AAMIR WAS A PRANKSTER, SAYS VERONICA OF BOL­LY­WOOD

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Monika Rawal Kukreja

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.

PHOTO: JAFAR KHAN / FOTOCORP

Aamir Khan in Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikan­der Pooja Bedi and

PHOTO: PRODIP GUHA

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