Then again by a chance of fate I rescue a stranger at night from a bunch of goons, and guess what? He turns out to be the original husband of my ex widow wife, who hadn’t died in spite of his inheritance hungry uncle’s best efforts.
Now evil uncle then decides to kidnap me and my ex widow, now not so ex present day wife to get hold of his nephew. I escape his clutches and I come back with my wife’s undead husband to rescue her.
By now she is of course strapped to a bomb and – do you think they’ll take my doctorate back? — after a liberal round of fist fighting kicking and screaming the evil uncle is blown to smithereens by the very same bomb that he had strapped on status confused lady of the film.
But not before the sacrificial ex-husband has done a kamikaze, unstrapping his ex-wife and set the bomb off killing himself in the bargain. All obstacles removed, our hero lives happily ever after with his beloved wife.
I’m not sure why the movie was called Deewana which in Hindi means madness of a particularly nice or romantic kind. But I have a feeling it had something to do with the guy who wrote the plot.
So, here’s my first life lesson, inspired by the movie title Deewana: Madness of the particularly nice or romantic kind is an absolute prerequisite to a happy and successful life.
Don’t ever treat your little insanities as if they are aberrations that ought to be hidden from the rest of the world. Acknowledge them and use them to define your own way of living the only life you have.
All the most beautiful people in the world, the most creative, the ones who led revolutions, who discovered and invented things, did so because they embraced their own idiosyncrasies. There’s no such thing as ‘normal’. Normal is just another word for lifeless.
Soon after I acted in Deewana, I became the hapless hero of a movie called Chamatkar. This movie had a more believable plot line.
I get cheated off all my money by my best friend slash, conman and find myself asleep in a graveyard only to be awakened by the ghost of a murdered mobster. A ghost that only I can see and nobody else can. I am very perceptive that way.
Anyway the mobster ghost helps me get a job as a teacher through his ghostly good offices. I fall in love with his daughter, of course, from a wife that has passed on after being duped by the flunky of the mobster.
Together, the ghost and I organize a cricket match, yes I was doing that even before I owned a cricket team, and avenge the various misdeeds done to us by bashing up the flunky and the conman, then we forgive them because we have a good heart and let each other descend into the respective abodes where we belong in the first place.
He goes back to the grave and I go away with the babe.
Now ‘Chamatkar’, means miracle: right and straightforward without any nuances. So, my next lesson is the following: If you ever find yourself cheated of all your money and sleeping on a grave, do not fear, a miracle is near, either that or a ghost.
All you have to do is fall asleep. Trust me! In other words, no matter how bad it gets, life is the miracle you are searching for.
There is no other one around the corner. Develop the faith in it to let it take its own course, make all the efforts you can to abide by its beauty and it will not let you down.
Use every resource you have been given, your mental faculties, the ability of your heart to love and feel for those around you, your health and good fortune: all of the thousands of gifts life has given you to their maximum potential.
Honor your life, please. Honor each gift and each moment by not laying it to waste. There is no real measure of success in this world except the ability to make good of life’s endowments to you.
Sometimes life’s gifts arrive wrapped in all the wrong damned wrapping, at which point we have to learn to do two things with them: recognize them for what they are and gamble on our fear that they might be disasters.
This brings me to my third life lesson inspired by two movies in which I played the anti-hero: Darr and Baazigar.
OK, those stories I won’t tell you. You seem to know them.
Twenty years ago in the movies, roles were very clearly defined. They provided the security of your stardom in a sense. If you’d been successful playing an “angry young man”, you’d pretty much be angry and young for the rest of your career.
If you’d been a police inspector in three movies, odds were, you’d be in the next 33 too. This applied to female stars as well: wives were wives, seductresses were seductresses, mother in laws were mother in laws, and so on and forth.
Few actors would have willingly switched from romantic heroes to obsessively violent lovers. I took the leap…not because I was particularly brave, but because a very dear director friend of mine sat me down and told me I was extremely ugly.
And being ugly necessarily meant – I know, now I know — I do bad guy roles. I wasn’t the romantic hero types, he said, actually he used the words, that my face was not chocolaty enough.