Happy Anniversary Kal Ho Naa Ho

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kal ho na ho

Ten years ago, to this very day, Karan Johar’s Kal Ho Naa Ho released in theatres. On 27 November, 2003, Kal Ho Naa Ho stormed into theatres, and stole into our hearts.

This semi comic, semi dramatic tale of love and loss, set in New York won many awards and even more accolades. Karan Johar’s cheeky brand of humour reared its head with this film, and continued in his subsequent releases. Shah Rukh Khan’s loverboy persona was intensified with this film, while Preity Zinta and Saif Ali Khan made their mark.

Ten years later, here’s a look at the top things we’ve learnt from this iconic film…

Nerdy Girl Gets The Boy (After Turning Glamorous): Preity Zinta played the role of a quintessential nerd in this film, replete with thick glasses et al. Her character is shown as being incapable of having fun, until taunted by the hero. Thereafter, Preity ditches her nerdy look, becomes hot and sexy, and in turn attracts the attention of both male leads. Moral of the story: the nerdy girl too can get the boy, but she must ditch her glasses first!

The Power of Prayer: Naina (Zinta) prays hard one night for an angel to enter her family’s dreary life and turn the situation around, and voila! SRK as Aman moves into the neighbouring house the very same night. He then goes on to settle things in her and her family’s life. Moral: Ask for an angel, God might just send you Shah Rukh Khan!

Kantabai: With Kantabai, Karan Johar took a tongue-in-cheek approach to homosexuality. Being gay was brought into the mainstream, albeit made to look comical with Kantabai shuddering at the thought of SRK and Saif’s characters being gay. Johar opened up a dialogue around homosexuality, though many would argue he did so in a most disparaging, humiliating way.

Sunshine Optimism Wins The Day: SRK’s Aman is seen as a overpoweringly optimistic character, a good-natured meddler who, in true Bollywood angelic fashion, interferes in everyone’s lives to bring cheer. Eventually, Naina too falls in love with him. Lesson to be learnt: Spread the sunshine, and watch the love boomerang back to you.

All You Need Is A Love-Guru: Aman plays love-guru of sorts to Saif Ali Khan’s Rohit, and helps him win Naina over. He teaches him the tricks of the trade to woo the girl, which Rohit seemed incapable of doing on his own. Moral of the story: Find yourself a worthy love-coach, and you can catch the girl of your dreams!

Kal Ho Naa Ho: The most instructive, fundamental takeaway from the film was that live your life like there’s no tomorrow. Have no regrets, chase your dreams and spread love and joy at every step of the way. Be like Aman, and be the best version of yourself that you possibly can, and love will abound in your life, and much after your death.

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