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7 things we learned about Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar at the film's reunion at MAMI 2016

Most of the cast, including Aamir Khan, Ayesha Jhulka and Mamik, and director Mansoor Khan, revealed inside stories and anecdotes from the making of the 1992 hit.

Kiran Zaveri, Ayesha Jhulka, Pooja Bedi, Mansoor Khan, Aamir Khan, Imran Khan, Aditya Lakhia, Deepak Tijori, Lalit Pandit, Farah Khan, Deven Bhojani and Mamik at the Jo Jeeta reunion event. Photo: Suparna Thombare

Suparna Thombare

Today if someone were to make a film like Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, it would instantly be termed a sports drama. Back in 1992, the film combined the themes of love, friendship, family and sports to make a unique film that has, over the years, come to be cherished as a heartwarming story of determination and coming of age.

The reunion of the team of Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar at MAMI 2016 was thus a nostalgic affair for cinema lovers who had watched the film as kids.

The turnout at the reunion was impressive, with director Mansoor Khan, artistes Aamir Khan, Mamik, Ayesha Jhulka, Pooja Bedi, Deven Bhojani, Kiran Zaveri and Aditya Lakhia, music director Lalit Pandit of the Jatin-Lalit duo, and choreographer Farah Khan present. Imran Khan, who played the young Aamir Khan, also joined the team. Kulbhushan Kharbanda, who played the role of Aamir and Mamik's father, was missing. But he sent a special video message for the entire team.

Obviously a lot of candid banter happened and, in the process, we learnt some very interesting things about the making of the film.

Here are 10 things you should know about Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar.

1) Mansoor Khan had shot for 60 days in Ooty, after which he had to get rid of two actors playing major characters – Milind Soman (for Deepak Tijori's part) and South Indian actress Girija, who was playing the lead opposite Aamir. He cast new artistes and reshot the entire film. "I had lost hope. I wasn't sure if I had it in me to complete it. But Aamir felt that it's an all-time kind of film. And encouraged me to finish it," said Mansoor Khan.

2) Akshay Kumar had auditioned for the part of the antagonist finally played by Tijori. Guess who had taken his audition. Farah Khan, who was an assistant to Saroj Khan on the film. "He had to do some strange stuff with the ball [referring to a sport] is what I remember... But I didn't reject him. Mansoor rejected him. I only took the audition," Farah Khan said. Akshay Kumar soon landed a role in Abbas-Mustan's Khiladi (1992) which set him up for a great career in Hindi cinema.

3) Did you notice that there was a big continuity glitch during the race in the climax? Ayesha Jhulka is not wearing a cap at first and then she is seen wearing a red cap in the next shot. Well, that's because she hit her head on a nail which pierced her skin in between shots. "I could feel the nail go in and come out. Aamir ran to me with ice and put it on my head, but blood was oozing out," Jhulka recalled. Aamir disagreed. "I put a towel. You put ice when there's a bump," he said. "But maybe you didn't know it at the time," argued Jhulka.

Well, whatever the case, Jhulka was rushed to hospital and, despite being in pain, she shot her scenes, albeit with a cap to hide her fresh wound, as they had only a couple of days to finish shooting at that location.

4) South star Nagma was supposed to play the role finally played by Pooja Bedi. But at the last minute she walked out because she had a problem being called "gold digger".

5) Pooja Bedi, who recreated the iconic Marilyn Monroe sequence, albeit in a red dress, was one of the most memorable parts of the film. The actress said she landed the role not because she was hot or because she gave a great audition, but because she was punctual. "I was getting late for the audition so I called up and said I would be ten minutes late. Those days people used to come two hours, three hours late for shooting. Mansoor said to me that I hired you because you called up to say you will be ten minutes late. I want you on the set," she recalled.

6) Aamir Khan was a total prankster on the sets. He pulled a fast one on the senior actor Kharbanda. In an important scene, soon after Kharbanda delivered his intense line, Aamir Khan would play a Chinese toy which would utter some 'bad' words. One of the pranks included him asking his co-stars to show their hands so he could read them, but then spitting on them instead. "All my heroines whose hands I have spit on went on to become no 1," the star joked. 

7) The film ends at the point where Sanjay (played by Aamir Khan) crosses the finishing line. But it wasn't supposed to end there. They had shot a scene in which Sanjay goes up to receive his winner's medal. On his way he was shown shoving Deepak Tijori. But Mansoor Khan decided not to keep that scene as he wanted to show that Aamir's character had grown up after his experiences. Aamir argued, saying, "Well, he can grow up but he still can be naughty." He wanted that scene, but director Mansoor felt ending it where he did made the most impact.