MUMBAI: She was not the first choice but it is a role that has come to define her. Looking back, Preity Zinta says "Kal Ho Na Ho" will always have a special place in her heart.
The film, which completes 15 years Wednesday, was first offered to Kareena Kapoor but it came to Preity after she declined it. Ironically, Preity was supposed to play Geet in "Jab We Met", a role that Kareena will forever be associated with.
"It was very special to me because I lost my first love. I was in love with him, he was not. I felt strongly when the film was offered to me. Some of the best things have happened to me during that film," Preity told PTI in an interview.
The film revolved around a young, introvert woman, who has trust issues after her father's suicide. Eventually, she falls into love but that is not to be.
Preity, 43, said she and Jaya Bachchan, who played her mother in the film, share a great bonding now.
She also recalled her bonding with director Karan Johar's father Yash Johar, who tragically passed away after the film. Also, Shah Rukh Khan underwent a major surgery during the shooting.
"It was one of those films that filled me with joy but it broke our hearts as well. It was a roller coaster ride... It is a timeless film. I am fortunate that I was a part of it," Preity said.
The actor had turned down "Jab We Met" but has no regrets about the film, which is considered a modern romantic classic. Preity said she and Kareena have a "karmic connection".
"There is a karmic connection between Kareena and me. We both are in very good karma with each other because she said no to Kal Ho Na Ho' and I said no to Jab We Met', both of them are iconic and career-defining films. People tell me they liked me a lot in Kal Ho Na Ho' and I think she did a wonderful job as Geet," she said.