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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) – help me complete the story!

Kuch Kuch Hota Hai Yes, you did read correctly. I’ve seen this movie thrice and realised that each time I’ve been fobbed off with an incomplete tale. The missing part has been bothering me for the last 10 years and I’ve finally decided to do something about it. If Karan Johar wont tell it to the world, I WILL! Before we go any further, though, I should warn you about spoilers. If you are the one person in the world who hasnt yet seen the film (and dont want it to be spoiled for you), now is the time to stop reading. Also:
**********Very long post Alert! Poll Ahead.**********
A quick recap of the story before I point out the missing bits: Rahul (Shahrukh Khan) and Anjali (Kajol) are best friends in college when a new girl in their class, Tina (Rani Mukherjee), upsets the cosmic balance. Tina is everything that Anjali is not – she is feminine while Anjali is tomboyish, she is cute and sexy while Anjali is “one of the guys”. Even more important for Rahul, she never even tries to beat him at basketball, something that Anjali does with ease. It doesnt take Rahul long to fall for Tina. Poor clueless Anjali - it takes Rahul’s practise proposal (yes the jerk actually practices on Anjali for his proposal to Tina!) for her to realise how much she loves Rahul. Too late! Rahul and Tina decide to get married. A heartbroken Anjali leaves college and Rahul-Tina’s lives.

Fast forward 1-2 years -Tina dies in childbirth, leaving behind a sad Rahul and a daughter - Anjali. Fast forward some more years and baby Anjali is now annoying brat Anjali who gets regular letters from her Mom every year. Yes, Tina may have died unexpectedly in childbirth but she still managed to write several letters to her daughter and arrange for them to be doled out one letter per year. In her letters, she asks Anjali to get Rahul and his ex-friend Anjali together, since they were teenage BFF and deserve to be together as adults. Anjali sets out on her quest, and of course, accomplishes it in 2 hrs flat! It helps that grown-up Anjali has grown to be terribly feminine, chic and easily defeated at basket ball by Rahul – she has changed but Rahul’s preferences have obviously NOT.
Which brings me to the missing part. The missing years in Anjali’s life, the decade between tomboy Anjali and butterfly Anjali. How did the transformation take place? Did she get Styled By Jury, get advise on What Not To Wear? Or did she audition for Indian Idol? Neither of the above. Anjali just lived and grew up and yes, FELL IN LOVE. How do I know? Coz Anjali told me about those missing years in her life. She is very upset with KJo for depicting her as someone who spent 10 years pining away for a teenage crush and then almost settled for Salman! So here is Anjali’s story, in her own words:
         I came home from college heartbroken at Rahul’s marriage. Back at home, there was no time to pine. By the time I got home, Dad had passed away and Mom needed all my support. Dad’s investments hadnt been productive recently, and the family fortunes were dwindling. So I was too busy worrying over finances and job-hunting to have time to be properly heartbroken!
         Luckily for me, Dad’s boss was willing to take me on as a trainee in his ad agency. And thats where I met Raj – he was handsome, mature (in outlook, not age!), caring and always opened doors for me. In short, he was everything that Rahul was NOT! Maybe it was the result of the new “professional” wardrobe Maa had insisted I buy. Maybe it was because he and I hadnt spent years hand-wrestling. Whatever the reason, to him I was never “one of the guys”.
              One evening, I ran into Raj in Archies Gallery, browsing for birthday cards. We began chatting and continued over a cup of coffee. That chance meeting led to meetings by arrangement and very soon I realised that he was becoming the friend that I had lost in Rahul and more, MUCH more! And when he gifted me a Shahrukh poster (from Archies) on my birthday, I knew he loved me too. When Raj’s Mom came over to our place to meet me and talk to Mum about our marriage, I was over the moon! Mum wasnt too keen on an ad-agency damaad, but changed her tune when she met Raj.
      A lovely wedding and three happy years followed. Raj and I lived happily ever after - snuggling, bickering, dreaming grand dreams, having fun. Sadly, our happy life was cut short by one drunk truck driver behind the wheel of a speeding truck. The doctors said that Raj died instantly, without any pain. But there was no end to my pain. All our dreams of the future, our shared laughter, our planned children, all lost in a moment. My best friend gone for ever!
        As they say, life goes on. Mama refused to let me give up, and my job was a big help. When Mala Aunty pushed me to work at their annual summer camp for children, I agreed just to stop her nagging. It was something that I soon came to look forward to, though. The children were fun and kept me too busy to think about anything else. And then there was Aman… But you know all about him and how I met Rahul again, and about darling little Anjali.
To each their own. Personally, I’d rather stay away from step daughters of the Anjali breed, but then, the two Anjalis perhaps bond over their shared name and Tina’s letters!
Thats the missing part that I wish KJo had also filmed, back then. If only wishes were horses… But I AM going to film this, at least in my fantasies, and you will help me. Lets assume its early 2000s and the film has to be cast, who would you choose to play Raj? Here’s a list of my favorite candidates (in no particular order).
Aamir Khan: My favorite 90s romantic leading man – he certainly had the looks and by late 90s, even the acting chops for it. This would be the kind of role he's never attempted and we all know how much Aamir loves a challenge!
Akshay Kumar: Yes, this Khiladi Kumar, CAN do the sensitive, mature, romantic lead. Check him out in Yeh Dillagi where he carried it off so well! AND he is soooooo good looking, too. No I am not getting carried away, the script does require a good looking Raj!
Saif Ali Khan: My favorite 2000s leading man, he sure can act and once Dil Chaahta Hai happened, he magically had the looks, too! Though his career hasnt exactly been littered with roles distinguished for their mature and sensible character, I am sure Chhote Nawab is capable of playing something other than the clueless but adorable idiot he specialises in.
Hrithik Roshan: The looks, he has them in plenty, and his dancing skills are to die for. Who needs acting from such a pretty face? Not ME! :-D Not that I think he is a complete slouch in the acting department, but one forgets the need for that when faced with that fair-and-lovely face.
Abhishek Bachchan: The dark horse. Not in the same league acting-wise as Saif or looks-wise as Hrithik, but there is something about him that is soooo appealing. Also, he has previous experience in the kind of role we are casting - he did the mature, loving boyfriend/hubby in Hum Tum so well. Plus, he seems like a fun guy to hang out with - definitely boy friend material back in the early 2000s, wouldnt ya say?

Which of these according to you, would make the best Raj? Anybody else you’d choose to sweep Anjali off her feet? Do cast your vote – we need to get my fantasy prequel/sequel cast as quickly as possible!


  1. That whole Salman thing really does stack the deck in Rahul's favor, doesn't it?

    I vote for young Abhishek. Actually, I vote for a version in which Rahul realizes he's in love with Anjali, and she then discovers that Raj is really alive, but was horribly injured/paralyzed/etc.

    Sort of like Yeh Vaada Raha, only instead of evil relatives, he himself decided to make her believe he was dead, so she could get on her life and not be burdened with his troubles. (Noble martyr alert!) Fortunately, his experimental treatment in a Swiss clinic has made him all better!

    So Anjali and Raj live happily ever after, leaving Rahul with the valuable lesson that if you're a clueless idiot who doesn't know your own mind, you won't get the girl with the sparkly earrings.

  2. *chanting* Ak-shay Ak-shay Ak-shay! I think he comes into the picture, saves her from some Eve-teasing in approved style, and then never flirts with her mom, ever, which instantly wins her heart. (I'm not convinced Salman and Reema weren't carrying on an affair behind Kajol's back. Okay, just kidding. Kind of.)

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  4. What a hilarious post, you certainly brought up ideas i never thought about while watching the movie, i think she probably watched lots of What not to wear and perhaps got a year's subscription of Elle and the like

    I'd vote hands down for Aamir too, if not him perhaps Anil Kapoor

  5. haha, this post was hilarious. My vote would have to go with Saif Ali Khan, mostly because I just adore this guy. After seeing him in Omkara, I'm pretty much convinced that he can play any role he wants, so someone mature like Raj would be no problem for him :-)

  6. bollyviewer, you've such a brilliant imagination! This was good fun, but I can't figure out whom to pick for Raj... Akshay, I think. Hrithik and Saif look a little too young (and somehow I'll always associate Hrithik with playing Kajol's daamaad in K3G); early Abhishek isn't quite my cup of tea; and I can't see Aamir die! So Akshay it is - and I think he was so good opposite Kajol in Yeh Dillagi.

  7. I had to go away and give this some serious thought. I always wondered what happened to Anjali, but your synopsis is much much more exciting that what I'd imagined. I think dustedoff had some good points, but I'm split on my vote. I'm thinking either Abhishek. I totally picture Abhiskek as the gentlemanly kind of romantic, the one that opens doors, buys you flowers, stands up for a ladies honor. Though I would believe Saif buying a Shah Rukh poster over any of the others!

  8. oh, I forgot the other half. I was initially thinking of someone else, but then decided just to stick with Abhishek.

  9. Aamirian I am. But still, I would vote for Saif Ali Khan. :) I think the sparks of him will suit the Raj character perfect. And I loved both Kajol and Saif chemistry in past. :)

    You know what? when u asked how did she done makeover ... I was desperate to put Indian Idol in comment. :) But find out that in very next para, haha.

    Absolutely hilarious post yaar. The screencaps punchlines are fantastic. BTW, how on earth can you capture such Gorgeous screencaps??????

  10. Everybody, thanks for playing along.

    Anarchivist, yes, the Salman thing totally stacks the deck in Rahul's favor!

    Love your scenario. So Abhishek comes out of the Swiss clinic looking like Aamir/Akshay/Saif/Hrithik? That would explain why Anjali doesnt recognise him and ends up with Rahul! Once she realises that she's committed bigamy (bi-andry?) she chucks hubby #2 and runs back to Raj! Or no, wait, Raj turns up just as Aman has finished sacrificing and Rahul thinks he's about to be wed. So then, Rahul lands up making a noble speech while Anjali-Raj walk off into the sunset! :-D

    ajnabi, lol. You are so right! I bet Salman and Reema have had this thing going since MPK and once Anjali swans off with Rahul, the two finally get together.

    theBollywoodFan, I wonder why am I not surprised by your choice? ;-)

    Left to me, Anjali would have been played by Juhi rather than Kajol - but then I cant imagine anybody choosing someone else (even Rani) over Juhi, so maybe we shouldnt meddle with the cast! Even better than being the doctor, I think Juhi comes in at the end (in Anarchivist's scenario and my extrapolation from it, above) when Anjali leaves Rahul and Aman broken-hearted. They take one look at her and forget their heartbreak in trying to win her!

    bollywooddeewana, I'd totally forgotten Anil Kapoor! Early 2000s Anil Kapoor is such a great romantic lead, too.

    just another frog, thanks! And yay! for more Saif fans. :-D

    dustedoff, this post just reflects how much time I spend on romances and trying to "improve" them!

    By the way, Hrithik was Kajol's devar (not damaad) in K3G, she hasnt got to the mother-in-law stage yet!

    shell, it IS kind of hard to imagine Anjali just pining away for Rahul for 10 years! She isnt exactly shown to be a doormat. So, if she met Aman (and I am totally with Anarchivist on Aman being Salman just stacking the deck in favor of Rahul), surely she could have met someone else more interesting, too.

    Darshit, glad you enjoyed it!

    For the screencaps, VLC player is the secret, my friend. That, plus lots of determination, perseverence and hardwork! ;-) Actually, I land up taking hundreds of screencaps per movie and then spend hours sorting through them for the best ones.

  11. Ooh *slaps head*, what was I thinking of? Yes, devar, not daamaad. Am going more than a little berserk.

  12. I vote for Saif too. And I love that picture of him.

  13. hehe dustedoff, what or rather, who is driving you beserk? Could it be someone called Muzaffar Jang?

    Cindy and Stella, Saif seems to be winning this particular battle! :-)

  14. Great STory!
    You should become a script writer or something!
    I'm all for Abhishek Bachchan!

  15. Awesome post!

    I vote Aamir (Fanaa-chemistry in 90's fashion? yes please!) or Saif (who would be legally obligated to get a haircut in order to get the role .. his 90's mullet was quite something).

  16. harvey, thanks! If I ever become a scriptwriter, KKHH isnt the only script I'd love to rewrite! ;-)

    veracious, Saif's mullet was completely out by 2000. He had pretty normal hair in Kya Kehna (2000) if I remember correctly. And the best thing is that back then he was completely bandanna-free!

  17. bollyviewer: If I'd seen your comment yesterday, I'd have said no, not Muzaffar Jang. Today, I'm not so sure - I've just been told I have to go on round 2 of the book tour. Aarrgghh! Promises to be very tiring - and one invariably meets some real loonies at the book events.

  18. From what your said of your last one, I can imagine it being very tiring! What sort of loonies did you encounter? Just people who'd ask silly questions and not let go, or some really crazy people? (By the way, in Canada a $1 coin is called a loonie, so finding loonies isnt a bad thing out here!)

  19. Unfortunately, the loonies I encountered were the Indian type, not the Canadian! Here's an example: at the Kolkata launch, the people at the venue (Oxfordbookstore) arranged for someone to be in conversation with me at the event. She was a writer and academician, and apparently thought her job was to analyse the book, not promote it. So she spent 1/2 hr telling me - in front of the entire audience - how I should have written the book. And she gave away major chunks of the plot. "So-and-so was a fascinating character. So why did you kill them off after just one scene?" Yeah. That helps encourage other people to buy the book, I'm sure.

    And then there was someone in Chennai who said, "This fiction is only hobby. Now that you have done so much research, you should write a book analysing the downfall of the Mughal empire and its causes." Telling him that there are dozens of historians who're light-years ahead of me in that field, didn't have an effect.

    I hope this round is easier!

  20. Hi Bollyviewer,
    My choice is Ajay, yep, Kajol's present hubbie! IF the sequel/missing bit was shot, I'd love to see about how he'd assert himself as the only one who died bravely for his beloved!
    Ha! why not have a lil fun now n'then?
    cheers, and thanx for the laugh!

  21. dustedoff, you seem to have struck gold in the loonies department! Maybe the Oxford Books people should have given her a hint that the book was a mystery - then she may have noticed the suspense when reading the book.

    "This fiction is only a hobby" - sounds like the guy has very weighty and full-time hobbies. Maybe you should have asked him his!

    Yves, haha. Dying bravely for his beloved is something so few excel at! I thought about Ajay too, but since he has already consoled a heartbroken Kajol (Pyar To Hona Hi Tha), I thought I'd let the guy live in peace for a while! ;-)

  22. Love ur imagination!!! I wud vote for Saif.
    I have watched this movie so many times, catch a glimpse here and there everytime it comes on tv. I'm going to narrate this tale to whoever is with me when I watch this movie next ;-)

  23. Aaaaah! I'm super late to the game, but I agree with everyone that this is a great story that should be made - and I'm embarrassed to admit that despite many times through KKHH, Anjali: The Missing Years had never occurred to me. I am pleased that my intended vote for Saif was magically counted and he won :)

  24. Yay! More Saif-lovers!!!! :-)

    Archana, thanks, so much. I must admit that I switch channels when I see it on TV - if my SRK+Kajol loving friends are not around. :-)

    Beth, I have thought of nothing BUT the missing years - anything to tone down the blatant sexism of the story and turn into a movie that I would find romantic!

  25. KKHH is one of those things that I like despite knowing full well that it is offensive in some major and important ways. I'm not sure why I am able to overlook them - it's not like I'm a huge sucker for SRK-Kajol. Maybe I was just too overwhelmed by its sugar bomb of gooey love (I saw it very early on in my Bolly-watching career and apparently haven't recovered!).

  26. Okay, now Beth, If I were you, I really wouldn't worry about that too much: you see, all that goo might even be good for you!!!

  27. hehe Beth, for me it would take the combined charms of Shashi+Sharmila to overlook the objectionable aspects of KKHH. SRK+Kajol just dont suffice!

    Yves, dont tell me you have a secret fondness for KKHH, too. I feel so alone in not liking it!

  28. Lol! "a secret fondness for KKHH" wonderful!! No, not any more; lie reassured!! But like Beth, it was *there* when I first discovered Bollywood, you couldn't escape it! And I have to confess Kajol's charm(s) were very infectious!
    Do you know, I've always had an unreserved admiration for SRK, because he doesn't come from any known cinema family, and had to fight his way through on his own.
    So, there you are, I can't completely regret the open-eyed fan I used to be, and that I still am, up to a certain extent!

  29. Oh yes, I've always admired SRK for being the self-made star that he is, too. I just wish he'd make intelligent films more often than just once or twice a decade!

  30. hey dude/gal (as the case may be)..dunno bother yourself with Karan Johar and ShahRukh Khan's films..if indian audience werent lacking in taste to the extent they do, these idiots would not have earned a penny of wealth or of reading ur reviews specially of kalyug..its a masterpiece..and the shots u have pasted helped me understand the movie even more...

  31. "if indian audience werent lacking in taste to the extent they do"

    Thats a bit harsh, Pessimist, considering that its the same audience that makes a Vishal Bhardwaj or a Shyam Benegal a success! And what is wrong with liking an entertaining film?

    I am glad you like Kalyug (assuming that you're referring to the Shyam Benegal one from the 80s) - it certainly is a lovely film. But I havent posted a review of it - you probably saw it on another blog.

  32. I'm so happy that Saif Ali Khan won!

    I watched "Yeh Dillagi" a couple of days ago and thought it's a shame that Saif and Kajol didn't end up together (or at least do another good movie in which they do wind up together).

    Saif and Kajol really are yummy pair. =)

  33. Didnt they get together in Hamesha? Though of course, it probably doesnt qualify as a good film! :-D

  34. I am glad to see u dont like KKHH ;My friendzz wuld consider it blasphemy!!!
    with the exception of Kal ho na ho i dont find K J--SRK movies that much.
    Indian audience has a reasonably good taste in films .
    Some times i wonder a good film dosnt do that well and some times a bad film becomes a hit ...karma i guess
    E.g Shashi's PP AND BENAZIR

  35. themuse, we are clearly long-lost twins! :D I do wonder why Benazir did not do better - maybe it isn't as loud as Pakeezah? Or maybe Meena Kumari did not obligingly die within a few weeks of it's release? Prem Patra, of course, is so lacking in the theatrics department that I'm surprised anyone thought it would do well. If they'd had Shashi-Sadhana reborn and uniting in their second lives, there might've been a chance! ;D

  36. You are hilarious ! You do put some funny sense in nonsense hindi movies ! Accidentally came across your post, since I never understood what people saw in this movie, I like your fill in the gap angle...

    Keep writing.

  37. I would go for a sequel.Anjali and Rahul get married.18 years later little Anjali grows up to be Aliya Bhatt.Her male lead is FAwad Khan but Anjali has her child hood crush on Salman khan Aman.Who is still not married and heart broken over other Anjali.The rest is for you to decide