Sunday, 18 January 2015

Miss Understanding – Expect the Worst!

Brian Mendonça

One of the takeaways for me of pk is that it revolves around a misunderstanding. The girl (Jagat Janani aka Jaggu) thinks she is stood up by the boy (Sarfraz) on her wedding day.  To cut back to the chase, Jaggu (Anushka Sharma) arrives at the church to be married (this is, after all, Bruges in Belgium) and seats herself among the pews waiting for her fiancée. While she is waiting she observes another lady who has also come there to be wedded. When this other lady is asked by the pastor about her partner, she rushes out of the church looking for him -- in the process leaving her kitten with Jaggu. A young boy enters the church, searching for someone. He sees Jaggu dressed in bridal gown holding the kitten and gives her a letter. The letter (unsigned) is presumably from Sarfraz saying he cannot go through with the ritual – and she is not to contact him in future. Jaggu in a state of turmoil rushes out of the church – but leaves the letter in the pew – and returns to Delhi.

The audience is all teary-eyed that a blossoming relationship between Jaggu and Sarfaraz (read India and Pakistan) has sundered on the rocks.  Rajkumar Hirani, the director picks up the pieces almost 2 hours later in the final scene on the talk show where pk (Aamir Khan) is pitted against Tapasvi Maharaj - the Godman.  He asks Jaggu, who is now the anchor of a T.V. show, a simple question, ‘Are you sure the letter was for you?’ pk then unravels what actually happened. The letter was intended for the other girl. Sarfraz did come to church that day. He does not find Jaggu, but finds the letter. Assuming it is for him he thinks Jaggu has written it for him and returns crestfallen to Lahore.

This is a case of double misunderstanding. What pk drives home is the point that we tend to believe what we want to believe – not what is necessarily true. Negativity often gains the upper hand as our mind is already coloured by the anxiety of a worst-case scenario. In the case above neither Jaggu nor Sarfraz gave the other the benefit of a doubt. Though both pined for each other, none made any attempt to contact each other. It needed an alien to bring that about because as Shaw said commonsense is not very common.

We all have dreams to nurture. We need to stand by ourselves – and others -- and believe these dreams will happen; not cave in to accidents of chance which erode our conviction.  In pk, both ‘Miss’ Jaggu and ‘Mr.’ Sarfaraz misunderstand the situation. As Rajeev Dhavan writes, ‘PK is not a person but an idea that interrogates, even scolds us  . . . it asks us to re-examine who we are.’ The next time when something goes wrong, before we leap to conclusions, let’s probe why things went wrong. Expect the best in life.
Published in Gomantak Times Weekender, St. Inez, Goa on Sunday, 18 January 2015. St. Anne's Church, Bruges at https:(backslash)

1 comment:

Susan Deborah said...

Quite well articulated. I like the way you picked up the most obvious yet less discussed aspects of the film and made it into a neat post. Bravo.

Susan Deborah