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Ishq Vishk – Revisited

Ishq Vishk – Revisited

Shanku Sharma

Ken Ghosh’s romantic film Ishq Vishk (2003) is a very special film. Even decades after its release, I feel its freshness. The cult and coming-of-age romantic film stressed unconditional and true love. It showed us the pure form of love. Without sermonising, Ghosh emphasised on Indian values, traditions and customs. The film also marked the screen debut of Shahid Kapoor and Amrita Rao. They exploded onto the screen with his romantic flick, which was about a group of college-goers.

Shahid Kapoor as Rajiv is an out-going spoilt-brat who wants a beautiful and classy girl. His childhood friend (class-cum-college mate) Payel (Amrita Rao) is traditional, wears Indian dresses and believes in not bunking classes (Rajiv always bunks classes). Despite her feelings for Rajiv, she decides not to speak up. She knows Rajiv will never accept her (after all, she is not his ‘type’). Things take a turn when Rajiv pretends to fall in love with her and proposes to her (his intention is to make love to her at an overnight picnic spot – his friend’s parents’ farmhouse). A simple Payel willingly accepts his proposal.

But, finding true love is rare. Payel gets the shock of her life when Rajiv starts touching her without her consent. Being a shy girl, she urges him to stop. She believes that one should not get physical without marrying each other. He however points out that a boyfriend can normally touch his girlfriend (even make love to her). She slaps him hard when he insults her for stopping him from making love. Rajiv believes he deserves the most beautiful girl in the college.

Enter Alisha (Shenaz Treasury) – a bold, beautiful, fashionable and stylish girl. The entire college falls in ‘love’ with Alisha, who normally wears shorts dresses. Unwilling to miss his ‘target’, Rajiv tries hard to woo her, and he succeeds in doing so. In addition, she too falls in love with the innocent-looking Rajiv. There, his bosom friend Mambo (Vishal Malhotra) tries hard to cheer Payel. But their seemingly closeness does not go well with Rajiv. He warns Mambo to ‘stay away from Payel’.

The entry of Alisha in Rajiv’s life makes life hard for Payel. On the other hand, Mambo’s proximity to Payel makes Rajiv feel insecure. Rajiv begins realising his love for Payel. Though he wants her back, Alisha wants Rajiv badly. Unable to control his feelings, Rajiv admits his love for Payel. A heart-broken Alisha makes way for Payel. Rajiv also comes to know that Mambo has nothing to do with Payel (they are just good friends).

Ishq Vishk ends on a very happy note. It makes us realise the value of true and pure love. Love does not mean a couple has to go on partying around. They can love each other without showing it off. In fact, Payel keeps fast for Rajiv (Kharwa Chauth scene – one the most emotional scenes in Ishq Vishk). Ishq Vishk is still fresh since it does not sermonise on love and friendship. True love finds its way out, says Rajiv (voice-over) in the end.

Disclaimer: The above review solely illustrates the views of the writer.

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