Many things connect me to the story and characters of Dil Chahta Hai. The movie reflects my wanderlust, relationship with my friends, love for Goa and makes me nostalgic about more youthful days of my life.
The release of the movie in 2001 coincided with me becoming independent by getting full-time employment with Aaj Tak two years earlier. I was 23 years old and had just completed my post-graduation like the three characters of the movie. I remember viewing the movie for the first time at Eros Cinema in South Mumbai's Churchgate with my college friends. We came out of the cinema hall comparing ourselves with the characters, discussing who could be who amongst us. I found within myself elements of all the three prime characters. Back then, I was as fun-loving like Akash, idiosyncratic like Sameer & sentimental like Sid.
In the following years, I undertook many journeys to Goa and beyond which mirrored the fun and bonding that three friends in the movie had. Such tours continued till the time me and my friends relinquished our bachelorhood & became "family men". Goa had been a holiday destination for youngsters since decades but DCH reinforced its appeal. Even now, whenever I visit Goa, I never miss to spend sometime at the Vagator beach which is overlooked by Chapora Fort where Preeti Zinta says at the end of the movie - "Hum Har saal Goa ayenge".
I have seen this movie umpteen number of times & everytime I watch it, I am taken back to those good old days where life was all about work, fun and friendship. The movie persists to be my all time favourite and for me no party is complete if the dance number " Koi Kahe Kehta Rahe Kitna bhi Humko Deewana..." penned by Javed Akhtar is not played.