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Impulsive. Vivacious. Childlike. Fiery. A complete natural.

Thatís Kajol for you. Plain and simple.

Daughter of filmmaker Shomu Mukherji and actress Tanuja, Kajol was born in a film family.

With a lineage of talents like Shobhana Samarth, her mom and Nutan behind her, Kajol's entry in films was inevitable.

Not a conventional beauty, Kajol's radiant light eyes, fascinating bone structure and heaps of attitude, made her stand out from the rest.

Ace lensman Gautam Rajadhyaksha captured these qualities in a photo-session she did with him for a lark.

Director Rahul Rawail, who was on the lookout for a fresh face at the time, was greatly impressed after seeing her pictures. At 17, Kajol signed her first film Bekhudi opposite Saif Ali Khan, later replaced by Kamal Sadanah.

The film bombed.

A confident Kajol struck back with Udhar Ki Zindagi, Baazigar and Yeh Dillagi. Though the latter two films were a huge success, it was the sensitively handled Udhar Ki Zindagi that was close to Kajol's heart.

Post Baazigar and Yeh Dillagi, Kajol was the next best thing to have hit Bollywood.

Instead of signing films left, right and center, Kajol wisely chose her scripts and signed only a few films.

For every flop (Bambai Ka Babu, Hulchul, and Hamesha), she compensated with hits (Gupt, Karan Arjun and Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge).

DDLJ marked a new chapter in her life. Kajol was crowned the undisputed queen of tinsel town. Nonchalant by nature, Kajol wasnít impressed by all the praises and acclaim being showered on her by fans, critics and media.

Though her acting talent was never questioned, Kajol's disinterest in the looks and costume department always left a lot to be desired.

With some help from designer Manish Malhotra, Kajol managed to shut the sceptics up with her stunning avatar in films like Sapnay, DDLJ and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.

After a spate of non-stop hits including Pyar Kiya Toh Darna Kya (Salman Khan) and Pyar Toh Hona Hi Tha (Ajay Devgan), Kajol was invincible.

Impulsive as she is, Kajol decided it was time to settle down with beau Ajay Devgan. So far its been a blissful experience for the couple.

Kajol's last few films: Dil Kya Karen, Raju Chacha, Kuch Khatti Kuch Meethi may have been damp squibs at the BO, but they don't undermine the actress's talent.

She's back with the most awaited film of the year, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham.

Click here to unravel a phenomenon named Kajol

Text: Sukanya Verma


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