By Arré Bench Oct. 19, 2020
As Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge completes 25 years, a bronze statue of its lead pair Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol will be unveiled at London’s Leicester Square. Londoners, come... fall in love.
Bollywood movies have given us a fair few memorable scenes in the last few decades, but none more so than the film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. Starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol, DDLJ is iconic for anyone who has grown up in the ’80s and ’90s, not just for Indians back home but overseas as well.
A few years ago we saw this international fandom in action when giant cardboard cutouts of the two actors were placed outside an open-air cafe in Switzerland’s Mount Titlis. Decades on, Indian tourists continue to throng the Swiss mountain and be quite the nuisance.
— Ankur Saxena (@saxena_anky) June 13, 2016
On Monday, as the selfie spree no doubt continues in the Alps, it was announced that a bronze statue of SRK and Kajol will now be unveiled in London’s Leicester Square to celebrate the iconic on-screen romance.
Bronze statue of @iamsrk & @itsKajolD will be unveiled in London’s Leicester Square to mark #AdityaChopra’s classic #DDLJ‘s 25th anniversary!! The statue, a first ever Bollywood statue erected in the UK, will depict a scene from #DDLJ & will be unveiled in Spring 2021 pic.twitter.com/SlWY3xPUbI
— Faridoon Shahryar (@iFaridoon) October 19, 2020
The DDLJ statue, which was announced to mark the film’s 25th year anniversary, will soon be a part of the attraction “Scenes in the Square”, which is situated in the heart of the UK’s capital. And, if the cutouts in the Alps are anything to go by, may soon become a tourist attraction for desis all over Europe.
Rest of the world: "We did Costa Brava in Spain, then Mount Titlis in Switzerland, and then we headed to Corsica"
Indians: "Woh ZNMD wali jagah, fir DDLJ wali jagah, aur uske baad Tamasha wali jagah"
— Akshar (@AksharPathak) November 7, 2019
Jaa Simran Jee Le Apni Zindagi #25YearsOfDDLJ the film which remains timeless @iamsrk @itsKajolD still remain Raj and Simran for us , so London Peeps jaao #leicestersquare as a statue of the two will be unveiled @yrf #DDLJ pic.twitter.com/kbQ7eVYSYf
— Puja Talwar (@talwar_puja) October 19, 2020
In the film, Leicester Square is where the two protagonists Raj and Simran first cross paths as strangers. Londoners need not worry about being out of the loop, however, as we’re sure, they can expect to witness several re-enactments from Indians once the statue is eventually unveiled in 2021.
“This statue is a fitting tribute to the global popularity of Bollywood and the cultural bridges that cinema can help build, and we’re in no doubt it will attract fans from all around the world,” Mark Williams, from the Heart of London Business Alliance said.
— Yash Raj Films (@yrf) October 19, 2020
What Williams probably isn’t anticipating is thousands of fans gathering to sing love songs on London’s famous double-decker buses in the next few years. But given how the film has changed the fortunes of the Swiss Alps, which has seen a massive influx of Indian tourists since the cutout was put up, perhaps that’s exactly what they want.