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Updated December 31st, 2023 at 21:37 IST

DYK the AR Rahman's Oscar winning song Jai Ho was originally created for this Katrina Kaif film?

A.R.Rahman won 2 oscars for Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire. However, few people are aware that Jai Ho was not originally composed for the Boyle film.

Jai Ho
Jai Ho | Image:IMDb
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Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire completed 15 years of its release earlier this week. The pathbreaking 2008 film set against the backdrop of Mumbai underbelly won multiple Oscars, most notably bagging 2 awards for A.R.Rahman for best Original Score and best Original Score.

Jai Ho, the song that won Rahman the latter, had particularly become a worldwide anthem, and A.R.Rahman suddenly found himself a global fandom. However, very few people are aware of two particular aspects related to the song - one is that Jai Ho was never composed for The Danny Boyle film at first place, and secondly, there was no place for Jai Ho in the first cut of Slumdog Millionaire.

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A still from Slumdog Millionaire | Image: IMDb

Jai Ho was initially composed for a Subhash Ghai film?

In an interview with Youtube Channel O2 India, A.R.Rahman confirmed that he was initially developing the song for another film titled Yuvvraaj, which was being made by veteran filmmaker Subhash Ghai. However, after a few initial discussions, both of them mutually decided that the tune and staging of Jai Ho is too grand for the situation in Yuvvraaj, for which it was being conceived - a conventional club dance number featuring Zayed Khan. At the same time, Rahman confirmed in the same interview that the phrase ‘Jai Ho’ was suggested by Subhash Ghai himself, and that Rahman chose to keep it when he later pitched the tune to Danny Boyle during their Slumdog Millionaire. 

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Strangely enough, in the same interview video for O2 India, Jai Ho’s lyricist Gulzar confirmed that Subhash Ghai had no role in the coinage of Jai Ho phrase or rest of the song composition.

A stlll from Yuvvraaj | Image: IMDb

Danny Boyle had originally shot the dance sequence with another Hindi song

But the more fascinating aspect about Jai Ho is that it was developed and composed for the film long after Danny Boyle was done shooting the song sequence. Boyle had earlier shot the sequence using the song Aaj ki Raat from the 2006 film Don, before he realised that they do not have required permission to use the song. Stuck in a weird conundrum, Boyle approached A.R.Rahman to compose a song that would fit in the same rhythm as Aaj Ki Raat. That’s how Rahman created the final Jai Ho composition, and now all that Boyle had to do was adjust the visual frame rate of his sequence - and now, Jai Ho was officially a part of his Slumdog Millionaire narrative with everything else perfectly in place.

And the rest, as we know, is history.

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Published December 31st, 2023 at 21:37 IST

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