My mother often recounts how I was a pest as a kid when she watched TV. I'd just not sit still, and more importantly not let her catch her shows on Doordarshan, timing my tantrums to perfection with Buniyaad, Hum Log and other popular shows of those days. However, on Wednesday evenings I'd be a completely different person and drag her home if we were visiting relatives and plop myself infront of the television. Same thing repeated a few years later on Sunday nights. But I'd show the same signs of restlessness if Captain Abhimanyu Rai or Raghavan didn't appear in some episodes. I don't know if she made up the story later, I like to believe it was something that magical.
Been 7 years since I wished you on this blog. You had just turned 40, I had started at my first job right after college. Today I've been married for a while, just a couple of years from my thirtieth birthday. Have moved countries and changed jobs, also got myself a little more educated in the meanwhile. You went ahead and won the remaining hearts of Bengal and sponsored our cricket team. Proved a point to the jealous few who derive pleasure by stereotyping you, by appearing on screen as the coach of a women's hockey team. A lot changed. Something didn't, and that is I could have written the previous post even today and it would have remained just as true. So here's wishing you a happy 47th Sir!
And my little tribute - 47 things about you, from me.
1. The last movie of yours I didn't watch in the theatre was 'Main Hoon Na' (2004).
2. Have asked hairdressers (I know people get into trouble for calling them barbers) to cut my hair like yours.
3. I've watched 'Duplicate' (1998) in the theatre, thrice.
4. I enacted scenes from your movies during my introduction sessions with seniors in my college hostel and it was the best 'ragging' ever.
5. Used to note down the names of your movies at the back of my chemistry notebook. In reverse chronological order.
6. Once got a photo of yours in a 'bhel puri' packet made from an old newspaper. Cut it out and kept it in my wallet as a good omen through college.
7. I have performed scenes from your movies in middle school, high school, college, work and MBA functions.
8. Purchased the dialogues only casette of 'Mohabbatein (2000)' and could repeat every line of yours in my sleep.
9. Hated Hrithik Roshan for many years for spoiling 'Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani (2000)' with KNPH. I actually prayed for his death. Feel bad for that now.
10. I have spent hours in front of the bathroom mirror trying to be you from 'Yes Boss' (1997), 'Pardes' (1997), 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai' (1998), 'Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham' (2001) and other movies from those days from my teenage.
11. I also did the same with Don 2, a few months back.
12. Decided to never fly to/through Newark airport after they detained you there.
13. Mentioned you as my role model in my first corporate interview. Got the job and spent 6 lovely years there.
14. Prior to MHN the last movie I didn't watch in the theatre was 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai' (1998).
15. Could never manage to like Sunny Deol after he killed you in 'Darr' (1993).
16. My favourite song from your movies is 'Ek Din Aap Mil Jaenge' from 'Yes Boss' (1997).
17. I have only seen 'My Name Is Khan' (2010) first day first show.
18. I have gone all by myself to watch 'Shakti: The Power' (2002) in Jaya Cinemas, Kolkata. Felt cheated to realize you only had a guest appearance.
19. Had your poster on my hostel wall. Still have a picture with it.
20. Took my sister with me to watch 'Devdas' (2002) when she was eleven and we had tickets in the opposite ends of the theatre.
21. Played 'Ajab Si' from 'Om Shanti Om' (2007) and delivered the 'Mere Naina...I love you Naina' lines from 'Kal Ho Na Ho' (2003) in front of an office audience to woo my then girlfriend, now wife.
22. Your movies (as an actor) that I haven't seen till date are - Idiot (1992), In Which Annie Gives It To Those Ones (1989) and Zamana Deewana (1995).
23. I wasn't allowed to watch 'Maya Memsaab' (1993) as it had an adult theme. Saw it in Fast Forward mode in 30 minutes on VCR while mom had gone out of the house.
23. Every time I wouldn't do well in some exams I used to imagine myself being kicked out of the house by my dad and my mother singing 'Woh Toh Hai Albela' from 'Kabhi Haan Kabhi Na' (1993).
24. In the early 2000s I'd force my eyebrows into your S shaped style so much that it became normal for quite a few years.
25. I also tried very hard to get the dimples when I smiled. Some people now tell me I get them sometimes. I guess dimples can be acquired after all.
26. Without making a conscious effort I've picked up your 'God bless you' as a sign off line for many years now.
27. Have made some lifelong friends primarily based on our common love for you.
28. Once walking in the office parking with Veni I put on your limp from 'Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna' (2006) and she feels that's the best impersonation I have done till date.
29. A friend from Delhi University gifted me a photocopy of what is supposedly your marksheet at Hansraj College, have it with me for more than ten years now.
30. After you said "my hair is like a bear" in the first interview with Simi Garewal I would meticulously tousle my hair after taking a bath and not comb for hours.
31. I remember events in my life with your movies. E.g. Class 5 winter break - DDLJ (1995), first shave - after coming from watching Badshah (1999), class 10 boards - Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani (2000), College final year Veer Zara (2004) and Swades (2004). Wedding - Billu Barber (2009) to name a few.
32. I judge those who criticize you. Seriously.
33. The highlight of my first Mumbai trip (2006) was posing for this horrendous picture next to Mannat's gate. Have visited Mannat each of the thirty odd times I have been to Mumbai since then.
34. I have a bone to pick with Google. They invited you as the special guest in the 2011 Google India conference, 6 months after I left the company after 6 years. I had delivered some of your lines from OSO at the same conference in the same venue 3 years back.
36. I have you (@iamsrk) in a separate Twitter list called 'Sir'.
37. Veni was at the field at Kotla in 2011 when KKR beat DD and you did a lap of honour. I was back home with my parents in Bengal. I will never be able to get over it.
38. Bought my first sunglasses - Ray Ban aviators after seeing you in them in Chak De India (2007).
39. I'm not sure of the precise influence but my first car was a Hyundai Santro and you played some part in that decision.
40. Similarly I've always been a Pepsi guy since I remember and I have a feeling it's because of you. So yes, you deserve all those endorsement deals.
41. I was immensely relieved when you bought KKR as your IPL franchisee. Had it been anything else I may have been too confused to support any team.
42. I often play the scenario in my head of what will I say if I ever meet you. I remain tongue tied in those practice rounds, so can only imagine what will happen if it comes true.
43. I always replay your dialogues on YouTube by pausing and playing and noting them down. Done with Jab Tak Hai Jaan.
44. Even after numerous tries I have never been able to quiver my lips like you did in the "Madan Chopraaaa...." line in Baazigar (1993).
45. I practiced all of my Class 12 Accounts & Maths problems by listening to songs from your movies in my casette recorder on repeat loop. Never bought a casette for any album in which you were not there.
46. There's a friend in Mumbai who wishes me invariably on Nov-2, though he has forgotten my real birthday a few times.
47. I hope somehow, someday I'll be able to repay a fraction of the happiness, comfort, confidence and support that you've provided me.
God bless you.