While Bollywood is celebrating its first century this year, Superstar actor Aamir Khan finishes 25 whooping years in Bollywood today. Two decades and a half ago, today’s day marked the release of that year’s biggest hit and paved way for the entry of one Bollywood’s best actors in its history, Aamir Khan.
Aamir, who holds this day dearly, made it a point to meet the press and share his happiness with kindness and humility. Excerpts from the press conference that was held at Film City in Mumbai today afternoon are compiled here.
Aamir Khan, who was shooting for Dhoom 3 nearby, greeted the press with great love as ever. On sharing the zest of his 25 years, Aamir Khan affirmed that his journey in Bollywood has been fulfilling, enthralling and exciting. It seemed like an overwhelmingly emotional moment for the actor as he remembered the blessings and influence of his Chacha jaan Nasser Saheb whom he regards very high. Aamir especially thanked his co-star Juhi Chawla.
For most successful men their families played their stronghold, so it does for him too.He mentioned his former wife Reena and thanked her for her support; Kiran Rao for her love but he was almost indebted to his audiences for making him the star he is. Aamir made a gleeful statement, “I am mostly thankful to my audiences for their love and appreciation. They made me what I am.”
Talking of his popular perfectionist title, the man asserted that 25 years of silver screen has garnered him a lot of experience. He said, “It was disheartening when my film didn’t do well. Then I began reviewing my stance and decided that I will not do a film unless I am convinced about a script. It is not about the money for me. I want to do good work, create good cinema. I became specifically choosy about the roles I take up. While my colleagues were doing a handful of films at a time, I stuck to one. People had a hearty laugh and bluntly stated I wouldn’t last in Bollywood. Thankfully I did. For whatever reason, this is the only way of work I understand and I stand by it.”
Indeed he is one of the most powerful men in the industry as well as in the country. Ask him how he takes power in his stride, “Power is only useful when you put it to good use. In case you are someone in power, you must use it right.”
It obviously hasn’t been a flawless journey for him. While most of his films did perform remarkably, he has seen his rock bottom lows as well. But the man oozes enthusiasm and confidence today. “I won’t say failures didn’t bother me. Of course, it did. But more than taking it badly, I took failures to understand my flaws and work on my mistakes.”
“I have two qualities which does make me what I am, but it has the potential to break me too. I am overtly passionate and crazy. When I have set my heart on something, I am hell bent on getting it done. And I am extremely headstrong.” Khan smilingly added that there have been several films that he was advised against but he still followed his gut feeling religiously and did it anyway. Some of them worked, others didn’t!
Talking of his apparent cold war with the media, he remembers the time when the media had shunned him and he had completely cut himself off from the media. It was before the release of his directorial debut Taare Zameen Par in 2007, that he met up the media again. On a certain outing with a child psychologist, regarding the research for this film, Aamir emphasized the importance of understanding why everyone needs the values of emotional security, faith, love and dignity! He used the same ploys on working on his relationship with the media and now basks in the deep rooted symbiotic friendship and mutual love.
Aamir was asked which actress had the biggest impact on his life. Keeping true to his political correctness when he reverted back with a mischievous grin, “Madhubala!” Amidst the gasp of the reporters, it wasn’t hard to understand that Aamir respects all his female stars alike. His preference is for good films and compatibly co-operative co-actors!
As the same year marks the centenary year for Indian cinema, there was a glint of melancholy in his eyes. “I wanted to do something special for this year. It would have required pre-planning and hence I missed my chance. Its thrilling to even think that Bollywood finishes its 100, the same year I complete my 25 with this industry.” On being asked of his film favorite films, Aamir mentioned Mughal-E-Azam, Pyaasa, Mother India and Garam Hawa amongst his most likeable ones.
On being asked about the TIME gala dinner, Aamir termed it as an enriching experience. He recounted, “It was a moment of great honor even to be counted among the 100 most influential people in the world. I met actor Daniel Day-Lewis and am a fan of his works. He is a great person and a brilliant actor. We had a good 20 minute chat about films in general. It was surprising to see that people in America were aware of my efforts on Satyamev Jayate. I am glad it could initiate a change.” Aamir Khan also mentioned that meeting Steven Spielberg at TIME dinner was another exemplary moment for him.
Coming back his debut venture Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, Aamir divulged his plans, “We have a planned a small informal party at my cousin Mansoor’s place with the cast and crew of the film. We will first go for the film’s screening at 5pm and then move towards the gathering.” Reminiscing about his first day at the shoot of the film, Aamir fondly recollected, “We were shooting in Ooty for a scene in QSQT. After spending the whole night in jungle, I was supposed to wake up and look for Juhi. In middle of the film shooting, there was dense fog, which is very common. We waited and waited and the fog did not move for the next 8 hours!” He laughed. “I could have got superstitious about this lagged beginning, but I kept my spirits high. The film was a huge hit. My career has largely been great too.”
Aamir, who was in a jolly mood, was visibly delighted about the day. On request from the journalists, he agreed to sing too. Joining tunes with the crowd, he hummed the lyrics of the song Papa Kehte Hain from his debut film. Even at 48, with an illustrious career of myriad films and innumerable songs, Aamir Khan’s signature music is still Papa Kehte Hai.
From the initial image of the doe eyed chocolate boy to acquiring the title of the finicky perfectionist, Aamir Khan’s Bollywood career is the advent of Bollywood’s own brand of understanding good cinema. He symbolizes sheer class and taste in good work and art and Koimoi takes the cue to congratulate him on giving Indian audiences 25 years of nourishing entertainment and reaching Indian cinema at unexpected heights in international circuits. As a philanthropist, an actor, a film maker, the man’s stature is insurmountable and colossal and the new age of Bollywood cinema draws inspiration from his terrain of work referring to the 25 years gone by!