Is “kuch kuches” the plural, do we think? Or is “kuch kuchi” better? I’ll leave it like this, but feel free to weigh in with your thoughts in the comments!
Little Anjali and Salman Romance
I can’t be the only one who sees this! She is all cute and teasing with him, and he finds her charming in an age appropriate way. If we just flashforward 10 years, this could really be something!
First, ages. I vote that Salman is younger than Kajol in the present, like 24 to her 29. Which makes him only 16 years older than Little Anjali, which is practically nothing. 10 years later, Little Anjali would be 18 and he would be only 36. Perfectly reasonable!
10 years later, Salman is living in London, a cool dude with age appropriate casual girlfriends and good friends and a thriving business, plus a thriving charitable interest in, like, a soup kitchen. He’s got a full good life and is a full good person, is what I am saying. For his own good, he disconnected from SRKajol a bit, moved to London fully in order to start fresh and free. But he still stays in touch with the family a little bit. And then Reema Lagoo calls him out of the blue to tell him that no one knows she is doing this, only Little Anjali just got a fashion internship in London and everyone is worried about her alone in the big bad city. Can Salman look her up and look out for her a bit? Without letting her know that is what he is doing?
Little Anjali is young and a bit blindly confident. She has twin younger brothers that she dotes on and who hero worship her, her father and mother continue to treat her as more of a friend than a daughter. She is sure she is grown up and large and in charge and capable of whatever she wants. She found a fashion internship in London all on her own, and a roommate situation in London, and she is 18 and sure that she can handle whatever life throws at her. And then she arrives in London and is thrilled with the city and the energy, loves her job, loves everything. Only to finally get to her roommate flat and discover it was a scam, she wired all her savings to a fake address and now doesn’t have money left for rent. And she can’t tell her parents, because they would be so worried and she would be so embarrassed. She sneaks back into the office and sleeps there that night, and the next day, “coincidentally” her old family friend Salman has a meeting with her boss and offers to take her out to lunch. Little Anjali immediately trusts Salman, and has a big crush on him too, and Salman is a smart cookie and sees through some of her explanations for things like why all her suitcases are hidden under her desk, and ends up offering to let her stay in his guest room.
They get along great, Little Anjali befriends Salman’s old friend/casual girlfriend, she enjoys going out to shows and clubs and letting Salman show her the city, and she makes him play Cricket with her in the park and do all those fun things too. And then Little Anjali’s work friend suggests to her that maybe Salman is in love with her, and gives her all the “evidence” (he invited her to live with him out of the blue, he is always doing little check ins on her during the day, etc.). Little Anjali is all excited, has a dreamy love song, and then returns home early to hear Salman on the phone with Reema Lagoo giving her the report on Little Anjali and saying that it is no problem at all “taking care of her”, he enjoys it, she is “cute”. Little Anjali is heartbroken, but dignified. She doesn’t let Salman know she heard, instead she starts spending more time with her young co-worker friends, even goes out on some dates and makes sure Salman knows about it. Salman starts kind of vaguely missing her, and really doesn’t like it when she has dates, even follows her one time because he doesn’t trust the guy. His instincts are right, the guy refuses to give her a ride home unless she kisses him. But Salman doesn’t have to rescue her, Little Anjali slaps the guy and tells him off and gets an uber, and then posts about it on his Facebook wall the next day. Little Anjali isn’t some fragile young person after all.
Little Anjali’s last night in London, she and Salman agree to have one last dinner together, all their friends come to Salman’s house for a shared party and mix seamlessly, and then when they are cleaning up at the end of the night Salman spontaneously proposes, says how happy he has been these past few weeks, how he doesn’t want her to go, and somehow (awkwardly), it blends into a green card proposal, that if she married him she could stay in London and take that great job opportunity. And also, somehow he starts talking about Kajol and how he never thought he could marry anyone else, and Little Anjali begins to feel like she is just a replacement for her stepmother. To keep her pride, Little Anjali lies that she doesn’t want to marry him or stay in London, because she is in love with her best friend in India.
Sad-sad, and Little Anjali lands back in India where she is greeted by her best friend, Little Turban Boy all grown up. Who is GAY! And who really is her best friend and “loves” her, because she was the first person he came out to and she supported him through his whole journey. He can tell there is something wrong right away, even though she can kind of hide it from everyone else. They stay up late in her room talking and getting drunk and she tells him the whole story. And then, because he is such a good friend, he decides to do something about it. And he sends Salman a posturing message about how he is going to marry Little Anjali and Salman is powerless to stop them, ha-ha-ha. Also saying that after marriage he won’t “let” Little Anjali work or travel or anything.
Salman, in London, is inspired that he must go to India to stop this, not because he selfishly loves Anjali, but to rescue her from this man who clearly doesn’t really care about her. But he doesn’t want to make it obvious, so he pretends he is in India on business and reaches out to Kajol and Shahrukh to renew their old friendship. Fun bit where Shahrukh is jealous of Kajol and worried there is more going on, and it ends up with them more in love than ever. Reema Lagoo is wise enough to see what is really happening and tries to get Salman to open up to her about his feelings. Little Anjali is all confused, but Turban boy keeps encouraging her to go after Salman and not be ashamed of her feelings, plus he gets the ten year old twins to help him and arrange for Little Anjali and Salman to have their car break down and need to walk home and stuff, so they spend a lot of time together. It all culminates in Shahrukh finding a love letter Salman wrote but was afraid to give to Little Anjali and thinking it is for Kajol, and then posturing at Salman and threatening him, Salman trying to explain, finally admitting he was talking about Little Anjali not Kajol just as everyone else enters the room and overhears. Salman gives a big speech to Little Anjali about how he really truly loves her and just wants her to be happy and free, unlike Turban Boy who wants to change her. Everyone is confused until Turban Boy smiles and explains that he loves Little Anjali but not “like that” and gives his blessings. HAPPY ENDING.
Shahrukh Falls in Love With Someone Else
We can all agree that Rani’s magical death letters are a terrible parenting idea, right? Like, that’s not what you should put on an 8 year old! Plus, how does she know what will happen 8 years later?
I think there could be a really interesting totally different movie about what would happen if the letters were wrong. About how there is no such thing as “fate” and life happens and things change, and little kids have a hard time grasping that. What if we have the same structure, kind of, only in the present day Kajol really is happy and in love with her fiance.
Drop the opening with Rani’s death, this is about the present. Little Anjali gets a letter on her birthday from her mother saying she wants Shahrukh to remarry and she has picked out the woman she wants. Her cousin Kajol, who she knows had a crush on Shahrukh when they were young. And then the flashback is just slightly different. Anjali and Shahrukh aren’t “best friends” in college, she is just one of his gang of friends. She befriends Rani because Rani is her cousin, just arrived in college. And then has to deal with the lowkey heartbreak of watching the girl she introduced to the guy she likes steal him away. She never leaves college, she is there at their wedding and all that, but sad. Rani thinks she would be a good second wife for Shahrukh and mother for Little Anjali, and gives Little Anjali orders to make it happen.
Since they are relatives, it is easy for Little Anjali to convince her family that she wants to visit Kajol’s house. She bonds with Kajol, but Kajol is really busy, it is her younger sister Anushka who ends up spending more time with Little Anjali. Kajol is “homely” now, wears saris and things, and is interested in planning her wedding and her new house with Salman. But Anushka is on break from her demanding job and loves getting up in the morning and going out to the fields with Little Anjali, and playing soccer in the yard, and fun stuff like that. Shahrukh is tricked into coming, as planned, and Little Anjali starts trying to throw him and Kajol together. Only instead Shahrukh starts noticing and spending a lot of time with Anushka. They fight over card games at night, and go out in an old jeep during the day, when it breaks down Anushka fixes it and teases Shahrukh because he doesn’t want to get grease on his nice clothes. Finally they end up locked on the terrace together all night (it was supposed to be Kajol and Shahrukh, but Little Anjali’s plan went wrong), and they realize they are in love.
The next day they gently tell Little Anjali they are engaged, and she is furious. Big emotional drama, which ends with Shahrukh telling Anushka he can’t go ahead with this engagement if Little Anjali is that upset, and Anushka telling him that he can’t give his life over to his daughter’s whims, big fight over her giving parenting advice, all over. Shahrukh is sad, Anushka is sad, Little Anjali is sad. At which point Kajol returns from her last minute wedding shopping trip (the reason she wasn’t around to be locked on the terrace in the first place). She sees what a disaster everything is and goes to talk to Little Anjali. Little Anjali sobbingly shows her Rani’s letter, and Kajol talks to her as someone who knew Rani. Yes, back in college she had a crush on Shahrukh. But they are different people now, they don’t have the same feelings. Rani would understand that, she just wanted Shahrukh to be happy. Little Anjali finally understands and lets go of her anger. She pulls one last trick, with the help of Kajol, and makes sure that Shahrukh has to be the one to drive Anushka to the station, and that the car runs out of gas halfway there. When they lift the lid of the engine, there is a note from Little Anjali with her mother’s engagement ring, giving her blessing. Wedding, Rani Ghost, HAPPY ENDING.
Shahrukh is Bi and Kajol is a Man
My preferred version! We change basically nothing beyond casting. Shahrukh and Male Kajol are best friends in college, Male Kajol realizes he is in love with him just as Shahrukh falls for Rani. Rifatbi is an older Gay mentor to Male Kajol who encourages him to tell Shahrukh how he feels, don’t leave with regrets. But of course, it is already too late. Male Kajol leaves school and Shahrukh is so upset, it makes Rani realize maybe he feels something for Male Kajol.
Rani dies, leaves letters behind. Years later, Male Kajol is in a long term happy relationship with man, they are planning a wedding, he has all the love and acceptance and community he could want. Let’s say they are in London or something. But Male Kajol wants to spend one last summer teaching at summer camp, and Little Anjali goes to that camp and then brings her father too. Male Kajol and Shahrukh are thrown together over and over again, but Male Kajol isn’t sure what it all means (the audience meanwhile has heard a phone message from a man that indicates Shahrukh is now aware he is bi). It all culminates in the Gazebo scene when Shahrukh makes clear his sexual/romantic interest in Male Kajol. Only for Salman to arrive and spoil things. Shahrukh isn’t sure of his place, since Salman is so out and proud and he and Kajol have a longterm relationship, and Male Kajol isn’t sure Shahrukh is ready to be publicly out and he doesn’t want to return to secrecy.
But when Shahrukh shows up at their wedding, that tells Male Kajol he is really serious this time. It tells Salman the same thing, and he sacrifices his love for their love. HAPPY ENDING.
I think these are all EXCELLENT ideas! What do you think?