Daddy,” I whispered, feeling my own breath hitch in my throat. “I love you.”
Just when I was sure he was asleep, the one corner of his mouth lifted in a smile. “I knew that,” he murmured. “Always knew that.
Morgan Matson, Second Chance Summer
Fatherhood has enjoyed brazen commendation on the Hindi film celluloid. Drastic portrayals of fathers are still imbedded in our consciousness. My fondest guilty pleasures still remain watching those caricaturist fathers delivering unapologetically OTT performances and manifesting loath and levity. Be it Sadashiv Amrapurkar in Ishq (1997), Saeed Jaffrey in Dil (1990) and Prem (1993) or Anupam Kher in Prem Aggan (1998) and Kaho…Na Pyaar Hai (2000). All these characters, soaked-in-vieux jeu-villainy, rendered the stark side of paternity.
But, we are here to celebrate the spark and splendor of the occasion, and what better day than today to peep into some of the most immortal characters personated by our Beloved Bollywood Biggies. Give a glance-
4. AKSHAY KUMAR- JOLLY LLB 2 (2017)
This wasn’t Kumar’s first tryst with fatherhood. Jaanwar (1999) and Heyy Babyy (2007) are the two names in his repertoire, but the former saw him as an adoptive father and the latter focused more on his promiscuousness than paternity. This sequel to the 2013 hit comedy was that one bonafide character, that comically exploited his fatherhood finesse. In one scene, we witness how he helps his son ( An adorable Jehan Khambatta ) take a piss, as the mother, a Booz-loving Huma Qureshi, is completely zoned-out. Kumar brought both hilarity and actuality and meticulously captured the nuances of a middle-class father. If not his finest, arguably one of his most refined performances.
3. SALMAN KHAN- JAB PYAAR KISISE HOTA HAI (1998)
Okay, so this is the kind of father not many would dream of. Khan’s character, Suraj, was that of a suave and charming playboy, who could woo any woman with his jaunt. As the story progresses, a shocking truth about his previous philander is unraveled in the form of an illegitimate child Kabir (Aditya Narayan). Callous at first, he warms up to him and also learns all the traits of a father. With a heartwarming camaraderie, Khan and Narayan made a satisfying and pleasing father-son duo, if not iconic.
2. SHAHRUKH KHAN- KUCH KUCH HOTA HAI (1998)
Rahul and Anjali (Sana Saeed, not Kajol, please) never seem to get old. This precocious daughter was an imagination of Karan Johar’s wild ideas. Placing an eight-year old bairn right in between a complicated and complexed love triangle doesn’t sound as a judicious idea, but you can always rely on SRK to perk up the proceedings. A father, a friend and also a philosopher ( That Pyaar Dosti Hai monologue), his banter and blarney with Anjali make KKHH as much a tale of a father-daughter as it was of a boy and two girls.
1. AAMIR KHAN- DANGAL (2016)
Unfairly criticized for the portrayal of forced patriarchy, Dangal was anything but. Explained in a moving scene in the later half of the film, Khan’s character, Mahavir Singh Phogat, confesses that he’s a nitwit, and how he mercilessly snatched away toys from his daughters’ hands and filled them with soil.
Khan in Dangal was a big kahuna, who ran the entire film on his shoulders. His scenes with his daughters went beyond melodrama and jubilation. It also explored the clash of two egos, when Geeta (Fatima Sheikh) wrestles with her own father.
An emotional roller-coaster ride, Dangal gave us a father every daughter shall be proud of, and maybe, even every son.