Rang De Basanti was released over a decade ago and gave filmmaking and the youth of our country a new voice. 

The movie showcased the transformation of a bunch of college students – who, like the rest of us, can only see the imperfections in their country – into responsible adults who take charge to change the system. It has been sixteen long years and the industry still hasn’t been able to produce another movie like that.

From the goosebumps-worthy background score to a soul-stirring plotline and a brilliant star cast, the movie ticked off all the right boxes. And, of course, how can we forget the OG gang? Even though we have seen some iconic friendships in movies, there’s something different about this gang.

Come, let’s relive their journey once again, shall we?

First things first, remember their intro scene? Well, how can we even forget, right? From the iconic beer-on-the-hill challenge to the popular the-rebel-has-arrived wall painting, everyone in their mid-twenties could easily relate to all these characters.

The group, which made a home in our hearts in a jiffy, instantly welcomed an outsider with open arms because that’s how cool they were. They made all the connections with hearts and made them a part of themselves.

They not only chugged drinks down together, they even stood together for another. When Lakshman Pandey (Atul Kulkarni) constantly harassed and bullied Aslam Khan (Kunal Kapoor), his friends always stood by him because that’s what true friendships are all about.

Now if you want me to be honest, my teenage version always wanted to be a part of their fun car rides. Oh come on, you know you wanted to be a part of this amazing group too!

And as they say, the friends that eat together, stay together.

Then came one of my favourite scenes from the movie where DJ (Aamir Khan) pours his heart out to Sue (Alice Patten). While the 11-year-old kid couldn’t understand what he actually meant, I can now absolutely relate to it. *dhim laka lak te dhim laka lak*

Wahi duniya de jhamele. Naukri dhoondo, paise kamao, ghar basao. Life de ishaaro pe nachde jaao. College di gate de is taraf hum life ko nachate hai, te duji taraf life humko nachati hai.

You simply can’t leave your drunk friends alone, right? Karan Singhania (Siddharth) and Sukhi Ram (Sharman Joshi) made sure to drop Aslam at his home, safely.

The movie, which also touched upon a number of communal and political conflicts, taught us how a true friendship is much beyond a religion. We constantly saw how Aslam, belonging to a Muslim family, has to fight for his choices.

And then came another person, who completed their group – Lakshman Pandey. Even though he constantly picked fights with the gang, he became a part of it when he realised how corrupt everyone was around him.

Also, what’s better than finding love within a friend? We were all in tears when Ajay Singh Rathod (R Madhavan) proposed to Sonia Chaudhary (Soha Ali Khan) and their friends showered love and flowers on them. That’s it, that’s where our hearts melted.

The movie, which made us aware of the power we possess to change our society, had the right amount of patriotism, without being too preachy. Needless to mention, we all found ourselves relating to their journey as they took on the corrupt system.

The accident, which made them take the matters into their own hands, was absolutely heartbreaking. There’s nothing more disheartening than somebody so close to passing away. It almost felt like a personal loss.

To fight for his integrity, they decided to aware people of their friend’s values. They wanted people to see him as an inspiration and not as a corrupt officer. And hence, they started a peaceful protest to fight for justice, which, unfortunately, resulted in nothing but a lot of bloodshed.

The gang taught us that true friendships aren’t all about racing cars and chugging alcohol down, it’s also about standing shoulder-to-shoulder with each other in bad times. Therefore, they not only fought for the integrity of their dead friend but also avenged him.

Well, did they run after that? No, they didn’t because they knew that they did nothing wrong. They did what the corrupt system couldn’t and inspired the young generation to take a stand in order to make a change because koi bhi desh perfect nahi hota, usse perfect banana padta hai.

Just like their dead friend, they were also killed for trying to fight for someone else and were declared corrupt and terrorists. Their fault? They were just trying to bring a change. I’m not going to lie, the scene still gives us goosebumps.

They were, however, happy that they not only avenged their friend but also took a stand to make a change. They didn’t wait for someone else to get their hands dirty, then took the matters into their own hands and did it kyuki zindagi jeene ke do hi tarike hote hain, ek jo ho raha hai hone do, bardaasht karte jao, ya fir zimmedari uthao use badalne ki.

While the entire world grieved and cried for them…

…they were in a much better place, after inspiring thousands of youngsters.

“Ab bhi jiska khoon na khaula, khoon nahi wo paani hai, jo desh ke kaam na aaye, woh bekaar jawaani hai.”

Rang De Basanti is more than just a movie for us, it’s a piece of art.

Please note that all images are taken from the movie.