25 years ago, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan made her debut in Bollywood with Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya. The whole country fell in love with her beauty, grace and acting talent. As this Bobby Deol co-starrer celebrated its 25th anniversary on August 15, Bollywood Hungama exclusively spoke to Rumy Jafry, the story and dialogue writer of the film about his experience, memories and a lot more.
25 Years Of Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya EXCLUSIVE: “Before his debut, Bobby Deol would never allow himself to get photographed. Log uski photo lene ke liye taraste the” – Rumy Jafry
How did you come on board for Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya? You had worked earlier with director Rahul Rawail in Anjaam…
Yes. Anjaam released in 1994. We began work on this film in 1996. I had formed a close bond with Rahul ji. We used to discuss ideas. That’s how we locked in this plot.
Were Bobby Deol and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan the original star cast for Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya?
Yes. Uss waqt Bobby se milna toh chodo, Bobby ka photo milna bhi mushkil tha! He was Dharam ji’s (Dharmendra) son, Sunny’s younger brother and he was said to have Italian looks. Hence, the craze for him in the industry was unprecedented. Every filmmaker wanted to sign him on.
Why do you say that ‘Bobby ka photo milna bhi mushkil tha’? Could you elaborate?
His films had not released and yet, there was a lot of mystery and craze surrounding him. Moreover, he would never allow himself to get photographed. Log uski photo lene ke liye taraste the. This was a time when a star used to be properly launched. Hence, he was saving himself for the big screen so that his correct photograph and visuals would be out. Nowadays, this is not possible due to the paparazzi.
Bobby and I had become good friends. We had even gone together for his debut film Barsaat’s premiere. I remember it was when his leg was fractured.
As for Aishwarya, a lot of girls have won the Miss World or Miss India pageants. Lekin jo baat Aishwarya mein thi aur hai, woh kisi mein nahi hai. Hence, Bobby Deol and Aishwarya Rai coming together were great as it was the best pair at that time.
Before the film began, we had done their photoshoot in Khandala. Mickey Contractor did the make-up while Atul Kasbekar was the photographer. While they were doing the photoshoot, we realized that kya zabardast pair hai!
What also added to the excitement for the film was the music given by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan…
Yes. At that time, yeh industry ki sabse garam film thi as we got Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan on board. People then used to say that beauty pageant winners can’t act and that they look too Westernized. So, we held the mahurat of the film at Leela Penta hotel in Mumbai. The whole industry was in attendance. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was also present and Aishwarya danced to his song. She danced fabulously. All those who had doubts about her acting talent were left shocked seeing her doing the Indian dance on Khan saab’s song. Nusrat saab, Aishwarya and Bobby’s presence made the event highly memorable. For me, it was extra special. In my life, I have rarely hosted such events. I was the fortunate one to be the host of this event!
Were you on the sets of the film during the shoot?
Yes. No matter where the shooting would take place, be it Switzerland or anywhere in India, I’ll be present. Bobby and I anyway were friends. I also got close to Aishwarya. Woh meri behen ki tarah thi. She used to work on the correct pronunciation with me.
You worked in almost 6-7 films that year! So you used to be on the sets of all these films?
(Laughs) Yes, believe it or not! Now that I am talking, I suddenly realize that during that period, I had also flown to Canada for the shoot of Mr And Mrs Khiladi (1997) and later, I travelled to Switzerland and Germany for the shoot of Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya.
One scene of the film, involving Bobby Deol inserting a stick in Aishwarya Rai Bachchan’s nose was shared a lot recently…
(Laughs) So when the Covid pandemic started, this scene went viral as this is how the Covid test takes place. I found it very funny. A lot of people sent it to me!
Was Bobby Deol nervous while filming for the cross-dressing scene?
It was shot in Hotel Castle, Gstaad. And no, Bobby wasn’t nervous. By then, we had already shot a few scenes, including in Paris. There was a lot of positivity on the sets due to the strong bond we had – me, Bobby, Aishwarya, Rahul ji, Mickey Contractor, etc. We used to hang out during the shoot and while having meals. Hasee mazaak hota tha. Everyone was so comfortable that there was no stress or nervousness for anyone in any scene.
The film was about how Aishwarya’s character gets fooled not once but twice by guys pretending to be Rohit. While watching the film again, I suddenly realized that in the absence of social media, there was no trolling or needless criticism about the film. Do you agree and do you feel that those times were better?
Absolutely. But we can’t remember these times and curse the present day. Sabko waqt ke saath chalna padega. If I am walking on the street and suddenly it begins to pour, I can’t go back in time and think of the days when it used to be bright and sunny. Reality ko accept karna padega. However, we do need to educate the public on how to use social media positively and correctly. Chaku bana hai fal kaatne ke liye lekin usse murder bhi ho jaata hai! Similarly, social media is also a great place. But how you use it is up to you.
The film had a cameo by Sunny Deol. Was that planned in advance or it was incorporated at the spur of the moment?
We were shooting in Switzerland and Sunny bhaiya paid a visit on the sets. This is when Rahul ji got the idea of getting time to shoot for a scene, that too with Bobby. This is how the shot was filmed in the ‘Humse Rahoge Kya Hamesha Khafa’ song. Bada yaadgaar moment hai woh film ka.
I remember it was a faraway location. And I had heard that Sunny bhaiya likes to drive on his own when he’s abroad. I sat with him while going toward the filming location. It was a long drive. Uss din jitna uparwaale ko maine yaad kiya, utna uske pehle na uske baad kiya tha (laughs)!
Really? Is it because he drove at a high speed?
Yes, and moreover, koi Hindustani aadmi aise fast chala raha ho toh darr lagta tha! Moreover, the roads there are such that you can speed without any problem.
The music was a hit pre-release. It must have helped in enhancing the pre-release buzz…
Indeed, and even today, people are listening to it. We did the music sitting with Khan saab in Lahore. He had invited us. Unke saath kaam karne ka kamaal ka experience tha. Javed Akhtar, producer Sohail Maklai and Rahul ji were also there. Asha Bhosle, Sonu Nigam, Udit Narayan, Asha Bhosle, etc…they sung such memorable songs.
It’s unfortunate that while Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya was released on August 15, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan passed away a day later, on August 16, 1997…
You know, this year also marks 25 years of my marriage. I had gotten married on October 24, 1997. After my engagement, Khan saab had asked me, ‘Rumy saab, main aapko shaadi mein kya tohfa du?’. I replied, ‘Aap bade hai. Aap duaayein dijiye aur shaadi mein aayenge toh accha lagega’. He said, ‘For sure I am coming without a doubt. I had sung at Rishi Kapoor’s wedding. I have never performed at anybody’s wedding in India since then. Toh meri taraf se tohfa yeh hoga ki main aapki shaadi mein perform karunga’! I was on cloud nine and told him that ‘meri toh shaadi yaadgaar ho jaayegi’. Sadly, he passed away in August.
The climax of the film, involving the aeroplane, had poor special effects. As per a trivia mentioned on IMDb, Bobby Deol openly voiced his displeasure at the special effects in the climax scene…
Not just Bobby, everyone was unhappy. That was the only minus point of the film. At that time, we didn’t have advanced special effects in India. Sochna ek baat hoti hai aur execute karna dusri. Rahul ji technically is very strong. He approached the studios in LA and Singapore. He sent the storyboards to them as he didn’t believe in compromising. However, the cost of getting the special effects done from these studios was sky high. Hence, we had to make do with whatever our budget allowed us to do. As a result, the gripping scene, in the end, looked straight out of a Cartoon Network show. Ekdum nakli lag raha tha.
Did you visit cinema halls to check the feedback?
Yes. Log deewane the film ke. And Aishwarya looked so beautiful. See any scene or a shot of the film and even today, you’d be mesmerized by her beauty. The credit should also go to cinematographer Manmohan Singh. Woh bahut hi shareef aur apne kaam ke maahir aadmi the. The way he would present a heroine on screen was unparalleled.
He even shot Sridevi-starrer Chandni…
And also Lamhe, Chaalbaaz, Darr, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge etc. So you see the best people came on board for this film – from cinematographer Manmohan Singh to choreographer Saroj Khan to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan to Bobby and Aishwarya to writer Honey Irani to director Rahul Rawail to costume designers Neeta Lulla and Anna Singh.
Even you were a part of it!
(Smiles) Main toh bas junior tha!
That year, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan lost out on winning the Best Debut (Female) award to Mahima Chaudhry. She won for her performance in Pardes. Did you feel bad about it since you were so close to Aishwarya?
Mujhe toh bahut kharab laga tha. Come on, she was the Miss World. There was so much craze for her within and outside the industry. Probably Sridevi had such a craze before her. Hence, for her to not win the award is unfortunate. I guess uparwaala aisi cheezin jaan bujhkar karwata hai kyunki isse history create hoti hai. Amitabh Bachchan was rejected by All India Radio for his voice when the fact is that he has the best voice. Had he passed the audition, toh yeh kissa yaadgaar hi nahi banta. Similarly, by not giving Aishwarya Filmfare, God made this moment even more memorable!
You worked in films like Judwaa (1997) and Coolie No 1 (1995) and their remake versions were made recently. If a remake of Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya is made today, who should be cast in the lead roles?
(Thinks for a while) In my opinion, the female lead should be played by Deepika Padukone while the role of the male lead should be essayed by Ranbir Kapoor!
More Pages: Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya Box Office Collection
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