Oh !! yeah. I just completed watching Hum Aapke Hain Kaun. Certainly this is not the first time. It was probably nth time but its been atleast 5 years ever since I watched it. When it was released, it was Superhit Muqabla that announced the arrival of HAHK to me. And all I saw was Salman trying to hit Madhuri’s back with a catapult while chewing something very exaggeratedly. Cut. The guy in the audio store told me, “Sir, super paatu ellam. totally 14 songs sir.All top class”. Cut. My philips recorder repeatedly plays HAHK casette which I bought for 20 bucks. I still have it. Madhuri and Salman in a black dress on yellow background, the costume they wear during the song, Dhiktana Dhiktana. Salman’s leg raised upward and Madhuri to his left in a similar pose. Whoof !! What memory you should think. There are several movies, I couldn’t forget. Hum Aapke Hain Kaun is one of the topper in that list. Ask my sister and she would nod YES, alongwith me.
Noone could possibly write a review on HAHK. It isn’t a movie. It’s a musical and has all the ideal items to be packed in a commercial movie. It never pretended to be a movie elevating the artistry of cinema. It was just an hyperbolic version of a North Indian family. I had an ideal mom, ideal dad, ideal uncle, just a little not-so-ideal aunty and idealistic etcetras. The movie was idealistic to India. Indian films for many years have been hypocritical and idealistic to a large extent. We don’t like to have an incest uncle or a gol-maal daddy. Everyone are just as expected. Sooraj Bharjatya just ensembled those idealistic characters in one movie and presented it. We loved it. There was no villain except the stairs and the bad aunty. The stairs make Renuka Shahaney slip and she eventually dies. The aunty keeps jumping to sky in ego until our maama gives her/us a surprise slap. She is silenced after that like a bharathiya naari. Not just ideal human, even Krishna(our lord krishna) makes a cameo. Except for the magical ray from Krishna’s idol to the dog tuffy, they ring the bells and play a devotional BGM when the dog runs to collect courier from Madhuri which serves as the twist for the climax. These miraculous event knocks off the word kaun from Hum Aapke Hain Kaun and plesantly completes the movie as Hum Aapke Hain !!
Well, if you are thinking, I’m subtly mocking at the movie, I am. But I love it. I am pretty sure of my liking. Some people don’t like to accept they like Hum Aapke Hain Kaun. Its like reading Sidney Sheldon all along and concluding him to be a trashy writer within friends. Infact, I have no idea to write anything more about the movie. I have enough to boast of about my HAHK experiences than talking about what size of banian Salman was wearing in the song, Pehla Pehla Pyar Hi, when he was effortlessly lifting Madhuri from the billiards board.
Infact, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun wasn’t released in parallel at Chennai. It came after 7 or 8 weeks and you know what, it saw more than 2 Diwalis in Chennai, meaning nearly 2 years. I was just completing my schooling and I went the first time to watch HAHK. All I know then about Surat Bharjaathiya was that he was the director. With violence occupying the bollywood scene at that season, HAHK was a breath of fresh air. It was like heaven to many. Pay 10 bucks, go inside watch a peaceful family. No big fights, no big aderanline pumping suspense, no gyrating manmatha raasa hips and ofcourse no big tearjerker story. Before I saw the movie the first time, I heard all the 14 songs, more than atleast 100 times, saw enough clips on TV and so I was expecting a treat. I got it. Though I felt, which bloody family has a swimming pool and a fountain inside the house, SPB and Madhuri took me by a storm. I couldn’t resist watching it again and again. In the 2+ years it ran, me and my friends used to go for a movie theatre to watch a new flick. Luckily we had some cousin’s friend or some landlord’s brother-in-law’s sister working in every theatre. So we got tickets we wanted. If not, NO PROBLEM. We came back to watch Hum Aapke Hain Kaun. I think it was more than 10 times in 2 years that I watched the movie just in theatre. Its more than 10 times, I’m positive because we counted. On my thoughts, I’ve seen Thalapathi more than 14-15 times in theatre. The last time, me and my friend couldn’t sit through Thalapathi. We knew every single shot, every single syllable uttered, every camera movement and the Mani Ratnam flick had nothing more to offer us. So we came out even before the intermission and handed over the tickets to two rag-picker boys and sent them inside the theatre for free. I saw Roja 8 times, Bombay 6-7 times, Alai Payuthey 6 times, Thiruda Thiruda 10 times[10 weeks; 10 times] and Gentleman 12 times. Why all that, I even saw Evanaairundhaa Enakenna 3 days in a row, in the same Sangam theatre and worse, same seat. I ain’t bragging. I’m positive. I was such a movie freak. Even before friends, I went to movies with noone. I went alone even during my 8th grade. 5 rupees in my pocket and I’m waiting first in the queue from 9:30 am in Shakthi Abirami to watch Anjali. Next day, same 5 rupees, Kizhakku Vaasal. Anjali again the very next day. Thanks to my mom who shed 5 bucks a day and cursed herself for unable to make me stop watching films. Neverthless, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun was something that I could never forget.
Sitting for a matinee inside a hot chennai movie theatre, with atleast 500-600 people, it was only in Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, I think I understood the essence of movie making. There are no technical lessons to learn. But I think I consciously started to loose myself for cinema with HAHK. It absorbed me. Transported me to the dreamy world. Threw me out of the teenage worries of school and college. And I owe Sooraj Bharjatya for that. The last few times, we started when Renuka was still rolling down from the stairs. If you always why do people start after the final song is over, they are the repeat audience and I was one with HAHK. HAHK was the talk of the day. Salman and Madhuri were teenage icons and if couldn’t sound the perfect ‘huh huh !!’ to a girl, you are a loser. I never could. But after the 5th time, when every single line of the song lyrics was on my mind, I started watching the other actors in a scene. Lets say in a scene, Madhuri is getting dressed and is the focus of the shot, I would be watching the girl sitting next to her. Because I knew what Madhuri was doing and wanted to know what the rest of the cast was upto in this largely over-populated movie that was a succes in a over-populated country.
My friend used to say, nearly everyone in Delhi saw Hum Aapke Hain Kaun twice. And I think it could be true. Even today when comparing to DDLJ which was another commercial potpourri with the legendary Shahrukh and Kajol, I think the songs and the entire spirit of Hum Aapke Hain Kaun is simply unbeatable. A movie, a classic, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun is.
Selected Reading –
Official Website of Hum Aapke Hain Kaun
IMDB entry for HAHK
Memoirs on HAHK – Sooraj Bharjatya
HAHK Box Office – Did 2,341 shows in 847 days of its run at Mumbai’s Liberty cinema. It ran 105 weeks in regular shows and 16 weeks in noon shows.
Hum Aapke Hain Kaun Soundtrack –
Maye Ni Maye – Lata Mangeshkar
Didi Tera Devar Deewana – Lata Mangeshkar, SP Balasubramaniam
Mausam Ka Jaadu – Lata Mangeshkar, SP Balasubramaniam
Chocolate Lime Juice – Lata Mangeshkar
Joote Dedo Paise Lelo – Lata Mangeshkar, SP Balasubramaniam
Pehla Pehla Pyar – SP Balasubramaniam
Dhiktana – 1 – SP Balasubramaniam
Mujhse Juda Hokar – Lata Mangeshkar, SP Balasubramaniam
Samdhi Samdhan – Lata Mangeshkar, Kumar Sanu
Hum Aapke Hain Koun – Lata Mangeshkar, SP Balasubramaniam
Wah Wah Ramji – Lata Mangeshkar, SP Balasubramania
Lo Chali Main – Lata Mangeshkar
Cast (in credits order) –
Madhuri Dixit as Nisha Choudhury
Salman Khan as Prem
Mohnish Bahl as Rajesh
Renuka Shahane as Pooja Choudhury
Anupam Kher as Prof. Siddharth Choudhury
Reema Lagoo as Mrs. Choudhury (as Rima)
Alok Nath as Kailashnath (as Aloknath)
Bindu as Aunt
Ajit Vachani as Aunt’s Husband (as Ajit Vachhani)
Satish Shah as Doctor
Himani Shivpuri as Razia (Doc’s wife)
Sahila Chaddha as Rita
Dilip Joshi as Bhola Prasad
Laxmikant Berde as Lalloo Prasad
Priya Arun as Chanda’
Tuffy as Tuffy (The Dog)