I just wrote about Dil To Pagal Hai, and the general consensus in the comments was that we don’t want Karisma and Shahrukh to get together, because she deserves better, someone who really truly loves her as much as she loves him. And then I started thinking about the other strong interesting women who got dumped by the hero just because they weren’t his “true love”.
Merger Marriage Falls Apart
Our heroine is someone cool and modern, maybe Kriti Sonam. She is nagging her friend Aditi Rao Hydari (or someone equally young and fragile looking) to come for her wedding, don’t worry about the expense, she will help cover it, and Aditi should see the city for once instead of the hill station where she lives. So Aditi comes and while Kriti is sitting in on meetings with her father and her future father-in-law planning their business merger, and dealing with all the details of planning the wedding and their future home and so on, Aditi and her groom are falling in love. Over the course of one song we see their whole romance play out, Aditi drops a basket of flowers, it falls down on the groom, he looks up and their eyes meet, it’s magic. They are drawn together, can’t stop looking at each other, the groom ignores Kriti while she is talking about business plans and so on, he wants to be a musician instead of run the business, Aditi understands his music and sings with him, and finally our Kriti catches them singing to each other and then kissing during her henna party. The friend is ashamed, but the groom stands up and faces down their fathers and declares his love and that he is going to live his own life and so on while Kriti just stands there looking stunned and like she can’t understand what is happening. And then the groom storms out, brushing past her without even looking at her, to chase down her friend.
Kriti leaves the room without saying anything, everyone is talking about the groom’s betrayal and so on, no one is thinking of her. She goes to their house that she was preparing, looks around the room, and then goes mad, tears down the flowers pulls pictures off the wall, slashes the fancy leather couch, and finally collapses sobbing on the floor. She wakes up the next morning, crumpled on the carpet, to see that the sun is still shining and maybe things aren’t that bad after all. She pulls herself together, puts on a power suit and perfect make-up, and goes to talk to the two father’s, who are sadly drinking together. She brings with her a file of papers, tells them to sign, the merger is going through, only instead of the groom being in charge, it’s going to be her. If they were willing to trust a musician who had never spent a day in the office to run their joint company, why not her, who had never missed a day of work in the past 4 years and knew every detail of both businesses? The two fathers are stunned and agree. And after she leaves, her going-to-be mother-in-law shakes her head and says “girls today, it’s like she doesn’t even have a heart”. Kriti hears her, but braces herself and manages not to react.
The next day, she sweeps into the office and makes a speech informing everyone that she will not be taking time off for her honeymoon, there will be no honeymoon as they have probably heard, but the merger is moving forward and they will all have to work harder than before. And then her assistant nervously comes up to tell her that their is a client there to see her, but if she needs some time to pull herself together….. Kriti nixes that, says she is completely fine and doesn’t need any time, she will meet him.
The client is Fawad Khan. He is visibly struck by her when he sees her and says something about how he was expecting to meet the general manager, Groom, he wasn’t prepared for someone so beautiful. Kriti hardens herself and ignores this, suggests they get down to business. She drives a hard bargain and Fawad does too, not going easy on her because she is a woman, and at the end they shake hands on the deal and he suggests a celebratory coffee. No pressure, just coffee. Kriti hesitates, then says “no”, and Fawad takes it well, says maybe another time, she is worth waiting for.
They bump into each other again at a business wedding type thing. Kriti is dressed up and gorgeous, graciously greets everyone and delivers her present and things seem to be okay, but then when she is in the bathroom, she overhears the bride talking about how sad it is to see Kriti, it’s almost like she is cursed, hopefully she doesn’t bring her curse on this wedding. Kriti hides in the bathroom and then tries to sneak out, suddenly noticing how everyone is looking at her and whispering. But on her way out she bumps into Fawad, who is delighted to see her, and sad that she is about to live. She tries to avoid him, but he starts to sing to her, something like “oh this beautiful woman, any man would want her”. Kriti is embarrassed and angry at first, but then starts to feel the mood of the room shift and feels suddenly happy when she realizes that people aren’t pittying her any more. She sings back to him.
(This is the only thing comparable I could think of, and in this case it isn’t the heroine who is being insulted, but India-the-country)
After the song, he offers to drop her home. And then laughs and says he doesn’t have a car with him, so how about they walk. They walk through the city, bonding, Kriti talks about her college days when she and her friends used to sneak out like this in the middle of the night, Fawad admires her freedom and bravery and strength, and tells her how beautiful she is and then apologizes. She reminds him that she only agreed to a friendly walk. But, at the end, she also agrees to take his phone number and maybe meet for coffee the next day.
Coffee the next day turns into friendship, they call each other, they laugh, he gives her joke gifts, she teases him about being fussy around his clothes, everything is really nice between them, life is good.
Until one day he asks her to meet him at a nightclub, she shows up but is confused as to why they are there at this small out of the way place, he tells her to have faith there is something special, a new musician who is really wonderful. She goes along with it, only to discover when the musician comes out, it is GROOM!!!! Fawad is oblivious, cheering and smiling along to the music while Kriti is tortured. And then it gets worse, Groom dedicates a love song to the woman who gave him everything, his wife, and there is Kriti’s friend being pulled up on stage, Kriti has to watch him sing to her, the same song he was singing when Kriti walked in on them. And finally, to make it as terrible as possible, after the song is over, she kisses Groom’s cheek and then whispers something in his ear, and he stands up all proud and happy to announce “wonderful news! My wife has just shared with me, we’re pregnant!” Kriti has had enough, runs out with Fawad following her. The have a huge fight on the sidewalk. Kriti wants to just go away, Fawad wants to talk about it, finally Fawad admits that he knew Groom would be there that night, he didn’t know the pregnancy announcement would happen, he’s sorry she had to see that, but he wanted her to face Groom someday. Because he, Fawad, is passionately hopelessly permanently in love with her and has been since the day he met her. And he can’t keep watching her cut herself off from her own heart, he wanted to force her to confront her feelings, to finally let Groom go so that she can see the man who is standing right in front of her. Kriti, naturally, is furious, saying he had no right to make that decision for her, to decide it was time for her to do anything. She storms off saying she never wants to see him again.
The next day, Kriti wakes up miserable again to hear her doorbell ringing. She goes to answer it, and it’s her friend Aditi!!!! Who begs to please come in. Kriti is numb and just says “fine, whatever”. And Aditi comes in and gives a big speech. Explains that she saw Kriti at the club the night before and had to come talk to her. She’s not going to apologize for falling in love and getting married. But she is going to apologize for being a bad friend, for disappearing from Kriti’s life, for making Kriti feel that she didn’t matter. Aditi says that Kriti was her first and best friend, it was the bravery that Kriti taught her which made her able to fall in love with Groom and go after her own happiness. And she never thanked Kriti for that. More importantly, she never told Kriti that she missed her, marriage is wonderful and Groom is wonderful, but she misses her friend. Kriti still isn’t responding, so Aditi starts to babble, says, “anyway, husbands aren’t perfect, Groom absolutely refuses to let me touch his cell phone, it is the strangest thing!” And Kriti kind of smiles and says “Does he also insist on explaining to you how computers work, like you don’t know yourself?” And Aditi says “Yes!!!!!” And suddenly the ice is broken. They are both laughing and talking about Groom’s stupidity, and in the middle of it Aditi reaches out and takes Kriti’s hand and says “I missed this” and Kriti smiles back at her.
(Ooo! We could just use the same cast as Mujshe Dosti Karoge!!!! Kareena as top businesswoman, Rani as shy country girl, Hrithik as dopey musician groom)
Happy friendship song! Aditi and Kriti meet and talk. And then, eventually, Groom comes home to find the two of them together and at first is scared, but then Kriti jokingly throws a pillow at him and he realizes he is forgiven too. Kriti goes with Aditi to her ultrasound, and helps her set up the nursery, and finally they are at a fancy home furnishings store, Aditi heavily pregnant, Kriti obviously helping her pick out furniture, and Fawad sees them. He sees Kriti first and goes up to talk to her, and she smiles without thinking when seeing him. For a moment it looks like things will be okay, but then Aditi shows up to say something to Kriti and Fawad’s face goes cold and he says “So you can forgive her but not me? I see how it is.” And he walks away. Kriti looks upset and starts to go after him, but Aditi stops her and says “wait, let me”.
Aditi goes after Fawad who doesn’t stop, until finally she starts crying out and grabbing her stomach, faking labor pains, he turns back quickly all ready to be helpful and kind and Aditi asks him to help her to a chair and sit down and only after they are seated does she admit that she was faking. But now that they are talking, she has to explain Kriti to him because she is Kriti’s oldest friend. Kriti will hide her deepest hurts deep inside, she will forgive anything, but you have to make her admit she was injured first. With Aditi, she was able to forgive her, even Groom. But she can’t forgive Fawad because she can’t admit how much he hurt her, because she can’t admit she loves him. Aditi explains that Kriti would never tell him this, but she doesn’t think she is good enough for him. Fawad starts to protest and Aditi cuts him off and finishes explaining that Kriti seems strong, but is really fragile. She planned her whole life around marrying Groom, and that was taken away from her, and now she is afraid of losing control again. Fawad has to make sure she knows that she has nothing to be afraid of.
Fawad processes this and comes up with an idea. The next day, Kriti is told a client is waiting for her in her office, and it is Fawad! She starts to throw him out, but he tells her he is just there on business. He has a proposal for her. It is all written up in this contract, she just has to agree to the terms. It is a one year rental with an option to buy, and a guarantee of return to previous ownership at the same cost at any time. It is all spelled out, clearly and legally, he will live with her for one year with a promise of fidelity, making her coffee every morning, and massaging her feet every night. At the end of that year, she has the option to renew the lease for a further year, or take up her option to buy and agree to marriage. At any point, she can dissolve the marriage contract, retaining all her assets and independence, it is entirely up to her. Kriti takes the papers, says “it is an appealing offer, naturally I will have to consult with my lawyers”. Fawad looks disappointed but still hopeful, says “of course, of course” and starts to leave. And then Kriti laughs and says “you idiot! Of course I will sign! What kind of businesswoman would turn down the deal of a lifetime?”
(who would turn down this)
And then we see a quick montage. Fawad moves in, brings her coffee, massages her feet, they fight over him leaving magazines on the coffee table, they make up, at the end of the year she surprises him with candles and goes down on one knee to propose, they have a small wedding with just Aditi and Groom (with baby) and their families. HAPPY ENDING.
Okay, that is the general idea, but I think it could work for almost any “other woman”, don’t you? She doesn’t trust men, is slowly worn down by a supportive man who is passionately in love with her but doesn’t push, he finally forces her to face the man who left her, she ends up becoming friends with both the man she lost and his new wife, and it is the new wife who finally helps her new man see how to make her trust again.
Feel free to apply this formula to the runner up heroine of your choice!