It might be just yesterday when you were humming “Ghar Se Nikalte Hi”, but it has been 25 years since Jugal Hansraj made you go weak in the knees about your first love. Yes, Papa Kahte Hain completes a quarter of a century today, but both the movie and the track have aged well.
“I didn’t realise it’s completed 25 years. In some ways, I do feel old, and in others, I don’t. In my mind I’m still that kid (from the film). And people still remember the music. It is one of the most famous albums in Bollywood. To be one amongst the great compositions down the years, is a big thing.,” Jugal said as he revisited Papa Kahte Hain during an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com.
Papa Kahte Hain (1996) became a landmark film for many people. Apart from giving Jugal the tag of the boy-next door, it also impressed audience with his adorable chemistry with co-actor Mayoori Kango who debuted with the movie. But it was Rajesh Roshan’s tunes that made the film a musical memorable.
According to Jugal, the simplicity with which its soundtrack was created and picturised, made it special. “There was no fancy camera work. It was just plain simple innocent storytelling in songs that touched people’s heart – a young boy and young girl sitting, talking and singing to each other. Today, with all the fast cuts and snazzy stuff, you miss out on all of that.”
Papa Kahte Hain revolved around the character of Sweety (Mayoori) who’s out in search of her father (Anupam Kher), who abandoned her when she was a child. During the journey, she meets and falls in love with Rohit (Jugal). The Mahesh Bhatt directorial also starred Tiku Talsania, Dinesh Hingoo, Soni Razdan, Navni Parihar and Suhas Joshi.
Jugal revealed that after he heard “Ghar Se Nikalte Hi”, all he wanted was to shoot the song, even before the movie. “I have very clear memories. I remember going for the song recording before the shooting began. Rajesh Roshan, Javed Akhtar and Udit Narayan were all there. When Udit ji started singing, I got so excited that I kept annoying Mahesh Bhatt to shoot the song first. Whoever he liked, he called them ‘duffer’. So he told me, ‘No duffer. First we have to finish the Bombay shoot. And then we’ll go to Seychelles’. So I should better wait,” the actor shared.
Reminiscing the day of shoot, Jugal added, “We all were at a beach resort. I was so excited, I didn’t sleep the night before. On the day of shoot, I woke up early, got ready. I remember going to the villas of Mahesh Bhatt and Raju Khan, the choreographer, knocking at their doors and asking them to hurry up. I was dragging everyone out to get in the bus (laughs).
“We went to the beach and half of the day went in the intro music. I kept waiting for the words to begin. It started after lunch, and everyone said here they are, now I should leave them alone!” he candidly shared.
Jugal started his acting career as a child artiste and became popular with Masoom (1983). Papa Kahte Hain happened soon after he made his entry into Bollywood as a male lead. And getting an opportunity to be on a Mahesh Bhatt film set this early in his career was special. He agreed, “That was Bhatt sir’s peak time as he was busy making 8-9 films at a time. What I really enjoyed while working with him is, everything else aside, he’s very good with actors and will go out of his way to make them comfortable. He believes it is actors who are in the line of fire, in front of the lights, as others are hiding behind the lens. So, he’ll make sure we are loved and looked after. He doesn’t give many instructions. He’ll put you in the mood of the scene and leave you in front of the camera.”
So, even the way Mahesh Bhatt shot “Ghar Se Nikalte Hi” was different. Jugal revealed the brief he was given for the song. “If you see it, you’ll realise there are 4-6 lines in every shot. He’s taken long shots without cuts. His whole brief to me was not to think of it as a song, but to imagine that the camera and audience is my friend and I’m confiding in my best friend about this sweet girl I’ve just met, but I don’t know how to talk to her. I had to imagine how I’d experience all that. So, he made me sing into the camera in the whole song.”
Both the leads of the film – Jugal Hansraj and Mayoori Kango went on to pick different routes in their careers. While Jugal, apart from acting, turned a writer too, now awaiting the release of his second book soon, Mayoori was appointed the Industry Head at Google India in 2019.
“Yes, Mayoori is doing very well. And I’m still acting every now and then, whenever anything comes up,” Jugal said, adding further why he made the shift.
“The shift happened organically. I signed a lot of films, nearly 30 as a lead actor, with Manmohan Desai, Pahlaj Nihalani, Yash Johar, Raj Sippy, Ram Gopal Varma and others. But so many didn’t get made at all. No complaints, but it just didn’t happen. And the ones where I did small roles and cameos like Salaam Namaste, got made. My film with Rajshri Productions – Hum Pyar Tumhi Se Kar Baithe, which I did after Mohabbatein, didn’t do well. Suddenly good roles started drying up. Then one veers into other things, and you can’t sit at home waiting for things to work out.”
Papa Kahte Hain is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.