MUMBAI: Born to star parents, actress Tanuja and late director Shomu Mukherjee (best remembered as the baddie in ‘Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar’), Kajol’s career didn’t quite take off to a flying start. Yet after a debacle like ‘Bekhudi’, Kajol bounced back strongly in a film with Shah Rukh Khan in ‘Baazigar’ and the rest as we know is history!
A career with a little more than 40 films, most of which were with the reigning Khans of the 90’s, Kajol’s journey has been pretty much a joyride.
With ‘Baazigar’ it was all about her pairing with Shah Rukh Khan, but Kajol’s biggest successes came with SRK in the lead. Be it their romantic pairing in ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’, which for the first time saw the birth of an actress in Kajol. Or be it her transformation from a bubbly tomboy to a lady in ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’. With SRK-Kajol love, friendship was pretty much real!
But it’s not just Yash Raj and Dharma Productions that need to be credited for Kajol’s immense success as an actor. While Kajol truly was the blue eyed girl for the elite banners, the actress went on to play the not-so romantic roles outside these banners. Be it her double role in ‘Dushman’ or her obsessive, psychological villainous act in ‘Gupt’. Rarely when female actors preferred taking chances of playing negative characters, Kajol was there upfront.
The year 1998 probably was Kajol’s most successful year as an actress. With ‘Ishq’ alongside Aamir Khan, Ajay Devgn (they were dating then) and Juhi Chawla becoming a hit, Kajol’s next films also achieved blockbuster statuses. It began with ‘Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya’ with Salman Khan and ‘Dushman’, ‘Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha’ and ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ soon followed.
It was ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ that last saw Kajol bustling with the bubbliness until ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham’ brought back the SRK-Kajol pairing once again in 2001. The bubbliness too was lost in a sense.
But by then Kajol’s marriage to actor Ajay Devgn had certainly brought in a different kind of maturity. Films like ‘Dil Kya Kare’ (first post marriage), ‘Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain’, ‘Raju Chacha’, ‘Fanaa’ and Ajay Devgn’s directorial debut ‘U, Me Aur Hum’ brought out a much mellowed, restrained performer in Kajol.
May be it is all about growing up and evolving. Changing the masks with age. Her intense role in ‘My Name Is Khan’ won her the Filmfare award for the sixth time. It was her last hit as an actress.
The next few years, until recent times has been returning casting favours for Yash Raj Films and Dharma Productions, making special appearances of sheer goodwill gesture!
It’s just time that we see Kajol face the camera again. A lot has been speculated that the lady will mark a return again in Karan Johar’s period drama. It can’t get exciting than this, and if it’s Shah Rukh Khan in the lead again, well it’s just more icing on the cake.
For now here’s a cake to Kajol. Happy Birthday!