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December 11, 2001

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Amitabh wears make-up; Jaya comes colour coordinated

Pratiksha Arora

In true Johar style, the launch of Niranjan Iyengar's book -- The Making Of Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, was truly a lavish affair.

Amitabh Bachchcan and Niranjan Iyengar at the book launch The star cast -- Amitabh, Jaya, Shah Rukh, Hrithik and Kareena clad in burgundy and black ensembles were present as the pre-release publicity reached its crescendo at The Grand Maratha Sheraton Hotel, Mumbai.

With the stars, the huge posters, the special teasers video clips and the book as bait, director Karan Johar managed to grab everyone's attention.

The evening began with Karan talking about the book. The numerous film screenings for friends, family and the industry and rave reviews has him at ease. "The good part about the film is that I've lost four kilos because of the stress. The bad part is that nobody can make out in this suit," he jokes.

"I always justified my reasons for making this film. But recently, at a screening I discovered the film reunited a father and son who hadn't spoken to each other in over two years. I realised then that the film simply didn't need any justification.

"The ensemble star cast warranted the book," says Karan. "Jaya and Amitabh Bachchan were returning on screen together after 18 years. K3G could probably be Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol's last onscreen venture together. K3G also has India's latest icons of the silver screen Hrithik and Kareena share screen space with these legends."

Unveiling the first copy of this coffee table book, Amitabh Bachchan says, "This is the first time I have attended a press conference with make-up on. It only goes to show how professional and diligent Karan is. My association with the Johars began 30 years ago when I was signed for Dharma productions' first film Dostana. I was present for Karan's birth. Jaya and I think Karan is a wonderful director and have felt completely at home during the shoot.

"I must confess, though, I'm very worried for myself, once K3G releases. I throw Shah Rukh Khan out of the house, I consider Kajol inferior, I don't speak with Kareena and I even whack Hrithik. My life is in great danger, but I hope you will take care of that!"

Jaya Bachchan, who Karan introduced as 'his mother in the film and off-screen', says that she signed the film for the same reason that she did Sholay.

"It's going be one of the biggest films in history. I can't say no to Karan. I don't know when I am going to meet the rest of the cast again, but like my dialogue in the film, 'Maa ki yehi ichcha hai, ki uske bachche khush rahe.' (As a mother my only wish is my children's happiness.)"

A dapper Shah Rukh Khan had every reason to be cheerful. Bharathi Pradhan, editor Movie Magazine International, who had a sneak preview of the dekho says, "He has the most outstanding character in the film. Amitabh and Hrithik are great, but Shah Rukh is fabulous! As for the women, Karan has managed to provide a well-defined character to them all."

Speaking of his experience, the Khan says, "Amitabh Bachchan throws me out of the house, just like the BMC decided to do so a year go. In fact, when I was working with Jayaji, it never felt like I was acting. She's always treated me like her son. But, it's a pity having Kareena as my saali especially after we did the sexy Asoka together. As for Hrithik, I wish I looked as good as he does. And I wish I danced as well as he does!"

Kareena and Hrithik were overwhelmed with the attention they received. But they recuperated soon enough to briefly state how the film made all their dreams come true.

While the stars were whisked away, the Johars played perfect hosts.

Yash Johar, the proud father was beaming. "As a producer, I bow to my director. He has more than justified every penny spent on the film. Money was only a small part of what this film required. It required effort, love and a lot of affection.

"Kuch Kuch Hota Hai had some scenes, which I felt could have been improved. Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham is flawless!"

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