Be it the grand-daughter trying to win the heart of her grandfather in Udhaar Ki Zindagi (1994) or the over-happy and squeaky Anjali in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001), Kajol’s presence on screen leaves viewers mesmerised. Coming from a filmi background, it can be argued that she brings with her a familiar freshness similar to that of her mother, Tanuja. Over the years, the actress has been a part of films that have not only seen phenomenal success at the box office but that have also been etched in the hearts of the audiences, never to be matched or replaced.
I have been lucky enough to meet the actress, who I deem Bollywood’s “ray of sunshine” twice in my life. However, it would be safe to say that both encounters were of a contrasting nature. I met her once, when in my teens, at Nairobi airport with Ajay Devgan, before they had entered wedlock. It was at a stage when the rumour mills were doing overtime about the two being an item. I remember the encounter quite vividly in my head and I know it wasn’t a dream because I have her autograph as proof!
The second of the two encounters came on a more “acceptable” platform at a media event last year. The actress was in London promoting her then forthcoming film, My Name is Khan (2010). Along with Shah Rukh Khan and Karan Johar, the event (View video here: http://bbc.in/cvQw9u) was one where I was able to interact directly with the trio. I remember telling the Kajol, who adorned a lovely saree, that she looked “stunning” which went down well with the 100-strong audience members present. It felt like a dream the second time round too… but this time there is a video to prove it!
The actress, who I admit is a favourite of mine, simply lights up the screen. Her jodi with Shah Rukh Khan is, undoubtedly, the most loved and celebrated of the last two decades and I have no qualms in admitting that I feel the duo represent the evolution of Bollywood cinema during this time. It is no surprise, therefore, that when My Name is Khan (2010) was deemed as their last movie together, one always knew that there would be no jodi quite like this in cinema ever again. Like every other fan, this made me like the movie even more because I knew their magic would not have a new form on screen again.
On this wonderful day, Kajol’s 37th birthday, I am sharing the songs she featured in that I hold close to heart. I hope you can all share with me the ones you love too! Please note I’ve narrowed my selection down to just five songs and that was a task in itself! Do click on the titles of the songs in question to view the videos…
Jab Na Maana – Bekhudi (1992) – Kajol made her debut in this movie and this song is one that is absolutely unforgettable for me. It’s full of the hope of love, in the days when people actually wrote letters! It represents every dreaminess that Bollywood was for me at a very young age… and would you believe I still remember all of the lyrics off by heart!
Gori Kalai – Yeh Dillagi (1994) – Akshay Kumar and Kajol – now there’s a jodi that’s fresh even today. In this song, I think Kajol looks absolutely stunning. This signifies the “ray of sunshine” label i’ve given her to a tee. She dances so well and I hold the movie very close to heart… what more needs to be said?
Ho Gaya Hai Tujko – Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) – In my eyes, one of Kajol’s career’s most popular songs. Her innocence, her dream and her wondering whether she’s found the person who she’s been waiting for… these are all the things that, for me, make this song so special. One can’t forget that Shah Rukh Khan’s presence also has a lot to do with the success of the music of this film and also the film itself.
Pyar Ke Liye Char Pal – Dil Kya Kare (1999) – I think the lyrics make this song completely and coupled with Kajol’s elegance and beauty, it is taken to a different level altogether. Whenever I hear this song, I wasnt to keep it on repeat for hours on end… and I sometimes do! Have a listen and I’m sure it will have the same affect on you too!
Suraj Hua Madham – Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001) – I don’t think my list of choices would have felt complete without this song. Not much needs to be said about it apart from the fact that it is the most beautiful, soulful and sensual song that has hit the screens in recent times. Kajol looks divine in her sarees and suits and with the backdrop of the Egyptian pyramids, this song couldn’t be more perfect if it tried!
I’m sure you will agree that Kajol is one actress that cinema will never forget. Her radiance and her chulbuli-ness resonates… because there is no other quite like her. Happy birthday Kajol, Bollywood’s (and my very own) ray of sunshine!