Kareena Kapoor Khan has completed 17 years in Bollywood. On June 30, 2000, she was dubbed in Bollywood by director JP Dutta’s ‘Refugee’. However, Kareena was going to debut with Hrithik Roshan in “Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai” which was supposed to be the launch vehicle of both the star kids. However, few days into the shooting, Kareena dropped out of the film. But later, due to Kareena’s mother Babita, she had to leave the film.
After a quiet mahurat, Rakesh began shooting the first schedule at Convent Villa, Versova in Mumbai. Kareena’s first day of shoot was for a song and she was accompanied by her elder sister Karisma and mother Babita for moral support. The choreographer started the day with simple steps as it was the first time Kareena was facing the camera. After rehearsals, Rakesh managed to shoot some of Kareena’s moves before the day ended.
The next day, Rakesh received a call from Babita suggesting that it would be great if they shot the scenes first and then the song as Kareena is more comfortable with acting than dancing at this stage. Rakesh was in a shock as the entire set was erected and cancelling the song’s shoot could lead to a huge loss. He assured Babita that Kareena was good and she shall continue with the song shoot. Babita was adamant and kept insisting that they shoot the scenes first. After a heated argument, Babita ended the call by saying that they would prefer to opt out of the film.
Rakesh failed to believe what he heard and kept approaching Babita with the help of his best friend Randhir Kapoor, but all his efforts went in vain. The shooting of “Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai” stood still as there was no heroine for this film.
This news spread like wild fire in newspapers and film magazines. Babita and Karisma refused to comment on it. Though there were unofficial comments and stories from Babita stating that Rakesh Roshan was unprofessional, it was Rakesh who finally opened up to film magazines. Rakesh confirmed that Kareena was no more a part of Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai and it was he who decided to drop her and not the other way round. He failed to give the exact reason for this fall out as Kareena was the daughter of his best friend, Randhir Kapoor.
later, in an interview Rakesh Roshan blamed Babita for the interference in her daughter’s career by saying that she is harming her more than helping her. He had said, “Kareena is a newcomer and should be treated like one, she cannot call the shots just because she’s Karisma’s sister. Babita should have spoken to me like a newcomer’s mother and shouldn’t have demanded more than she owed.”
Rakesh also stated that he would have agreed to Babita’s terms if Karisma would have been the heroine. He also shared that he had to suffer a huge loss due to Babita’s unprofessional behavior. Despite all this, he contacted Randhir Kapoor and told him to re-think this issue. Eventually, he gave up and signed a newcomer Ameesha Patel for his movie.
Later, Kareena’s mother Babita clarified that due to weak script, Kareena has left the film. As per the media grapevine, J.P Dutta wanted to launch Kareena in his ambitious project starring Dilip Kumar, Sridevi and Abhishek Bachchan. Babita found Aakhri Mughal a more viable project as it was a grand film and was being directed by J.P Dutta who was riding high after the super success of “Border”. J.P Dutta announced “Aakhri Mughal” starring Kareena Kapoor as one of the lead actors. However, Aakhri Mughal was shelved and J.P Dutta decided to go ahead with another film “Refugee”.
Hrithik’s debut film was a blockbuster while Kareena got her share of success with “Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hai”. Hrithik and Kareena were later work together in “Yaadein”, “Mujhse Dosti Karoge” and “Main Prem ki Diwani Hoon” and “Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham”.