Ladies and gentlemen – one topic I cannot give up writing about, barring off course cricket is the decade in which I grew up, 90s. Not that I am a grown up old man raising both my eyebrows every time a chic passes by me in her mini skirt, I would rather enjoy her kindness. But 90s was the decade when my growing up period was most rampant. Hence this decade makes me nostalgic for multiple reasons. Here is one of them – the dashing dudes in that decade. Just to clarify that writing about dudes has got nothing to do with my “preferences” – part two will be about the dudes from the other side of gender divide or what they call them, the dudettes.
Saif Ali Khan – Dear ladies, before he charmed you over with his six packs, suave mannerisms, much improved dressing sense, impressed you with his acting as Langda Tyagi, bowled you over again with his rough and tough looks in Agent Vinod, Saif Ali Khan was THE chocolate boy of the country.
Having read all about Late Tiger Pataudi’s captaincy which infused self-confidence in Indian cricketers, I was always interested in seeing if the baton was passed on to the next generation. Hence when I heard that Tiger’s son’s genes were more a replica of Tiger’s wife’s than his own, I was a bit disappointed.
Anyhow, I decided to watch Saif’s debut movie – Aashiq Aawara, albeit more than two years after its release. And what a movie it turned out to be. Thanks to Mamata Kulkarni’s acts of proving her womanhood on the front page of Stardust, I knew right from the start of the movie that who the hero and heroine were. Some of my friend who didn’t have much interest in print media couldn’t avoid this confusion. Mamata did look more manly.
If the impressions Saif made in his first movie weren’t enough, the world came to a halt when he did ole ole in Yeh Dillagi. Initially the movie was seen as a piece of art trying to find the loopholes in the moral fiber of our society. It’s only when the producers made it clear that the love triangle shown in the movie among tall-dark-handsome Akshay Kumar, short-dark-handsome Kajol and mid-height-milky white-gorgeous Saif, had Kajol as its bone of contention, it achieved new heights of commercial success.
Such was Saif’s beauty, charm and gorgeousness that he was won over by the most handsome lady of the preceding decade. Alas, with Rahna hai tere dil mein, Saif decided to chuck away his cuter avatar and moved on to become an Amul’s Macho man. Coincidently the lady in his life, who was much older than him, also deserted Saif in his new avatar.
People say that Saif’s newly found love, which is quite younger than him, is an attempt to bring the average age of females in his life to his own age.
Mahesh Anand – Not many can give competition to the bodily fertility of a bear. Anil Kapoor comes close. And only person to have ever come even remotely close to Anil Kapoor when body’s ability to grow hair on it is concerned, it’s got to be the giant of the decade – Mahesh Anand. Let me confess – inspiration for this post was that poster of his block-busted movie - Sasti Dulhan Mahenga Dulha. I would request all of you to chuck away with all the lazy bones, open google images and insert the name of this movie in the search box. I shall give up writing if the results don’t amuse you.
Mahesh had all the ingredients of becoming a super-star – he was taller than Amitabh Bacchan, was much better in physique than Guddi Maruti, had a hairier chest than Anil Kapoor, his broom like moustache inspired Rowling to write a wizardry fiction. To add to this, Mahesh could dance and dance well. I mean he could move his body.
Alas the entire armory in his repertoire couldn’t make him a star. But Mahesh kept fighting. First he fought the villains. Then he fought the heroes. Then he fought hero’s friends. Last heard, he was fighting with Mumbai Police in Versova.
Deepak Tijori – Before Karan Johar confused the entire country with the fact that love can be taken up for friendship and vice versa, Deepak Tijori solely and wholly owned the word friendship and world of friendship in bollywood. He would often come between villain’s bloodthirsty knife and hero’s constipated stomach to make the ultimate sacrifice. With his fragile frame, Ruud Gullit hairstyle and a smile which perfectly suited for any role in the movie Planet of the Apes, Deepak soon became heartthrob of all those who had taken huge loan from their friends. They all prayed to god – please make all my friends like him and call them back.
But as KjO and the ilk started making movies which blurred the line between friendship and love, Deepak’s chances started diminishing. In such times, friendship was meant to be love and not taking full impulse of villain’s knife in your stomach.
Deepak did make a comeback, with six pack abs, in Ghulam. And he did take his revenge this time. Instead of sacrificing his life, he saved hero’s life this time. Alas, he still lost to Aamir Khan in a race – like he did so many years ago in JJWS.
Hemant Birje – India had never seen such masculinity till everyone saw The Adventures of Tarzon. With his built of wrought iron scrap, Hemant Birje must have left the Tarzon agape in awe. The Adventures of Tarzon is one of the movies any movie buff must not miss.
Nope. Not for those reasons I am saying so. Watch it for its art, the fart and a proof of how intelligentsia from a mind can totally depart. Probably India wasn’t ready for such manhood – we all were in awe of Aamir Khan or the likes. Probably India wasn’t ready for male nudity – we all were truly male chauvinists. Perhaps India wasn’t ready for Hemant Birje.
But he made his mark in Commando – the epic Mithun movie. He made his mark in Veerana – the epic horror movie. He made his mark Divine Lovers – the epic you-know-what movie, the best I have seen.
Once he couldn’t succeed as a hero, Hemant Birje was almost finished. He couldn’t have acted as a villain as none of the heroes could match even half his size. He couldn’t have acted as a hero’s friend like Deepak Tijori as villains knives would fail to enter his rock solid stomach. He could surely not become a comedian. Hence he lost his way into oblivion.
Tariq Shah – I shall be thankful to Tariq for the rest of my life. In fact we should all be. His movie gave us the song which was THE song of the decade. The song holds the record for maximum number of appearance on Chitrahaar and Rangoli, both put together. Yes, the song beats Baar Baar Dekho from Chinatown, hands down. Thank you Tariq for giving us the movie Bahaar Aane Tak which had the epic song - Kaali teri chhoti hai paraanada tera laalni.
It was extremely hard for me to stop writing the entire song. Once I am reminded of the first line, I just cannot stop singing it till its completion. Yes, I remember it and remember it quite well. After all how can you forget the song which has words like -
Mar mitne ki tune baat kaise sochi, baat kaise sochi, baat kaise sochi (How the hell did you think of dying and rubbing? How the hell did you think of? How the hell did you think of?)
Na tu mera mahi, na mera padosi, na mera padosi, na mera padosi (Neither you are my MS Dhoni, nor are you my neighbor, nor are you my neighbor, nor are you my neighbor)
The movie also featured another dude, Sumeet Saigal who was poor man’s Chunky Pandey who himself made his debut in Aag hi Aag because the producers couldn’t sign Govinda. The movie also featured the dusky bong bombshell Rupa Ganguly aka Dropadi.
If the song wasn’t enough, the scenes post the song made us watch it till the end in hope that the scene would be shown. One out of ten times, DD obliged us.
Tariq, ladies and gentlemen, was poor man’s Subhash Ghai – an actor turned director. Well it was true only if you don’t count Subhash Ghai’s career between Kalicharan and Yaadein. Maybe you can count Yaadein. Bahaar Aane Tak was surely better than Yaadein.
Javed Khan – Every Ramsay Brothers’ movie had an evil ghost. The evil ghost always lived in a bhoot bungalow. All the bungalows had a guard who would walk around with a lantern which was so dim lit that one could never see the guard’s face. All Ramsay brothers’ movie had a scene where heroine would be bathing somewhere in the dark and would be exorcised by the evil ghost. She would then be saved by Javed Khan. All Ramsay Brothers’ movie had Javed Khan in it.
Javed Khan was the man for horror movies – he would be the romantic macho singing songs while romancing with a healthy female, fight a man-to-man battle with the ghosts, act as an expert helping souls achieve nirvana and never ever die.
If Amitabh Bacchan is the biggest superstar of Bollywood, if Sachin Tendulkar is the greatest Indian cricketer ever, if Poonam Pandey is the biggest beneficiary of India’s world cup win, Javed Khan was the best thing to have happened to horror movies. Especially with the muscular Sripriya acting in most of the movies as protagonist’s love interest, Javed Khan’s looks ensured that there was something worth looking at the screen.
Well, the list is still not finished. But it is endless too.
I shall soon comeback with the list on the other side of gender divide.
And for those who think Saif Ali Khan’s selection is baffling, please go watch Aashiq Aawara which featured the real Saif.
The real Saif disappeared by the end of 90s.
Current one is a cosmetic magnification of its predecessor.
PS: An attempt at humor hoping you would find some sense in it. Any sentiments hurt are deeply regretted.