20 Years after Dil To Pagal Hai, Checking on Rahul and Pooja

Pop Culture

20 Years after Dil To Pagal Hai, Checking on Rahul and Pooja

Illustration: Akshita Monga/Arré


n 1997, Yash Raj Films gave us a romantic musical that can easily be mistaken for a three-and-a-half hour ad film for Shiamak Davar’s dance classes. Dil To Pagal Hai, is a film that worked hard to convince us that there is only one person for each one of us (“Kahin na kahin, koi na koi mere liye banaya gaya ha”) – a myth that Tinder has since then shot to hell.

The story is about Rahul (Shah Rukh Khan), an overtly eccentric playwright, and Pooja (Madhuri Dixit), an overtly vela dancer, have no qualms in leading on and then savagely squashing the feelings of Nisha and Ajay, played ironically by a Kapoor and a Khiladi, only to lustily embrace in front of a packed stadium as a final “fuck you” to the two. While Nisha prompty took another KLM flight to God knows where, Ajay, we hear, is still walking around with his heart-shaped stuffed toy and offering it to every Pooja that ever walked the earth. Last heard, after returning to London, he quit his job and took up a career in stand-up comedy. Turns out, it was his true calling. His legendary stand-up specials include, “Editor of the year”, “Swachh Bharat Khiladi”, and most recently “Dua, humein yaad matt rakhna”.