Why Kabir Bedi grew a beard & How Kunal Kohli used ‘Lag Jaa Gaale’ in Fanna. It was a poignant evening at the commemoration of yesteryear Producer / Director Raj Khosla in whose memory The Raj Khosla Foundation was set up by Sunita Bhalla Khosla (daughter) in association with Shashi Ranjan. Present on the ocassion were stalwarts like Kabir Bedi, Producer Johnny Bakshi, Producer Director Shashi Ranjan. Ananth Mahadevan and young Diretors like Kunal Kohli, Abhinav Kashyap and Subhask Kapoor. Other guests included Mita Vashisht & Anu Ranjan.
Kabir Bedi reminisced about his association with Raj Khosla and how the movie ‘Kachche Daage’ where he featured along with Vinod Khanna was his first hit and established himself as a star to reckon with. He also narrated the reason behind his trademark beard which became his identity in years to come especially in his hit television series ‘Sandokan’ in Italy. “Raj Khosla ji had asked me to grow the beard for the movie ‘Kachche Daage’ and when the movie became a hit, the subsequent offers that I got from Directors insisted that I maintain the bearded look as it defined my personality and thats how the beard came to stay. Years later when the Director of Sandokan was looking for an Asian actor to play the title role he chanced upon my pics. Incidentally he had drawn a sketch of the character he wanted as the lead character with the same beard and it clinched the deal in favour of me.”
Kunal Kohli mentioned how directors like Rajk Khosla who have such a vast body of work should be a source of inspiration for the current Directors in Bollywood. What was phenomenal was the fact that Raj ji made movies across genres from horror, thriller to romantic, commercial and women oriented subjects. He said “Whenever I have faced challenges in my carrer I have always looked back at the movies Raj ji had made and drawn inspiration from them. In fact in the movie Fanaa, I had a scene where Aamir & Kajol are travelling in a rickshaw. I had to use the same scene in the second half of the movie as flashback and I was wondering how to connect the two scenes to show continuity. Thats when Raj ji came to the rescue and I used the legendary song ‘Lag jaa Gale’ from the movie ‘Woh Kaun Thi’ playing in the background of the rickshaw to show the connection.”