Since the time actress Dia Mirza stepped into the industry in 2001, life has taken her down wondrous paths. She is not only an actress now but a producer, a UNEP Goodwill Ambassador, a Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Advocate, a wife and a mother. Today as her debut film ‘Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein’ completes 20 years, she goes into nostalgia mode.
As she looks back at her debut, many memories come rushing back, “‘Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein’ has been a huge learning for me and I have been fortunate enough to be a part of it. The movie has gone on to become a cult film. Its songs are still danced on to and are so popular. This just shows how many people still identify with the film and have fond memories while recollecting it.
As an artiste, what’s the major takeaway in these past 20 years? “The 20 years of being an artiste for the Hindi film industry have taught me the importance of remaining grounded, having humility, growing as an individual, learning and giving back authenticity and real-life experiences to the craft and to all the characters one can play,” she adds.
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"Every year around this time, I remember the moments I spent on the sets of ‘Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein’. This film was my introduction to a new creative journey and also to the industry. I am very grateful that both the film and the people I worked with made me believe that I had chosen the right path. Even though I was a young girl who had not even travelled abroad before venturing out to win the Miss Asia Pacific Crown, this film and its cast and crew, made me feel that I belonged," says Mirza.
The character of Reena Malhotra also remains a personal favourite because Dia identified with her innate poise and dignity. She says, ''Two decades before (this character had) the kind of gender lens that we apply to female characters now. This girl knew how to stand her ground and refused to be intimidated or bullied. And of course, the film's music was and is so soul-filling. I guess, so many fans look back at this film with nostalgia because we are no longer making musical love stories. ‘Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein’, its songs and dialogues take people back to a sweeter, simpler era. That I guess explains the lasting appeal of the film."
Over the past 20 years, the film has garnered unimaginable love and Dia says it is always extremely gratifying to meet people who have their own RHTDM story to share with her. People even continue to enjoy the music from the film. "Watching videos of people singing, dancing and performing the songs of ‘Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein’ makes us feel like the movie released yesterday. What a privilege for an actor to be a part of this kind of love," Mirza fondly adds.
Directed by filmmaker Gautham Menon, the film also starred actor R. Madhavan opposite Mirza along with actor Saif Ali Khan as the second lead. It was produced by Vashu Bhagnani under the banner of Pooja Entertainment.