It’s been twenty years since KJo entered into our lives, via a sugary, syrupy malady called ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’. Life has never been the same, since then. This article decodes the movie from the POV of a person who loved the movie when he was a teen. He saw the movie recently again and got the shock of his life. Read on to know why…
As I leisurely surfed the TV channels, the movies section showed the name ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’. Suddenly a creepy feeling ran through my marrows. And a barrage of memories started hitting me like the torrential rains of monsoon. For the most part of it, it wasn’t a good memory or as it seems today, it was rather embarrassing. It brought back so many things that one would find awkward to discuss. But what the heck, let me tell you my story of KKHH destroying an entire generation.
It started with me listening to the songs on the radio, while getting my hair the royal treatment of Baati cut, at the neighbourhood saloon. In those days, Screen was the newspaper devoting a major section of their material to large size film posters and usually, those adorned the walls of the saloon. Being enamoured with a large-sized SRK flanked by two lovely ladies, I came back home and kept pestering my mother to get me the audio cassette of this film, which had a fancy acronym – KKHH. After my repeated attempts to convince her about me scoring good marks in the end term exam (yes, I know, I was that lousy !), she got me the cassette.
This was in 1998 and among all square shaped and sharp-edged T-series and Venus branded audio cassettes cases, Sony Music came up with a slick looking and rounded edged case. It contained the cassette and also a glossy booklet, which had pictures of the star cast and the lyrics printed over it. In those days, the only way to impress the opposite sex was to be able to recite song lyrics perfectly, in Antaksharis. (Lame, I know!) To keep up with the ever-emerging competition, one had to stoop lower by adopting means of stopping the song midway and scribble the lyrics on the last page of a notebook. So this glossy page of lyrics was a godsend. I went crazy and delved into deeper regions of craziness by listening to those songs. Again and again. Mum was a mute spectator to these crazy antics. Worried, she started praying religiously to her Gods to make her son pass in the exams. The son, meanwhile, was in the ‘zone’.
As soon as the movie released, I wanted to see it. But as the saying goes – Man proposes, God disposes. Who listens to a fourteen-year-old’s plea of going to a cinema hall? ( Yes, film theatres are still called halls at the place, from where I belong). So I ended up adopting unfair means. I watched the movie, in its pirated version, which came in 3 VCDs. This was a long time ago before torrents and DVDs came into our lives. 3 CDs were like the ultimate Blu-ray versions and the video rental shops made us believe that they had a direct connection to Dawood Ibrahim who had forced the filmmakers on gunpoint to give him the film, which then got pirated! Anyway, the younger me was blown away by the story of Rahul, Tina and Anjali. A love triangle, with peppy songs, Sal-The-Man charming the pants off everyone and eventually Kajol ending up with SRK! What more you could have asked from the emerging brilliance of KJo?
Many years since have passed. SRK is fifty and still manages to pass as the eternal lover boy. Kajol is about to be fifty and once in a while is seen on cinemas. Rani Mukherji has married the scion of YRF and is gearing up for her second coming as an actor. And that fourteen-year-old ‘innocent’ boy has turned into a thirty-four-year-old manchild, who by the way has a child who’s two. So today, when I got the chance to revisit my benevolent film, I ended up watching it again. And this time, well, the experience was slightly different.
A whole lot different.
KKHH starts with a young girl reading her late mother’s letters. A flashback takes you to a St. Xavier’s College where guys ogle at girls, the Principal flirts with a colleague, who by the way, explains Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by using the coffee table book of Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo+Juliet!! If you see closely, you can actually see Leonardo DiCaprio’s name on it. The older me smirked a little but then thought, well, artistic liberty! The movie then enters into a love triangle where Rahul, the ever charming lover boy tries to get into the pants of the Oxford returned Sanskari Tina who wears short skirts and chants Gayatri Mantra with the same elan. His tomboyish friend Anjali realizes that to penetrate the steel insides of Rahul, she has to shed her boy looks and get into Salwar Kameez. By the time she does that, Rahul is happily singing songs with Tina, in the ruins of Scotland. Broken hearted, she leaves town, leaving Rahul and Tina in their little love nest.
The movie comes back to the present. Tina is dead. Rahul is a widower and is a father to this young girl, who is annoying like hell. In Bangla, she is an ‘Enchode Paka‘. Translation dilutes the essence so I’ll let it be. This girl, who is also named Anjali by the way, buoyed by her dead mother’s letters, gets ready to marry his widowed father to tomboy Anjali, who by this time, has blossomed herself into a saree draping hot chick. She’s engaged to a hot bod Salman Khan. But before they get married, divine intervention (amidst the interspersed cuts of a Babaji checking his logs and Anjali praying to Allah!) happens and the wedding gets postponed. Cut to summer camp where Rahul and Anjali get into some hanky-panky courtesy a basketball game where male chauvinism is rampant. A song, a display of buxom through the saree and Rahul gets convinced that his second innings as a married man is ready to begin.
But wait, did we forget the hot bod Salman, the prearranged groom? Tensions occur. Anjali gets ready for her wedding but the dumbass Rahul gets there for some last minute desperate attempt to change her mind. Eventually, it comes down to Bhai’s magnanimity and after some shooting star dumb shit, finally Rahul and Anjali get married and a ghost apparition of Tina shows a thumbs up sign ends the movie. I wasn’t sure whether the thumbs up sign meant the job well done or did it mean ‘Welcome Anjali to the living hell’
The older me was appalled at the younger me on the choice of the movie. How the hell I liked this utter crap then? This movie is a glorification of everything that’s wrong with people today. I’ve been to many colleges, never seen a college like the one in KKHH. I’ve seen many professors but none behaved like the ones in the film. And I’ve been to many weddings but not a single one where the groom left the bride to get married to the man of her choice. And don’t even get me started on the outfits that the characters wore in college. Here, Bollywood makes their misogyny evident. Short skirt with Sanskar works but to be eligible to be the leading lady, you’ve to be a woman. Tomboy is a no, no. Newsflash! The progressive KJo is a misogynistic arsehole.
I hold KJo responsible for destroying an entire generation for making them believe ‘Pyaar Dosti hai’ type of shit. It’s because of people like him, we have become a generation of broken people. We were made to believe in this fairy tale like love stories. In reality, relationships take their own time to grow, get stabilized and eventually when the time comes, people get separated. When it comes down to living and providing for everyone, the glossy world of KJo takes a back seat and the bitter reality kicks in. While one becomes old, angry and temperamental, dealing with many problems of life, KJo gets ready to make another shitty movie for this Uber cool generation of new kids – Student of the year-2
Run for your life.