A film that changed everyone’s life was Deepika Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor starrer Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. As the film clocks 7 years, we explore 7 things about Naina Talwar that made her stand out as the ‘Hindi film hero’ in Bunny’s life and not the other way round.
They say films mirror the society and when a story hits close to home, we all tend to love it. So is the case with Ayan Mukerji’s directorial Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani starring Deepika Padukone, Ranbir Kapoor, Aditya Roy Kapur and Kalki Koechlin as Naina, Bunny (Kabir), Avinash and Aditi. The film released 7 years ago on this very day but honestly, every time it reruns on TV or one binges it on an OTT platform, it feels fresh out of the oven. Well, as the film celebrates its 7th anniversary, we decided to revisit the story of Naina and Bunny, but this time, from a different lens.
While Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani is extremely special to many millennials, to me, in particular, the film came across as a tale that may remain relevant and relatable even 10 years down the line. But even though Bollywood films project the male lead as the hero, for me, personally Naina, played by Deepika, was the ultimate hero. The simple story of a girl who is so caught up in her own complexities initially that she forgets to live, felt relatable right from the start. As she decides to take control of her life, Naina causes a ripple effect and brings a change in not just her life but even in Bunny’s.
So, without further adieu, here are 7 things that make Naina the ‘Full Hindi Film Hero’ in Bunny’s life and not the other way round:
1. Learns to take control of her life and live with guts
Let’s face it, for most of us, all decisions up to a certain age are influenced by what others want from us. Be it parents or peers or sometimes, even our own selves, we tend to not take our own calls and give the steering wheel of our life to someone else. Naina is seen exactly like this when her story begins. Until one day, Naina meets Aditi and feels she has had enough of the ‘padhai’ and wants to live like others. From that moment on, Naina becomes her own person and takes the first step towards taking control of her life. She refuses to follow the mundane routine and for once, jet off on a trip with complete strangers! Well, they say action speaks louder than words and with this one action, Naina surely has the guts that all Hindi film heroes claim to have!
2. Naina learns to live in the moment on the trip
Just like every girl next door stepping out for a solo trip with strangers for the first time, Naina too has jitters. She tries to hold on to her books even when she reaches Manali and fails to see the fun she can be a part of, by mingling with Bunny and his gang. However, as the trip progresses, she realises that if she has taken the guts to come out and break away from her normal life, she might as well live it to the fullest. Again, Naina embraces change and begins to have fun. The ability to accept change and embrace it, is what makes Naina deserving of being the hero.
3. Realises her self-worth
Naina, just like all of us, suffered from a tad bit of self-esteem issues. She felt she was too nerdy to be able to mingle with the crowd. But, when she is able to let go of her inhibitions and sees that she has actually made friends on her own, Naina realises her self-worth. This is where Bunny helps her in showing her the mirror and making her realise that she is her own person and can be whoever she chooses to be. Hence, a girl who learns to be her own champion, isn’t she worthy of being the hero?
4. Values other person’s dreams and isn’t selfish
Let’s face it, we’ve all seen from folktales and typical Bollywood films that heroes are supposed to be selfless, even when they know that it may hurt them. Naina too, in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, is the one who is selfless. She values Bunny and his dreams more than the desire to be with him. When Bunny gets into his desired university and his friends Avi and Aditi are sad, he starts having second thoughts about leaving. At that point, Naina is caught between confessing her feelings for him or letting him go. Despite knowing that letting her love go will hurt the most, Naina decides not to tell Bunny that she loves and reminds him in the moment of vulnerability that his dream is finally coming true and that he should pursue it, no matter what. Remember, your heart broke a little for her in that very moment when she hugs Bunny and lets him go for the first time? Well, being selfless and valuing someone else’s dream more than your desires is the stuff that only heroes can do and hence, Naina surely deserves the tag. At that moment, Naina became the hero for most of us.
5. Always available for her friends
Having superpowers doesn’t really make one a hero. If you are available for those who need you at the right time, you tend to become a hero at that moment. This is exactly what Naina was made of. Whether it was helping save Bunny, Avi and Aditi from goons during their trip or helping her best friend plan her wedding or being there for Bunny in the moment of vulnerability, Naina proves to be a true friend to all. She is the shoulder to cry on and the biggest cheerleader for her friends. Now, who wouldn’t agree that stuff like that, only typical Hindi film heroes are made of and hence, Naina surely hits home!
6. Lives by her decisions and has no regrets
As I went through Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani again, what came to my mind was the fact that Naina was someone who stood by her decisions in life and didn’t hold regret in her heart. Be it jetting off on a trip and missing studies, or letting go of Bunny for his dreams or not contacting him for 8 years until seeing him at Aditi’s wedding, Naina stood by each of her decisions and did not have any regrets. Even when she meets Bunny and they decide to go for sightseeing in Udaipur and he flaunts his life’s achievements, Naina continues to proclaim her love for simpler things in her life. She chooses to accept who she is and lives by it happily. Now, that surely is a quality that makes for a true hero. Isn’t it?
7. The maturity of letting go for a second time
Well, surely towards the end, Naina and Bunny decide to stay together and indeed, we get a typical Bollywood film, happy ending, but before that, Ms Talwar shows courage to acknowledge the fact that they both want different things in life and that none of them should be told to compromise on their dreams. When finally Bunny realises that he loves Naina and he confesses his feelings to her, Naina accepts his love. But, what she understands is that he has his desires and she has her dreams. Naina finds the courage to tell Bunny that things will not work out between them and even if they agree to be together, one of them will have to compromise. And that is something our mature Naina doesn’t want. Once again, we see her mustering her strength to let go of Bunny and tell him to go live his dreams while she returns to her own. The first time, heartbreak seems reparable, but for a second time choosing the hard way, is the stuff that only heroes do and hence, in Bunny’s own admission in the film, it wasn’t he who was the hero, it was Naina Talwar who was the hero of this classic romedy!
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