Jab Harry Met Sejal Discussion post: Harry

I think this is it, isn’t it?  It’s such a tiny focused movie, we have the two characters and their future together, and there isn’t really any other large area to talk about.  Anyway, here is where we can all fight over our visions of Harry.  I’ll give mine, which is neither wrong nor right but just how I see it, and you can give yours which is also neither right nor wrong.  God bless Imtiaz for giving us such an open-ended character! (full index of JHMS posts here)

So, Harry!  Someone early early on mentioned in a comment that Imtiaz had said in an interview, his initial vision was to make Harry suicidal.  That really resonated with me, because I think the Harry we see in “Safar” is suicidal, or next door to it.  This is what deadly depression looks like, not Devdas with all the swanning around and drama.  Depression is deadly because it is invisible.  He just seems sort of out of touch, like he doesn’t even care any more.  He isn’t crying, he isn’t monologuing, he is just tired.

Give him 2 more months, or 2 more years, like this, and he will start to think “Maybe I should just slip away, maybe I should jump into that river, or take these pills, or cut myself with this razor.  I don’t feel anything anyway, it’s a waste to be alive.”

(This is sad, this isn’t depressed.  Still bad, still could lead to suicide, but it’s not depression)


How did he get here?  To me, Harry’s journey starts with depression.  Maybe it came originally out of homesickness combined with guilt.  He made it to Canada, and his life never really came together the way he thought it would, he never felt the same as he did in India, and he started to feel guilty for leaving.  He tried to run away, took this job in Europe, but he never really dealt with those feelings, never went to therapy or tried to change his life drastically to address them, and it kept building until it turned out of control.

Or maybe he had a bad break-up, not Klara, but someone years ago.  Maybe his first sexual experience was with a woman in Canada who made him feel used and dirty afterwards, and he could keep running from that feeling, but it would always catch up with him, make him feel like he had no right to go home again.

Or maybe he just had wrong brain chemistry. He was depressed because he was depressed because he was depressed.

(This is depressed)


Either way, I feel like everything we see of “bad” Harry is just a symptom, not the problem.  He isn’t depressed because he drinks or sleeps with women or travels a lot or has no home.  He is depressed, and therefore he does all these things.  And they don’t help him, they just make him feel something for a while.  Only, and this is I think where we are getting close to the fatal end of his depression journey, even that isn’t working for him any more.  Women can yell at him, throw things at him, and he feels nothing.  He can sleep on a train station bench as easily as in a bed.  He drinks in dive bars and doesn’t even look around when a fight breaks out.  Pretty soon he is going to look for something more than this, cutting or self-medicating with drugs is in his future.

Enter Sejal!  Who does make him feel something, right from the start.  Anger at first, but that’s still a feeling, cutting through the grayness of his life.  And then desire, then amusement, all of these things he had almost forgotten.  Until finally she brings about the emotional catharsis before “Radha”, the thing he should have had after multiple intensive therapy sessions (and probably some heavy meds), but magically was given through love instead.

And that’s why he falls in love with her.  Or falls in something deeper than love.  She healed him, without even knowing it, and he is trying to puzzle out why her, why now.  And he is patient while she goes through her own journey, because he is paying her back for what she did for him.

(Why this woman?)


For the specifics of Harry, well, there is a lot more mystery there than with Sejal.  Sejal, like I said in her post, is still at “factory settings”.  She clearly grew up in a wealthy house, probably went to convent schools and was sheltered from everything going on in the world around her.  Went to law school, but no doubt lived at home the whole time or in a very chaperoned girl’s hostel.  And then moved right back home to work for the family business and be introduced to the family fiance, and finally be sent on the family trip to Europe for the family engagement.  At which point, enter Harry.

But with Harry, there is so much unknown!  How old was he when he left home?  How long was he in Canada before coming to Europe?  What is his romantic history?  How did he go from being an aspiring singer to being a tour guide?  All of this is open for us to decide for ourselves.  I will give you my guesses/theories, just to start us off, and you can do the same.

I think he left home no older than 22 and no younger than 18.  As I imagine it, he had some connection in Canada already, someone who secretly helped him with Visas and everything else, and all he had to do was leave his house in the middle of the night and go.  And then in Canada, a struggle to find a place to sing, to start a career, taking jobs to keep going while he followed his dreams.  Learning about the city, learning languages from his co-workers in minimum wage jobs, and falling into tourism because he had those skills.  And then falling up in tourism, easily getting promotions and better jobs until he was offered the European job.

(This.  I picture this.  Wow, the films really are connected!  This could easily be Shahrukh from JTHJ who never meets Katrina, keeps falling up in the world based on his charm, and ends up being a tourist guide and meeting Anushka before she ran away from home to make documentaries)

For romantic history, I have to imagine that the young boy from the Punjab dreaming of Kulwant Kaur couldn’t have been that experienced.  But I also can’t see someone as sexual as the older Harry becomes not sincerely enjoying it at some point.  So for myself, I picture the excitement of discovering casual sexual encounters after arriving in Canada, no big love affairs but the joy of physical passion balanced with friendships and everything else in life.  Only as time went on and his depression grew, that physical passion became an escape and finally a drug, instead of a joy.


And then Europe, another joyous adventure for him.  Followed by a slow slide into depression for whatever reason, increasingly toxic relationships, sabotaging his jobs, all of that unhealthy stuff that Sejal puts a stop to.  And now we are back to where I started, Harry is depressed.


46 thoughts on “Jab Harry Met Sejal Discussion post: Harry

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

  2. Like your portray, Margaret…makes sense…will write mine tomorrow.
    Here it’s almost midnight and I’m a bit tired…not like Harry at the beginning of the movie, just the wish to close my eyes.
    That’s one thing (among others) I immensely love about Imtiaz’ film…soooo many possibilities to read it… and if you put some scenes at another spot that could change the outcome but also wouldn’t forcibly…
    That’s the same with Harry and Sejal…you just start at point zero and try to figure out the characters.
    Okay, by tomorrow, I certainly can read about other facets of this lonely man 🙂


  3. Poor Harry. I feel so much for him. The excitement of moving out of a small town to BECOME something. Seeing that dream shatter to pieces in the “real” world. His fun and charming personality getting him many bodies but as his dreams lie shattered around him and he is in jobs where he is abused and unfulfilled, the fun is not that fun anymore.

    Sejal is so privileged all she has to do is break out of her family’s cocoon and she’s done. Harry has to do so much more. He has to suffer so much indignity and ignominy.

    All through the movie I “got” why Sejal felt like hugging him or holding him, he looked sooo lonely, like he had not been properly held or loved or hugged in forever. Also Indian men are not shown that much affection as much as women are. They have to man up, poor babies, before they even know what being a man is all about. ❤

    He just seemed so woebegone. Sejal brings that light and happiness and frothy delight into his life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What I find really interesting to think about in the “after” part of the film, is how Sejal will be doing the same journey Harry did 10-20 years earlier, only she will be lucky enough to have someone with her the whole time. She has taken the leap, but now she has to build her own life and be brave every day and all of that. But so much easier with someone to come home to at night, someone to hold you, someone to remind you who you are!

      On Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 5:28 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 2 people

  4. I have a different view of Harry. I see this trajectory: He sneaks away from home to become a singer which no one has encouraged or believed in at home. He must have had someone in Canada to go to so he goes there and tries to make it as a singer and doesn’t. He’s too unpolished, untrained etc. He works as a waiter or something and starts to hone his charm skills. (picture Samer in JTHJ being loved by customers) he also discovers he has a facility for languages. He becomes a tour guide and sets out for Europe. At first the charm and the sex are fun and exciting; he has a freedom he never imagined back home. Then ennui sets in. Its the same same all the time. Clients are rude and he has to be subservient. The more annoying and humiliating his work, the more he uses the women who so readily pop into bed with him. There are two sets of women in his life for the first 8 years of his “exile”. The first set is European women some of whom he is with for a night and some for months or even years (like Klara). As soon as they start talking real future, he’s gone. Klara must have thought the “fun” was going somewhere. (don’t we all know or have been the women who wasted years on a man who was never going to marry them?) Leaving Klara and Frankfurt is what sets off the really bad patch we meet him in. Now, he is basically having sex for shelter and feeling lower and lower and cheaper and cheaper. The second group of women is much much more dangerous to him. Those are the Indian’s he meets on tour. He’s been fired 4 times. He’s sabetaged (no idea how to spell that) his career. He says to Sejal, “Women more sophisticated than you have been caught up in this vacation romance trap.” What he is NOT saying is that he gets caught up in it too. BECAUSE he is seeking someone who feels like home only he doesn’t know that. He tells her that he tries to stop himself but he can’t. The compulsion isn’t sex, the compulsion is the search. Of course its fun for a minute, then fights, then she tells someone what’s he’s done and he’s either fired or reprimanded. But he “can’t stop himself.” Until he meets the actual one who is home and then he can stop himself and does.
    The reason I don’t think he is clinically depressed is because clinical depression can’t be cured by love. While he is self medicating with sex, alcohol and courting danger, he is not suicidal.
    Okay, I could go on but this is way way too long.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Ooo, I like your point about the two kinds of women. I also think the women on tours probably never went that far. One thing I forgot to point out is that it is clear, although he says he is “bad”, that he has a very strong sense of right and wrong. Klara, sure, he “did her wrong”. But someone like Sejal, he would never even think of touching. I can picture exactly what you said, a series of Indian women on tours that he was drawn to. But always the older women, the married ones or the divorcees. And always heavy flirting and implications, but nothing more. Still sort of “wrong” because they are clients and all that, but I can’t imagine the man who is so uncomfortable just being alone in a hotel room with innocent Sejal actually sleeping with a married woman behind her husband’s back. Feeling her up in the back of the tour bus, sure. Or even just a meaningful look or hand clasp that is enough for her to build something up in her own mind and complain to the tour group.

      On Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 8:04 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • You don’t get fired for flirting. I think he has slept with or certainly done more with clients which means he is a) courting real danger b) he knows he is doomed to fail. I think the more I think about it, the more I think that the flirting with Indian clients was HIS search. He says to Manky, “I never expected the thing I feared to come in the form of Sejal”. He feared it but he still looked for it.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I still haven’t been able to fully grasp the significance of this line that he says to Mayank. ‘Who knew that she (Sejal) would turn out to be the one to do what he feared all his life ‘
          What was his fear? Finding love? If that was it, then why was he afraid of it? Because there is no way he could have been happy with his life, depression or no depression?
          Can anyone please throw some light on this🙏


          • this is where I think the difference between movie depression and real depression comes in for me. He didn’t want to feel anything ever again, and Sejal woke that up in himself. At least consciously he didn’t want to feel anything, but as Carol points out, he was clearly looking for it on some level. Something that would bring him back home, bring up all those demons and desires he wanted to forget.


          • I think he fears finding “home” and then losing it AGAIN. Remember when he says that, he thinks he has lost her forever. The fear was that he would open up his heart and lose it, which is exactly what has happened. I love when Manky says, “Get over it/her” and Harry says, “Why?”

            Liked by 2 people

        • 💯 agree that harry has had sex with the bored housewives on his trip. They were his connection to home but none as nostalgic as his first love and all of them bored aunties being what they are, quickly culminating in sex when the husband is not around. And of course they will never even dream of leaving their husbands for Harry. And they are constantly supervised by their husbands. So he never gets to develop the kind of deep emotional connection he has with Sejal.

          Omg, I get it! This is why he won’t ask Sejal to stay back. He’s probably seen how Indian women who come with strings can be. This is why sejals cruel line about her not being the type of woman to leave her fiancé and run away with the tour guide hits so close to home. Why he looks so devastated and says “sun ke sadma hua jaanu ”

          Poor Harry! I so want to hug him.

          Liked by 1 person

          • In Safar on second-third-fourth watch, I was looking for Anushka in the crowd and she isn’t there. But what I found fascinating is that there is a Psuedo-Anushka which must have been on purpose. A young desi woman in a bright red coat. Only, she has a little more make-up on her than Anushka ever wears and she is following a little too close behind Shahrukh and overall I just got a slightly different vibe. It felt like she was more “bored woman stuck playing good on a family trip” instead of “woman who doesn’t even realize yet that she is bored”. Close to Anushka, another spoiled rich girl who just saw him as “the help”, but a little more cruel and hard than her, willing to entice him and then blame him for everything if they got caught. That’s the other kind of tourist I picture him playing with, “evil” Sejal. Or “more evil” Sejal, I guess, because Sejal has some of the same traits.

            But Sejal who is completely aware of and in control of her desires, decides to have a fling with a tour guide in cold-blood, and then dumps him hard once the trip is over not even caring what effect it has on him, even willing to complain to his boss about it if it will help her cover in front of her family, and going back to her life in Bombay not because she feels family pressure and conflict, but because she really does just want the “good” husband and the money.

            On Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 10:12 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


            Liked by 2 people

          • I’m sure she was not the only one. The way he freaks out with Sejal in the beginning it seems almost like an existential crisis. It’s happened too many times. Too many husbands have found out. He’s in deep shit and he doesn’t want to go back to India (he tells her he doesn’t want to get deported!) he to some boring job with nothing to do. This is why I think he won’t be able to live in small town India he likes Europe too much. And European small towns won’t have all day power cuts like Indian small towns do in the summer.

            Liked by 1 person

          • See, I saw that comment about deporting being totally different. Oh, and I totally believe the first part, I think he had fun with a few bored wives and bored young women playing good for their families and bad for him. And then it stopped being “fun” really, but he still couldn’t stop.

            But for the deporting, I didn’t see it as “I don’t want to go back to India because it is India”, I saw it as “I don’t want to confront my life, to have to stop running, to go back to Canada and get out of this fantasy place”. Combined with, underneath, the fact that he really DID want that. Or he wanted some kind of change, something to happen that would make him feel something again.

            On Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 10:29 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


            Liked by 1 person

          • He loves Punjab because it’s his past and his home but no one who left India ever wants to come back. It’s like thinking that Cuban refugees want to go back live under Castro.

            I’ve grown up in small town India. The power cuts itself will drive you nuts.

            Liked by 1 person

          • But Swades! You are ruining all my illusions 🙂

            On Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 11:18 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



          • It is an illusion. I’m sorry. If there was open immigration to USA or if we had the sympathy accorded to Syrian refugees all Indians would be out of her e before you could say Swades.


          • There was a reason swades was a flop despite being so patriotic a film- we usually love patriotic films. No Indian who became a NASA scientist would come back. And it sounded very patronising of the director to indicate that they should.


          • I’m sorry if this is very depressing but I’ve sat through three months of 40 degree summer for the first 18 years of my life with electricity for only two hours every evening. It’s still not changed and it never will.


          • Nah. I kind of knew that, despite the film fantasy. Remember, I’ve got the other side of the immigrant story. There are some very very few people who do actually leave America and return home, the immigrant experience is complex, but that’s like 0.00001% of everyone. You may get homesick and never really figure out who you are in this new place, but infrastructure is very seductive.

            On Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 11:34 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  5. I have two ways of looking at Harry: the one who is in the movie and the one I ponder about.

    As I knew that I would have only one watch, I tried to get into the movie the moment Harry’s voice accompanied the windmill’s movements, explaining something, not really bored, experienced…then I got to see him, guiding a human flock. He was nice to people, charming, making some witty remarks (for his clients maybe the first ones – for him the routine), got laughter, acknowledgement…nothing out of the common I would associate with a guide. I found him even humerous with his kind of counting the persons (the kids as “a half”) 🙂 although not emotionally involved in what he was doing – no wonder…always the same like the turning windmills.
    Then my first “sad” impression of him (with the singer’s voice starting which made the impression even sadder) which set the mood I would perceive from now on…a flash of black-and-white: a duppatta lightly caressing cornstalks – what a beautiful image- but it makes him feeling sad. I see and feel his loneliness (even in a crowd) whatever the location may be, nothing he is doing gives him joy, his heart isn’t in whatever emotional situation, maybe only in these short flash-backs…
    He seems to be a guide you can put into almost every big Europen city – he would know the locations…he hasn’t a ‘regular’ life…on the move, no peaceful moments…going with the flow? He is well-mannered, doesn’t rebel…(spine-)broken??? …it hurts to see this man…he seems to have no love for his life (maybe except for football)…oh, and he feels despite for at least some of the people’s he has to deal with. What a boring life!!! Why doesn’t he enjoy what he is doing?

    I’m with you, my man, jobs can really become routine, clients are king, a woman yelling at you, throwing you out, isn’t fun but it isn’t Armageddon neither.

    I think I’m not even ten minutes into the movie and I feel there absolutely has to be a change in this destructive routine otherwise he would go lower and lower in life.

    Okay, at least you seem to enjoy the breaks in your job…getting some better energy…a beer, loosing the tie, getting a spring in the pace, putting off the jacket, getting into your fancy car, putting on the music, open the top…aaaahhhh, back to enjoying life! Yes???

    No, Harry is not a lost man, he is a man with memories that saddens him, with an ambiguous present and without friends…I’ll see if he is one of those who shies away from lasting relations because of fearing to lose them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • One thing you are making me think about, with his quest to feel something, the terrible job in an odd way can help him. Because at least he feels something when it is over, when he is “free” for a brief time. But even that doesn’t last, eventually it goes back to being the same old routine. Maybe another reason he keeps sabotaging himself? Because he enjoys that feeling of freedom post-firing, when he can say what he really feels and do whatever he wants for a little while, before needing to find another job?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Poor, poor Devdas. Can I talk about him (well, Bansali’s/Shah Rukh’s version) before Harry? Devdas could definitely be clinically depressed and still swan around. I’ve known people who are slowly eating, drinking, and or smoking themselves to death. They can be social and happy on the outside, not even admitting to themselves that at their heart there is nothing and they’re just waiting to die. Also (this may be more appropriate on the Wednesday watching thread), while I find Devdas very attractive, in a totally unhealthy way, I absolutely think he’s a selfish jerk, and I think Shah Rukh was playing him that way. I remember being so mad when he says the line about seeing Chandramukhi in the afterlife if she’s allowed in. I wanted to tell him that she has a way better chance than he does of getting there! 🙂

    Ok, Harry. I agree that he is clinically depressed at the time of the movie, and that the break with Klara and flight from Frankfurt marks the beginning of a life that is breaking Harry, that is anti-thetical to his soul. I see his decline into depression to be more gradual, as mpollak says. It is not love that heals his depression. It is Sejal’s undeniable presence (because she won’t leave) which won’t let his feelings stay numb, it’s the fact that he is somehow giving her something she needs (his non-judgy support and genuine liking). Finally it’s the chance to see himself through her eyes–to be seen and not judged, and to have help in re-casting the story of one’s life. That last bit is a lot like what a good therapist does.

    The stakes are so high for both of them when they meet in the garden in Mumbai. They’ve both been so brave. Because I do think Harry is clinically depressed, I think there may be more episodes of depression in his future. But, we know that Sejal won’t rest until he is able to connect with the care he needs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel like Harry is the classic depression that needs therapy and pills, but not lifelong therapy and pills. I don’t know any of the actual terms for it, but I’m not seeing something like the severe kind of depression that has no relation at all to the situation, where you will just be on massive drugs for the rest of your life. Depressive tendencies, not manic depressive maybe? Anyway, with that in mind, I think that magical moment before Radha was the equivalent of getting on medication for him, gave him that big jolt forward, did something to his insides that opened him up again. And then the rest of their time together, that was the therapy, dealing with the underlying issues in his life that came out of/lead to the depression.

      But yes, it could happen again, if something goes wrong in their life/his life, but this time he won’t be alone, there will be someone there to watch him and take care of him and stop it before it drifts on and on and gets worse and worse.

      And, of course, the unspoken thing is that Shahrukh would be very aware of how to play all these shadings, because it sounds like he has had depressive episodes in his own life, and of course his sister does have that kind of “massive medication for the rest of your life” depression.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I agree that deep depression has a way of building until you feel nothing at all. You’re just marking time. After my husband was killed in an accident, I was so bereft, I didn’t want to feel the pain anymore. But to become numb to the pain, you also have to become numb to everything else. I think Harry has become numb to everything in his life, that’s why he does foolish things like sleeping around and risking his job. The momentary break from the numbness. But that’s all it is, a momentary break. When he meets Sejal, she threatens that numbness and he resists. I also resisted falling in love again because it would leave me open to the possibility of future pain. But my new love convinced me and I didn’t regret it. We look for the end of the pain, but fight the very thing which could end that pain. What you are seeking is seeking you, indeed.

    Liked by 2 people

    • And this goes back to one of the things that only struck me as odd when I started doing the scene by scene. There is no reason, really, for him to resist taking the job with her. He implies to Mayank it’s because he doesn’t want to get in trouble again. But then we see in the indemnity bond scene, that isn’t really a risk. She isn’t the kind of woman he would be attracted to, not in the same way as the others, he has control over himself with someone like her. So, why is he resisting it so much? I think it’s what you are saying, he knows she is someone who is going to make him feel things, has already made him feel things (anger, irritation, but still something).

      On Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 7:44 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 2 people

      • Nancy, what you write, came into my mind when accompanying Harry in Safar (that’s why I wrote “he is a man with memories that saddens him, with an ambiguous present and without friends…I’ll see if he is one of those who shies away from lasting relations because of fearing to lose them.”)
        And actually, I see that he does…until the moment he rebels against his fear or at least tells himself that he has to put an end to that relation to become the ‘old’ Harry again, functioning like before. (I believe that he doesn’t fly to Mumbai to break her weeding but to get the unspoken love out of his system.)

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think I get what you are saying at the end. He would be happy if she breaks her wedding and comes with him, he doesn’t not want that. But mostly it is just the catharsis of wanting to say what he wants and feels without fear, no matter what happens next.

          On Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 4:08 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


          Liked by 3 people

          • I think he forbids himself to have that hope (that Sejal will not marry Rupen and come with him)…after all she did not contact him through the agency to give him a sign that she is ‘free’. So no, I am sure his only purpose is to do what he did not in Frankfurt because of fearing to definitely lose her (once his love outspoken before her return to Mumbai and Sejal rejecting him – like she did in Budapest and made him think in Frankfurt – would have quasi killed him)…so, definitely no for me that he would nourrish a hope he has tried to burry although not deep enough.
            Through admiting his love to Sejal he will get either a confirmation that he indeed was only a vacation fling or that she did love him but not to the extent to confront her family or that she just needed his confession to be with him.


  8. I’m still not ‘done’ with Harry…the film may be ‘far away’ now (a box-office-failure is definitely out after a month of its release), it is still occupying my mind…and as I have unusual free time at hand…

    I felt some not so nice things about Harry (after Safar), the most prominent one that he seemed to have a sad life mainly feeling sad about it himself.

    So there had to be this little moment when he looks to the entrance longer than necessary to let the wheelchair pass that he captures the woman in red… (ah, and film buffs know – a woman in red most often has a life-changing effect.)

    I don’t know if I as Sejal would have recognized Harry in a car from that distance…although, I as Sejal (as I later get to know) would have gotten a month-long view of attracting Harry and that could be why my him searching glance would quickly quickly get him (ha! Caught you!). Harry will help! Helpful guy he is…and the only one so charming and witty and dependable I know.

    Only that Harry does not like to get bossed around in his client-free time, and just now he got rid of that bunch of clients Sejal belonged to, so no way that he will do more than promise her to inquire about the ring (damn that his quick phone call reveals that the plane has gone). Hey, he would call a taxi…but you miss something, Harry: Sejal still sees herself as a client (more precisely as yours)…how dare you to deny full (and immediate) service to her!
    Harry shifts responsibility for more close help to where he (rightly) sees that it belongs – to her finacé or her family (as it is a family matter). Whatever Sejal might think about (having?) to do the search on her own, she points out to be a modern woman and as one knows, modern women can do things on their own…only s h e can’t, don’t want, is scared about the whole situation, desperate about herself, relieved to have ‘caught’ Harry…reasons enough to stick to Harry.
    He still ‘dares’ to object (fine for me but not fine for Sejal)… she threatens to complain about him to his boss (telltale!). Strangely, he changes from objecting to squirming…oh, there definitely is something going wrong with him and his boss. I (again) as a modern Sejal would now let go of someone who reacts that cowardly (windbag!)…or maybe not?…, but Sejal as Sejal being a lawyer, spoiled upper class girl and alone in a foreign country bullies Harry into doing what s h e wants.

    No options for Harry…only to show how peeved he is… no gentleman/servant behaviour…ha! If nothing else helps, sarcasm helps (and giving her the finger she not even notices!…well later, he even gives her his caring heart, so what importance has a finger). Somehow this woman is intriguing…modern girl??? Hardly likely! He really has to get rid of her…that girl reeks of trouble! He doesn’t need more trouble in his life!

    And yes, Harry, you need exactly that trouble to shake up your sad routine-life.

    Harry judgemental? (about the people he guides?) – in any way that changes when Sejal doesn’t make one negative comment about his admitted womenizing…

    Harry feeling lonely (no home-feeling other than those memories of a distant place and time) – no time to feel lonely with Sejal…not even in the ‘dark’ moments.

    Harry seeing himself as a failure (no career as a singer, no own tourist agency, no woman at his side, no home where he belongs) – it’s the hardest part to overcome that (especially with Sejal twice pointing out the different life-positions they both have)

    Harry hopelessly sad – well that changes in being hopelessly in love…which changes in living his love.


    • I love this pass through his emotions! Especially you pointing out that things start to shift for him a little when Sejal reacts so matter of factly to his confession. He thought he had pigeon-holed her as the kind of woman that would be scared off by this, but there is something a little different under the surface.


  9. “there is something a little different under the surface”
    Would have liked that at least half of the people who rejected the movie would have find out exactly that about the whole movie…


  10. Harry was a little harder read simply because I’m not a man. But he reminded me so much of my late husband that here’s my take. They were so similar in so many ways. Lose of any familial support and love early on in life they followed a semi destructive pattern. Aborted relationships, one night stands, and as SRK once said on KWK, he became demotional. This detached emotional outlook became so overwhelming he couldn’t connect with anything or anyone. The fact that Sejal broke through this hard shell meant that Harry was seeking (without even knowing it) and Sejal was also seeking without knowing what she was looking for. As Harry said at the end of the film, they were both seeking each other. I do believe they were meant to be.


    • Yes! And what is funny is that they were both seeking “Sejal”. Sejal needed to be that grown woman inside of herself, it was trying to come out because it was unnatural to keep it in so long. And Harry was seeking the grown Sejal, the woman who could love and hold him and ground him. The only thing was, he would never have been able to let her in if he hadn’t first met her as the half-grown Sejal. If she had a different transformative experience (which I think she easily could have) and met Harry after having broken the engagement and fought with her family and moved out on her own, she may no longer have had the stubborn blindness to cling to him that she had in her “child” state, and he wouldn’t have let down his defenses if he had met her as a grown woman.


  11. It’s a nice thought, that both are seeking ‘Sejal’…it’s not exactly what I felt.

    First I want to say that I think, also in the Sejal that now spreads her wings, there will remain a certain innocence, playfullness, knack for manipulation, desire to control, curiosity. She will keep being straight-forward, matter-of-factly, and I agree with Harry about her beauty which will remain (as long as their love stays mutual).

    Back to Harry and the seeking: I am convinced that Harry was seeking a woman who would not judge him, would care for how he feels, would give him a homy feeling and who would understand his humour and his moods.
    What did he find at the very beginning in Sejal: an irritating woman that bossed him around (because he didn’t want to take charge), did not judge him, cared how he felt (the indemnity bond was in HIS favour, she took away any bad outcome HE would have), did not question his sarcasm or irony and gave him a homy feeling in the third (!) night. Not everything in a distinctive manner but it was there to get felt, to sneak into his system where he had made a small opening through his confession. And in addition she gave him youth through the adventures they had together, through a non-touristic journey.

    Nancy, when ShahRukh gave you a reply, I tried to find information about you (I genuinely am interested in some people to whom ShahRukh replies)…and I got to know about you and your husband…I very much liked what you wrote about him (and now here about both of you). I intuitively liked the man I saw on the photos and between the lines (not only because he is a biker), now I like him even more 🙂 .


  12. The idea that Harry had hurt, or been hurt, keeps agitating in the back of my brain. I also can’t let let go of the crying scene at the church – the words, “It’s ok, it happens” along with the song lyrics and the color visuals of a woman’s trailing garment over the black and white fields seem significant, but we aren’t told why.

    Here, every season feels
    like autumn without you.
    Live well, even if you
    belong to another.
    You may not be mine now
    but you were once.
    Live well, even if you
    belong to another.
    It happens, I know. It’s ok.
    It happens. Never mind.
    Read more: https://www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk/movie_script.php?movie=jab-harry-met-sejal

    I assume the fields are in shades of black and white, because “Every season feels like autumn without you.”
    But then the fields are in full green and gold at the end of the movie at the wedding, which we know happens late in November – also autumn – because Sejal “brings color” to Harry’s life.
    And, I finally noticed that the sari trailing over the wheat is different from the one we see Sejal in at the end in Butterfly.

    Mayank’s joking comment to Harry on the bridge at the beginning: “It’s happening for the first time; a girl chasing you and you running away,” also struck me as oddly significant to Harry’s backstory, but again, I’m not sure why!

    At the beach, when told about Kulwant Kuar, Sejal asks Harry teasingly, “Did you take her in the fields?”
    He replies, “Our love was true,” which doesn’t answer the question at all, really.

    Monkey says to Harry (in the café before he flies to India):
    It happens.
    You should forget her.
    Why should I forget her?
    Is that necessary?
    Brother, take it easy.
    It was bad but it’s over.
    Bad? Why?
    Was it bad that I met her?
    – Nothing better has ever happened.

    And yet, we *still* don’t know what *happened*.
    I swear, I just need Harry’s back story and then I can let it go!

    Perhaps Imtiaz could be persuaded to make a prequel …

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I know I’m commenting years after this post was written, but if any other lost soul wanders through all these comments with a burning need to “talk” about JHMS I want to put in my two cents. I don’t think Harry is clinically depressed. I think he is a tour guide. Meeting new people is fun and exciting, but when you continue to meet them all the time, without forming true long lasting relationships, the people all start to blur. They stop becoming individuals and merge into types. You meet someone and it feels like you’ve met the exact same person five times before. I led walking tours. In the evening I left the guests and could hang out with my “family” group of friends. In the beginning I would sometimes hang out with guests, but after they lost their individuality I stopped. To be Harry, unable to go to your “family” every evening, would be hard. He liked women. He liked sex. He would go out at night and talk to women and if he could they would have sex, but eventually the women became just like the guests, simply types and not individuals. What Harry needed was a vacation, except that his life was the vacation and without real relationships it was meaningless. He needed to find a new job. He was done, he was sick of being a guide, he had lost his spontaneity. And then comes Sejal who is annoying, but attractive, and he finds himself running through Prague at night because he has to protect her. She brought back the spontaneity he had been missing. She was innocent, and pure and the opposite of all the women he had been sleeping with. Personally I think he fell in love when he was protecting her, and he realized he actually did WANT to protect her. Suddenly he wasn’t just going through the motions anymore. So yes love did save him, because it got him out of that job. But I think he could have found happiness as soon as he quit and found another line of work that allowed for true relationships. I think he was situationally depressed, change the situation, and the depression ends.


    • Thank you! Fascinating perspective. And along those same lines, there’s also the importance of him not being able to go back to his Frankfurt apartment to live for 2 years. Beside Mayank, there is no one who really knows him as a person, and there is no place he can call home, his life is just drifting along. And I would add that his initial running away from home makes this worse, being homeless and friendless now is bringing up all those lingering emotions of being homeless and friendless when he was a young man. Anushka is the person who can both give him a home now, and give him some kind of forgiveness for abandoning his Indian home all those years ago.

      On Wed, Sep 25, 2019 at 12:56 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

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