Papa Kehte Hain: The Anti-Poetic Anthem for the Angsty Soul


Papa Kehte Hain: The Anti-Poetic Anthem for the Angsty Soul

Illustration: Akshita Monga


here are few things as difficult as watching your parents grow old and vulnerable. Coming to terms with your own ageing is one of them – and there is not a more stark, shocking reminder than to see a film from your childhood complete a landmark anniversary. Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, the film from my childhood that launched the virginal teen romance with brutal consequences, completed 30 years yesterday.

Even though QSQT tread the familiar path of star-crossed lovers, it’s hard to keep track of the many firsts associated with the film. It gave us the chocolate hero in the midst of all the angry young men we were still recovering from. It marked the arrival of a beauty queen who would go on to distinguish herself in a variety of roles, very far removed from the quivering-lipped upper-class babe in the woods she played in her debut. It was a convincing portrayal of a Shakespearean tragedy and the everyday cruelty the ideal Bollywood family could inflict. Most crucially, it might have been the film to revive a faltering Bollywood.