It is no surprise that I am an ardent Bollywood fan but my utter adoration for fantastical Bollywood began with Karan Johar’s directorial debut- Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. I simply love EVERY SINGLE SCENE in the film. One thing that I still do after watching a film is ask myself a hypothetical question- If I was the director, would I have done anything differently? I still ask myself this question whenever I see KKHH and I always come up with 3 answers-‘Nope, Nada, Never!’
In spite of being a voracious reader and a Bollywood buff, I must confess I have never really felt the urge to re-read a novel or re-watch a film in the theatre, but my reaction to KKHH is definitely an anomaly. I saw that movie twice in the theatre within the same week. The first time was with my parents, the second time I blackmailed my grandparents with the collective power of Kinjal and my ‘puppy face’ and we succeeded in convincing them to take us along. In fact, I was determined to watch it a third time, but our collective tears and tantrums did not work this third time and we were soundly reprimanded for being manic fans.
After 20 years, I am still crazily in love with the film and as a tribute to the first time I fell head over heels in love with SRK and Bollywood, without further ado I shall launch into the 10 reasons why I am a fervid fan of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and continue to be smitten by it even after 2 decades!
1. Romance galore
KKHH is redolent of heart-melting romance. The most enigmatic couple – SRK and Kajol come together in this film and the screen literally sizzles with their on-screen chemistry as friends and as lovers. There is oodles of ‘dosti wala love’ and ‘takrar turning into pyaar’ scenario, coupled with a cute college crush story and love at first sight all rolled into one great film! The love triangle is modelled on Archie- Betty- Veronica and I loved the Indian version of these iconic characters. Whether it is the mushy romance between Rahul and Tina or the mature love between a grown up Anjali and Rahul, I can’t help but sigh like an utter romantic whenever I see them on screen.
The romantic rain waltz between Rahul and Anjali needs special mention and its own collage. That sensuous ball dance! Oh my god- this scene most definitely gives me the feels!
2. Dialogues to die for
KKHH has so many memorable dialogues that even after 2 decades, they are as fresh in my mind like a conversation I had a few minutes ago! Here’s a list of some of the most lovable dialogues which are my absolute favourite-
1. On being quizzed about love while analysing Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in Ms. Briganza’s English class, Rahul says:
‘Pyaar dosti hai, agar woh meri sab se achchi dost nahin ban sakti toh main usse pyaar kar hi nahi sakta. (Love is friendship; if she can’t be my best friend then I can never love her.)
2. When Rahul falls in love with Tina and confesses about his feelings to his best friend Anjali, he says the eponymous dialogue:
‘Kuch hota hai Anjali, tum nahin samjhogi.’ (Something happens Anjali, you won’t understand)
3. Rahul professes his love for Tina in the cutest way possible when he climbs into her bedroom one night :
‘Ek mard ka sir sirf teen auraton ke saamne jhukta hai. Ek apni ma ke saamne, ek durga ma ke saamne aur….. (A man bows his head only in front of three women – in front of his own mother, in front of Goddess Durga and…..) and then he bows his head in front of Tina and without words it’s obvious that he wants her to be his wife!
4. When Anjali decides to leave Camp Sunshine with her fiancé Aman, the adorable sardarji kid who remains stoically silent throughout the film says just one line that can even melt the most hardened of hearts:
Tussi ja rahe ho? Tussi na jao. (You are leaving? Please don’t go)
3. Mind blowing makeover
I have a penchant for the makeover trope in films and KKHH has a lovely makeover scene where Rahul reminiscences his childhood bff, the tom-boyish Anjali, but his words are juxtaposed with images of Anjali who is adorned in resplendent traditional jewellery and attire- kohl lined eyes, ebony long hair and all! I am bedazzled by Anjali’s beauty every single time I see this scene and can’t help but chuckle loudly when I think about what’s in store for a sorely misinformed Rahul!
4. Chortling comedy
There are plenty of comedic scenes that crack you up and balance out the emotional scenes in the film. The silly fights between Rahul and Anjali in college, the flagrant and constant flirtation between Mr. Malhotra and Ms. Briganza, the banter between Almeida (Johnny Lever), the camp’s manager and Rahul’s widowed mother Mrs. Khanna (Farida Jalal) at Camp Sunshine. I can’t help but laugh and fall deeper in love with these lovable characters.
5. Totally adorbs child artistes
Talented child artistes can liven up any film and this film has two super adorable kids. One is junior Anjali played by Sana Saeed and the other is the perpetually silent sardarji kid played by Parzan Dastur. Anjali is unabashedly charming and forthright and the sardarji is cuteness overload while he counts stars and mimes his feelings. Camp Sunshine has so many kids and the merry picture that they create elevates the feel good quotient of the film.
6. Coolest college ever
I must confess at the risk of sounding stupidly naïve that for a brief period of time, I truly believed that in real life too college would be as wonderful, colourful and eventful like the St. Xavier’s college shown in KKHH. Mr. Johar definitely elevated expectations and breathed life into a very romantic notion of college life. I mean, how beautiful and vibrant does the college look! If only my college life would be half as entertaining as the St. Xavier’s of KKHH fame! Sigh!
7. Chic clothes that created a fashion statement
I definitely want to give a standing ovation to Mr. Manish Malhotra and Mr. Karan Johar for literally creating the coolest college attire collection. Tina’s outfits are ritzy, Anjali’s tom boy look replete with bangs, colourful cloth hair bands, bright jackets and the androgynous overalls are so endearing. My brother, after watching the film, was adamant about buying Polo and DKNY t-shirts because, well, we all know how cool and undeniably hot Rahul looked when he wore those brands.
Anjali’s post college look, where she wore pastel monochrome diaphanous sarees reifies the fact that sarees have the transformative power to make a woman look elegant. KKHH gave serious fashion goals and even today, the outfits look as snazzy as ever! Last but not the least- who would have ever thought that a white salwar and bandhni dupatta would look so ethereal as it did on Anjali!
8. The Coolness Quotient
The film is unbeatable when it comes to the coolness quotient. We have a summer camp, a happening talk show called The Neelam Show, we have trendy friendship bands, a bhajan song with a twist that sounds like a rap song (Remember Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram Remix?) and the finger snapping when Tina gives it back to Rahul and Co. when they attempt to rag her is sooo cool, I have no words! Atta girl!
9. ‘Aww’ worthy moments
The film is generously peppered with moments that simply melt your heart into a puddle. The iconic scenes are so overwhelming that for want of words, the only utterance that can do justice to the rush of emotions that course through me is ‘awwwwwww!’
Here is a quick list of ‘aww’ worthy moments in KKHH-
- The signature clap, playful tap on the nose followed by a head bump, (I bet you could hear the whistling tune in your head while you read this!) is the cutest friendship gesture I have ever seen. Enamoured by it, Kinjal and I tried to come up with our own version of a cool handshake but nothing trumps this one!
2. The dramatic farewell scene at the railway station where Anjali stands at the door tearfully bidding Rahul farewell and flings her bright red bandhni dupatta in the air! Aah, I never thought this simple farewell could become so iconic! I confess at the risk of sounding crazy that I bought a white salwar kameez and borrowed my mom’s red dupatta and re-enacted that scene so many times!
3. Rahul’s dramatic entry in camp sunshine and the great re-union where a myriad of emotions cross Rahul’s face is so beautiful! He is shocked, surprised, pleased, embarrassed, amazed and smitten within a span of a few minutes when he comes face to face with Anjali after eight long years! The awkward hi, the bag slipping from his hand, the unshed tears, the goof up in their signature gesture, everything about that scene is so overwhelming.
4. How can I leave out the last climactic confession scene between Rahul and Anjali? The starry night sky, the lovelorn bride and the misearble lover! KKHH gives us not one but two confession scenes and I think both of them are equally ‘aww’ worthy- the confession in Tina’s bedroom as well as the one on Anjali’s rooftop are heart -warming and never fail to give me the warm fuzzies! Rahul needs no words to tell Anjali that he loves her. He simply acts it out and his eyes just say it all.
Salman Khan as Aman was simply awesome when he realises that loving someone also means to let go and finally Rahul and Anjali’s clumsy hug in the end where they are laughing and crying at the same time is sooo emotional and heart-warming that even after re-watching that scene countless times, my eyes turn moist. How fantabulous is their chemistry! And such fantastic actors!
10.Music that creates magic
The music of KKHH depicts all the hues of love and converts the myriad human emotions into the most beautiful lyrics penned by Sameer. Stalwarts like Alka Yagnik, Udit Narayan, Kumar Sanu and Kavita Krishnamurthy lend their voice to create sheer magic. It is a rare phenomenon where every song in a film can leave a lasting impression and the music album of KKHH manages to do just that. The songs composed by Jatin-Lalit are a collection of youthful frolic, romantic numbers, emo- heart break song and the Johar mandate- foot tapping wedding dance number as well!
I hope that my unceasing and exuberant gushing about Kuch Kuch Hota hai rubs off on you guys and rouses you enough to re-watch this classic Bollywood film! Keep Binging on all things Bollywood and wait up for next FriYay to know the third and final film that will be a part of the triad of #TBTClassicBollywoodFilm!