MUMBAI— Yes, the film was so big you could say “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai,” rather than Karan Johar and Hiroo Johar and their banner Dharma Productions, celebrated 20 years of the movie at the J.W. Marriott on Oct. 16.
Audiovisual recordings of Karan Johar, Salman Khan (who could not be present), the awards the film had garnered for all the four lead players, producer late Yash Johar, writer-director Karan Johar, and the music by composers Jatin-Lalit and lyricist Sameer were among the highs.
A special tribute was paid to Karan’s father, producer Yash Johar about his views on his talented son and how he supported his vision. Sony Music (which started its film business with “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai”) executive Sanujeet Bhujabal stated how the album sold more than “12 Platinums” as one of the biggest soundtracks ever in Hindi film history. Regrettably, none of the six singers – Kumar Sanu, Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik and Kavita Krishnamurthi (now Subramaniam), Manpreet Akhtar and Shankar Mahadevan were present.
Each segment was introduced by a Dharma protégé – Jahnvi Kapoor, Ishaan Khattar, Sidharth Malhotra, Varun Dhawan and (in an audiovisual) Alia Bhatt. Other segments were introduced by Abhishek and Shweta Bachchan, Badshah and Twinkle Khanna (who had rejected Rani Mukerji’s role, leaving Karan shattered) who confessed that her mother Dimple Kapadia said that the film had clicked “because of my absence!” Most of the Dharma star protégés spoke of how young they were when the film released. Another guest was Kareena Kapoor Khan (who came despite the date – October 16) being her wedding anniversary.
It was compliments and reciprocation on a big scale throughout and Dhawan made it a point to mention that he had two fathers – David Dhawan and Karan – and how he recalled watching the film at the age of 11 in Gaiety in Mumbai and applauding alongside others the entry of Salman Khan. Farah Khan, who for the first time had choreographed a complete big film, recalled how busy Salman was then and using a duplicate with many back shots in the song “Saajanji Ghar Aaye!”
The show ended with a chat on stage between Karan, Shah Rukh, Kajol and Rani Mukerji. Shah Rukh remembered many mischievous moments and while Rani stated that she was readily helped as a newcomer of sorts by all, Kajol (her cousin) stated she had “dressed like a star, walked like a star in tiny clothes and very high heels” and never had asked for one thing – help of any kind.
Karan repeated that if Shah Rukh Khan and Yash Raj Films’ head honcho Aditya Chopra had not believed in the film, he would not have become a filmmaker. Talking about the importance of these two men in his life, Karan said, “It’s been the best 20 years. I love Shah Rukh, love Kajol and love Rani. I love Adi (Aditya Chopra) for actually believing in me. He doesn’t come to any public function, private function or any function. He doesn’t even attend his own functions. I have to say that he is in my heart. I always say that I am in the movies because of Shah Rukh and Adi. Adi made me realize that I could be a filmmaker. Shah Rukh did this film because he loves me. I don’t think he really knew what he was getting into. I think he just had an instinct that I would be a filmmaker. These are the two men that I would do anything for. I am eternally grateful and I am only here because of them. I am here because of no one else but Shah Rukh Khan and Aditya Chopra.” Karan Johar even shared photos of his kids Yash and Rohi dressed in jumpers to pay an ode to Shah Rukh’s character Rahul.
Shan Rukh quipped that the two most important men in Rani’s life were closest to him – Karan, who gave her this break, and Aditya Chopra, who married her! He revealed how an “utterly crap story” was narrated by Karan before he signed the film. “That’s certainly not the one that you people saw in the film. In his strange way Karan, the man with many words, tried to impress me with his crap story. So yes, I really did not understand the story when I signed in. and I am glad that I did not get into the story and just went ahead with the conviction of Karan. Otherwise the film would have not been the way it came out.”
He added, “I never listen to scripts, I listen to the heartbeats of the people I work with. At times, millennials chat with me and say things like why you let go of that script that was such a great script. Till date, I never understood a script. And I can say this with confidence that I never understood the script but the script maker or the filmmaker.”
Karan also thanked Salman Khan profusely for offering to do the small role that every hero had rejected in a Shah Rukh Khan film.
Zoya Akhtar, Ayan Mukerji, Neha Dhupia, Ananya Panday, Sanjay Kapoor, Maheep Kapoor, Apoorva Mehta, and Shashank Khaitan among many others came to celebrate the glorious journey. Team members Parzan Dastur (shown as a Sardar kid), Sana Saeed, Farida Jalal, Archana Puran Singh, Sameer, Jatin, and Lalit were present.