I recently gave my third speech at my Toastmasters Club and found the topic (suggested by my mentor) to be one of the most enjoyable topics I have ever spoken about. Therefore, I decided to share the longer version of the speech (which I had to cut down to fit the time limit) over here. I have made the speech more article-friendly, but if it still reads like a speech at some parts, I apologise in advance! The topic fits with my personality: life lessons from Jab We Met. So, here it is!
Jab We Met is more than just an ordinary romantic comedy to me. I am not lying – I’ve watched this movie over a hundred times. Back in the seventh grade, I was even labelled ‘Geet’ by my friends, ‘Geet’ being the crazy, bubbly protagonist of the film. In my capacity as ‘Geet’, I find it fitting to present three important life lessons that I learnt from Jab We Met, lessons that I hope you can all incorporate in your lives.
Lesson Number 1: Own Your Decisions
“Meri life jo bhi hogi, mujhe pata hoga ki meri wajeh se aisi hai. Toh I’ll be happy.” Geet says this when she is hiding on the terrace of her house with Aditya after a badly-planned attempt to run away from home. Her confident assertion that her decisions and consequences are her own to deal with is inspiring. Too often, we make decisions under duress and then blame the consequences on everybody else.
“I failed in college because my father made me take engineering.” “I started smoking only because my friends forced me to.” “I couldn’t study for my test because the neighbour’s music was playing too loudly.” Parents, friends, neighbours, the person sitting next to you in the bus, the situation: it always seems like everybody and everything is responsible for the consequences of our decisions except us! We should be sure of the decisions we make so that nobody else can sway us from them. If we aren’t sure of our own decisions, why should anybody else be?
Lesson Number 2: Love Yourself
Geet said, “Main apni favourite hoon.” I referred to this line in my first Toastmaster speech as well, saying that it is a mantra that I live by. Be your own favourite. Be the best version of yourself Geet was her own favourite person, and that honesty to her own personality is what fuelled her to keep going. She went about her life exactly the way she wanted to, without trying to follow somebody else. It was this attitude of hers that led to her being able to deal with her lover’s rejection of her as well. Throughout the movie, Geet is filled with love for everybody and everything around her. Such pure, untainted love for others is only possible if we love ourselves first. A little narcissism never hurt anybody. So go ahead, pull out that selfie stick, hold it up, and pull that duck face because you need to believe that you truly are the best.
Finally, the lesson that my friends (and I) believe I am best qualified to teach:
Lesson Number 3: Act like a Child
“Bacchon jaisi baatein karo!” Imagine a calm lake. You are sitting on a ledge above it, swinging your legs. Would you dive in, with no good reason? Sometimes, you should! Geet did! Sometimes, to unwind, you need to consult your inner child. We all have one. I resort to my inner child in all times of need. Sad over boy problems? Sing songs about heartbreak at the top of my voice! Happy? Share my chocolate with strangers I meet on the way! Annoyed? Write all my problems on paper and tear it up! In times of trouble, turn back the clock to more innocent days and be a kid again.
There are very few movies that stay with us long after the credits roll and the popcorn is over. Jab We Met is one such movie. It taught us three lessons: to own my decisions, love myself, and not lose my childishness. Sometimes people might find these lessons hard to accept and ask you, like Aditya asked Geet, “Kyun khel rahe ho apne zindagi ke saath?” – “Why are you playing with your life?” And like Geet, you should reply, “Kyunki ye mera favourite game hai, zindagi!”