Soni Soni aaja mahi ve mahi ve – Sadhana/Shankar/Sonu/Sujata/Udit – Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy | Kal Ho Na Ho (2003)

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Movie: This song appeared in 2003 Dharma Productions’ critically acclaimed and super hit romantic drama Kal Ho Na Ho (Tomorrow May Never Arrive) directed by Nikkhil Advani (debut) and produced by late Yash Johar and Karan Johar. The movie starred Shah Rukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Preity Zinta, Jaya Bhaduri, Lilette Dubey, late Reema Lagoo, late Dara Singh, Sushma Seth, Delnaaz Paul, etc.

Naina Catherine Kapur (Preity Zinta) is a pessimistic MBA student living in New York City with her widowed mother Jennifer Kapur aka Jenny (Jaya Bhaduri) and 2 younger siblings – her biological differently-abled brother Shiv and adopted sister Gia. Jenny runs an unsuccessful café with her neighbor Jaswinder Kapoor aka Jazz (Lilette Dubey) to make 2 ends meet. Jenny’s mother-in-law (MIL) Lajjo (Sushma Seth) always puts Jenny and Gia down in front of other people and otherwise. Naina has 2 best friends Rohit Patel (Saif Ali Khan) and neighbor Jaspreet Kapoor aka Sweetu (Delnaz Paul). Naina’s life is dull and is shadowed by her father’s death until Aman Mathur (Shah Rukh Khan) comes to stay with his uncle (Dara Singh) and his mother (Reema Lagoo).

Aman is a bubbly fun-loving man. He slowly begins to solve Naina’s familial problems. He first transforms Jenny’s café into an Indian restaurant, which succeeds and they are able to repay the bank loan. He also tries to alleviate sadness from Naina’s life and makes her live life zestfully. She realizes that she has fallen in love with him. Meanwhile, Rohit also realizes that he loves the new Naina. Aman decides to help Rohit and make Naina fall in love with him. Naina visits Aman in the rain to tell him that she is in love with him. Before she says anything, he tells her that he is married to Priya (Sonali Bendre). Naina is in tears before she leaves his house. Actually, Priya is Aman’s doctor, treating his terminal illness. Aman has hidden his love for Naina, behind the wrong notion that he is married.

Soon, Naina gets to know what they did and confronts them. But, Aman reads from Rohit’s diary, all that he had written about Naina. He even says things that he feels. But, the stuff he says, now, is not written in the diary. Naina is convinced into marrying Rohit. Around this time, Aman gets to know that Gia was the illegitimate child of Naina’s father. Naina’s father had regretted the extra-marital affair and had committed suicide. Lajjo keeps taunting Jenny about the suicide and Gia, whom she considers as a jinx to their family. On one such occasion, Gia runs to Aman, crying and Aman tells Lajjo the truth about Gia’s birth.

Most of the things are sorted and Naina and Rohit’s engagement arrives. It is at this time that everybody enjoys the occasion and sings this song.

Song: The music of this song was scored by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy (SEL) and the lyrics were penned by Javed Akhtar.

In this song, everybody praises the girl, who is getting engaged.

Video: Cinematography is by Anil Mehta. Dance choreography is by Farah Khan.

The video opens with the DJ beginning the song. Shah Rukh Khan begins to dance with some girls in tune with the song. The little girl playing Gia, Jaya Bhaduri, Sushma Seth and Delnaz Paul join the song and dance in a queue. Shah Rukh Khan begins the song, as he performs the dance. Preity Zinta and Saif Ali Khan look on happily.

Satish Shah and Ketaki Dave, who play the roles of Saif Ali Khan’s parents, also join them. Saif Ali Khan also begins the song and then begins the dance as well. He joins Shah Rukh Khan in the dance. Farah Khan must have given all strict rehearsals. Nobody misses a single beat. Wow! Saif Ali Khan pulls Preity Zinta onto the dance floor and they dance together.

Preity Zinta begins to sing and dances with some other girls. Rani Mukherjee arrives to dance with them. Tears run down Preity Zinta’s cheeks. Jaya Bhaduri begins to sing and wipes the tears from Preity Zinta’s cheeks. All the 3 lead artists dance together. Kajol also joins them in the dance. Preity Zinta and Saif Ali Khan exchange rings.

The music changes into that of Gujarati dandia. All of them join in the dance. The music rises to a crescendo and the video ends as Shah Rukh Khan weakens and goes down to his knees in pain. I knew this would happen, given the energetic dance.

Artists: The playback of this song has been sung by Sadhana Sargam, Shankar Mahadevan, Sonu Nigam, Sujata Bhattacharya and Udit Narayan and the onscreen performances are by Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, Saif Ali Khan and others.

Cultural Influence: This typically filmi song celebrates the engagement of Preity Zinta and Saif Ali Khan in the movie. The feet-tapping Bhangra is excellent. Some of the latter parts of the music have the basis in a Gujarat’s folk dance. The artists are very good. The video is watchable for the same.

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