Subhash Ghai’s “Khal Nayak” marks 30 years, former reveals anecdotes and musical nostalgia

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The iconic film “Khal Nayak,” directed by Subhash Ghai, celebrated its 30th anniversary on Sunday (August 6), reminiscing about its cinematic impact. Beyond its captivating plot, the movie is also remembered for its chart-topping songs. In a recent interview, Subhash Ghai unveiled a captivating backstory behind one of the film’s most infamous tracks, ‘Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai.’ Crafted by music duo Laxmikant-Pyarelal and penned by Anand Bakshi, the song came to life through the enchanting voices of Alka Yagnik and Ila Arun.

Ghai shared in an interview with The Times Of India that Anand Bakshi had sought guidance regarding the essence of the song, particularly the ‘mujra’ aspect. Ghai’s creative suggestion was to transform it into a folk song, aligning with the film’s need for Madhuri Dixit’s character to portray tribal roots. Adapting this advice, Bakshi ingeniously penned the evocative lyrics of ‘Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai.’

Interestingly, Ghai initially expressed shock and reservations when Bakshi presented the lyrics. He had exclaimed, “No, we can’t make this.” However, upon encountering the line, ‘Yeh dil main dungi apne yaar ko’ (I’ll give my heart to my beloved), Ghai’s perspective shifted, and he gave his approval for the song’s incorporation.

The song ‘Choli Ke Peeche’ sparked both attention and controversy due to its bold exploration of female desire and its provocative undertones. Ila Arun’s distinctive voice lent a unique texture to this blockbuster track.

Reflecting on her journey, Ila Arun shared with Hindustan Times her mother’s initial disapproval of the song. Her mother had candidly advised her, “Yeh Kya gaana gaya hai, apna star itna mat girao ki kuch bhi gana ga do?” (What have you sung? Don’t let your stardom fall to the extent that you have to sing anything.) However, with time, her mother recognized the song’s artistic value and expressed her appreciation for Ila’s rendition.

Shedding light on casting decisions, Subhash Ghai revealed in his interview with TOI that Anil Kapoor had expressed interest in the role of Ballu. Yet, Ghai felt Kapoor wasn’t a suitable fit for the character and instead opted for Sanjay Dutt. Ghai humorously recollected telling Kapoor, “This part won’t suit you, you won’t work, I won’t work, this film won’t work.” Rumors had also circulated about Aamir Khan’s involvement, but Ghai clarified that Aamir had actually reached out for his 1991 film, “Saudagar.” As the 30th anniversary celebrations continue, “Khal Nayak” continues to be a testament to its lasting impact on Indian cinema.

About The Author

Shatakshi Ganguly

An ardent writer with a cinephile heart, who likes to theorise every screenplay beyond roots. When not writing, she can be seen scrutinizing books and trekking in the mountains.

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Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

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