Kal Ho Naa Ho, Part 17

Strip club! Rohit’s there with his father, Satish Shah. He tells Rohit to enjoy, enjoy, but Rohit tells him that he doesn’t want to enjoy. Rohit’s father asks him if everything is “normal,” and Rohit wants to know what “normal” means, since he doesn’t seem to think it means watching his father ogle naked women. His dad says that Kantaben told him that Rohit was in love with someone. Rohit sighs and says it doesn’t matter, because the love isn’t mutual. Relieved, Rohit’s father says, “Thank God!” Rohit can’t believe that he’s happy that Rohit’s dreams of getting married and having kids have been crushed, since that’s supposed to be the one universal goal of Indian parents everywhere. Rohit’s father is momentarily confused by the possibility of Rohit having kids, but then remembers that he’s in America, where anything is possible, even non-gay gay people having children. He explains that Kantaben mentioned something about a cupboard, but doesn’t really want to elaborate; Rohit finally figures out the mix-up, indicates via sign language that he’s not gay, and tells his father that he’s in love with a girl. His father tells him to explain about the girl in the car on the way home, because his mother misses him.

They arrive at the house that dhoklas built, where Rohit’s mother and her friends do a “Rohit’s back from the strip club” song and dance routine. Buffet Time! Rohit asks what’s up with the buffet and the dancers and everything, and his mother explains that they’re rehearsing for their 25th wedding anniversary party, where they will be performing a dance. About Rohit being back from the strip club? Rohit’s parents ask him what he'll be doing for the party, and Rohit makes a face and changes the subject to the fact they’re having their 25th wedding anniversary, and he’s 28. Sounds like somebody was an accident! They cover by saying that they are just trying to hide their age from the Gujju community. Rohit looks relieved, then notices a crowd of Indian women of marriageable age smiling and waving at him. His father informs him that he is now a GCGC, or Good Catch of Gujju Community, tells him they’ve picked out a girl and a wedding date, hands him the bride’s photo and some honeymoon brochures, and starts talking about baby names. But what about nursery schools? Rohit’s parents better get on the ball. Rohit gets angry and says that he doesn’t want to get married. His dad asks him if he’s still heterosexual, and Rohit says it’s not that; he just doesn’t want to get married.

As Rohit storms away in exasperation and says a few more times that he doesn’t want to get married, a woman asks him if he’s sure. She’s wearing a low-cut laundry bag over a sports bra and a giant square choker that makes her head look like it’s been severed from her body, but other than that, she’s quite attractive. She comments to the woman standing next to her that Rohit is good looking and rich, then introduces herself as Camilla and offers Rohit her phone number. Well, she seems interested and friendly, but what does the incidental music think about her? “She wants your money!” the incidental music sings. Hmm, I guess the incidental music usually is right about these things, but I don't see why it always has to be so judgemental.

As Voiceover Naina talks about forging relationships, Naina walks into her house and gets similarly railroaded into a matchmaking attempt. Dadi tells Naina that Kammo’s brother is visiting with his family, who are seated in the living room. Kammo’s brother introduces everyone and is particularly enthusiastic in his introduction of his daughter-in-law “Mrs. Jassi!” He seems to be focused on setting up his younger son Bantu, who is shy and coy, but has nice eyes. Various jokes that I don’t get are made, then Naina excuses herself to go have a word with Dadi. In the next room, Naina angrily asks her what’s going on, and Dadi explains that the family has extended a marriage proposal. They start arguing, then Jennifer comes in to shush them. Then she starts arguing with Dadi, and the argument escalates until Naina yells “Stop it!” so loudly that Kammo’s brother drops his laddoo in the next room. Naina tells Jennifer and Dadi that the house has been full of hatred ever since her father died, and says that no one would want to marry into such a non-loving family. Then she goes back into the living room and tells Kammo’s brother and his family that she and her family are crazy and that they should get out while they still can. As Naina storms out, Dadi tells Kammo’s brother to eat a big laddoo. I should start carrying salads and laddoos around with me just so I can start stuffing my face anytime something awkward happens.

Naina goes to her special picnic table by the bridge to sob, and her mother finds her and sits down next to her. Jennifer confirms that Naina’s in love with Aman even though he’s married, then starts crying about the fact that Naina will never love again and will die alone. Naina says that the guilt trip’s not going to work, because she loves Aman, and really will die alone. As she reflects on all of Aman’s irritating qualities, like the fact that he’s always eavesdropping, Aman shows up on the bench behind her, eavesdropping and enjoying a beverage from Starbucks. Neither Jennifer nor Naina appears to notice him, even though he’s about two feet away. Naina asks Jennifer what she should do about her broken heart, and Jennifer says that their angel is looking at them right now, and will make sure that Naina loves again. Oh, so Aman’s the angel! This whole time I’ve been waiting for John Travolta to show up. So is Aman invisible? Voiceover Naina explains that Aman’s plan is to fill her heart with Rohit’s love, even though Rohit is otherwise occupied right now.

Part 16 Part 18


Kal Ho Naa Ho, Part 16

As Aman and Priya walk down the street, Aman asks her to tell him truthfully how much time he has left. Aman is wearing a burlap sack labelled with a Sharpie marker. Priya avoids the question and asks Aman about Naina. Aman says that since Naina’s father already left her, if Aman leaves her too, she will go insane, both because she is already partially insane, and because all the girls go crazy for hot studs like Aman. Except for Priya, because she’s tall. Aman talks about how much he loves Naina, and says that all his life he ran away from love, but then when his life started running away from him, love bumped into him. He makes a little tongue clucking noise to mimic the sound of love bumping into him in the dead-end, deserted alley where his life was headed. Then he gazes seriously at Priya and asks her if he really doesn’t have much time. Priya tries to tell Aman that as soon as he finds a donor, he’ll be fine, but is really bad at lying. Aman starts making fun of her shitty bedside manner and tells her to give him a hug, since it’s not like there’s anything else she can do, like, oh, I don’t know, take him to a hospital and try to provide him with some kind of medical care.

Naina stalks them from her upstairs window, as Voiceover Naina talks about how bummed she and Gia are that Aman is married. As Rohit waters his plants sadly, Voiceover Naina explains that Laila has also found love. Rohit’s dog sits happily next to a German Shepherd on a lawn chair. It’s nice that Laila has found a relationship with another dog that goes beyond the superficial level of feverish humping. Voiceover Naina says that the biggest heartbreak of all was Sweetu’s, because Frankie ran off to London to join some bhangra group with a lame-ass name. Voiceover Naina explains that while the youngsters were nursing their broken hearts, the elders were getting ready for a little somethin’ somethin’. Chadda and Lajjo exchange glances through the window while admiring the roses that have at some point been in the possession of every person in the movie.

Naina goes to the store to return the red dress that she already wore, and bumps into Rohit, who, coincidentally, is also returning the red article of clothing that indicated that he was in love and feeling optimistic about it. Naina is wearing a pink sweater, and Rohit is wearing a pink tie, so apparently pink is the color to wear if you’re in love with someone who has just rejected you. Maybe tomorrow they’ll both be wearing their blue jelly bracelets, indicating that they’re looking for a no-strings attached physical relationship. Rohit asks Naina what happened to Aman, but they decide to go get a salad before Naina talks about it.

Cut to Rohit, eating a salad, expressing shock that Aman is married. He asks why Naina didn’t tell him earlier, before he and Aman got drunk and had sex. Naina says that if she had known earlier, she wouldn’t have fallen in love. Rohit asks her what she’s going to do now. Naina says that first she couldn’t fall in love, and now she can’t fall out of it, but she has to, or her heart will feel lonely. Rohit tells her that she’ll never be alone, because he will always be there for her. He flirts with her some more, but pretends that he’s kidding. Then he gazes at her in a non-kidding way and asks her if she thinks she’ll ever fall in love with someone again. His eyes say, “[Cough, cough] Someone like me [cough].” Naina looks at him for ten minutes, then goes back to eating her salad. Rohit decides to pretend he didn’t say anything, and goes back to eating his salad. Good thing there’s some salad there, or that would have been totally awkward.

Voiceover Naina explains that her silence made Rohit realize that he has to forget his first love. He tells Laila that he has to forget his first love. At least Laila is there for him, when she could have been out on a romantic date with the German Shepherd. Voiceover Naina explains that it’s not that easy to forget your first love, as she waits tables at the restaurant, looks at Aman, and tries to forget her first love. Montage! Lajjo holds a flower and says that her first love was Dev Anand. Chadda says that his first and last love is Lajjo. Kammo and Vimmo stroke some phallic vegetables and realize that they both loved the same dude, Lovechand Kukreja. Shiv looks at his first love, an Asian girl who touches his cheek disinterestedly. Gia gasps, maybe because Shiv seems way more into the relationship than his girlfriend. Guru’s first love wasn’t that into him either, so he shot her.

Aman leaves angry messages on Rohit’s machine, telling him that he can’t forget his first love, and begging Rohit to call him back. I think Aman needs to let it go, since Rohit seems to have written it off as just a fleeting, drunken night of passion. Kantaben hears the message, and the thought of Rohit being involved in a homosexual relationship with Aman causes her to quake with fear. Or maybe she’s quaking with fear at the thought that their happy and loving relationship has gone sour. Difficult to tell. Aaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyy, KANTABEN!

Part 15 Part 17


Kal Ho Naa Ho, Part 15

Aman enters his living room and listens to a message from a depressed-sounding Rohit on the answering machine. Naina skips down the street and then pirouettes through the train station. As she walks up to Aman’s house, it starts to rain; Naina smiles happily, because soon she and Aman will be singing and writhing around in the rain, wearing drenched, clingy clothing and almost kissing but not quite. Perhaps there will be erect nipples.

Aman opens the door to see Naina holding the bouquet of roses. They sit down, and Naina tries to make small talk while Aman does that thing where he insults her because he thinks it’s cute even though really it’s just annoying. Naina stammers, trying to figure out how to tell Aman that she wants to writhe around in the rain and almost kiss him, but then she notices the photo from Priya’s wedding lying on the coffee table. She asks Aman who the person in the picture is, and Aman says that it’s Priya, his wife. Thunderclap! Naina turns to look at him in shock. Thunderclap Number 2! Naina looks at him in a wider angle shot. Thunderclap Number 3! Naina’s still looking at him.

Aman explains that he married Priya three years ago, and they had the usual husband-wife arguments, but then one day Aman did that thing where he says something completely rude and pretends that he’s kidding, so Priya left him and went to New York. Now he’s in New York to bring her back. As Aman talks about his secret wife, Naina stares straight ahead, trying not to burst into hysterical sobs. Aman shows her the wedding picture again and talks about how pretty Priya is, then finally notices the look of utter despair on Naina’s face. He tells her not to cry, because everything will work out with him and Priya. Naina says that she should get going before her stoic façade crumbles, but Aman tells her to stay, accidentally calling her Priya. Unsurprisingly, Naina gets up to leave, probably fearful of being crushed under the weight of Aman’s complete obliviousness. Aman asks for the flowers, but Naina says that they’re for Chadda uncle, for introducing her to such nice people, but not their mysterious wives. Finally, Naina goes outside, where she can let the hysterical sobs fly.

Aman’s mother asks Aman if he loves her. Aman says that he doesn’t love Naina, so Aman’s mother is all, “Who said anything about Naina?” Aman insists that he doesn’t love Naina, but his mother holds up his hand, which has two fingers crossed. Busted! She uncrosses his fingers and says that she’s his mother, and that Aman can’t lie to her. Well, not if he’s going to do it that badly, with his fingers crossed and everything. Aman asks her how he can tell Naina the truth, when even his own mother can’t face it. He asks her how he can tell Naina that the love for her in his heart is very strong, but that his heart itself is very weak. He wants to know how he can explain that Priya isn’t his wife, but rather, his friend and doctor, who is fighting day and night to keep him alive for a few more days. She is? By taking walks and eating at pleasant outdoor cafes? Aman says “Dammit!” a few times, fights back tears, and tells his mother that he’s dying. She starts crying and says that it’s not true, and that a transplant is possible, if only Priya can take a few more walks and find the appropriate restaurant. Aman tells his mother that she must stay strong, so she vows that she will hide her tears, but asks him how he will hide his love. He did a pretty good job of acting like a total jerk to Naina just a few minutes ago, so maybe it won't be that hard. Aman says that it’s not his love any more, and that he just has to deliver it to the right destination. Hopefully that won’t involve making some kind of love potion out of a purple flower, because that’s been known to fuck all kinds of shit up.

Naina sobs on a bridge. Rohit stares sadly out a window. Aman stares sadly out a different window. A heart beats. Is it Aman’s crappy one? Intermission.

Part 14 Part 16


Kal Ho Naa Ho, Part 14

Montage. Dadi hangs out at Kunwari Kudi and says that there’s no such thing as love, only arranged marriage. Jazz wears a slinky dress and talks about jism. Guru says that love is pirated music. Frankie says that love is “to chill.” Aman says that he’ll tell us about love in a second, but right now he’s busy hanging out on a bridge.

Song! Separately, Naina and Rohit skip down the sidewalk, flinging their briefcases around and playing air guitar. Rohit leans on some guy reading the newspaper and sings to him about how he’s been feeling for the past few days. Naina sings that everything has changed, steals some guy’s frappuccino, and dances around a coffee shop. Quick montage of couples being lovey-dovey.

Naina walks down a busy sidewalk wearing a shower cap, then realizes that she’s wearing a shower cap, takes it off, and smiles giddily, because when you’re in love, even walking around like a jackass in a shower cap is awesome. In the bookstore, she sings and reads some chick-lit, but the bookstore lady tells her to shut up, so she buries her face in some Pablo Neruda poems and teleports onto a bus. I tried using some David Sedaris essays to teleport onto the subway, but that didn’t seem to work. Naina snaps her fingers and starts dancing around the bus as her fellow passengers smile and nod politely at the crazy lady.

Rohit sits on a precarious-looking balcony railing and sings about how swell he’s been feeling since his heart started melting, then gives himself a noogie. On the sidewalk, he sings that he’s happy and leans again on someone reading the paper. Hey, it’s that guy who was reading the paper before! And he’s moved on to the Arts section! Rohit pinches his cheeks and they do the do-si-do, then they give each other a big hug, because so much has happened between them.

Rohit and Naina ballroom dance with themselves, then Naina flails spastically in front of a Virgin Megastore, skips around on a bridge, throws some flowers in the air, then flails spastically some more. Montage of more happy couples, including two wiggling flowers that seem to be having flower sex. I wonder how the guy who was laying on the ground, wiggling two flowers together to simulate flower sex, was feeling about his career that day.

Rohit is at the salon, holding a chunk of brick that is getting a manicure. I rewound it several times, but I still have no idea what’s going on. He gets out of a cab and checks out his reflection in a mirror that dancing workmen are conveniently carrying into a nearby building. Rohit spins around in front of the mirror, because getting a random chunk of brick manicured apparently does wonders for one’s appearance and confidence. Frappuccino guy offers Naina the frappuccino, since she already stole it and everything. Wow, she’s got some gigantic sleeves. They look like those collars that people put on dogs when they're injured. Rohit and Naina dance with various members of New York’s service industry, then sing about getting high and surfing waves or something. They cross paths without seeing each other, and then they sing again that something has happened. But will they ever tell us what?

End of song. Aman gives a speech about how when you’re in love, everything changes, including your opinion about whether red looks nice. Meanwhile, Rohit picks out a red tie, while Naina admires a red dress, because something has happened to them. Aman says that when you’re in love, there is only one name on your lips. Rohit says, “Naina,” Naina says, “Aman,” and Aman says “Sweetu,” since Sweetu is sitting right in front of him. He says “Sweetu” a few more times and then asks her if she loves Frankie. Cut to Sweetu telling Naina, “I love Frankie,” to which Naina responds, “I love Aman,” because everything is all about her. Over the phone, Rohit tells Aman that he loves Naina, while Aman walks somewhere with Priya. Aman tells Rohit that he’ll meet him at his apartment, then ditches Priya even though they are on an important walk, trying to solve their serious problem. Sweetu advises Naina to tell Aman, while Aman advises Rohit to tell Naina, then punches him in the solar plexus. Naina wusses out and calls Rohit instead, maybe because she’s afraid of getting punched in the solar plexus by Aman. She arranges to meet Rohit at 5pm at a place called “Water’s Edge,” because they both have something to tell each other. Something that can only end badly. Rohit gives Aman a hug and repeatedly tells him that he loves him, just in time for Kantaben to walk in, gawk at the homoeroticism, and collapse unnoticed onto a gigantic couch. The incidental music sings, “Aaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyy, KANTABEN!”

Naina pulls up in a cab at Water’s Edge, wearing her red dress. As she arrives, Rohit, wearing his red tie, tells some violinists to start playing. Rohit and Naina compliment each other on their red clothing, then fidget awkwardly. Finally, Naina blurts out, “I love Aman!” Rohit smiles, frozen, as the violinists’ tune modulates into the minor key of unrequited love. Naina says excitedly that she knew he would be shocked by the news. Rohit tells her she has no idea how shocked, then takes the imaginary knife that Naina has plunged into his heart and twists it in a bit further. Naina says that she’s nervous, because she doesn’t know if Aman loves her. She’s definitely not great at picking up subtle signals of love, like, say, dates at romantic restaurants with violin serenades, champagne, and roses, so that’s not surprising. Naina asks Rohit if she should tell Aman about her feelings, and Rohit blurts out “No!” but then quickly amends it to “Go, go!” As Naina gets up eagerly to go talk to Aman, Rohit hands her the red roses and tells her to give them to Aman, because apart from macking on married women in the elevator, Rohit is a total sweetie. Naina tells Rohit that he’s cute and that she loves him, then runs off to go declare her love more sincerely to someone else. Rohit watches Naina leave and says sadly that he loves her, too.

Part 13 Part 15


Kal Ho Naa Ho, Part 13

As Naina wonders if unhappiness is just around the corner, she walks past Aman and Priya having lunch outside. Priya looks pensive and tells Aman that she needs more time, because the unidentified problem that they are discussing is serious. They have an argument about whether Aman should have come to New York, and Priya repeats that she needs more time, both his time and hers. What would have happened if she only needed her time, but not his? Could they have somehow disrupted the space-time continuum in order to only waste her time? Aman says that he came to New York because of her, and will do what she says. He tells her that his time is hers. But what about if she’s stationary, and he’s traveling at the speed of light?

Crying, Jennifer says that they have to leave the restaurant in two months. Everyone’s there, including Frankie, so apparently Frankie was cool with how Sweetu decided he was her boyfriend five minutes after meeting him. Rohit, wearing another Renaissance Fair shirt, offers to help Jennifer out with the money situation, but Dadi objects to seeking help from a Gujarati. Even a Gujarati from Renaissance times? Naina says that this is a serious problem, and Aman says there’s a simple solution. He stands up so he can go into Inspirational Speech Mode, and rhetorically asks what the restaurant serves that can’t be found anywhere else on their street. Well, there’s the possibility of sex with Jazz. Aman then asks why the Chinese restaurant across the street is doing so well, as a gong sounds and we cut to a shot of a Asian family standing in front of the restaurant and bowing. Shouldn’t they be running the restaurant instead of standing around outside and reinforcing cultural stereotypes? Jazz swears some more at them. Aman says that their Chinese restaurant does so well because they brought their country and culture with them. That’s also why Chili’s does so well. Aman says that they should take advantage of the fact that they are Indian, and bring India to New York. Or at least a sampling of Indian dishes that New York is most likely already familiar with. Naina is skeptical, but Aman says confidently that they must try, because those who try never lose. Really? I would have guessed that a good 65% of those who try lose. They form a huddle, raise their arms, and cheer, “YO!” Wait, what?

Song! As they redecorate the restaurant, everyone sings “Chale Chalo” from Lagaan. I hope next they don’t sing that terrible song with the English lady going, “Oh I’m in love! I am in love! Yes, I’m in loooooooove!” Aman dances around with a rolling pin while Rohit brandishes a pepper mill, then Aman rolls his eyes at Rohit because he’s brandishing a pepper mill, which is clearly more retarded than dancing around with a rolling pin. Everyone steps outside and points defiantly at the Asian family, who look frightened and a bit confused about where all this hostility is coming from. Ooh, samosas! Aman bumps into Naina, and they exchange lingering glances. As the camera shakes, everyone sings about how they’re going to shake things up. Naina takes down the American flag in the window while Rohit checks her out. Frankie replaces the “York” in “Café New York” with “Delhi.” I bet they saved a good four dollars at Kinko’s by printing out just the “Delhi.” Rohit and Naina hang an Indian flag in the window. There seems to be a bit of controversy about which direction the “Please Seat Yourself”/”Please Wait to be Seated” sign should face. “Please Seat Yourself” wins. Yes!

Having changed into nicer clothes, everyone waits to see if customers will arrive. The Asian family watches from across the street, because it’s not like they have a restaurant to run or anything. Moments pass with no one arriving. Jennifer’s face falls, as everyone grows disappointed. It’s okay, guys, I know it’s been a good ten seconds since you opened your restaurant and you still haven’t had a single customer, but I bet you that within the next ten seconds or so, business will totally be booming. Hey, look at that! Aman high fives Jennifer in the bustling restaurant, says “Yo, Jenny!” and gives her a hug while Naina looks on happily.

Naina sits on the couch in Aman’s living room and asks him why he has done all this for them. He says that Naina’s mother’s eyes are full of pain, and that whatever he has done has been for those eyes. He explains that his problem is that he can’t bear to see any mother’s pain, because mothers display everything that is supposed to be in their heart through their eyes. That does sound pretty gross; I can see why Aman wouldn't want to look at that. He cups his heart and says that this is where mothers think from, understand, and love. From the empty cavity where their heart used to be before it got transferred to their eyes? This is all very confusing. He says that mothers also like to eavesdrop on other people’s conversations and start crying. They turn around to look at Aman’s mother, who is eavesdropping from the kitchen, crying from the eyeball-shaped organs that now house her heart. She tells Aman that he’s crazy.

Aman takes off Naina’s glasses and stares at her, repeating her name. Naina blushes and stands up, looking off into the distance. She presses her hand to her cheek and looks overwhelmed. Aman asks her what happened. She says that she can’t see anything. Aman tries on her glasses and asks her if she can see now. Maybe it’ll work if Aman puts the glasses on his chest.

Naina meets Rohit near a train station, and he asks her where the glasses have gone. He comments that she looks pretty and is even smiling, then asks where Naina went, checking behind her to see if she has disappeared up her own ass. Naina tells him to shut up and says that whenever she’s with him, she’s happy. Except that time when she was crying. Naina asks Rohit if it’s ever happened to him that he didn’t like someone at first, then liked them a little, then liked them a lot, then… Rohit asks her then what, but Naina just says “You know,” and gives him the South Asian head nod. Rohit asks her why she’s asking him this, and she says just because, then leaves. Well, that was a completely pointless conversation. As Naina walks away, she smacks herself in the head as a woman sings that something has happened. Rohit also smacks his head as a male voice sings that something surely has happened. These people are all about expressing themselves in the vaguest way possible.

Part 12 Part 14