Keeping up with the Mehras: Lessons from Dil Dhadakne Do on what not to say to your family during lockdown
As Dil Dhadakne Do completes five years today on 5 June, some takeaways on how to deal with your family when you are stuck with them during lockdown.
Okay, let's admit. While some of us are stuck with our families during the lockdown, we aren't really going all 'Gallan Goodiyaan' with them.
Zoya Akhtar's family drama Dil Dhadakne Do, that completes five years today, revolved around a high-society Delhi family, and how they brush their issues under the carpet because of the "log kya kahenge" syndrome.
Yes, most of us may not be as posh as the Mehras. But it is safe to assume that problems like theirs trickle down to all classes in India. And it is made worse by the ongoing lockdown induced by the coronavirus outbreak. The Mehras were stuck together, and forced to confront each other on a cruise ship. We may not be on board the Sovereign, but the situation is rather similar. They were surrounded by endless stretches of ocean, which happens to be the virus in our case.
In that case, are we ready to confess to our families what part of them has been bothering us all this while?
Well... let's try.
More than what we should do, Dil Dhadakne Do tells what we must not. Firstly, if it is a family that is reuniting after a long time, and has no plans of going different ways because of the lockdown, it is natural that the members may not have completely risen above their facade. They may be happy (but not too much) to reconnect, but need a li'l (or a lot) space of their own.
In that case, one must NOT do what Neelam (Shefali Shah) did when her husband Kamaljit (Anil Kapoor) tries to make love to her on their 30th anniversary.
Clearly, not everyone feels "on top of the world" all the time. Although I would love that on a t-shirt.
Now that the guards are down, one cannot pretend to be polite. Then how does a poor, helpless parent make their presence felt? By bribing.
Greasing the palms of a loved one is every Indian parent's timepass™. But Dil Dhadakne Do tells us why a parent must steer clear of any bribing, even if it is offering the most extra bribe — an airplane.
A bribe, irrespective of how alluring the offer is, will only take one so far. It is the age of being atmanirbhar, and any tech-friendly child can dodge the tempting bait of a mom-made chocolate walnut brownie through a DIY YouTube tutorial. Or read our very own How I Became A Boss column, and indulge in sourdough baking and cider mulling.
Now that every family member feels self-reliant, how does one tell the other to keep social distancing within the house? Because annoyance > virus.
Whatever you do, do NOT do what Ayesha (Priyanka Chopra Jonas) does when she dares to blurt out a confession, rather hesitantly, in Dil Dhadakne Do.
What do you mean you're not compatible? You're Punjabi! And play
squash tennis! In any case, you do not say the C-word to your family. Got a confession? Keep it to yourself.
But how long can one keep oneself to the house AND keep a confession to oneself? It will eventually make its way out, worse, as a rant. No? Ask Kabir (Ranveer Singh).
Again, you don't lecture your parents on sanskar, morality, prathishta, anushashan, and all that Gurukul jazz. It will only add another person in the room for the rest of the lockdown. No, not Pluto Mehra, but Awkward Mehra, who will sit, with his legs spread wide, between your dad and you.
Then how does one deal with the awkwardness and other inevitable issues with family? Well, as the film showed, you jump out of the ship, and in Farah Ali's (Anushka Sharma) words, "then you sink or swim, baby". The lockdown, like Dil Dhadakne Do, has taught us how to live with our families despite the differences, just like we will learn to live with the virus now.
So, even if you chuck the life jacket, and dive straight into the ocean, your fam is likely to come chasing in a lifeboat, only to say, "Beta, mask toh pehen le."
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