Recently, my brother came over to my house to spend the Rakhi weekend with me, and we decided to start the weekend with a Friday movie night.
After multiple rounds of discussions (and a fair share of questioning each other’s movie choices), we ended up on one of our all-time favourite comfort watches, Zoya Akhtar’s Dil Dhadakne Do.
However, this time around, I was struck anew by the relationship between Kabir (Ranveer Singh) and Ayesha (Priyanka Chopra) and how delightful, fun, and most importantly, relatable it was.
Right from the start, it’s obvious that Ayesha and Kabir share a comfortable relationship with each other, made up of subtle gestures and the ability, to be honest with each other without fear of judgement.
Whether it’s fighting over ice cream, standing up for each other, or asking tough questions, the two are always there for each other.
Like when Kabir questions his parents on why Ayesha’s name was excluded from the invitation card or refuses to take credit for her achievements.
Yes, he is there to take a stand for Ayesha, when she can’t herself because he has been raised with more privilege than her, thanks to patriarchy.
But he doesn’t become its enabler either. Rather, in his own way, he shakes the patriarchy. He calls out both, his father and brother-in-law’s toxic masculinity.
And even forces his parents to consider Ayesha to take over the family business, because she is more competent than he is – a fact his parents are blind to, thanks to internalized misogyny.
Similarly, the first person Ayesha confides in, about not wishing to have a child, is Kabir.
But, like a typical elder sibling, when he messes up, she also calls him out, urging him to be better.
Simply put, between the insanity of handling their parents, secret affairs, and personal confessions, Ayesha and Kabir keep each other sane, asking questions no one else would, and offering support no one else can.
Kabir and Ayesha are by no means the only relatable fictional sibling duo to remind me of all the times I’ve looked at my brother with an equal mix of exasperation and love. But, re-watching DDD with him did make them a little more special to me.
Perhaps because just like them, we too have had our fights over food and we never miss a chance to tease each other. But, between all the jokes and wise remarks, we’ve also been each other’s support system, fighting both, parents and the world, together.
All images from Prime Video, unless specified otherwise.