Break Ke Baad – Love in Modern Times

I have been meaning to write a little essay on love for the past few months and finally found an excuse to do so, while also taking the chance to bring to your attention an upcoming film. Break Ke Baad is a Hindi movie I have yet to watch so I will reserve my opinion until I have actually seen it, but since this upcoming Reliance Big Pictures release – starring Imran Khan and Deepika Padukone – deals with taking a break from love, it is the perfect opportunity to express my thoughts on modern romance. The film is produced by one of my favorite Bollywood filmmakers, Kunal Kohli.

A little over a year ago I left my job at a shall-remain-nameless online magazine because my editor wanted me to run a relationship column. He wanted me to step away from what he called the “all-India, all the time extravaganza” I was writing and begin dishing out advise to lovelorn women and baffled men who were looking for the connection of a lifetime. Those who know me also know that if there is one thing I object to more than anything in this life it is the idea of devoting one’s time and energies to finding love. Love is a crap shoot, it cannot be planned. You can end up on the NYC subway with the man of your dreams – literally, it happened to me – bump into your soulmate on the other side of the world, or simply find love when you least expect it. But the common thread for me has always been that love comes out of other interests, pursued work situations, not while I searched for it. Cupid runs in the opposite direction if he even smells desperation. I ran swiftly away from my job at the online magazine too…

Break Ke Baad – which translate to “after the break” – has an interesting concept, which will probably set the film apart from the typical rom-com and Hindi melodrama about boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy learns a lesson, girl misses boy, boy gets girl back and they live happily ever after. Cynical… who me?! NAHHH! But once you learn that formula, it’s a bit predictable, that’s all. Yet Break Ke Baad seems to have stumbled upon the idea of an independent woman, and the liberated man who loves her, which is more than tickling my imagination.

The synopsis given by the film’s marketing team is this: “Abhay and Aaliya have known each other since they were four years old. Their friendship turned into love at the tender age of 15, when Abhay realizes Aaliya is the girl for him. Aaliya’s life is defined by her burning desire to become an actress and she is unmindful of what or who comes in her way. Abhay, who is still unsure about what he wants to do, finds himself competing with Aaliya’s incessant plans and projects to fulfill her dreams. While their relationship blooms because of their personality differences, the baggage because of these differences also grows silently.

Things come to a head when Aaliya decides to go to Australia to study and Abhay has to deal with the prospect of a long-distance relationship, secretly fearing that he will lose Aaliya forever. He takes a leap of faith and they decide to take this time off from each other to figure out what they want to do. The choices Abhay and Aaliya make from here on test their relationship. Aaliya risks everything and everyone she loves only to realize that there is no joy in achieving one’s dreams if one has no one to share it with. Abhay risks losing every shred of his ego, dignity and self-respect only to realize that there is no bigger high than seeing your dream come to life, brick by brick.” We’ve all at one point or another made choices which have little to do with our heart and everything to do with our desire to be sensible and practical. The film’s premise really strikes a chord with me, at this very specific moment in my own life!

At a recent NYC press conference to promote the film in the US, the handsome, well spoken and very personable Imran Khan answered a question about what in his opinion defines a healthy relationship. He said “That really is something that people have to figure out for themselves. What I consider healthy may not be that way for other people and what I can think is very unhealthy… Some friends of mine are in certain relationships which I don’t really agree with but it seems to work for them. It really is a personal thing.” When urged further, he continued “A healthy relationship is one that makes both parties in the relationship happy.” True words of wisdom from a man who clearly has found his soulmate in life. For those who love his twenty-something good looks, ladies, he’s off the market, unfortunately. He’ll be getting married to his longtime sweetheart Avantika this coming January, in a sensible court ceremony.

If you feel like spending an afternoon experiencing good old fashion romance but within a contemporary film about modern love, then Break Ke Baad could be the film for you. It opens in US theaters on November 24th and around the world on Friday, Nov. 26th.

All photos courtesy of Reliance Big Pictures and Box Office Guru

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One Response to “Break Ke Baad – Love in Modern Times”

  1. ivan:

    Here’s my goofy response to your FB question…. Cheers, Ivan

    What is love meant to be? It’s a tough question asked since the beginning of time in every form a question can be asked and is not unique to our era of blackberries. My view is that love is the greatest version of being best friends. To me, in actual terms, only lovers can be the best of friends and that’s because you want the other person to be often physically and emotionally present within your personal space. The conditions for wanting this other person there have to be well established and, more difficultly, stay established and strengthened. That’s why love hurts a lot – often it is not reciprocated, other times it’s geographically impossible, it’s scary to let someone in, the chemistry could be wrong, you can be misled, and a lot of times it’s undone by pure timing. Thus, often you are the only one in love. But if love takes root, holds on, and grows between two, becoming the best version of best friends happens – and sometimes you even realize it.

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