Why So Serious, Aamir Khan?

The great superstar - Aamir Khan - has turned 48 today! On his birthday, we ask him a grave question: Why so serious, Aamir??

The great superstar – Aamir Khan – has turned 48 today! On his birthday, we ask him a grave question:

Why so serious, Aamir??

The Bollywood birthday boy Aamir Khan has a long list of tags that follow his name – like great big degrees – the perfectionist, the avant-garde artist and the Sean Penn of India. Today this heartthrob completes 48 years of life and steps on into the 49 year towards more Aamir Khan Brand of entertainment in store for us.

Aamir has come a long way since his short appearance in Nasir Hussain’s ‘Yaadon Ki Baaraat’ as a child artist, to his latest film ‘Talaash’.

Aamir had made a Chocolate Boy image for himself with his initial films like ‘Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak’, ‘Andaz Apna Apna’, ‘Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin’ and ‘Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke’ among many, many more.

Soon Aamir was seen as reclusive with his trend of giving barely a couple of movies in a year, much unlike his contemporaries who were grabbing as many projects as they could. But even with his sparse Bollywood releases, Aamir created a niche in the industry and his performances made a lasting impression on his loving audience.

The younger Aamir Khan – was this cute, chocolate boy who was just the right amounts of comical, sweet, sensitive and delightfully lovable! His movies as ‘Ishq’ and ‘Ghulam’ resulted in a strong base of female fan following especially after his stint at playback singing: “Kya Bolti Tu”.

Aamir’s movies have in the recent times set record after record. Aamir is almost a cult figure now with titles like ‘Taare Zameen Par’ and ‘3 Idiots’ to his credit.

Post ‘Sarfarosh’ the image of Aamir has had a complete overhaul. After his stint as the honest cop in ‘Sarfarosh’, Aamir was linked to a variety of causes through his films. All his films since then can be most aptly termed “socially-conscious” and he, then on, a critically acclaimed and “intelligent star”.

His films as a “thinking” actor include ‘Rang De Basanti’ (standing against the injustice), ‘Taare Zameen Par’ (societal acceptance of Dyslexia), ‘3 Idiots’ (changing the education system), ‘Mangal Pandey: The Rising’ and ‘Lagaan’ (showcasing grit and unity against the Raaj)…

His socially conscious self has been associated and involved with various causes of which the support to the Narmada Bachaao Andolan even cost him the wrath of the state government to the extent that his film ‘Fanaa’ co-starring Kajol was not allowed to be screen in Gujarat.

The most iconic of his dedication to humanitarian causes is his television chat show ‘Satyamev Jayate’ that tackled various issues from ‘female foeticide’ to ‘Dowry’ to ‘Child abuse’ and so on.

Yes, the Padma Bhushan Aamir Khan has surely created a cult. He is serious, he is a purist and he despises Bollywood award shows. He declines the offer to be immortalized as a wax statue in Madame Tussauds and vehemently supports anti-graft…

What has become of the fresh, sunny and delightful Aamir Khan of our romantic comedies?

It’s his birthday; maybe he just got older! And Grave and Solemn and Critical… Why, Aamir??

Of long, even before his movie releases, the audience anticipates a movie that will give a jolt to the social machinery; albeit in the most entertaining manner!

We see the need for movies that make people think, introspect, and yes … change.

But we do so terribly miss the slick masala movies of Aamir and move to ask him if his birthday (return) gift to us would be a new avatar, a transformation into the prototype of the Bollywood hero…

…But wait, do we REALLY want him to change?

For there is only one Aamir Khan.

Take a bow, Mr. Khan … Happy 48th Birthday!

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Samyukta Shastri

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