Home Feature news Behind 'Bridgerton' Season 2's inspired Bollywood cover

Behind ‘Bridgerton’ Season 2’s inspired Bollywood cover

The Bridgerton Season 2 soundtrack took our breath away.

Episode 6, “The Choice,” opens with a first for Bridgerton: A string cover of the massively popular Bollywood song “Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham” while Edwina (Charithra Chandran) gets ready for her wedding (or so she thinks). 

The Bollywood song choice is inspired for a number of reasons and a delightful Easter egg for K3G fans (that’s what we call it) around the world. It sets the perfect festive tone for Edwina’s haldi ceremony, paying tribute to her Indian roots even as she prepares to take her place in English society.

Netflix announced the song’s inclusion in a press release in February that broke down each pop cover from Season 2 and the episode it would appear in. South Asian fans jumped at the mention of “Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham,” imagining how the song would feature and celebrating its inclusion. The original song features in the 2000 film of the same name, and though it’s not explicitly a wedding song, it’s evocative of all kinds of South Asian celebrations of family and new beginnings. In the movie, Nandini (Jaya Bachchan) and her family celebrate Diwali while awaiting the arrival of her son Rahul (Shah Rukh Khan). As various members of the family and community sing and dance throughout, Rahul eventually arrives to complete the festivities. The paradigmatic scene has translated into a celebratory song for any sort of happy occasion, which Bridgerton mimics with the three Sharma women gathered together. 


Credit: Screenshot / Netflix

Despite being more than 20 years old, K3G holds a special place in the hearts of Bollywood fans and the South Asian diaspora around the world. Fans quote it with the same frequency and enthusiasm they do with Mean Girls. TikTokkers dramatically dance to its tunes and even recreate the homecoming scene. It’s a star-studded ensemble and softly marked the end of a certain era of Indian filmmaking that explored marriage and family ties. Listening to the song now evokes nostalgia for a time when Bollywood was at its melodramatic, tearjerking best, when the image of Khan entering a room could set both cinematic and romantic expectations soaring. The soundtrack by Jatin-Lalit is a staple of any early-00s Bollywood playlist, and one of the last that the duo would make together after a truly iconic ’90s run.

Come 2022, and Netflix’s diamond of a show, Bridgerton, delivered a near-perfection rendition of the K3G title song. The Sharma women, dressed in shades of yellow linked with the traditional pre-wedding ceremony, are juxtaposed with scenes of the Bridgerton brothers, drinking and jesting on the night before the big day. The K3G melody elicits the distinctive range of emotions at this time: anticipation, excitement, promise. Chandran herself said that the song “literally brought tears” to her eyes, a fact she texted to showrunner Chris van Dusen. 

A young Indian woman with turmeric paste on her cheek; still from "Bridgerton."

Credit: Screenshot / Netflix

“I think what’s really fascinating about the Sharmas is that essentially they’re immigrants,” Chandran said in a press conference ahead of Season 2. “They’re different not because of their skin color but because they come from a different background, they have different customs… They’re trying to be as London as possible, but what I love about the show is that in moments of deep sadness and in moments of jubilation, you see them reverting back to their culture.” 

“Often when you’re people of color, the stories that are told are like trauma, but what you see here is something that they’re owning, and you’re seeing joy and pride in their culture,” she added. “By having this representation, I hope that young girls and everyone that looks like us feels like…they can own that part of themselves.”

Chandran’s reaction is reminiscent of our own: Both of us admittedly teared up when the song came to life on screen. The inclusion of the song also sparked parallels between these two very different forms of entertainment. K3G and Bridgerton may seem worlds apart, but they do share a thematic foundation of family, loyalty, sacrifice, and — of course — love. Those are often the ingredients for a classic Bollywood film, a template that has proven to be successful more often than not. Anthony and Kate’s slow-burning romance is the stuff of Bollywood legend, and including this song is the cherry on top of a scrumptious new season.

Bridgerton Season 2 is now streaming on Netflix. 

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