Love – One small word, a world of emotions and so many epic stories. Bollywood has managed to create many eternal on-screen love sagas that have left a long-lasting impact on the audience. We’ve all watched the larger than life stories that have made us swoon and wish they never ended. What makes these films such big hits, and also our favourites, are the remarkable characters that bring the screenplay to life. What a lot of these movies also do is leave you with an image or a checklist of the kind of person you want to end up with. It isn’t completely right to have superficial expectations from your soulmate, but it is always good to know what kind of a life partner we seek.
This might just be the reason for my long overdue single status. I am a hopeless romantic and have grown up watching films which have had male characters who were all different in many ways — especially in the way they loved. And many of their traits definitely made them a potential other. Needless to say, like most single humans, I also have a checklist of the traits that I want and/or don’t want from a partner. But I would be lying if I said, this list wasn’t influenced by the amazing romantic men I have watched in numerous Bollywood films. If you have been single for even the last couple of years, you may have downloaded some dating apps at some point. Sometimes juggling two apps at a time, sometimes four. If you have done this then you know that online dating or dating, in general, isn’t easy at all. My failed attempts at it could be a blog or a book by itself. I know, many of you have been there too.
So, while I sigh over the clearly up-sold profiles on my ‘Attempt Number: 3’ at finding love online. Here’s a list of 10 actors and their performances that gave me high (and some valid) expectations. Ergo, making them responsible for my single status.
Of course, I began my list with this film. Aman was funny, sweet, a little mean at times but overall he had a heart full of love. Like Naina’s (Preity Zinta) little sister Jia in the film, I was in love with Aman too. He wanted not just Naina but every single person that he loved to be happy. So, yes, when Aman passed away, I cried. I cried at all the emotional scenes and I won’t believe you even if you said you didn’t.
Aditya Kashyap portrayed by Shahid Kapoor was an ordinary man with a broken heart but once he met Geet, his perception towards life changed completely. It must have been difficult to let the girl he had fallen for so hard walkway. But not only did he help her reach her destiny, he also made sure she reached there safely too. Even when he found her months later, heartbroken and alone, as she had once found him, he helped her be her true self again. He cared deeply for her and even when he had enough reasons to leave, he stayed. I think that’s why I loved his character, he didn’t take off at the first sign of a problem or difficulty. He saw Geet as a person, not just someone he was in love with.
Where do I even begin for this one?! Ranbir Kapoor turned my heart into nothing but a pile of mush. There is so much to love about his character but above anything else, the one that made me fall for Barfi was how fearless he was when he came to giving and accepting love. And when he loved, he gave his everything to that person. Sometimes, that’s all we need right? – Someone to love us unconditionally.
I remember I had just started my junior college when this movie came out and I wasn’t the only one who had a crush on Jai. Lol. Boys had a tough time matching up to him that year. He was a total sweetheart from the beginning of the film and right till the end. Imran Khan‘s performance made Jai even more likeable. But the one thing that made its way on my checklist was that he was Aditi’s (Genelia D’souza) best friend first then a lover.
Yes, Abhishek Bachchan and John Abraham‘s characters competed for the same girl and spun a lot of lies but they were always there for Neha (Priyanka Chopra) when she needed them. In the end, they decided to put their selfish motives aside and think about the one they love. I believe, every romantic relationship needs to have two people who are willing to put their selfish motives away when it truly matters.
Viren was clueless, confused yet ready to take a leap of faith for love. Abhay Deol‘s charm and adorable screen presence made Viren and all his flaws more likeable. He may not have known what he wanted at the beginning which most of us don’t. You have to go through a few wrong doors until you finally find the right one. Because once he knew, he stopped at nothing. Viren went after the girl he loved and eloped with her. It’s that “We’ll figure it out as long as we’re together” feeling that I miss about being in love the most. Do you know what I mean?
Arjun, played by Akshay Kumar was also a character who valued commitment and love. Even when life threw many challenges his way, he kept fighting to win back his love until the last moment. And yes, the whole run-away bride bit was a little too much but in the end, love made its way back to him. I wonder if staying true to your commitment and honouring it is even possible in this instant hook-up and break-up culture. But, I am not giving up hope yet.
Rajkummar Rao is as talented as they come. His portrayal of Deepak Singh was touching and heartbreaking too. If there was one thing, one feeling that his character made me add to my sit of traits was selflessness. What he did in the film was an extreme example but the at the core it is still simple. He was willing to put love for his family above everything else.
Ranveer Singh can pull-off any character and he did justice to this one too. Again, Kabir also may have been confused and caught up with his life choices and family drama. But he finally displayed courage and went after the girl he loved. He jumped off a freakin’ ship. NO, it’s not what I am expecting or even asking anyone to do. All I am saying is, love needs to be bold and courageous and that’s exactly what I loved about Kabir.
I have always felt that Akshaye Khanna played the role of a man in a group of boys. His character, Sid was way ahead of his time. He wasn’t scared to accept an unconventional kind of love into his life. He even stood up for it when one of his best friends didn’t understand how he could love an older woman. Sid made me believe that love doesn’t have to be the way the people around you define it to be. Love simply is.
I have loved a little bit of each of these characters but again, no, I am not under any misconceptions that some guy will check all the boxes. Maybe I will meet someone who will be all this and more or I might just throw out my list altogether. You never know. But one thing is for sure, my love for Bollywood movies and love stories is definitely never going to change.
Which on-screen character made you believe in love?