Whether it be his heart-melting smile, his preppy dance moves or his unfathomed emotion, Aamir Khan‘s qualities are well known to all. It’s difficult not being a fan of the man who, quite simply, is the reason why – in recent years – Bollywood has begun to think unconventionally and still in keeping with universal appeal. To brand Khan as the one-man-stop for Indian cinematic entertainment would be true but it would also be cutting his talent short. Khan’s very unique on-screen persona coupled with the kinds of projects he chooses to associate himself with are perhaps the things that set him apart from any other entity in the film fraternity today. Entertaining he is, but what one sometimes doesn’t obviously remember is the social messages that a lot of Khan’s movies seek to bring to the forefront. For example, Dyslexia was a topic tackled by the hugely successful ‘Taare Zameen Par’ and ‘3 Idiots’ touched on varying techniques of teaching. Be they subtle or in-your-face, the undertones of Khan’s movies are, to put it simply, educative not only for society but also for long-term ideology. Today, on his birthday (14 March), I’m going to touch on five of Khan’s leading ladies through his career as well as revisit some of the most popular songs picturised on him…
Aamir & Madhuri Dixit…
Dil (1990) and Deewana Mujsa Nahin (1990) are two unforgettable films for me. Both released in the same year and had me going completely gaga over the songs. If Bollywood childhood memories are anything to go by then these two films are from a handful of Aamir Khan movies that stand out. His pairing with Madhuri has got to be one of the most popular that I can remember but with just two movies to the jodi’s name, it’s amazing to feel such love for a short-lived on-screen pairing. The magic of the two sharing screen presence lies in the fact that they are both such talented actors. Even today, if one was to re-watch either of the two films mentioned, it would be evident that they light up the screen as co-stars. One can only hope that the two come together once more because I am sure their appeal will work with the newer generation too.
Aamir & Juhi Chawla…
There is no better way of describing the Aamir-Juhi pairing than ‘sweet’. They started off together in ‘Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak ‘ (1988) and, that too, on the right footing to spark off their respective careers. They had the whole “feel-for-them” emotion covered in the films they were in and one almost felt as if they really belonged together. Arguably, after QSQT, the couple were most appreciated in ‘Hum Hai Rahi Pyar Ke’ (1993) which was essentially a family comedy with (of course) a love story very neatly falling in-between. The duo have also been graced with some memorable songs which are popular even today such as ‘Ghunghat Ki Aadh” (HHRPK) and “Ae Mere Humsafar” (QSQT).
Aamir & Pooja Bhatt…
Yes, you’re reading right. This pairing has made it to my list even though they’ve only ever starred in one movie together; ‘Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin’ (1991). Once again, this movie is another which represents so much of what I remember of my Bollywood childhood. The soundtrack of the film is suitably evergreen and the movie is one that could be seen over and over. In its time, ‘Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin’ was hugely popular and it’s impossible to watch it without a feeling of nostalgia even now. Pooja Bhatt was indeed a teenager acting opposite an actor who was a few years into his acting career but the two seem to be so apt for the characters in the movie that one can’t imagine the film with anyone else in it. The innocence, passion and uncertainty of the film is perhaps what one most remembers.
Aamir & Manisha Koirala…
These two have given the most exceptional performances and played the most unconventional characters in the films they have been seen in together. The first was ‘Akele Hum Akele Tum’ (1995) where the two played a married couple whose relationship broke down. 1999’s Mann came just a few years later and gave a very new and tragic feel to the love story all Bollywood fans knew so well. The pairing’s strength can be defined by their unfearing approach to cinema and the way they don’t shy away from experimenting with their roles.
Aamir & Raveena Tandon…
Although this wasn’t the most popular pairing, it is a personal favourite of mine. They were first seen together in Parampara (1993) and looked so fresh on-screen. The second time the pair was seen was in Andaz Apna Apna (1994). It’s evident from the two films that the multi-starrer aspect may have killed this jodi even before it was properly recognised. I had hoped they were brought together again… and a girl can still dream!
My Top 10 Favourite Aamir Khan Songs (in no particular order)
O Re Chori – Lagaan (2001)
Mujhe Neend Na Aaye – Dil (1990)
Tu Pyar Hai Kisi Aur Ka – Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin (1991)
Pehla Nasha – Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (1992)
Dil Kehta Hai – Akele Hum Akele Tum (1995)
Koi Kahe – Dil Chahta Hai (2001)
Mere Haath Mein – Fanaa (2006)
Aadhi Raat Ko – Parampara (1993)
Ghunghat Ki Aadh – Hum Hai Rahi Pyar Ke (1993)
Ae Mere Humsafar – Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988)
On his birthday, I salute Aamir Khan who has taught me to think outside the box and value the kind of cinema that further’s Bollywood’s reach and brings it well and truly to the 21st century. Although his next offering, Talaash – co-starring Kareena Kapoor and Rani Mukerji – has been rumoured to have been postponed until November, I am sure it will be worth the wait. Aamir Khan is the kind of actor and producer who audiences have grown to trust… not because he is an exceptional talent or because he is choosy with his projects. He had been entrusted with bringing the kinds of films to the audiences that just don’t seem to go wrong. I am unsure whether he has a knack of choosing the right films or whether he is just a great businessman but my salute is heartfelt and strong. I believe he really is the man with the Midas touch!
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