Happy Birthday Courtney! You are turning some ridiculously young age today (24 maybe?) and are still one of the babies of the blog, so I am indulging you accordingly. Pwesents! And it took me a bit to finish making them, that’s why this post wasn’t at midnight like I wanted. Sorry!
Gift Number 1: Humpty Sharma Sequel for the Older Sister
Clearly, she needs a happy ending. She is divorced, married for love and then he abused her, and now she is back home running an internet cafe with the support of her family, but not really forgiving herself for the mess she made of her life and how sad everyone is. Those wounds started to be healed with Alia getting married also for love, and her father finally telling her she should stop being sad and try to be happy. But it’s not enough!
Here’s how I see it. Ashutosh agreed to let Alia be with Varun and canceled her marriage to her nice fiance at the last minute. Very awkward, obviously. The film did clarify that the Nice Fiance’s larger family was flying in last minute and would be arriving in Delhi. So there is a decent chance his family all flew to Delhi and just stayed in Delhi and he didn’t have to have an awkward wedding day confrontation at all. But Ashutosh is a solid dude, he would go by their hotel the next day to apologize in person and take responsibility for his actions. The fiance is also a solid dude, and seemed to be not terribly emotionally involved in the marriage, so I can see him forgiving Ashutosh. But, in a calm kind reasonable way, I can see him pointing out that he did plan to be married, his life is arranged for a wife, he took leave from work, he got a bigger house, and he was mentally ready for that. Plus, his whole family is here already, and he likes Ashutosh and his family. So why not marry him to the older daughter instead?
Ashutosh’s first response is to get angry, he can’t just swap daughters like that! But luckily his wife is there and she stops him from speaking up and instead says they are flattered and grateful and will think about it. Ashutosh is furious, his daughter isn’t someone to just be handed over with no notice because it is convenient, how dare he! But the wife is calm, tries to make him see the other point of view, and suggests very gently that perhaps it is something they should consider. Or at least let their daughter make up her own mind.
Poor sad daughter is feeling both more and less sad. More sad because she is seeing Alia and Varun’s lovely romance and feeling a little jealous and also a little foolish since it is clearly a better relationship than what she took as “love”. Less sad because the family as a whole is moving towards healing, she isn’t as guilt ridden and confused on the inside any more. So when her mother brings her the proposal, she is in a place to consider it. She doesn’t feel unworthy, and she is wanting love. Ashutosh is shocked that she might want it, but she stands up to him and tells him she knows her own mind and knows it isn’t a mistake this time. Ashutosh warns her that she will be all on her own, she is going all the way to America, he won’t be around to help. She points out that he didn’t worry about his other daughter, but then Alia was always the perfect one, he knew she wouldn’t shame the family with her foolishness. Ashutosh is a big dumb dude who can’t admit feelings so can’t say “I worry about you because I love you more, not less”, and is just silent. The marriage goes through, very small and quiet and serious, no big celebration like Alia had.
The first night is in the Delhi hotel, she is very nervous and maybe a little excited. But he reassures her, the First Night tradition is arcane and inhuman, they just met really, they can take things slow. Tonight he will sleep on the couch, she can have the bed. Next morning, she wakes up to find he has already ordered breakfast and set it out on the table in the hotel. He asks if she likes coffee or tea, and how she likes it, and seriously says that he will remember for future. She takes a moment to remember she should ask him the same, and apologizes for not thinking of it sooner. He tells her it is all right, she doesn’t have to be perfect. And then he calmly tells her how he has arranged their day, he put the families off until tonight, today he thought they would do easy things, go to an art gallery his friend runs, have lunch, and then tonight dinner with the families. Tomorrow, flight home first thing.
Nice song showing their day together, his friend at the art gallery is an older gay man who is very happy to meet the new bride but also very calm and non-scary about it. They got to lunch and he orders for both of them. They walk through a park, not talking, just looking to the side away from each other, and then smiling when their eyes meet. They go back to the hotel, he takes a shower, and when he comes out she is asleep on the bed fully clothed and he gently tucks her in. Jump to dinner that night, his family is talking at her and she just sits and smiles, he answers for her, it’s exhausting. Afterwards, she showers and changes, and comes out to find him already asleep on the couch, and this time she tucks him in, and then goes to bed alone, looking a little sad.
America! Flight lands, and it is immediately terrifying. He shepherds her through everything, helping her with customs, getting into the uber, getting out of it, carrying the suitcases into his nice house. Obviously, they live in New Jersey near Courtney (happy birthday Courtney!), a smallish starter house with a small yard, but still a whole house to themselves. He surprises her, by asking her to wait a second in the yard while he takes the suitcases in, and then sweeping her up into his arms and carrying her over the threshhold. She is flustered, he explains it is an American thing a co-worker told him about and he wanted to try it. And then he gives her the tour of the house and it becomes clear that she really doesn’t know a lot of things. Like, how to use a dishwasher, or a vacuum, or a washer dryer. He tells her not to worry, he can take care of things, he has been taking care of things until now, she can just relax and get used to being in America. And of course, he also shows her the room where he has left her suitcases, the master bedroom, and then the small room down the hall where he will be sleeping if she needs anything.
The next day, she wakes up to find a note that he has gone grocery shopping, and feels terrible. He is buying food, he is doing all the house work, and they aren’t even sharing a bed. She is a horrible wife. So she determines she is going to conquer the appliances. She loads the dishwasher and washing machines, studies the buttons and carefully hits them, and then waits. They rumble rumble rumble, she backs up, starts to get scared, soap begins to foam out of the top, and then the door opens and he is back and she screams and runs into his arms. And he laughs and laughs and laughs, and then goes and fixes things. She apologizes, cries, says she just wanted to do something helpful and she made a big mess. He just smiles and says “you made me laugh! I haven’t laughed like that in years. That is far more for me than someone who can clean the dishes”.
New montage song! He starts gently teaching her about American life. Takes her to a supermarket and shows her how to shop. Shows her how to use all the appliances at home. Helps her practice driving in America. And she gets scared and flustered and makes mistakes, but it just makes him laugh and then he helps her fixed it. Soon she isn’t scared any more, by the end of the song when she does things like turn the wheel the wrong way, she just laughs along with him, mistakes aren’t that bad.
End of the song is her carefully getting dressed, because they are going to a party. He is waiting out in the hall while she gets dressed, telling her not to fuss, it is just his old friends, very casual, a cook out. She disagrees, it is the first time she is meeting people as his wife and she can’t let him down. Of course when she comes out of her room all made-up and dressed nice, she is waiting for a response. He tells her she looks very pretty, but turns away, and her face falls. She wanted more from him.
Party is great, everyone is very friendly, there are a couple of non-desis there too, everyone is in jeans and t-shirts and very casual, but all the women quickly tell her how beautiful she looks so she doesn’t feel overdressed. One of the women is super super friendly, and calls the husband “Bhai”. The husband explains that this is his best friend from college, she is married now. The heroine watches her talk to the husband and hug him and look mildly worried. And then she comes over to the heroine and says she is just so glad to see him married, he has been so lonely. Heroine takes this in, and then says that she is worried he is still lonely, sometimes he doesn’t really seem to see her. It ends with the old friend offering a shopping trip, yaaaaaaaaaaay!
Make over! They go to a mall, she gets western style clothing, and then they meet up with the husband for a double date at a restaurant and he is stunned when he sees her, the big obvious reaction she was wanting, and everyone else at the table can see it too. He even knocks over a water glass. Through out dinner, he keeps being quiet and just looking at her while she blossoms, joining in the conversation, smiling, not feeling uncertain. They drive home together not talking, and when he helps her out of the car, he keeps holding her hand. They go into the living room holding hands to find…Ashutosh is there!!!! He has come for a surprise visit! She is so surprised that she drops the husband’s hand and runs right into her father’s arms. He is surprised, and then delighted, and holds her close.
Next day, she is all about her Dad. She gets up early to make him his favorite breakfast, she sits on the side of the table with him and leans her head on his shoulder, she has a list of place she wants to show him. The husband is happy she is happy, and says he needs to stop by work anyway, starting figuring out his shifts after his leave is over. She and Ashutosh spend a wonderful day together, she shows him how she can drive in America, she takes him to the park and mall, he is proud of how she has settled into this new life. But then they see the husband, in the distance, hugging the old friend. Ashutosh is worried, but she laughs it off, they are old friends, like siblings, she is married too. Ashutosh reminds her that she always sees the good in things, she is momentarily shaken, but then firm, she knows her husband and she is sure that everything is fine.
Ashutosh pretends to agree but is worried. While she is cooking dinner, he prawls around the house and confirms they are still in separate bedrooms. At dinner, he casually asks the husband about his day, and the husband lies, says he went to the hospital about his shifts and got caught up in work there. The heroine keeps smiling, doesn’t question it, but Ashutosh looks bleak. After dinner, he invites his son-in-law out into the yard to share a drink. And confronts him. They aren’t sleeping in the same room, he is lying about what he is doing, Ashutosh was worried all along about this marriage and clearly he was right. He came here ready to take his daughter home and that is what he is going to do. The son-in-law gently stands up for himself, suggests that Ashutosh ask his daughter what she wants, it’s early days yet, but he thinks he is making her happy. No, Ashutosh won’t listen, America is too far away, it’s dangerous, it’s strange, he doesn’t want his daughter here. The husband points out that he was ready to send Alia, and Ashutosh declares “That’s different! Alia was young and strong and she could adapt. But my oldest, she can’t be hurt any more. I just want her home, I want her home where I can see her every day and know that she is safe. I am the only one who can keep her safe. I failed, I failed once and I will never fail again.” Naturally, the heroine has been overhearing most of this and at this point comes running out to embrace him and say “you didn’t fail! You saved me! You took me home again and didn’t ask any questions or try to stop me. You loved me and that’s why I am ready for this marriage”. Ashutosh hugs her back and the husband quietly leaves them alone together.
New happy visit time! Husband goes back to work, Ashutosh and his daughter have time together. Ashutosh meets her new friends and they all make a big fuss over him (because he is dead sexy). They go to movies, shopping, just have a whole bunch of happy daddy-daughter dates. And on weekends and evenings, the husband takes them out for pizza, or bowling, they do fun American things. Until it is time for him to leave. The husband lets them go to the airport alone, one final good-bye. They hug again, and Ashutosh tells her, “I was wrong, you married a good man. You deserve to be happy”.
This sticks in her mind and she goes home after dropping him off, the husband has made dinner. He knows she will be feeling sad tonight, so he took the evening off work. Does she want to go for a walk maybe? Or play a card game? Whatever she wants to do. Too good of an opening, she shyly confirms that they can do anything she wants, he agrees, and then she goes up on her tip toes and kisses him. At first he just looks surprised, but then he leans down and kisses her back. Soft quick cuts, from kissing, to him carrying her up the stairs and laying her on the bed, to kissing naked, to curled up together afterwards. She is softly talking, she thought she would be scared to do that again. With her first husband, it was scary towards the end, letting him touch her, she always thought she would be hurt. But with him, it wasn’t scary at all, he didn’t hurt her at all, she could trust him. He doesn’t respond, so she turns to look at him and he is crying. She doesn’t ask why, just wipes the tears and holds him and then starts softly singing to him until he falls asleep.
Next morning, she tiptoes out of bed early and sneaks down stairs, makes coffee (smiling all the time), and then turns a little thoughtful and thinking, pulls out her phone, changes her mind, and instead writes a note and then takes the car keys and leaves, drives through the streets remembering all their time together, remembering his kindness and understanding with her, remember how he said he never laughs, remembering the way he held his old friend, and finally remembering how he cried the night before. She arrives at another nice little house, knocks on the door, and his old friend is there in her bathrobe saying “It’s 7am! Is something wrong?” Heroine says, “Yes, I think so, and I think you know what it is.”
Cut to, both of them sitting with coffee as the old friend sighs and starts the story, “He never wanted me to tell you this. I told him he should, and he said that you already had enough pain of your own to carry, it wouldn’t be fair to ask you to carry his as well. We went to college together, and he was always the kindest person I knew. I would fight with my parents, or my boyfriend, he would just laugh whenever things didn’t go his way. He was also the happiest person I knew, he could find the laughter in anything. My memory of him was with a smile on his face and a drink in his hand. He was so happy, and so sure of his life, I was rebelling and dating and fighting to find myself, he already knew he he was, he would go to med school and then marry a nice girl his parents picked out for him. He graduated college and went straight into med school, no break. I went off to find myself, and then came back for a years later and saw him, and he was a whole different person. Never a smile, let alone a laugh. I couldn’t understand it, I kept pushing him and pushing him, but it wasn’t until I tried to offer him a drink the truth came out. He made a mistake, and a kid died. I tried to tell him that these things happen, it’s horrible but he has to talk to someone and figure out how to go on. And then he told me that he made the mistake because he was drunk. He was an alcoholic and he killed someone because of it. He hadn’t had a drink in a year then, not since the incident, and he was never going to drink again. Drink made him happy and that was a sin. He wasn’t going to think about his own happiness ever again, just what he could do for others. I tried to tell him he couldn’t live like that, but he proved me wrong. It’s been ten years, and that is exactly how he lives. Even getting married, I was thrilled when he told me he had agreed to an engagement, but then he explained he wanted to marry this woman because there was some kind of family scandal and no one else would take her.”
The heroine looks stunned, and the friend rushes to reassure her “of course, that was before I saw you together. When he left for the wedding, I just prayed that whoever he married would appreciate what she had and would force him to be happy. And you were the answer to my prayers. I am getting my friend back, finally, he is happy again.”
The heroine rushes back home, runs into the house, to find him pacing anxiously, and bursting out “WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?” when she walks in. She starts to explain she left a note, but he keeps going, “I know I went to far last night, I’m sorry, I know I scared you, but please don’t leave me. It’s selfish and wrong but I don’t want you to go, I want you here with me, forever, please don’t go, please please don’t go.” She reaches out and embraces and kisses him and calmly says “I just went over to [friend’s] house. I had things to ask her”. He starts to shake a little, “did she tell you? Please don’t leave me. I’m better now, I promise, I won’t hurt anyone again.” She soothes him and says, “you are the best strongest person I know. I know what it is to live with a mistake, and you carried yours all alone all these years. Let me carry it with you.” The same words that he said to her when she asked him why he wanted to marry her on their wedding night!
HAPPY Ending! We see their life together, happy kisses in the kitchen, big group friend parties, she gets pregnant, they have twins, Ashutosh comes over and spoils the baby, everything is Good.
Okay, that’s Courtney’s present #1!!!!!
Second present, just going to put this germ of an idea in your head: High School Musical remade with Sid M and Varun as the leads.
Set it at an American college this time, Sid M and Varun met in India at a kareoke party before leaving for overseas studies, they were paired for a love duet as a joke, but started singing together and magic happened. Went off afterwards and made love, but agreed they would never see each other again so it “didn’t count”. And then, oops! Turns out they went to the same college overseas. They aren’t roommates but live in the same dorm and have one class together. Varun starts pursuing Sid M. a little, but he is shy about it, until they both decide to try out for the school musical. Sid M. is dedicated to his science studies and really serious about it, Varun is on the soccer team and also working towards an MBA, confident rich kid type. But in the musical, they can just be together and sing together. Of course, there are two theater kids who always star in everything and are super jealous, trying to tear them apart. Doesn’t work of course, in the end they confess their love for the whole world to hear.
And finally, present #3!
A Student of the Year Varun and Sid fanvid. I didn’t make it, I just found it for you.