Kal Ho Naa Ho, Part 21

At Naina’s house, everyone waits around, then Aman’s cell phone rings. He answers the phone, mumurs “Oh,” solemnly, then hangs up the phone. He avoids eye contact with Jennifer and shakes his head gravely. Then he whispers, “She said 'yes.'” Everyone cheers! Except Aman. But then he cheers! Because it’s a façade! He exchanges a look with his mother; her gaze tells him that her motherly X-ray vision can penetrate even the most jovial of façades. Fortunately, Dadi shoves some jalebi in their mouths before Aman’s façade can fall apart too much. Aman tells everyone that he needs a hug, so Jennifer and his mother embrace him as he cries tears of clearly demarcated sadness rather than joy. The camera rotates to reveal that Dadi, Sweetu and Jazz are also involved in the group hug, which remains oddly somber and motionless for at least thirty seconds. I think the overarching theme of this scene is supposed to be AMAN IS SAD ABOUT THE ENGAGEMENT.

I wonder what Rohit and Naina are going to do for the rest of their date at the empty concert hall. Maybe the chorus and string orchestra will have time to do a few songs from Khabhi Khushi, Khabhi Gham. Of course, it’s not like actually seeing Naina’s response to Rohit’s proposal might be of any dramatic interest to the people watching this movie, so maybe we should skip right over it. Thanks, movie!

Voiceover Naina explains that the next step was to convince Rohit’s parents about the engagement. Aman and Rohit talk with Rohit’s parents at their house, which seems to consist of a gigantic courtyard where a man dressed in white stands at attention, carrying a tray. For people who are supposed to be millionaires, Rohit’s parents seem to have an odd disinterest in purchasing any kind of furniture for their vast, marble courtyard. Maybe they spent all of their money on that guy with the tray. Voiceover Naina explains that it wasn’t that hard to convince Rohit's parents about the engagement because… “It’s just geography!” they exclaim as they sit in Naina’s living room with her family. Rohit’s father forgets Jennifer’s name and then asks her to pass him the cock. Shiv giggles, as Rohit, embarrassed, tells his dad that it’s pronounced “Coke.” Rohit’s father dismissively continues talking as Naina glares at Shiv.

Rohit’s mother explains that they would like to have the engagement and the wedding anniversary on the same day, and the wedding two days later. Jennifer and the family agree, and Rohit’s father explains that they’re getting a famous decorator from Paris to decorate his hall, which he pronounces “hole.” He talks some more about how he has a very big hole, and his wife agrees and makes gestures indicating the largeness of the hole. Rohit corrects his pronunciation again as Jennifer smiles politely and Shiv tries to stifle his giggles, probably wondering if there's going to be any cock in the hole.

Dadi talks about how happy she is with the match, then says that she only wishes her son were there to see it. Rohit’s parents express sympathy and ask how he died. Dadi says, “heart attack,” as the tympani of Dadi Being Full of Shit sounds. Dadi says that she’s just waiting for Naina and Shiv to settle down before she goes back to Chandigarh, but not for Gia, because adopted children don't deserve love. The Dadi Being Full of Shit Tympani goes “Boing?” as Rohit’s parents look concerned. Jennifer retorts that Gia is just as much theirs as Naina. After a moment, she tentatively adds that her husband didn’t die of a heart attack; he killed himself. Rohit’s parents exchange shocked but sympathetic glances, and Rohit looks at Naina with a mix of surprise and understanding.

Later as Jennifer cleans up, Dadi asks her why she had to go and reveal the truth like that. Jennifer says that it’s a bad idea to start relationships with lies, which starts Dadi off on one of her “Everything is Jennifer’s fault” kicks. I bet you could start talking to Dadi about the NBA playoffs, and she would somehow turn it into a rant about how Jennifer drove her son to suicide. Meanwhile, Gia eavesdrops from the stairs. This will probably end well. Dadi refers to Jennifer as her daughter-in-law, but Jennifer retorts that she will only be her daughter-in-law when Gia is her granddaughter. Dadi says, “You know what, you’re right. I should just accept Gia into this family as the adorable adopted moppet that she is.” Just kidding! She says that Gia will never be her granddaughter, will never be part of the family, and is only a burden. As Gia sobs upstairs, Dadi says that every bad thing in the entire world that has ever happened is Gia’s fault, especially her father’s suicide. Dadi starts yelling that she hates Gia, and Gia runs outside in tears, screaming for Aman. I think a lot of problems could be avoided in Hindi movies if people would just learn to discuss their painful family secrets in quiet indoor voices.

Jennifer and Dadi, apparently oblivious to the fact that Gia ran out of the house in tears, continue their debate. Dadi announces that her son made two mistakes, marrying Jennifer and adopting Gia. Aman suddenly shows up in the living room to reveal that he made a third mistake. Was it an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope? Dadi asks him what the hell he’s doing there, which provides a convenient segue for Aman to launch into one of his dramatic monologues. He explains that Jennifer’s husband had an affair, one result of which was Gia. When Gia’s mother refused to accept her, Jennifer adopted her, even though Gia was a constant reminder of her husband’s affair. Aman explains that Jennifer’s strength reminded her husband of his own weakness, which is why he killed himself. Gia’s mother certainly wrote an informative, if ambiguously addressed, letter.

Part 20 Part 22


At 1/26/2011 7:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It wasn't jalebi that Lajjo shoves into their mouths, it was a laddoo I believe.

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