It’s been 20 long years since the movie released, and the trio made a trip to Goa. But the characters are etched in our minds forever. And I was just thinking about everyone, especially the character Sameer.
In the movie Dil Chahta Hai, Sameer comes across as a goofy character, a timid and insecure boyfriend, a naive tourist, a diehard but nervous romantic, maybe an emotional fool too. But that’s all superficial. If you scratch the surface, you will find that he is a regular guy and every group has a Sameer. Not in the sense mentioned above, but the depth of the character in Sameer is present in one group member of each such gang of friends. So, what qualities am I talking of?
To begin with, Sameer acts as a glue that keeps the flock together. It’s easy to write tough characters with big egos, but someone with low self esteem and good natured heart, always binds a group and manages the moods of everyone around. When Sid needs help at the hospital or a shoulder to cry on, right in the beginning of the movie, Sameer enters the scene to comfort him. His kindness is affable.
When Akash wants to discuss about Shalini while in Australia, he picks up the phone to talk to Sameer. It was cinematic genius that he dialed Sid, but he actually wanted to talk to Sameer and unburden his sorrows. Akash and Sid keep picking on Sameer because they know that he will play along. He will not get mad or annoyed or act snobbish. When Sid needs help in moving Tara and setting up her house, he thinks of Sameer and not Akash.
Akash’s room has a huge portrait of himself and a fantastic showpiece article of waves crashing in a beam balance and tilting the scales. But Sameer’s room has a beautiful photograph of the trio and he also remarks “ya to dosti gehri hai, ya yeh photo 3D hai”
Sameer learns from his own mistakes, takes his own path to finding love, and actually sticks to a commitment. Whatever he does, he does with complete conviction, like the Kristina episode in Goa. As I said earlier, it’s easy to be a Akash with big ego and many unacknowledged faults, and it’s even more easy to be self- righteous and principled like Sid. But to be a Sameer, you need to straddle between the two. It’s a tight rope walk because he is the bonding factor. Sameer makes the call to Akash, to come visit Sid and let bygones be bygones, towards the end. What would we do in absence of Sameers?
Saif Ali was best suited to play this character. There was no burden of expectations from him, and he was already playing chilled out side- kick with Akshay in quite a few films. Saif had to just drop that fake machismo and get into the warm T-shirt of Sameer’s character. It was great casting and I can’t think of anyone else who could have played it better. His boyish charm just added to it.
Every group has a Sameer! Look for people who make it to get- togethers and picnics, and have conversations with old friends, people who help others arrive at amicable solutions, guys who reach every party with same enthusiasm to enjoy the cake and have a good time. Without Sameers of the world, Akashs and Sids would walk eastward and westward and never would they meet. It’s time to acknowledge the Sameers around us.
Agree with a lot of what you said in your piece here. Certainly, the affable, easy going friends in a group -“the Sameers” if you will, are the glue that holds the gang together long years after the shared academic experience is over. Certainly in DCH as well as in real life, the good natured dudes who can make everything light hearted and even take and crack jokes about themselves, are the bridge between the brash, opinionated, borderline narcissistic personalities (Akash) and the highly sensitive, artistic and emotional ones (Sid).
One thing in this piece though that I personally feel you misinterpreted from the film. The scene which you described thus “When Akash wants to discuss about Shalini while in Australia, he picks up the phone to talk to Sameer. It was cinematic genius that he dialed Sid, but he actually wanted to talk to Sameer and unburden his sorrows.”” – All due respect, you seem to have got it the other way around. Akash subconsciously *wanted to talk to Sid* as they’d had a heated quarrel and cut off contact recently. He dialled Sid (though he asked for Sameer), as it was to Sid whom he *actually* wanted to talk to. Subliminally wanting to patch up their quarrel and start afresh. At least, that’s how the scene came across to me during my first and subsequent viewings (there have been many!)