort to figure all this out before her wedding night comes down on her.

      Not to mention the awareness she must have on some level that there is this whole other group of women, in India and overseas, who know how to do these things, who have sex before marriage, who Rupen and some of the other men in her life have probably been with. And who somehow seem to have easier lives, be happier with themselves, than she is. But her journey ends up being a realization that she doesn’t want/need to be super sexual for the world, she just needs to be happy with herself with Shahrukh. In the end, she is that traditional Indian woman whose switch is flipped on her wedding night, only it’s not with the boring family approved fiance, it’s with the one man who can make that happen for her.

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


      Liked by 1 person

      • I disagree. Only slightly. She doesn’t need to wear clothes that are not of her persona (the silver dress or the red dress) she just needs to be more *AWARE* that she is a sexual being and every inch of her is sexy. Unlike the first time when Harry sees her in those “home” shorts where she is absolutely UNAWARE of the effect she is having on him.

        I mean I was shocked at how she invited this absolute stranger who is obviously so sexual (she would see that if she knew anything about sexuality) into her room while she is wearing THOSE tiny clothes and asks him to close the door on top of everything! Even Harry is a lil shocked at her.

        In the end of the film she is super sexy in those completely covered up salwar-kurtas because she is aware of her sexuality and embraces it. Her eye movements, her stance while walking all of them point toward her sexual awakening.

        Which despite the whole “layak” thing is not facilitated by her *performing* for Harry, but by her own realization of what sexuality means.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Absolutely agree that Sejal’s growing sexiness is not about performing but about growing into and owning her own sexuality.

          What I mean by Imtiaz commenting more deeply is, how much is he making a broader point that Sejal isn’t the only woman confused by how to deal with sexuality and attraction these days given conflicting messages we all get from family, tradition, peers, and media–no matter where we live? But it really may be that he is making a narrower comment about this certain “type” of Indian woman.

          But then I feel like one of the biggest lessons of the movie, for both Harry and Sejal, is that there are no such thing as “types” of men and women. Just themselves, and how well they fit together. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • Maybe Imtiaz is making that comment, that as long as you are you, and you are aware and in control of your sexuality then you are sexy 🙂

            That giggly silly attitude she has in the beginning toward sex (in that boat scene, where she’s like I know what you did with that girl on the bridge yesterday) has to go though!

            Gosh, the number of people who giggle like teenagers is way too high(at least in India!)

            Liked by 1 person

        • American culture at least has this whole genre of “good girl goes bad” kind of story (don’t think India has that? At least, I can’t think of an example). So I am kind of measuring this against that in order to see how it DOESN’T fit with the tropes. One thing I don’t like in the usual version of this story is that the heroine always goes from total innocent to nymphomaniac. In this case, Anushka grows up into an awareness of her own sexuality that really she should have had all along, that should have been part of a normal puberty, but which her situation cut her off from.

          But she doesn’t run away and become a stripper, I don’t imagine she went back to India and started a wild affair with a series of men, she isn’t even enjoying flirting and male attention from anyone besides Shahrukh. It goes back to that odd thing of, “she is making all these changes because of Shahrukh, but not for him.” Her new sexuality is something she carries within herself, but it is also something that never would have really woken up if her connection with Shahrukh hadn’t forced it. Like you say, she isn’t “performing” for Shahrukh at this point, but he was the catalyst that gave her this new awareness.

          On Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 12:26 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


          Liked by 1 person

          • oh Indian movies/culture don’t have a good girl gone bad thing. What they do have is a very clear demarcation between Madonna and Whore. And the first is viriginal, pure, untouched and absolutely unaware of sex. That is the mark of her purity.

            The second (if you have seen the older Indian movies) is the Helen character who is sexual, dances with glee abandon, is usually with a lover/waiting for a lover, and is completely in control and aware of her sexuality and the effect it has on men.

            Now somewhere around Madhuri and Sridevi’s time the first woman started having aspects of the second but it was typically in a dream song or when they were dancing alone or with/for their husbands.

            They were never sexual as an aspect of their personality itself, I think the first was Veronica in Cocktail (again an Imtiaz script).

            Liked by 1 person

          • Now you are making me think about it, and there is that bad-girl-gone-good idea in Indian film. Saira Banu in Purab aur Paschim, Meena Kumari in Pakeezah, a little Kareena in K3G, all the way back to Chandramukhi (at least the classical Chandramukhi), who give up their glitzy sinful life after falling in love with a “good” man. And now we have the opposite of that, a woman falling in love with a man who turns her “bad”.

            Liked by 2 people

  3. ShahRukh wanted a happy film about love. Knowing Imtiaz forte in picturizing internal processes and able to combine seemingly diametrical characters they certainly discussed several plots (btw, I’ve never ‘bought’ ShahRukh’s statements about scripts… I know he will show interest in just a narration but he wants a script to work with…he is rather meticulous in preparing everything needed for his character – in harmony with the director’s vision).

    Walls have ears…and people like to gossip (and giving ‘scoops’ is paying)…yep, there were variations…generally it’s like that…and Imtiaz even shot for two slightly different movies.

    What they did with Lisbon was a circle in a circle…was like the circular line would make a circular sling before closing itself to a circle (one can see that circle very prominently when both meet in Mumbai). Lisbon is somehow a love story of its own…leading to Frankfurt, to a wedding that is not their own (but could have been, no?)

    I really like your analysis of everything that happens in the club, with Nastassja, the goons, the selfies, Sejal’s happiness (which she expresses in such a cute way when talking on the phone).

    Yet, there is something I would like to clarify: actually, I think the movie is less about sexiness than about womanliness, about to be conscious of the own body and how good it is to feel it…and it is about making love, the joy and deep satisfaction you can get of it when it is the ‘right’ person you make love with. I got the feeling that Imtiaz wanted to juxtapose sex and love.

    I will write more later…now I have to do preparations for a birthday…will be back soon (ummm, relatively soon)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happy birthday to whoever!

      I like your line about sexiness versus womanliness. The film does such a wonderful job of showing all the ways couples come together. There is the physical comfort, not sexual but still physical in their hugs and touching. The intellectual connection in their arguments at the start. And finally the joint building of a home and a community in the wedding sequence. Sex is in there somewhere, but it is far from the most important part.

      And for “making love”, that would be another way they meet in the middle, right? Anushka knows so little about sex, and Shahrukh knows too much. But in the end they both discover a different way of looking at it, not as an act on its own, but as something related to the particular person with the,

      On Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 1:23 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

      • Harry doesn’t know too much, I feel, he just knows certain sides…Sejal doesn’t no anything in practical but Iam sure she has her dreams involving kissing, touching.
        When we were teens we read books, saw movies…she did, too…watch movies, read magazines…she may have no clue about what exactly a man is doing and how she is supposed to react but on a certain level, it is something she ponders about…and I am absolutely sure, she did it after the engagement and observed people around her in a very focussed way, focussed on interaction, on effect…well, I’m sure, Harry the tour guide made an effect on her that intrigued her…losing her ring was a reaction of her subconsiousness…that ring did not really matter to h e r … did not belong to h e r life…

        Liked by 1 person

        • I feel like, based on the very little we see of Harry’s pre-Sejal relationships, that he has probably had very satisfying sexual encounters in the past, but also encounters that came from something besides pure desire. Like, wanting to regain his manhood, or needing a place to stay that night, or just being mad at someone and stealing their girlfriend. That whole concept of love making, as something that is a culmination of getting to know someone and really wanting to be closer to them, I think he has maybe lost that, or never had it.

          Interesting point about Anushka post-engagement. I forgot, that happened the first night of the tour. So suddenly from then on, this thing that was just an abstract to her has a very concrete basis now. She has a wedding date fixed, the comments have probably already started about wedding nights and having kids. So at the same time she first saw Shahrukh, even before the movie started, she could have been preparing herself for this experience.

          On Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 2:15 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


          Liked by 1 person

          • Yeah, I understand what you mean with Harry and his experience. Actually, I don’t think that it is important to know the extent of his experiences…just that he is experienced when it comes to getting sex with women.
            Sejal definitely was in her very unique way preparing (she is organized and a good observer)…the way Harry turned on his charme (they travelled for a whole month together!) would at least made her curious (because Rupen wasn’t one – at least not in comparison to Harry). I am sure Imtiaz could have told another story where Sejal only pretends to have lost the ring to get out of the airport and getting Harry at time (or she would have contacted the agency) – she was adament to spend time with him…like playing with fire…immensely curious yet sure to be able to handle everything that comes her way. The moment when she was ready to stop that adventure it was Harry who unconsciously made her continue by saying that she did nothing wrong, she could have even be more violent with the guy. A man so suave made such a compliment to her…he definitely was the right one to learn from 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

    • oh! didn’t think it would help with that! Thanks! 🙂

      yeah, Imtiaz is a rare gem and the only film of his which has been appreciated is Jab We Met. Though weirdly his biggest commercial hit (and Saif’s too) is Love Aaj Kal. It might have been the huge goodwell generated by JWM that led to that.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Why did the cafe call the tour company to say they had the ring? Makes no sense. Imtiaz had to get them to another country where they had NOT been on the tour ’cause now they are off script so to speak.
    I agree that there was another version of this story. I’m not sure if it was them really parting at the end, though Imtiaz never does that or just ending with the scene in Mumbai at the wedding. I would have ended with them in that tight embrace after the kiss. The way she is wrapped around him is not as much sexual but is more “I thought I had lost you but you are here”. People who fear someone has died/or left forever in some other way hug like that. While adorable, the whole dancing in Punjab belonged to another movie.


    • My elaborate backstory (which is only necessary because, yeah, the script was flawed) is that there is some kind of management power struggle at the cafe. The morning guy that they spoke to didn’t know that the afternoon person the day before had already found and given away a diamond ring. Because afternoon guy was incompetent and stupid and swayed by Natassja’s beauty. And then morning guy has to clean up his mess, like usual, learns that afternoon guy didn’t even see the message from the tour company that they had sent as soon as Anushka reported the loss, and decides the best he can do is call the tour company immediately to alert them. And I assume Shahrukh left the tour contact info instead of his own because they were traveling and he would be harder to reach.

      Or, so long as I am creating a backstory, incompetent afternoon person the day before is a harried single mother recently hired waitress who found a ring, and minutes later Natassja came up and asked for it and she wasn’t sure what to do, so she got Natassja’s ID and contact before she gave her the ring. The next day, manager finds out, yells at her, she bursts in to tears, his heart softens, and now he is doing this elaborate and not terribly clear or helpful explanation because he is trying to cover for her. And then in gratitude, she will invite him home for a home cooked meal, he will charm her adorably bratty children and end up cooking for her because her life is such a mess, and also offer to help the oldest son learn how to play soccer, slowly they will become closer, there will be a misunderstanding when he thinks she is getting back with her worthless ex, but then the children will take a hand and send him a fake letter that makes him come back, and they will finally admit their feelings and get married. And invite Natassja and Shahrukh and Anushka to their wedding. Where Natassja will end up with the wealthy owner of Shahrukh’s tour company, thus rewarding her for being AWESOME and punishing him for being bossy and greedy.

      On Thu, Aug 24, 2017 at 3:26 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • While this is not an important point, I have to admit it irks me. Here is the problem. NO ONE LOST A RING in this cafe. Gas gives N. a ring. She “throws it back on his face, because I hate him.” Gas picks it up, puts it back with the fakes. That is why Gas and N. keep saying, “I don’t know how this could be your ring.” (I understand why Harry says, “Oh, but it is” cause Manky said it was there. There is no lost ring. We know Sejal’s wasn’t there. Gas’s isn’t there and so no one could have called the tour company. And if one wants to insist that when N. threw it back at Gas and it dropped to the floor and because it is a fake Gas doesn’t bother picking it up. THEN it makes no sense that the person whose picture they have because they gave it to her is N. “Why did you give her my ring?” But no one from the cafe gave her any ring. Okay, enough of that.


        • The only way it makes sense to me is if Natasha got the ring, lost the ring, got the ring back, and then immediately gave it back to “Gas”. The timing still isn’t quite right though, not enough time for all of this to have happened and Natasha to get back to Prague and Gas to Portugal.

          On Mon, Aug 28, 2017 at 2:05 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



          • I admit that I sensed the lack of logic in the whole gas&ring story but I didn’t mind because my focus was on the fact that they would keep being together, They both did not ponder about any logic so why should I? In any way the search for the ring had already become a mere pretexte in Budapest.


          • I noticed on a rewatch, Shahrukh actually questions it right here, but Anushka kind of moves forward and they just focus on confirming that Gas has the ring now, however he got it. It feels like they both see the illogic a little, but are so caught up in the quest that they don’t stop and think.

            On Fri, Sep 8, 2017 at 3:59 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



    • I should clarify, I think Natassja is AWESOME, but I also think she will make life miserable for whoever she marries. Very high maintenance. Exactly what the tour group owner deserves for all his bossy phone calls.

      On Thu, Aug 24, 2017 at 3:26 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  5. Without clarification of Harry’s sexual encounters but knowing he’s had several leads me to believe he doesn’t know anything about making love. Making love and having sex are two totally different things. I think Harry has sex to prove to himself he is worthy of a woman wanting him. But they are just lustful encounters. Very shortly, after having sex, he will need to prove it again. Sex has become his drug of choice, a feel good for a short time fix. I don’t know if that’s a sexual addiction or if he just wants to connect with another person on a deeper level. That’s what he’s finding with Sejal and it scares and attracts him at the same time. Like a moth to a flame, he’s afraid of getting burned.


    • Agree completely. What they are both feeling in the Portugal scene is something totally new to both of them. For Sejal, this kind of love mixed with attraction, and for Harry this kind of attraction mixed with love.

      The whole film, in a way, is leading up to that moment as Harry starts to realize that it is possible to integrate all those feelings of care and laughter and happiness for Sejal with sexual attraction. And for Sejal to realize that she can just be herself, naturally, and still be sexy and sexual.

      On Fri, Sep 8, 2017 at 1:28 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • Because I was very fortunate to have this with my late husband, I truly understand the feelings of best friend, confidant, lover all rolled into one. To have a person to tell all your secrets, fears and dreams to. To laugh until you cry. To have butterflies in your stomach is what we all search for.


        • You are indeed very fortunate to have been allowed to live such a love. I feel fortunate, too. Therefore I am very happy that Imtiaz gives Harry and Sejal the opportunity to live a love like that.


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