Jai Ma Kali – Kumar Shanu/Alka Yagnik – Rajesh Roshan | Karan-Arjun (1995)

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Yesterday was the 9th day of Navaratri and I thought selecting this song for today would be appropriate.

Movie: This song appeared in 1995 thriller action drama Karan-Arjun (2 names) produced and directed by Rakesh Roshan under the banner of Filmkraft Productions. The movie had a lot of upbeat musical and religious overtones. The movie starred Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Rakhi, Kajol, Mamta Kulkarni, late Amrish Puri, Asif Sheikh, Ranjeet, Johnny Lever, Dinesh Hingoo, Ashok Saraf, etc.

Durga (Rakhi) is a poor woman with her 2 beloved sons Karan (Salman Khan) and Arjun (Shah Rukh Khan). The sons soon learn that their father is dead and their mother also reveals that their father was the Thakur’s son, who had married her against the Thakur’s wishes. She adds that Durjan Singh (Amrish Puri), a relative of Thakur, killed Durga’s husband to prevent him, Durga and her sons from inheriting the estate. The Thakur is dying and wanted to transfer the estate to his grandchildren before dying as it was their birthright.

Durjan kills the Thakur, as well, when he gets to know that the estate is going to be transferred to Karan and Arjun. Then, Karan and Arjun are brutally killed after they are ambushed with the help of his brothers-in-law Nahar (Arjun) and Shamsheer (Jack Gaud) in front of their mother. Durga does not accept that her sons are dead and prays to Goddess Kali to bring them back. Miraculously, Durga’s prayers are answered and her sons are reborn in separate families, with no knowledge of their past lives. For 20 years, she keeps convincing the people of her village that her children will return. Durjan and his family mock her and give her garlands to place on the pictures of Karan and Arjun. Durga takes the vow to place the garlands on their dead bodies.

Arjun reincarnates as Vijay (Shah Rukh Khan again) and falls in love with the wealthy Sonia (Kajol). However, neither of them knows that she is expected to marry Durjan Singh’s son Suraj (Asif Sheikh). Karan reincarnates as Ajay (Salman Khan again) and takes up work with Saxena (Ranjeet), Sonia’s father and Durjan’s partner in his illegal arms business. Vijay and Ajay get nightmares of how they were killed in their previous births. Suraj learns about Vijay and tries to kill him, but ends up burning the farm of Vijay’s Uncle (Dinesh Hingoo). During Sonia’s engagement with Suraj, Vijay arrives to attack the groom. Ajay is let loose to kill Vijay and both start fighting with each other.

Durga is informed about this when the picture of her sons falls down. She runs to the temple and prays to Goddess Kali. A bolt of lightning strikes Vijay and Ajay and they stop fighting. Saxena tries to shoot Vijay but Ajay stops him and shouts, “Run, Arjun, run.” This was said by Karan to Arjun in their previous birth, while he was being attacked by Nahar. Ajay is sent to prison and Vijay escapes. Vijay is confused about the incident mostly because he has had dreams where someone was saying exactly the same words. Sonia is forced to go to Durjan’s house with her father to marry Suraj. She writes to Vijay to come and rescue her.

Vijay and his friend Linghaiyya (Johnny Lever) travel to Malakhera, Rajasthan to save Sonia. Everybody is stunned when they see him and call him Arjun. The travel to the village from the railway station helps him remember his past life and reunites him with Durga. He gets to know about his brother Karan, who is now Ajay. Vijay travels back to Mumbai when Ajay is being taken to Yerwada Jail. On the way, Vijay causes an accident to the police jeep and rescues him. Vijay, Ajay and his girlfriend Bindiya (Mamta Kulkarni) travel to the village by the night train. During the travel, Vijay explains about their rebirth and the issue connected to their death in their previous lives.

Initially, Ajay does not believe it. But when Durjan’s brothers-in-law attack Durga, he remembers his past life and soon together with Vijay kills them, like the way Karan and Arjun were killed. When rituals are being held in the village Goddess Kali temple for Sonia and Suraj’s marriage, Ajay and Vijay frighten Durjan by convincing him that Karan and Arjun are back. It is at this time that this song is sung by Ajay, Vijay, Bindiya and Sonia.

Song: The award-winning music of this song was composed by Rajesh Roshan and lyrics were penned by late Indeewar.

This song is a covert revenge croon in the form of a prayer song, where the men and the girls threaten that they will kill their enemies and offer that as a sacrifice to Goddess Kali. The Devi is also eulogized for requesting Her support in their mission.

Video: Cinematography is by Kaka Thakur.

The video begins with the pundit uttering some mantras to please Goddess Kali. Ranjeet, Amrish Puri and others turn to look at the idol. Mamta Kulkarni and some others begin their dance. Salman Khan enters beginning the song and then joining the dance. Next, Shah Rukh Khan enters to join the rest in singing as well as the song.

Both Salman Khan as well as Shah Rukh Khan go to the idol and offer flowers to Her. While doing so, Shah Rukh Khan looks back at Kajol. When she sees him, she is surprised and at the signal of Shah Rukh Khan, she joins the dancers. Again, the pundit utters some mantras. Right then, Rakhi enters the temple and Ashok Saraf informs Amrish Puri of it and the video ends with all the villains giving shocked looks to both the heroes.

Artists: The playback singers of this song are Kumar Sanu and Alka Yagnik and the onscreen performances are by Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Kajol, Mamta Kulkarni, Ranjeet, Amrish Puri, Asif Sheikh and Rakhi among others.

Cultural Influence: This is a mix and match song – a Hindustani devotional song set to western music. Everybody will like it. The video will be watched by all.

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