Shahrukh must be celebrating his one-month-before birthday too! And he has given us/me a little gift, another deleted scene. And a really juicy one with lots to discuss! (full index of JHMS coverage here)
This scene must take place between them leaving Frankfurt and the “Raula” song. I don’t know if we really need it, the cut from the fade out on the Frankfurt apartment to “Raula” is really elegant. But it does have a few lines that are call backs and call forwards (is that a thing?) and gives us a little more sweet Shahrukh-Anushka interaction.
Translation courtesy of the same anonymous who translated the other scenes (she is anonymous to you, but I can see her email and know it is the same person because I am Queen of the Blog):
Mayank: This apartment’s fortunes have changed! Sir has come back after 2 years. I already moved in with Irina 6 months ago. Since then…
(Sejal and Harry move to the balcony)
Sejal: So this is home. That you’re afraid of. And also looking for. You’re funny, huh.
Sejal: I’m sure.
Harry: Aren’t you afraid of the ring that you’re also looking for?
Sejal: Show me. (referring to the wound on his head)
Harry: It’s okay now. (it’s hard to hear – not sure exactly) You put something on it…
(Mayank comes in and coughs loudly on purpose)
Harry: (sarcastically) Do you want me to give you some medicine for your throat?
Mayank: No, it’s fine.
Harry: Take take of it. It’s sounding serious.
Sejal: So where’s the engagement?
Mayank: I’ve booked a table at the Hotel Medici. I’ll put the ring on her there and we’ll have dinner too.
Sejal: Huh? This is an engagement? Putting a ring on her finger in a restaurant?
Harry: You’re funny. Who gets engaged in a restaurant? Really, an engagement should be romantic. Right?
Sejal: Yeah, where’s the romance?
Harry: Where’s the romance?
Sejal: Where’s the romance?
Mayank: Can we decide the engagement first? You can romance later.
Harry: Okay, okay, talk.
Mayank: Okay, so where will we do the engagement?
So, let’s break this sucker down! First, look at the outfits. They arrive in matching clothes, with garlands. I assume there may have been a filler scene filmed, or just planned to be filmed, in which Mayank meets them at the airport with garlands. But the end result is a psuedo-marriage arrival in the apartment. In matching clothes, with garlands around their necks. Arriving in his home for the first time. This helps fill in even more of that “in ‘Raula’ they are married” feeling. Anushka says right before “Phurr” that this is her honeymoon. Now, the honeymoon is over, this is the official return to the husband’s home, completing all the rituals of marriage. If you wanted, you could even say that “Radha”, followed by the girlfriend offer, was the wedding. The rest of the trip is their honeymoon as they slowly get closer to each other and fall more and more in love, and now this is the arrival in their home to start a new life together.
Oh, and from what Mayank says, this apartment hasn’t been “empty” for 2 years. It sounds like Shahrukh left Frankfurt, but he and Mayank were sharing it. Mayank moved out officially 6 months ago. So that fills in a tiny gap of how the heck there is a homey lived in apartment with rent still paid and everything else if Shahrukh hasn’t been there in 2 years. And it gives another little touch to the Shahrukh-Mayank relationship. They aren’t just co-workers, they were roommates, sharing a home together. In fact, I think we can assume this is Shahrukh’s apartment and once Mayank, a young lonely desi, came to join him at work, he welcomed him in and gave him a home.
The interaction between Anushka and Shahrukh is similar to the interaction in the cafe deleted scene. It’s serious stuff, but said with a smile. Partly I think because they aren’t ready to say it seriously yet, but also because they are so happy right now that everything seems like a joke.
One thing that is really interesting is how comfortable they are in saying these things. It reminds me of the “Queen-sized bed” line, it would have been a huge deal to say it just a few days ago, but somehow they went from “awkward strangers” to “people who can say the deepest truths with a smile”, skipping over the point in the middle when they are saying these things but are kind of afraid to say them. There’s no fear here. In the same way that Anushka casually demands to check his head wound, and he casually lets her look at it. She is not concerned with showing her care for his body, and he is not hesitant about letting her take care of him. They aren’t even that embarrassed when Mayank catches them, they no longer feel like they have anything to be embarrassed about.
There’s two levels to the next part of the scene. On the one hand, there’s the same thing we saw in “Raula”, the casual marital way they are interacting. Agreeing together that Mayank’s plan is no good, and immediately taking charge. Smiling and taking together. It’s not infatuation or being in love, it’s being together, thinking the same way, knowing what each other is thinking.
But then there’s the callback-call forward of it. Which started even before this. The same shot of them waking into the apartment and going to the balcony and sitting down, that is what we see before their big fight. Now, it feels like the end of a wedding/start of a marriage. They have entered the husband’s home, that’s the final step, everything is done now. But in the next scene, it will be the end of a marriage. Shahrukh pulls off the Sherwani and forces Anushka to walk away from him, instead of coming together.
But the big thing is the “romantic engagement”. Anushka and Shahrukh here are sharing a joke on past-Anushka. Who thought an engagement in a restaurant was romantic. Or, more accurately, who was trying to convince herself it was. That was their very first moment of true connection, when he broke through her illusions to make her suddenly feel the need to defend that it was romantic, really! She saw him as a person who had opinions, and it made her question the little bubble she had been living in.
Now, that bubble is completely burst. So far gone that she can look back and laugh at who she was. And Shahrukh can laugh too, he is no longer bitter and cynical, just gently amused.
This is now the 3rd middle time that the idea of “romantic engagement” has come up. First in that first scene, second now, and third at the very end. In fact, this scene makes a little more sense of the end. Her suggestion isn’t just insecurity, or calling back to her previous life, it is a shared in joke, this is their 3rd time around with an engagement, how do they want to do it?
And what I find really interesting, now that we have this scene, is that it puts into sharp contrast what Anushka plans when she really gets to do the engagement she wants. In “Raula” as it is the message comes through, that this is a fun happy loose day, not planned and formal and just right, but purely happy. Setting it next to this scene, that message is even clearer. This is the life that the “real” Anushka wants, this is the life that she wants to share with Shahrukh and he with her. Not an engagement in a restaurant, but not a big fancy wedding either. Something in the middle. Something wild and happy and big.
It goes back to that vision I have had for myself of young Anushka, enjoying disco and then being ashamed of enjoying it, thinking she has to constantly limit herself and lower herself and tone herself down. And so she tried to be happy with the restaurant engagement, it is what everyone said she should want. But somewhere inside this is what she really wants. Big loud happy crazy. And that’s what she makes Shahrukh want to. And so, when they plan an engagement together, this is what they put in place.