One of the most poignant moments in the 2003 romantic comedy drama Kal Ho Naa Ho is when Aman Mathur (Shah Rukh Khan) performs the title song against the backdrop of the romance between Naina Catherine Kapur (Preity Zinta) and Rohit Patel (Saif Ali Khan).
Written by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy with lyrics penned by Javed Akhtar and sung by Sonu Nigam, the song offered a powerful reflection on life and love through a gentle and uplifting melody. The song became an instant classic.
Over the past two years, fans around the world have reconnected with this song through musical and cultural mashup songs and videos. Here are five of our favorites.
1. "A Love Story Medley"
This ethereal mashup by the Shillong Chamber Choir (SCC) includes "My Heart Will Go On" from the film Titanic and "Where Do I Begin?" from the film Love Story. Founded in 2001 by Neil Nongkynrih, the SCC is a multi-genre choir from India’s northeastern state of Meghalaya. They performed at the Rashtrapati Bhavan for visiting US President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama during their state visit to India in 2010 and have toured Europe, the UK, Canada, North America and Southeast Asia.
Video posted: 16 January 2014
Chaitanya Bhosle offers this gentle musical mashup with the famous Beatles song. The beautifully-filmed video offers a combination of studio performance and scenes shot in the streets of Mumbai. Known as Chin2, Chaitanya was a member of India's first and only boy band, "A Band of Boys". He continues to pursue music as a performer, singer, composer, music teacher, and kids entertainer. Chin2 is is the grandson of playback singer Asha Bhosle who - along with her sister Lata Mangeshkar - is one of "India's Nightingales".
Video Posted: 18 May 2014.
Dedicated to all Bollywood fans around the world, the cultural mashup of Bollywood with Deutschland garnered quite a number of rave reviews for Rene Lazar and his team. This remake uses the original Sonu Nigam version but swaps the New York settings with local landmarks in Germany. While the scenes match those in the original, Kal Ho Naa Ho fans will note and appreciate several slight modifications of individual scenes. (Be sure not to miss the dog!) Having received a lot of attention for this video, Rene Lazar points out that his RBL Production Group makes movies as a hobby and not for profit.
Video Posted: 4 August 2014
A few weeks after Fast and Furious 7 was released, Hitesh Sharma (a.k.a. "Tesher") posted this hip-hop mashup paying tribute to Paul Walker. The mashup is available via Soundcloud and Tesher seamlessly intertwines Wiz Khalifa's "See You Again" with "Kal Ho Naa Ho". While there isn't a lot of information about Tesher apart from his love of creating new music from existing favorites, the music and video offers an interesting take on the themes of both songs. The YouTube version offers the audio version of the mashup while the version posted on Vimeo includes scenes from the Fast and Furious films.
Video published: 22 April 2015
Michael Steiner, German Ambassador to India, his wife Eliese Steiner, and Salman Khurshid, former Foreign Minister of India, pay tribute to the song with "Lebe jetzt" ("Live right now to the fullest!"). Another scene-for-scene rendition with the original song, the settings are in Delhi with quite a few German culture references included. (Look for the pretzel, german shepherd, and bundhosen.) This version also features some making-of scenes that show during the credits - a standard Bollywood technique. Highlighting the power of soft diplomacy, Ambassador Steiner explains, "Traditional diplomacy was about government-to-government relations. Modern diplomacy is more about people-to-people relations." In an NDTV interview, Ambassador Steiner said that while the video was fun to make it was also very hard because "lip-synching in a language you don't understand is very, very difficult."
Video published: 24 April 2015
The following playlist features the original video of "Kal Ho Naa Ho" starring Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, and Saif Ali Khan along with the five video tributes/mashups. The Vimeo version of the Paul Walker Tribute video - which includes scenes from the film - follows.
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