15 years since ‘Kal Ho Naa Ho’

There are some movies that I just can’t wait before posting about. There are so many movies like that in fact. And one of them is definitely the hit classic , ‘Kal Ho Na Ho’. I don’t want to be ‘that’ person who reviews a wonderful and popular film like this, but rather I take this special opportunity to talk about the numerous things on why I love this film, which has now been 15 years since it’s release!

Theatrical release poster

Country of origin: India

Language : Hindi

Title: Kal Ho Na Ho (which translates to ‘Tomorrow may never come’)

Directed by: Nikkhil Advani

Written by: Karan Johar

Narrated by: Preity Zinta

Starring: Shah Rukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Preity Zinta, Jaya Bachchan

Music: Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy

Released: 27 November 2003

Duration: 186 minutes

From left to right, Preity Zinta as Naina Catherine Kapur and Saif Ali Khan as Rohit Patel

The story is narrated by one of the main characters Naina,who lives with her family in America. She is a serious MBA student and she lives with her mother, Jennifer Kapur (Jaya Bachchan), biological brother Shiv, adopted sister Gia, and her father’s mother. Her grandmother constantly fights with her mother over the loss of her son when he died, and the fact that Jennifer adopted an unknown child, Gia. Naina’s grandmother believes that her son was led to committing suicide because of the adoption,and she blatantly favors Shiv over Gia.

Her mother runs a cafe in the city , which is having some really bad business. Her closest friend is Rohit, who comes with her for her classes. Things really seem to be going downhill, and in one scene, her mother sits them all down, and asks them to pray to God, for an angel to come and save them.

Shah Rukh Khan as Aman

Their angel does arrive in the form of Aman. He is happy and chooses to love and live life in it’s moment rather than being too serious about it. He helps improving their business by remodelling their cafe to an Indian restaurant which becomes very successful, and even convinces the uptight Naina to loosen up and enjoy life. Eventually everyone starts to become very fond of Aman. Naina falls in love with Aman, while Rohit is revealed to have loved Naina for a long time. The perfect and typical live triangle.

But there’s more to Aman than what meets the eye, as the reason he doesn’t return Naina’s feelings is because he is a terminally ill heart patient. He then takes it upon him as his life aim to bring Naina and Rohit together, despite the pain it involves him. The movie then follows how all the characters deal with Aman’s situation, the fate of the painful love triangle, and the truth that Naina’s mother has kept hidden.

The movie was a commercial success now and there’s not much surprise there, a strong cast and set of actors, a story that appeals across to a very wide audience, the painful but entertaining love triangle, mixed with the right amount of tragedy.

I’m not here to talk about the commercial success of the film, but rather some small small things that really makes this film feel close to many people’s hearts. One thing is the fact that Naina is the representation of people who take things so seriously in life, that somewhere along the way, they forget to live. Although everyone is not like that all the time, somewhere along the way, through all the things we do and achieve in life ,we too forget to actually live in certain parts of life. On that note, Aman was a breath of fresh air to this film, that really makes us think that over.

Also the large family,the interconnected set of friends all in a beautiful setting of a city in America really appealed and made the story feel different. There were some elements that just weren’t seen normally in an Indian film , at least at that time, and that made it special.

Now if there is one reason, this film is evergreen and always will be, is it’s music. Literally every track is just- magic.

Whether it be the beautiful track Kal Ho Na Ho that touches your heart with warm feelings, or the celebratory party number Maahi Ve. Or if it’s a song where you let your hair loose and just want to dance all those emotions off, It’s the time to disco, is the song for you. Or hey, if you want that peppy Indian dance number where literally everyone comes out and dances in sync, then Pretty Woman, is the song for you.

And finally,but never the least, although it’s an instrumental song Heartbeat is one song everyone who has watched this film knows, because this one song is capable of making you cry copious amounts of tears even on your happiest day. Musically this movie, is so varied and strong, and full of energy,just like a high energy Indian films of those days would be.

Kal Ho Naa Ho is really that film , that will be etched in time,history and in the minds and hearts of everyone who watched and loved it. I know many of you who are reading this,will have their own memories and things to say about this film,so please do so in the comments below!

Image courtesy: Google Image Search


  1. The movie is still one of my favorites. There is so much more films dil we, DDLJ, veer zara, Rab me bana di josi. But I feel what makes this movie so special to me is that they tried to portray through Aman how everyone should live their life. My favorite verse from the film, “who know if there will be another tomorrow”. It’s so poetic and very much realistic. Not much of us care or appreciate our life enough. Most of us are on the run for money or materialistic things. Not much of us actually care about relationships. I am not generalizing how this is in society. But I have seen many occurrences like this.

    Liked by 4 people

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