AAMIR WAS A PRANKSTER, SAYS VERONICA OF BOLLYWOOD
It was a cult film, became a classic, and remains one of the most-loved films in Bollywood. Today, Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander turns 25. Released on May 22, 1992, it was about the love affairs and rivalries of students, played by Aamir Khan, Ayesha Jhulka, Pooja Bedi and Deepak Tijori.
In a chat with us, Pooja (right) recalls some exciting anecdotes. The best part, she says, was that the very young cast played very young characters. “We got to be exactly who we were at that age and stage in our lives. It was very Archie comics. There was me being Veronica, Ayesha as Betty, Aamir being Archie, and Deepak was Reggie,” says Pooja.
Her craziest co-star? Pooja quips, “Of course, Aamir. He was the real prankster on the sets. When someone was about to sit on a chair, he’d pull it from behind and make them fall. He made me have naariyal paani, which made my tongue turn blue. He was full of masti.” The 47-year-old adds that it was such a fun experience, because even the director Mansoor Khan and choreographer Farah Khan were so young.
Even now, after 25 years, whenever Pooja Bedi walks into an event, her song, Pehla Nasha is played. “It’s remembered over and over again. People sing it to me, romance me with the song. This film not only changed my life but enhanced my career in every possible way. The song Pehla Nasha, which appealed to audiences of all age groups and is still evergreen,” says Pooja.
Believe it or not, but Pooja’s infamous recreation of Marilyn Monroe’s iconic flying skirt moment in the song that went on to become the iconic shot was the toughest to shoot and Pooja reveals that it was shot as a mistake. She says, “It was hilarious because every time they would make the fan go full speed, the dress wouldn’t fly. And when I threw my hands with exasperation and say ‘it’s not flying’, at that point, the dress would fly right above my head. No matter how much we tried, we couldn’t get the shot right. Once during the shoot, due to some technical hitch my hair got stuck on a chain and I turned my head in a certain way and the dress happened to fly at that moment. That is the only usable shot in the entire sequence. It was a fluke shot. But it made history and made me akin to Marilyn Monroe of India.”
On whether her 19-yearold daughter, Aalia has seen the film, Pooja laughs, “Yes, my daughter has seen the film and she cracks up laughing every time she sees it. She teases me endlessly about my acting skills, the role in the film and my dress flying.”
Aalia, who studies in the US has sent a video to Pooja, where she along with her friend is seen playing the iconic song on radio and singing it.
Aamir Khan in Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander Pooja Bedi and