The opening sequence where nurses in a hospital bring together a baby girl and boy makes it clear to the viewer that the two are destined to be together.
Showcasing the swinging 60’s, the first story begins on a Poona train bound to Bombay, where struggling musician Govind invariably jumps into starlet Rukhsar’s coach. Besotted with each other from the word go, their love story develops silently. The Charlie Chaplin like humour, the costumes, the detailing – is all very appealing. Art director Muneesh Sappel’s thorough research of the era, shows in the cars and trams used and the British influence in buildings like the Britannia Guest House, Watson Studios, etc.
The love story soon faces a misunderstanding, and before the viewer can see the turn of events, the movie transitions to present day, England.
In 2012, the age of Twitter, Blackberry and Facebook – students of different universities – Krish and Radha bump into each other. Krish, who is having a horrible time on his birthday because of a breakup with college girlfriend, ironically named Meera, ends up finding an instant connect with Radha.
The era is very interestingly portrayed by effective use of chat screens/facebook pages to showcase Krish and Radha’s growing chemistry. Once again, with a sudden twist, the love story comes to an abrupt halt.
The last story is set in Sargoda, Lahore in 1910. Casanova Javed encounters Punjabi girl Aradhana while escaping from English policemen. The ‘Shayar’ in him meets his match and falls hard for her. He goes out of the way to prove his love for her with foolish bravado, but ends up getting thrown into jail. Drawn by fate, Aradhana visits him every day.
In this period of struggle, a Hindu-Muslim union looks highly unlikely, and the two are faced with a separation, when Aradhana is married off to somebody else by her father. The entire village of Sargoda was recreated on a plot of land in Madh Island, Mumbai, with once again, heavy attention to details.
Shahid and Priyanka both effortlessly slip into the shoes of each character, showing a lot of versatility. While Shahid does his best as Javed in the 1910 story spouting shayaris at the drop of a hat with panache, Priyanka looks and acts her best as Rukhsar, in the 1960 story in a coy, Asha Parekh outlook. The chemistry between the two, strengthened by effective dialogues, is wonderful.
The plot visibly slows down after the interval. Many scenes are unconvincing, especially in the 1910 story – which also has one song too many.
At this point, one wonders – where are the three stories going? It is clear the movie is not about reincarnation. Thankfully, there is no melodrama of remembering each other from a past life. The viewer’s question is answered when all the three stories are simultaneously brought to their logical, but expected conclusions.
As a part of Krish’s public declaration of love, he says “Honestly, I don’t know when you happened to me.” This line successfully sums up the objective behind ‘Teri Meri Kahaani’ – that soul mates inevitably find each other. Predictable, but beautifully told, ‘Teri Meri Kahaani’ is for die-hard romantics.