Twenty Years of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai: 20 things in the Karan Johar film that spelt C-O-O-L


We as a country and an audience can never thank Karan Johar enough for all the things he has indoctrinated on the map of India. A 25-year-old Karan had surfaced on the glorious sheet of Bollywood, two decades ago, with his fancy ways of exploring familial bonds in combination with an all-new perspective to our lifestyle as seen under the fashion lens of Manish Malhotra. Johar’s directorial debut Kuch Kuch Hota Hai was a variety pack scoring a three-pointer in all the boxes – entertainment, emotions and extravaganza. The Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukerji, Kajol and Salman Khan starrer opened in theatres on October 16, 1998, only to be ingrained on the canvas of this industry for generations to come. KKHH, as fans fondly call the movie, was a wave of new cinema for it led to the birth of one of nation’s prolific filmwallah, leading a production to heights of glory one can only imagine and steadily reinventing the art of storytelling.

Twenty years have passed, yet nobody deciphers friendship and epitomises romance as the director we celebrate today. But beneath the emotional connect running hard in the face of award-winning performances, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai made Karan Johar an icon for every 90s kid because he and his films remain an inevitable part of pop culture in India. The head honcho of Dharma Productions has made a significant contribution in bringing together every element of what defines and spells C-O-O-L, quite literally. As we commemorate the illustrious innings of KKHH, we look back at everything that became a rage after its release.

1. Athleisure

Our go-to gym wear was first introduced by Rahul-Anjali, as their college wear staple. The Gap Hoodies, Polo Sport T-shirts and Tommy Hilfiger attires are as popular as they were back then!

2. Kajol’s haircut

Raise your hand if you pestered your mother to get you an Anjali-Sharma-haircut that became synonymous with a tomboy.

3. Tina’s micro-minis

Micro-mini’s became a statement and boy oh boy, didn’t Tina make them look svelte and scorching?

4. C-O-O-L chain

Because Rahul is always C-O-O-L. Boys could fight to get their hands on this trendy neck piece!

5. Basketball

In a country that worships cricket, Johar shifted focus from a stadium to a basketball court.

6. Rahul-Anjali handclap-nose-flick greet

Because hello-hi were so yesterday. Thanks, Karan Johar.

7. Whistles

Arguably, a boy whistling a song for his girl was considered romantic. Not sure if it still does today.

8. Miss Briganza’s co-ord sets

The English teacher’s sense of fashion totally made every student go Aahaan! 100% attendance in her class, we bet.

9. Summer camps

Are you even a 90s kid if you never pleaded with your parents to send you to a summer camp in Shimla?

10. The Neelam’s Show aka VJ’s

Because it’s not just Anjali Khanna who listens to Neelam.

11. Ferrero Rocher chocolates

The only kind of gifts we all knew back then were the yummy-licious chocolates Rahul gets for Tina.

12. Dungarees

Rifat Bi may not be very pleased but Anjali’s colourful dungarees impressed us till the lasted in the film.

13. Guitar – Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram hip-hop redux

Every guitar owned strung at least once to this hip and happening version of the popular bhajan.

14. Friendship bands

Valentine’s Day and the quintessential red roses were rendered to a mere cliché as Karan emphasized on Friendship’s Day and bands.

15. The backwards tie-flip

Admit it office-goers, you thought flipping your tie backwards (after work of course) was a signal of freedom.

16. Office bags

Dear grown-ups, office bags are an accessory. Period.

17. Waist pouches

Body-hugging tees with waist pouches are oh-so-cool.

18. “Singing and dancing”

The only hobbies we are accepting are “singing and dancing.”

19. Colourful hairbands

After all, them bangs need some taming too.

20. Pyaar dosti hai

Of the many things that topped the style barometer, we thank KJo for making us believe that it is okay to fall in love with your friend. Pyaar…dosti hai.

If you can think of any other things we missed out on, comment and let us know! While we go back to binge-watching our favourite film, to those who cannot relate, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai…Tum Nahi Samjhoge!