BOLLYWOOD & I -- HOW IT DECIDED COURSE OF MY LIFE
Childhood passed watching the most romantic star ever born on earth, the one & only KING KHAN aka SRK aka SHAH RUKH KHAN. The cool guy from" KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI " was a character whom every boy envied yet wanted to be like him one day. Such was the craze of RAHUL (SRK's character in the movie) that many guys wore chains with words "COOL" engraved in it as wore by SRK in the movie. A one-sided lover from "DARR" gave frustrated single guys a new hope so they could chase their "kkkkkkkkiran". "BAAZIGAR" gave an iconic dialogue "haar kar jeetne wale ko baazigar kehte hai" and equipped with this dialogue every loser had high hopes of wooing a pretty girl one day. My innocent fimi heart wished that the JODI of KAJOL & SRK should be in reality as well. That is the power of cinema, which shapes our perceptions, attitudes & beliefs. SRK's charismatic on-screen personality shaped the dreams of millions of Indians who for the first time in their lives thought that they could also make a big name in the industry if an outsider & average looking guy like SRK could make it. But was it easy for SRK? Or, for anybody else for that matter? Even star kids who couldn't perform well perished out of industry soon.
During teenage BHAI JAAN aka SALMAN KHAN set the screens on fire with his toned physique & muscular body, palying guitar, dancing topless and singing "oh oh jane jana" on a stage alongside a beach. WHOA!!!! Every guy must have imagined himself instead of SALMAN in that scene!!! His dialogue from "MAINE PYAR KIYA", "dosti ka ek usool hai madam -- no sorry no thank you" is still used by the millenials towars their journey of first love. His "TERE NAAM " was an epic journey of an unfulfilled love; hair style of RADHE (Salman's character's in TERE NAAM) was copied by youngsters no matter whether he was a school going kid, office going guy or a rickshapuller. This was the power of BHAI's perfomance equally received by all. Numerous shirtless scenes, different hairstyles, tough guy, still loved by all. That was the rise of a new phenomenon in bollywood and I was in awe of this person from head to toe dreaming a body and personality like him and countless girls dancing around me. Every other guy wanted to be like BHAI JAAN and bodybuilding soon replaced the outside games & athletic personalities and GYMS sprang up everywhere in no time for that bulging biceps and shapely chest. SALMAN's dialogues from BODYGUARD, "mujh par ek ehsan karna, ki mujh par koi ehsan mat karna" or from WANTED, "ek baar jo maine committment kar di fir mai apne aap ki bhi nai sunta" are on my mind every time and I just wait for an opportunity to showff the hidden BHAI inside me.
The girls no more fell in for the boys who were only romantic, now they wanted the romance of SRK & machosim of SALMAN. For an ordinary guy like me, already playing SRK was too exhausting and costing a dime & now SALMAN built up additional pressure as well. So I had to go to a gym, digging a bigger hole in the pocket of my parents, run to the girl with flowers in hand, bent on knees, enacting SRK of films also wearing a tight fitting shirt to show a little bulge in my arm giving her a glimpse of SALMAN as well. Too much of work, isn't it?
Life moved on & so did I from teenage; people around wanted a star who looked like them, gave them an insight about politics, fought against corruption, who could take them out from this fantasy world & show them the REAL BAD WORLD & how to come out of it as a winner. So a different kind of cinema was born and established AJAY DEVGN as the hero of a common man. His perfomance in "YUVA" as a student leader was well received by students like me & educated youth of the country. People very easily established relations with the character played by AJAY. GANGAAJAL's honest IPS facing corrupt fellowmen & politicians was an eye opener for youth aspiring to become IPS. His epic dialogue from GANGAAJAL, "samaaj ko police vaisi hi milti hai jaisa ki samaaj khud hota hai" started making more sense for the society as a whole. Romance and bodybuilding were no longer a priority instead real life inspired characters portrayed by AJAY in films like COMPANY, RAJNEETI, AAKROSH, APHARAN etc. were in vogue and made more sense than ever in the real world.
These three actors of Bollywood shaped the course of my life through various characters played by them on screen (not including their personal lives). As per my age & surroundings, I started resonating with the characters convicingly played by these actors. These characters were somewhere in my subconscious mind and helped throughout, from my very first moment of falling in love, making exercise a regular routine for a fit body (not necessarily muscular) & working towards the goal of serving my country in every way possible.
It was these 3 actors for me , for someone else they may be different. ACTORS COME AND GO , CHARACTERS PLAYED BY THEM LIVE WITH US FOREVER.