As Kuch Kuch Hota Hai clocks 25 years of its release, actor Archana Puran Singh aka Miss Briganza, shares that she only has fond memories of the fun and laughter on set with her co-stars and film’s director Karan Johar. “Karan used to regale us with very cheesy couplets like, ‘Aakash mai udd rahe hain kabootar, flutter flutter, flutter flutter.’ We were in Mauritius, where we shot a major part of the movie, and we used to play dumb charades and have many get-togethers in the evenings,” she tells us.
Archana’s son, Aryaman, was just 2 years old at the time of the shoot. She reminisces about how Kajol (actor) picked him up during breakfast and gave him a lot of kisses, to which Aryaman reacted by making a grimace and forcing her to put him down. She says, “I was like, ‘It is Kajol, and one day you are going to grow up and say wow.'”
One of the heartwarming moments on set was the actor’s interaction with Anupam Kher, who played Mr. Malhotra in the film. She shares, “Anupam used to take my son by the finger and go for a walk in the garden. Location shoots are really intimate, and we all felt really sad when the schedule was over,” adding that she appreciated the creative freedom given to her and Anupam by Karan Johar. “The kind of improvisations that Karan allowed me and Anupam made everything better. We created comedy with each other. Anupam and I both being comic actors predominantly, we created whatever we could after the scenes that Karan wanted. He knew exactly what we wanted, yet he gave us the freedom to experiment,” the 61-year-old tells us.
The film not only holds a special place in Singh’s heart but also in the history of Indian cinema. She states, “We never thought while making that this film would make such a landmark in the history of cinema. I have always experienced in my career that whenever films are destined for great heights, the memories around it are very specific, and the kind of fun that you have on the sets while shooting does translate onto the big screen, and that’s exactly what happened.”
“When Karan narrated the film to me, I cried and laughed while listening to the script,” Singh recalls and adds, “Miss Briganza’s skirt length, buttons on the blazer, and hair, every detailed decision was taken carefully. I was doing my own makeup for the film as I wasn’t given that budget.”
Singh also reveals that Mr. Malhotra and Ms. Briganza had extensive scenes which had to be deleted due to the film’s length. “In one of the deleted scenes, Karan said that years later, Ms. Briganza and Malhotra would also get off the train with greyed hair, and the background score would say ‘Waqt ne kia kya hasi sitam.’ Unfortunately, that scene had to be deleted, but I have no regrets, I love each and every part that remained,” she ends.