24 years of Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke: Kunal Kemmu recalls being bribed by Mahesh Bhatt
Actor Kunal Kemmu was only seven when he played the role of a naughty kid, Sunny, in the 1993 film Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke. Today, 24 years after the film’s release, Kunal recalls how it was to work with actors Aamir Khan, Juhi Chawla and filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt.
“I was vacationing in Delhi, when my dad told me about the film’s offer. At that age, I didn’t know who Mahesh Bhatt was or what a director does. I was only familiar with Aamir and Juhi’s names and their work,” says Kunal, who had cut short his trip to start shooting.
Reminiscing the first day of his shoot, Kunal says, “It was the scene, where Veeru Krishnan was performing Bharatanatyam and we kids, were sitting visibly bored. I met everyone for the first time and had no idea of what was going on. I was just following instructions that this man sitting next to the camera, Mr. Bhatt, was giving.”
All praise for Bhatt, Kunal remembers how he pampered him, while giving specific instructions required for the shot. “That was the nicest thing about him. He would just tell me, ‘Listen, I want this shot like this, so do it.’ He would call me ‘duffer’ and I didn’t even know what that meant. On the sets, I used to feel better than home. I used to ask for chips, cold drinks or chocolates and the spot boy would get it instantly.”
Interestingly, it was during the shooting of Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke when Kunal, for the first time in his life, accepted ‘bribe’. “Mr. Bhatt had bribed me with a visual video game, which nobody had at that time. My school had organised a picnic to the Esselworld and since the shoot was on, Mr Bhatt told me bunk it. Like a crybaby, I said no to him. Then, he persuaded me by saying, ‘What can I give you for which you will come to the shoot. How about I give you a TV video game?’ and I instantly gave in,” laughs Kunal, adding, “The next day, when I saw the kids leaving for the picnic, I was crying and my dad told me,‘You got into a business deal at this age, so don’t crib.’ So, quite sad, I came to the sets but when I got my TV video game, I was elated. I told my friends, ‘You all went to EsselWorld for one day and I have this video game forever. You will all come to my house to play.”
1. When we were shooting for patchwork, Mahesh Bhatt was not around, so Aamir Khan had taken over. Before a continuity shot, we had all gone out and had paan and came back with our mouths red. Aamir had to wait for 15-20 minutes, so we could finally shoot.
2. The indoors of our house was a set, created outside a house in Juhu. And the terrace shot, where we were shown flying kites in a scene, was a different place.
3. We used to hover around Juhi Chawla’s room all the time, making cartoons and sketches. When I’d come back tired after playing, she’d advise me to conserve my energy.
4. Once while playing with us, Juhi looked at me and said, “This one is going to grow and be an actor.”
5. There was a convertible car on the sets and all of us [the three kids] would sit at the back and Aamir would take us around for a ride.
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