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10 years of Chak De! India: The girls recall their best moments with Shah Rukh Khan

On 10th anniversary of Chak De! India, the girls, who made their debut with the film, share their most cherished memories of Shah Rukh Khan.

bollywood Updated: Aug 09, 2017 17:37 IST
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Hindustan Times
Chak De India,Shah Rukh Khan,Sagarika Ghatge
Chak De! India starred some professional hockey players as well as aspiring actors.

Chak De! India remains one of the cult films in Bollywood that paved the way for many sports based dramas . The film marked the debut of 16 young girls, a combination of aspiring actors and hockey players, who were lauded for their respective roles. 10 years on (the film released on August 10, 2007), the girls vividly remember their best memories of Shah Rukh Khan, who played their on-screen hockey coach. For some, it was an anecdote while shooting for a particular scene, and for others, some interesting things that happened off screen..

Calling SRK a true gentleman, Vidya Malvade recalls how he took all the girls for a special screening of his film Don that had just released before he joined the cast for shoot in Australia. For Chitrashi Rawat, it was the hockey connection that helped her bond with the actor. “Since he played hockey in college and I am a professional hockey player, we often used to have bets in Australia that who’ll score the first goal,” says Chitrashi, who played the role of Komal Chautala.

(L-R): Tanya Abrol (Balbir), Shubhi Mehta (Gunjan), Shilpa Shukla (Bindiya) and Chitrashi Rawat (Komal).

Another co-star, Tanya Abrol aka Balbir Kaur shares an incident that shows SRK’s kind side. “While shooting for a scene, I felt really hungry, and we were not allowed any eatables on the field. So SRK sir went to his room and got a handful of cashew nuts in his pocket for me. [Also], on our last day of shoot in Melbourne, he joined us to play soccer by the beach.”

A still from the film Chak De! India.

For many Chak De girls, just having SRK sitting next to them was something they couldn’t fathom. “Once, we were having a rough day on the set, so I just went and sat quietly in a corner waiting for the next shot. And before I knew it, Shah Rukh came and sat next to me and said, ‘hey’. And I was like I should have rough days more often to have the pleasure of SRK’s company,” recalls Anaitha Nair.

For actors Shilpa Shukla and Sagarika Ghatge, it was nothing else but their iconic scenes with the actor that remain etched in their hearts. Going down memory lane, Shilpa shares, “After shooting the intense scene ‘uss mein aisa kya hai jo mujh mein nahi’, SRK and I stepped out and stood in silence, as we both felt the energy of the scene. He broke his silence and said ‘you are good’. So, that unbeatable quality SRK has that he makes everyone feel good about themselves, touched my heart.”

Actors Shah Rukh Khan and Sagarika Ghatge in a still from Chak De! India.

Sagarika adds that her first scene would always remain her special memory with SRK. “I was so nervous because all the girls stood on one side and I enter the field and I had to have that attitude when everybody is looking at you. I remember SRK sir telling me that ‘you just do your job and I would react to it.’ Today, when I look back, the way I say my dialogues, he pretty much answered back in the same way,” she remembers.

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First Published: Aug 09, 2017 17:37 IST