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Birthday special: 10 Farah Khan hook steps you can never forget

As the filmmaker celebrates her birthday today (9 January), we look back at some of her famous dance steps over the years.

Sonal Pandya

1. Chaiyya Chaiyya – Dil Se... (1998)

‘Chaiyya Chaiyya’ is one of Farah Khan’s most famously choreographed songs which made her internationally famous. Shot on top of the Nilgiri mountain train in Ooty with Shah Rukh Khan and Malaika Arora, the song was completed in four-and-a-half days without using any special effects. Farah won her second Filmfare Award for choreography for this AR Rahman-composed track.

2. Yeh Ladka Hai Deewana – Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998)

Shah Rukh and Kajol, aided by Farah's effortless dance moves, made St Xavier’s College in Karan Johar’s Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) the most happening place to be. The catchy song scored by Jatin-Lalit showcased the sporty and fun sides of Rahul and Anjali, Hindi cinema’s Archie and Betty in Johar’s version of Riverdale.

3. Ek Pal Ka Jeena – Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai (2000)

Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai (2000) made its lead actor Hrithik Roshan an overnight star, largely because of the wickedly cool choreography by Farah in ‘Ek Pal Ka Jeena’. Initially, Farah had no idea Hrithik could dance so well and gave him the break-dance moves as a prank, but he executed them effortlessly. His signature air-pumping step is still copied by wannabes even today.

4. Woh Ladki Hai Kahan – Dil Chahta Hai (2001)

Sometimes, the choreography need not be over-complicated. For cousin Farhan Akhtar’s first film, Farah pulled off a masterpiece showing Saif Ali Khan and Sonali Kulkarni watching a movie in a theatre. The two imagine themselves in the feature, an ode to Hindi films of the past and the bird-like flapping dance step is at once comic and endearing.

5. Say Shava Shava – Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham... (2001)

Mixing bhangra with backup dancers, Farah  got the whole ensemble cast of Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh and Rani Mukerji to dance to her moves in ‘Say Shava Shava’. Composed by the late Aadesh Shrivastava, the song was chart busting success, being played at weddings and functions since it came out in 2001.

6. Mujhse Shaadi Karogi – Mujhse Shaadi Karogi (2004)

This ludicrous dance step (also known as the ‘towel’ step) has gained popularity over the years with big demands for the superstar, Salman Khan, to perform it any practically any venue he’s at. For David Dhawan’s Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, Farah gave the lead trio, Salman, Akshay Kumar and Priyanka Chopra lively moves in the entertaining comedy.

7. Deewangi Deewangi – Om Shanti Om (2007)

Farah went all out in her second directorial outing, gathering the industry’s biggest stars to come together in the mother of all cameo songs. With celebrity appearances from Shabana Azmi to Sushmita Sen, Farah made them all move to Vishal-Shekhar’s ‘Deewangi Deewangi’ and made them say ‘Om shanti om!’

8. Desi Girl – Dostana (2008)

In Dharma Productions’ Dostana (2008), Farah gave Indian girls all over the world a dance anthem with ‘Desi Girl’. For star Chopra, who dazzled in the gold sari, it became her calling card as she transitioned for a career from India to Hollywood.

9. Munni Badnam Hui – Dabangg (2010)

With Abhinav Kashyap’s surprise hit Dabangg, Farah popularised the item number with a rousing song picturised on Malaika Arora and Salman. Assisted by the award-winning music by Lalit Pandit, the song went on to top the charts in 2010.

10. Sheila Ki Jawani – Tees Maar Khan (2010)

The same year as Dabangg, Farah had her own competing item number with ‘Sheila Ki Jawani’ and won yet another Filmfare Award for choreography. Katrina Kaif was given DVDs of older Madhuri Dixit songs as a reference by Farah to be inspired for the raunchy number. The popular song has over 50 million views on YouTube.