Born to actress Tanuja and film director-producer Shomu Mukherjee, acting was in Kajol’s blood. Be it her performance in ‘Baazigar’, ‘Gupt’, ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ or ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’, she kept surprising the audiences with her on-screen spontaneity and acting prowess. By way of blockbusters like ‘My Name is Khan’ and ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, she has proved that it is not impossible for married and talented Bollywood actresses to revive their career.
As Kajol turns a year older today, let’s take a look at her journey till date.
Kajol’s love for cinema was quite evident from the fact that she left her school early to try her luck in Bollywood. Not that she was bad in her academics, for she had been the head girl of St Joseph Convent boarding school in Panchgani. It was in 1992, at the young age of 16, when Kajol dropped out of school to pursue a full time career in Bollywood.
‘Bekhudi’ and her initial success in ‘Baazigar’
Kajol debuted in Bollywood with Maharukh Jokhi’s ‘Bekhudi’ opposite Kamal Sadanah. However, the movie couldn’t create ripples at the box-office. Nonetheless, Kajol’s acting was noticed. This landed her with the meaty role of Priya Chopra in the Shah Rukh Khan starrer ‘Baazigar’. The Abbas-Mustan film was a blockbuster, and it was successful in launching Kajol as a promising actress.
Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge
Kajol did commercially successful movies like ‘Yeh Dillagi’, ‘Karan Arjun’ etcetera, and became one of the A-lister B-town actresses. But it was her iconic role of Simran Singh in Aditya Chopra’s romantic flick ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ co-starring Shah Rukh Khan that made her win her first Filmfare award. The movie is till date said to be one of the best movies of all time.
In the 1990’s, Bollywood actresses usually played the clichéd ‘delicate and beautiful’ love interests of the heroic male lead. It was Kajol who broke this stereotypical trend by starring in a negative role in ‘Gupt’. Kajol’s mean character not only proved her versatility, but it also got her the Filmfare award for the best performance in a Negative Role.
Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya
After romancing Shah Rukh Khan in ‘DDLJ’, Kajol played Salman Khan’s love interest in Sohail Khan’s ‘Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya’. This movie did well at the box-office and Kajol’s ‘girl next door image’ was quite lapped-up by people.
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
After the success of ‘Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya’, Kajol did movies like ‘Dushman’, ‘Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha’ etcetera. But it was the memorable role of Anjali played by her in ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’, which garnered positive response from the public. The chemistry between Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol was indeed commendable; as was the versatility shown by the actress by playing a cheerful bubbly girl in the first half of the film and a silent sufferer in the latter half.
Kajol, who was riding high on the success of ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ and ‘Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain’, tied the knot with her ‘Gundaraj’ co-star Ajay Devgn in 1999. The two dated for five years before exchanging the vows. The actress assured her fans that she will not leave the showbiz world.
Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham...
Kajol revived her career after marriage; by featuring in movies like ‘Raju Chacha’, ‘Kuch Khatti Kuch Meethi’ etcetera, but none were successful at the box-office. In 2001, Karan Johar’s ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham’ gave Kajol the perfect comeback. Kajol stood out in the multi-starrer movie which boasted of big stars like Amitabh Bahchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Jaya Bachchan and Kareena Kapoor. Kajol’s depiction of a middle-class Punjabi girl named Anjali is said to be one of her best performances till date.
After ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham’, Kajol went for a break, and in 2003, she gave birth to a daughter christened Nyasa. After few years in 2010 she became a proud mother of a son named Yug.
In 2006, Kajol was once again paired opposite her ‘Ishq’ co-star Aamir Khan for ‘Fanaa’. She left the audience awe-struck by playing a blind character named Zooni. She was awarded a Filmfare trophy for the best actress for the same film.
My Name Is Khan
The Raj- Simran jodi was paired opposite each other again in ‘My Name Is Khan’. This Karan Johar’s drama flick was not only a hit in India, but it turned out to be an all time blockbuster overseas too.