Today, even before we have the time to reflect upon a movie, song, or series, we have five other shows pending to be consumed. But growing up in the 90s provided us the kind of luxury we crave today – the luxury to truly enjoy the art we consumed.
Perhaps this is why the songs and videos of the time still hold a special place in our minds and hearts – like Pankaj Udhas’ Aur Aahista, starring Sameera Reddy.
Most things, when viewed with a ‘nostalgic lens’, feel unequivocally charming. But Aur Aahista is one of those numbers that still leaves you smiling.
For starters, the music composition – that starts with gentle piano strains and continues in the same vein for the 5-minute long track – is inherently peaceful. It’s the kind of music that perfectly suits the gentle rhythm of Pankaj Udhas’ melodious voice.
It’s the kind of music that you hum to on balconies adorned with raindrops or during evenings accompanied by your favourite cup of tea and nothing else.
The lyrics also perfectly compliment the inherent softness of the track. Yes softness, because this is not the kind of song that passionately rouses you. No, it’s the kind of track that gently lulls you into thinking back about your first crush and the rush of ‘love’.
Even today the lyrics impart the same sense of comfort – making us reminiscence about the sense of wonderment our first love brought us.
Aise bolo ki dil ka afsana,Dil sune aur nigaah dohrayeApne chaaron taraf ki yeh duniya,Saans ka… shor bhi na sun paaye
But the cherry on the cake was the story in the video. It was inspired by O.Henry’s famous story, The Gift of Magi. But the story was changed slightly to end on an undeniably sweet note, instead of the one O. Henry wrote.
But the whole story – of an Indian girl and an Australian boy falling in love – was a reflection of the innocence of love. The kind of innocence that even today, despite multiple heartbreaks, we still look for. The innocence that coloured our slam books as kids – the same slam books we are still reluctant to part with.
The video started with an undeniably adorable meet-cute. And then went on to show how the two leads fall in love, by understanding each other’s interests and talents. It wasn’t a unique story but it felt honest, warm, and relatable.
*And, almost everyone fell for the video’s star and his boy-next-door vibes.*
Pankaj Udhas himself acted as the narrator of the story – and made us believe that snow globes were the ultimate expression of love.
If I analyze long enough, perhaps I could come up with a reason of why the song still makes my heart constrict – not painfully, but with fondness. Of why, even today, it makes me search for people on Facebook that I’d long considered forgotten. Of why, as it plays on YouTube and not MTV, it still has me sitting patiently through the whole video.
But I don’t want to analyze. Even today, over 20 years after the song first released, I just acknowledge that it makes me feel. Perhaps – even as we turn cynics – somethings will always leave a smile on our face. Like the words, aur aahista kijiye baatein.
All images are screenshots from the video on YouTube.