We join fan clubs, start online communities and fight Twitter wars all for the sake of a complete stranger whose only connect with our lives is through films! It’s hard to pinpoint just what makes us love them . Maybe it’s the X factor they possess... Maybe, we love them because they make us cry, laugh and allow us to step away from our mundane existence. The fact remains that we need heroes... and in a world bereft of real heroes, we turn to reel ones. Presenting a league of gentlemen extraordinaire.
Amitabh Bachchan: Despite not having conventional good looks, his smouldering intensity made women drool over him like crazy. They say sex is in the eyes and it’s perfectly true in Amitabh’s case. His emotive eyes and baritone voice make him unique. There wasn’t a lover like him on screen. Caring, sensitive to the hilt, with an assured air about him, which has never been captured since. Listen to him recite poetry in Kabhi Kabhie (1976) and you can understand why women went mad over him and why men memorised poetry and took diction lessons. We love him also for the effortless way he enacted each of his roles, for his sheer screen presence that even today makes him the baap of the box office!
Hrithik Roshan: World class abs, Stallone-like biceps, a brooding persona, remarkable talent for dance and uber cool acting skills; Hrthik is a combination of all this and so much more. He is a complete package, a complete entertainer. He is a perfectionist, who doesn’t leave anything to chance. We love him for the fact that despite having it all, success hasn’t gone to his head. He still yearns for perfection and is forever on an internal quest. Lately, he has discovered his vocal muscles as well and has sung quite well. Aisa Hrithik na milega dobara.
Shah Rukh Khan: Like Julius Caesar, he came, he saw, he conquered. SRK is a combination of passion, guts, charisma and talent. We love the fact that he douses you with goodwill every time you see him on screen. It’s this quality that has made him the king of all he surveys. We also love the fact that King Khan hasn’t been shy to try out different roles. He made the anti-hero genre come alive with back-to-back hits like Darr (1993) and Baazigar (1993). He looked the part of a disgraced hockey player turned coach in Chak De! India (2007) and then tried his hand at playing a man suffering from Asperger’s Syndrome in My Name Is Khan (2010). And yes, we love him for the fact that he’s avoided controversy and has remained loyally married to his college sweetheart Gauri all these years!
Salman Khan: He takes off his shirt and the whole nation has an orgasm. Salman Khan is charisma personified. He elevates any film just by being in the frame. We love him because he hasn’t changed over the years. Like sunshine, like rain, there’s this air of permanency about him. Others have to act for their Swiss holidays. Not him. He is Salman Khan in every frame. He remains the industry’s most eligible bachelor, despite his bad boy image. He has led a chequered life but such is his magnetism that you tend to forget his faults. You just shrug and say, he is just a being human.
Ranbir Kapoor: He is currently the superstar next- door. He has got world class confidence and his carefree acting takes your breath away. As in the case of any other superstar, we love reading about his off-screen exploits too and he hasn’t disappointed us. Despite belonging to the current generation, Ranbir exudes an old world charm. Maybe its part of belonging to the Kapoor clan but he does have an instant connect with the audience. This is one quality that helps you sustain your star power through a length of time and Ranbir’s aura is increasing by the day
Aamir Khan: He isn’t just a superstar. He is a super actor. Or, to be more precise, he’s a combination of both. He can change from being a militant to a college student to a student counsellor and yet make each role his own. You zoom out Aamir the star and zoom in on the character he portrays. Aamir is perhaps the only actor from the Hindi film industry who has a 100 per cent track record at the box office this last decade or so. You may call him a maverick; you may call him a marketing genius, the fact remains that brand Aamir Khan spells success. He is an astute director and producer as well. Like Sun Tzu, Aamir is a master of the Art of War and knows how to wait and watch before pouncing on the opportunity and annihilating all opposition.
Saif Ali Khan: For someone born with a silver spoon, Saif’s very self-aware. He didn’t have any qualms about playing second fiddle to Akshay Kumar in the initial stages of his career. After making his mark in ensemble casts, he’s carved a niche for himself and is able to shoulder a film on his own. He’s had a long, hard struggle despite hailing from the ‘in-crowd’ and we love the fact that he didn’t let the setbacks bog down his inherent joie-de-vivre.
Imran Khan: Chocolatey good looks or more precisely white chocolatey good looks coupled with enough of talent make Imran Khan hot property indeed. We love the fact that he has a calm head on his shoulders and instead of playing the field, has decided to settle down with his childhood sweetheart. He isn’t wary of making wrong choices and believes in learning from his mistakes. He’s taking baby steps currently but if mamu Aamir Khan’s career is any indication, he has miles to go before he sleeps. Guess what, he has already endeared himself to the nation so the way isn’t as dark and dangerous as it is for the others.
Akshay Kumar: A former cook and martial arts expert lands in Mumbai and makes it big as a movie actor. No producer will ever buy such an outrageous story but the fact remains that it happens to be true. Like a bolt of lightening, Akshay came out of nowhere and made his presence felt. We love him because he’s a bundle of contradictions: for someone once described as deadwood, he’s become a seasoned comic actor and from being a man with no connections, he has become a power broker, who hosts lunches with heads of states. If that isn’t the stuff dream are made of, what is?
Shahid Kapoor: His legs are made of jelly. It’s our way of saying he is one of the best dancers in tinsel town today. What we like about him is that despite facing failure initially, Shahid didn’t give up on himself. Through Jab We Met (2007) and Kaminey (2009) he has shown that given a good director, he can bedazzle you with his acting as well. And he has enough of the X factor to make teenage girls go tizzy with frenzy. What he needs is more mature roles and it looks like he’s slowly achieving that.
Farhan Akhtar: He can direct, act, sing, write and do lots more. No, we aren’t talking about Kishore Kumar but the new Renaissance Man, Farhan Akhtar. Farhan hasn’t put a foot wrong since his directorial debut Dil Chahta Hai (2001) and continues to amaze us with each new avatar. Being the son of one of our prominent writers, Javed Akhtar, he is an inherently cultured individual and that shows in his films. He’s been looked upon as a thinking woman’s sex symbol and that’s a great thing in our testosterone-obsessed nation. And he also knows how to effortlessly steal the limelight. As he did in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.
Ajay Devgn: Who says you need to look like a hero to make it big in the industry? All you need is luck and oodles of conviction in yourself and in your own destiny. Ajay had all that and much more. He also has a knack for reading the wind and changing course without losing any steam. He’s changed from being an action hero to a romantic lead to a comic actor and is back again doing action. More than anything else, he remains everyman’s superhero. The masses look at him and upscale their aspirations. He remains the face of hope for millions of underdogs today. Proof: Check his latest blockbuster Singham.
Abhishek Bachchan: If someone was born with the proverbial golden spoon in the mouth, it’s Abhishek. For one born to such illustrious parents as Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan, life can be a bed of roses in some ways, yet it can be quite a bumpy ride in others. We love Abhishek for the fact that he hasn’t let the burden of being the son of India’s biggest film star get to him. In his own quiet way, he’s overcome the hardships and carved a niche for himself. His gentlemanly ways and polished charm has gotten him quite a fan following as well. No wonder, the world’s most beautiful woman fell for this genteel giant. He’s going to be a proud papa soon and we wish him all the luck in the world.