Kajol Has Tortured Me For Years

09 Feb

And I didn’t even realize it until the other day.

There is a scene from the title track of Baazigar when Kajol, dressed in a deep blue cocktail dress with a very 90s rhinestone collar around her neck, turns to face the camera on a yacht and blows Shahrukh Khan a kiss (at approx. 3.15 in the video above – right after Shahrukh dances in short shorts!). Her hair is swept up and off her face, her eyes are light brown and her eyebrows are frightening. I had no idea who she was when first I saw that clip in a trailer but I thought she was the most attractive woman I’d ever seen.

Strictly speaking, that wasn’t true of course. She couldn’t hold a candle to the famous beauties in her own family, much less the ones who dominated Hindi cinema for decades before she made her debut – but she had It. That ineffable quality that characterizes a bonafide movie star. You either got it or you don’t, and Kajol had it in spades.

But as Pitu’s An Ode to Kads reminded me, that’s a potent weapon she wields. It’s always a joy to watch her in action, of course, but Kajol-worship has made me pay good money to watch more turkeys in a theater than any other movie star.

Things never got so bad that I actually ventured into the local cinema for Gundaraj or Hulchul (I was a fan, not an idiot) but I must raise my hand and admit that I went to see Ishq. In my meagre defense, my best friend whom I shall dub Popsicle for the purposes of this post was a huge Aamir Khan and Juhi Chawla fan from the time she first saw Qayamat se Qayamat Tak as a wee kiddie, so it was always going to go on the list when we cast around for things to do on the weekend. Add Kajol and we simply had to see it. What can I say? We were teenagers and our brains weren’t fully developed.

I would give myself props for refusing to take her word for it that Pyar to Hona hi Tha was a good movie (the statement that forever sealed her reputation in school as the chick who likes The Cheese) and stubbornly staying at home only to be tortured with it many years later when it came on cable, but I admit I was just as eager to watch Dil Kya Kare as she was. And even after the horror of that experience, we were not only looking forward to but we actually convinced other people from her college to go see Raju Chacha with us.

They were such nice girls, all they did was give us a long look during the intermission even as we sank low in our seats and tried to pretend we were invisible.

Possibly they knew our Kajol-obsession was its own punishment. Because Popsicle and I are the crazed idiots who went to see the following epics:

Hamesha – Before Sanjay Gupta discovered the mighty power of South Korean movies when combined with Sanjay Dutt’s vaguely threatening po-face, he made an old school Bollywood reincarnation movie (seriously!) with Aditya Pancholi as a creepy rich dude who’s madly in love with college girl Kajol who walks in the rain in a killer red dress and is in love with lovable, perma-surprised Saif Ali Khan who’s got a bromance going on with… you guessed it, Aditya Pancholi.

Stuff happens, two dummies get thrown off a cliff, cue forward a couple of decades and Kajol is a very sad gypsy dancer (possibly because she can’t dance for toffee and is looking starvation in the eye) who gets sold off to a creepy rich dude in a wig (same old Aditya Pancholi in a wig). You’ll never guess in a million years who shows up as the featured entertainment at their engagement party so I’ll tell you – it’s Saif! With a guitar! And a violin! All the better to play his signature tune! From the past life!

Kajol gets the dreaded (by all evil doers!) instant flashback disease when she hears him sing “I’ll be back for my lover even if I die because one life isn’t enough for love” and she immediately hunts Saif down to tell him how much she loves him except Saif now thinks she’s completely nutso even though he totally suffers from Sympathetic Tears Syndrome which every Bollywood fan knows only comes to pass when two hearts beat as one. But Reincarnated Saif is a bit of a weasel so he decides to hop on a train and get the hell out before Aditya starts planning Rappelling Down Cliffs Without Benefit of Ropes – Part 2, but Kajol also decides, without being asked, to run away with him and…MYSTERY! Who knows what will happen?!

Yeah, right.

Sapnay – Like a kicked puppy who doesn’t understand why his tail wagging is being met with abuse, back we went for Rajiv Menon’s directorial debut Minsaara Kanavu. We saw it in the original Tamil too, because we wanted the authentic experience (okay, so that was the only version they were playing in our town but we bought the soundtrack in Tamil).

How was it? Well, it’s a movie in which Kajol’s big dream is to become a nun, Arvind Swamy has a moustache that gets all sweaty just thinking about her, and Prabhu Deva has a tummy ache every time he’s asked to express some kind of emotion. It all turns out just as well as you’d expect.

In other words, Rajiv Menon owes me money.

Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya – As bad as these were, the highlight of them all was this movie. It starred Salman Khan in the initial stages of his now bratty persona, he had just begun ripping his shirt off every chance he got so everyone was still talking about it, and Popsicle couldn’t stop humming that Kamaal Khan number.

The movie itself wasn’t all that bad, I suppose, but over the years I’ve noticed that this is the flick that surprises me the most when they play clips from it – I simply don’t remember any of it. Where did that song come from? Was she in the movie? When did they have that conversation? I have no clue. My strongest memory is of Kajol in a series of unfortunate salwar suits, looking like an unhappy sausage that’s gone a bit off.

What I do remember clearly is the uncle-ji who tried to feel up Popsicle’s leg. She thought a rat was trying to crawl into her lap before she discovered it was a rodent of the two-legged variety. We were waiting for the movie to turn good (any moment now! we’ll be right here, watching) so she didn’t feel like stomping on his bald pate the way she usually would have – choosing instead to exchange seats with our best friend, six feet plus inches of aggressive teen male. I can still visualize uncle-ji quietly withdrawing his hand after encountering a very different kind of leg than the one he was expecting and slinking away into the darkness of the theater.


Now, if you went to see Bekhudi or Bambai ka Babu or Kuch Khatti Kuch Meethi in the theatres, then you’ve got us beat in the fandom stakes. Also, I laugh at you. For being bigger dorks than we were. Ha ha!


Posted by on February 9, 2009 in Celebrity, Entertainment, Movies, Personal, Review, Video


26 responses to “Kajol Has Tortured Me For Years

  1. pitu

    February 9, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Ewww I have seen all the movies u mentioned (and then some) for the eggjacked same reasons :-p

    *sings* Sawan ka mahinaaaaa (bump and grind)
    Shaadi ke bina, mushkil hai jeena (bump and grind)

    This gem from the lovely Hulchul :-p

    Also, do see ‘Dushman’ if you haven’t. Two Kajols for the price of one but without the shit that is ‘Kuch Khatti Kuch Meethi’. There’s this gorgeous song in Dushman called ‘Pyar ko ho jane do’. And Sanju baba doing a Pacino is really sad :-p

  2. pitu

    February 9, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    Here’s the song. Baba looks DELICIOUS in uniform and in the tweed jacket! mmmmmm 😀

  3. memsaab

    February 9, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Ewwwww to uncle-ji!!!

    I loved Hulchul (I love Ajay), and Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha is the film that convinced me that Bollywood was going to be part of my life forever. That, plus Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.

    And Dushman is the film where I finally understood the Sanju-baba love. And Ishq introduced me to the Aamir-Juhi jodi.

    I would be nowhere without Kajol.

  4. prasun

    February 9, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    I can’t think of a Kajol movie which worked without SRK (except Pyar To Hona Hi Tha)

    I can’t believe I’ve seen only Dushman, Pyar Kiya To.. and DDLJ in a cinema hall. I guess I didn’t have a lot of money back then.

  5. DewdropDream

    February 9, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    Now see the only reason I never actually went to watch these ghast;y movies in a theatre despite being a kajol fan in some measure, was because I was too young to be allowed to the theatre on my own and the family isn’t the movie going type 😀

    Dushman…. now that was one ace movie! What is that ghastly outfit she’s wearing in that song from Hamesha? Is that where manish malhotra is taking inspiration from nowadays? Oh and which was that movie she was in with Akshya Kumar in this slightly nerdy role (playing chsame baddoor mature character and all) and Saif in the role of playboy younger bro? Maha timepass that was 😀

    I heart Kajol… she the besht… ever!

  6. pitu

    February 9, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    D3, that was the awesome ‘Yeh Dillagi’, loosely inspired by ‘Sabrina’.

  7. M

    February 9, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    Oh Come on! I’ll give you all the rest, but Minsara Kanavu truly wasn’t *that* bad…compared to Tamil movies of that year! Of course you need to be able to accept Arvind Swamy for the pure, good soul that he clearly is – and after Bombay I for one, was perfectly ready to do so! 🙂

    What was that movie of Kajol and Anil Kapoor – the remake of a Telugu movie? I liked certain scenes from that one…


  8. naren

    February 9, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    She could overact if she had to play a corpse in a morgue.
    At one point in time, my wife thought Kajol was the Indian Audrey Hepburn. Consequently, I ended up watching several lemons, the names and plot details of which are mercifully forgotten. What a babe!

  9. nisha

    February 9, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    sweaty moustache….:)

  10. wordjunkie

    February 10, 2009 at 12:05 am

    Agree with Naren. I thought she was really over rated as an actress, even if she was cute. And she never ventured out of her comfort zone in the roles she chose – it’s always been the same thing over and over – basically, she played herself each time. Does that make her a female Nana Patekar..yikes!

    But she did make the monobrow fashionable .

  11. Ron

    February 10, 2009 at 12:32 am

    Ah fandom! And the things we do for it. For me it was Aamir. I’ve watched every movie the man has ever appeared in, and that includes Daulat ki Jung, Love Love Love, Tum Mere Ho, Awwal Number, Ishq, Mela, Mangal Pandey so on and so forth 🙂

  12. Banno

    February 10, 2009 at 2:17 am

    And what about that dud of all, ‘Fanaa’? And the one with Anil Kapoor, where she becomes his wife to save her family from penury, ‘Hum Aapke Dil me Rehte hain’, was it? She also has this thing with godawful blingy ghagra cholis and huge jewelry which weigh her down even more. Despite it all, she shines. Yes, she is a STAR.

  13. Ramsu

    February 10, 2009 at 2:38 am

    I just went over the Kajol filmography in Wikipedia and realized that I’ve seen way too many of her duds. Most of which, thankfully, other readers of this blog have as well 😀

    I think what really worked for her was this sense of directness that she conveyed in her roles. I don’t remember her doing coy or demure much. Which was such a refreshing change from most other heroines.

    Not that she didn’t do her share of whimpering simpering idiots, like in Ishq, which I watched in muted horror, constantly hoping that someone would jump into the frame in a red costume and shout, “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!”


  14. Nikhil Narayanan

    February 10, 2009 at 2:44 am

    People were “Cajoled” into going watching her movies.


  15. Prasanth

    February 10, 2009 at 4:13 am

    I had mixed feelings re:Kajol until:

    1) I watched DDLJ on a (relatively) big screen(in a University auditorium). I was in the first row. I saw her dance to “Mere Khwabon Mein Jo Aaye”. I was never the same again 😦

    2) I watched KKKG. There is a scene where Kajol shrieks(an award for understatement) cause she cannot seek the blessings of father-in-law who has in not so many words insulted her upbringing. I was never the…. 😦 😦

    Now the movie you really missed(i am sure u didn’t miss it) was Gupt! That was something


  16. Mamma Mia! Me a Mamma?!?

    February 10, 2009 at 5:03 am

    Absolute Kajol fan here. But she is forgiven ANYTHING because she gave me Kuch Kuch Hota Hain! Not that I’ve watched everything, but I’ll still forgive her a Kuch Khati Luch Mitti, which I did see 😦

    But, we’ll always have KKHH!

  17. DewdropDream

    February 10, 2009 at 6:32 am

    Pitu, you are a fount of bollywood knowledge 😀

  18. M

    February 10, 2009 at 11:42 am


    the problem with the Anil Kapoor movie was that it was a remake of a Telugu movie – and while the concept might have worked in a Hindi movie, the execution was all off, as most of the scenes were simply copied from the Telugu version.

    But even in that movie, I thought she played it straight pretty decently…


  19. Amrita

    February 10, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Pitu – you’ve been Kajol-matized if you think Dushman was a good movie! 😀 I never actually finished Hulchul and to this date I’ve never seen Gundaraj (please God! let me remain in ignorant bliss!)

    Memsaab – ahahahaha! I’ve heard this inexplicable love for Pyar to Hona hi Tha from other people too and I can only shake my head. But then maybe it was the destiny of that movie to convert people to the altar of Bollywood? That theory makes more sense than the movie.

    Prasun – ah, the joys of small town India: where balcony seats in posh theaters retailed for Rs. 35!

    DDD – Yeh Dillagi was the movie that turned Saif hot for one quick minute. And I loved it! It was such a perfect tweener movie! I still watch it when it comes on TV. 😳

    M – I don’t remember what else was on that year but any movie that has Prabhu Deva for the main lead is a movie that deserves to be dropkicked. We actually were kinda excited by the fact that it co-starred Arvind Swamy coz we were huge Roja fans and we loved him (we even saw that malalayam movie with him and Sridevi is how much we loved him!) but that waterfall scene was vom-inducing.
    Also Anil Kapoor + Telugu remake = nausea. I remember there was one with Ash Rai too and it was similarly awful even though it was all about women empowerment or something.

    Naren – your wife is clearly a superfan and if we lived in the same city, I’d totally call her to go see movies with me so we could squee over the same ham! Mmmm, ham!

    Nisha – it’s even worse when he gets excited coz then he starts leering. i blame the mustache.

    Wordjunkie – but she’s such a pataka by default, yaar! She was about the only thing i could watch in K3G (in the first half, the second half defeated even Kajol’s powers).

    Ron – I was going to laugh at you for Daulat ki Jung but anyone who went to see Mela in the theater deserves all the respect in the world!

    Banno – are you kidding? compared to the examples above, Fanaa was a masterpiece! And tell me about those ghaghras! What the hell is it with her and totally unflattering lines? She always wears that ghastly maroon / brown color too!

    Ramsu – thank you, thank you, thank you! For now I can recast my memories of that horror and insert that line! Also whenever she addresses Ajay Devgan in the second half, now she calls him the “son of a silly person”. In my head anyway.

    Nikhil – Groan! 😀

    Prasanth – HAHHAAHAHH! I don’t even want to touch your first point! And of course I have seen Gupt! Bobby Deol was very in at that time and Popsicle was ‘dating’ a guy who thought he was Bobby’s double and would keep doing weird things like try dancing like him.

    Mamma – ah, KKHH, the movie version of ganga jal 😀

  20. bollyviewer

    February 10, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Kajol has tortured me for years” – me too!

    Sadly for me, there was always one of my friends who was a big Kajol fan and I suffered in her (none of my guy friends were fans) fandom! 😦 The only time I really liked her was in K3G because she was loud and I thought loud was definitely her thing. Would you believe it, I’ve even seen Bekhudi and travelled to a far off theatre to watch Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain – and all without ever coming close to liking her! 😦 Yes, Kajol definitely owes me a LOT!!!!

  21. pitu

    February 10, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    “I remember there was one with Ash Rai too and it was similarly awful even though it was all about women empowerment or something. ”

    Hamara Dil Apke Pas Hai

    Rai gets raped –> Anil gives sahara –> Rai is pseudo mommy to his whiny kids –> Lurve ensues –> much drama about ‘kulta’ women –> Lurve wins –> Audience dies


  22. Amrita

    February 10, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    BV – HAHHAAH, I would have been that friend! I can’t believe you traveled to watch HADMRH! Even I knew that was a turkey!

    Pitu – that is the one! It starred Puru Raaj Kumar as the evil guy whose big affectation was to say Namaste!

  23. Nida

    February 10, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    I love me some Kajol!

    In my early Bollywatching days, I’d seen photos of her but had yet to actually watch a Kajol film. I didn’t quite get what all the hype was about–on still photographs, all I could see was that unibrow jumping out at me.

    Already a Shahrukh fan, it was inevitable that I’d see a Kajol film sooner or later. It started with K3G, then progressed to KKHH and even made its way to Fanaa. I was hooked. There was something about her onscreen that just clicked, that just worked, a charisma that reminded me of….well, of Shahrukh himself. Perhaps that’s why she’s considered the most popular choice for a SRK herione by fans…as Ajnabi once said, the heroine must have quite the screen presence to shine next to a magnetic personality like Shahrukh.

    As for the films…I’ve been meaning to check out more Kajol films, only because I like her so much, but your post has certainly saved me the time and effort–so thank you!:) I had a feeling that something was amiss…very few Kajol films have been recommended or mentioned to me by fellow Bollywood fans.

    This post is exactly how I felt while watching the subpar “U Me Aur Hum”…as I said in my review, I felt silly complaining about the film because I was just so happy to see Kajol onscreen!

    You know what else is funny? Though she’s so easy to like onscreen, I see her in interviews and I think to myself, “You know, I don’t think I’d like her all too much in real life…”LOL

  24. Ramsu

    February 11, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Someone ought to do a piece on bad villains who have some special catchphrase they use.

    Like Puru’s “Namaste”.
    Or Shakti Kapoor’s “Kya cheez, cut-piece” (my personal favourite) in Jaanam Samjha Karo


  25. Amrita

    February 11, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    Nida – that’s very true about her having the charisma to match up to SRK. when you see her in action you dont see the unibrow or the attitude (I don’t think I’d want to hang out with her either in real life), she’s simply Kajol.
    But omigod, she’s been in some absolute howlers. And the thing is, you don’t even realize it or hold it against her even though you’re in absolute PAIN sitting through them.

    Ramsu – hahahah, that dumb dialogue has been rattling around my brain for years and I couldn’t even remember the name of the flick in which Shakti said it. Was it really Jaanam Samjha Karo? I always thought it was some Govinda – David Dhawan movie.

  26. Gagan

    February 11, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    kajol’s my faviorite too Amrita….she is just so exciting to watch…all those expressions that never cease to surprise …they could have a reality show of her just hanging out and i would tune in…sure beats big brother that’s for sure 🙂

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