Ahana, as the girl using social media to deal with her breakup, is every girl ever. If we haven’t been there, we know someone like her. In many ways, it is through Ahana’s character that Kho Gaye Hum Kahan explore the effect of social media on this current generation. For all of us, Instagram is a way to send a message about the life we are leading, the places we are going to, or the food we are eating. In fact, this is how we like to tell people more about our personalities, including the jokes we like or even the causes we support. Ahana had her pulse on this means of communication, but she also fell victim to it. When her boyfriend, Rohan, asked her for a break, he barely gave her an explanation.
For Ahana, that had come out of nowhere. She did not know what he was thinking or what the future of the relationship would be. Therefore, her only way of keeping tabs on Rohan in the absence of any clarity was to continuously stalk him on social media. One might think that a picture of a cupcake is rather random, and there is no reason to get obsessed with it. But in relationships, partners often know one another’s social media habits. Ahana must have thought of it as suspicious only if Rohan was not in the habit of posting such pictures. Some may even question why she had to create a fake account to keep further tabs on the person Rohan was hanging out with. That is because Ahana did not want to come across as obsessive. It was a farce of the very ‘space’ that Rohan had asked her for. The problem here was that Rohan was the liar and the gaslighter, yet his manipulations made Ahana question herself. When he had asked Ahana for space, he never gave a reason as to whether he was doing it for his career or for sorting out some personal issues or any such thing. In such a case, how could Ahana have not doubted herself? The next thing she knew about him was that he was dating someone else. If Ahana had not been consumed with so much self-doubt, she would have realized that Rohan had cheated on her. Instead, she started comparing her life to that of the new girl Rohan was seeing.
Whether we like it or not, a significant presence on social media is seen as a sign of success. It is proof of collective validation and the presence of something aspirational in one’s life. Ahana came from a well-to-do and progressive family. She had an MBA and was extremely smart. Yet, she felt inadequate. In her office, Ahana was not getting the recognition she deserved. She did not have the kind of growth she wanted and was stuck in so many ways. Comparing it to the numbers on Rohan’s girlfriend’s social media, she could see that the girl was getting appreciation for every single picture, which was also translating into more money and opportunities. There is no denying that a career in social media comes with many pitfalls, but for someone as vulnerable as Ahana, common sense took a backseat.
When Ahana started posting more on her page, she got the instant likes and validation that made her feel seen and understood. When Rohan started commenting on her photos, Ahana felt as if she was winning back her relationship, the thing she had been unable to let go of. Ahana tried dating when she was single, but her heart wasn’t in it. She ignored her dates for the most part and only reacted when one of the guys said something about a lost spark in his previous relationship. This made Ahana think of Rohan, which is why she told off the guy for his lack of effort with his ex. Judging from this scene, maybe Ahana was thinking that she was working on the spark that Rohan had neglected to address. It did not occur to Ahana that by giving her this kind of attention, Rohan was cheating on his cupcake girlfriend. Ahana had gotten so addicted to the instant rush of dopamine brought on by temporary attention that she failed to look at the bigger picture, which was that Rohan was a cheater.
On the day after the wedding function, when Rohan left Ahana without a message and blocked her, reality hit her like a truck. She finally understood the kind of selfish man she was dealing with. That day, she confronts him about his behavior, and he only talks about his closure. Ahana admits that she felt at a loss after seeing the picture of his perfect life with his new girlfriend. She finally admits that it made her feel inadequate because she couldn’t understand the real reason why Rohan had made that choice. However, after Rohan’s actions, she realized that Rohan was just as insecure. He did not like seeing that Ahana had moved on successfully (as seen on her social media). This is why he spent the night with her, as his way of making sure that she hadn’t outgrown him. Once Ahana realized this, she knew that she had let herself down by attaching her value to a man like Rohan, and she said as much.
At the end of Kho Gaye Hum Kahan, Ahana tells Rohan’s new girlfriend that he cheated on her, and thankfully, good sense prevails in the girl, and she breaks up with Rohan. Since she is already an influencer, she has an idea about the imperfections behind the perfect pictures, so she probably won’t doubt her self-worth like Ahana did. She also has nothing to say to Ahana because the latter knew that she was helping Rohan cheat when she slept with him. Yes, her motivations came from a place of vulnerability, but that is not a good enough excuse. However, the culprit here is Rohan, because technically, he was the one who owed loyalty to his girlfriend. The girl leaves with grace, and as for Ahana, Imaad and Neil take some revenge for her by punching Rohan, as he deserved. Rohan won’t change, and he will continue to paint Ahana as the villain in the story. Ahana may also have some tough times ahead of her with her social circle since, technically, she helped in the cheating, but if nothing else, this entire experience taught her about learning to place her value in herself and not in the pictures people post online.