Why Aamir Khan is the Secret Superstar mentor we all need

first_img“Ek din yeh sab kuch nahi rahega. Sab apni apni gali nikal jaayenge. … Wahi duniya de jhamele. Naukri dhoondo, paise kamao, ghar basao, life di ishaaro pe nachde jaao. College di gate de iss taraf hum life ko nachate hai, te dujji taraf life humko nachati hai…”If you belong to the section of people who have watched Rang De Basanti, you would know that DJ was probably one of the most well-written ‘mentor-friend’ characters we have ever come across in Hindi cinema. Just the sheer relatability of Aamir Khan’s words in the film is enough to make you root for the character all along. And that is the reason DJ from Rang De Basanti still lives and breathes in every urban college-goer/youngster’s heart… 11 long years after we bid goodbye to DJ and his gang. Except, maybe we never quite did.RANG DE BASANTIIt was DJ who was the adhesive in the group of youngsters we saw in that Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra film. The slightly crazy friend who can go to any lengths for his pals. The friend who knows when to scold you and when to back you. Who does not need to say it out loud that he will be with you till your last breath; literally, in Rang De Basanti.Tim lak-lak te tim lak-lak.LAGAANAamir Khan has displayed a knack of making films with an underlying, or over-arching at times, social message. Most of his films post Lagaan have made us fall in love with his characters mostly because of the wrapped-in-entertainment gyaan that they have gifted us. Take Lagaan, for example. We saw Bhuvan the farmer declaring open rebellion against the British and their system of extorting lagaan from the villagers in that tiny hamlet of Champanagar. Bhuvan took on the role of teaching his fellow villagers the firangi game of cricket, and we saw the results at the end of Lagaan. Not only did he manage to get the tiguna-lagaan waived off, his efforts took Lagaan to the Oscars too. Well, with ample help from director Ashutosh Gowarikar and the rest of the team of Lagaan.advertisementDIL CHAHTA HAIThen came Dil Chahta Hai. Aakash with his goatee had all of ’em girls falling head over heels in love with him. Steered along by Akshaye Khanna and Saif Ali Khan, Aamir played yet another character that carved a place for itself in the mindscape of the country. A bildungsroman, Dil Chahta Hai showed the evolution of a wayward college kid Aakash with his aaj-Pooja-toh-kal-koi-dooja mantra, falling in love one day and falling out of love the other; to the Aakash consumed by the Sisyphian cycle of work-home-tanhaayi in faraway Australia. Aakash loved his friends, fought with them, left them thoroughly disappointed and came back to mend the broken hearts. Aamir the mentor-friend saved the day again. Would you say no to a friend like Aakash?TAARE ZAMEEN PARWe saw Aamir as an out-and-out mentor in Taare Zameen Par, the man whose Midas touch transformed the life of 8-year-old Ishaan Awasthi. All of us who have had to face hard times in school, a strict parent at home, all our hearts went out to Ishaan. We were all left wishing we too had a teacher like Nikumbh in our lives. And why not. Aamir worked his way to our hearts with Taare Zameen Par, leaving us with a rock-sized lump in our throats. Aamir in Taare Zameen Par gave the country a teacher to look up to, a mentor to wish for and a friend to lean on.3 IDIOTSWhat Aamir achieved with Taare Zameen Par was a re-look at India’s education system. From helping expose the flaws in the way students are treated in our schools, Aamir moved to colleges in 3 Idiots. He played the unforgettable Rancho in 3 Idiots. Yet again, he was a friend that you wished you had in your life. He doesn’t bat an eyelid when he has to steal a question paper from ‘Virus’s’ office in the middle of the night for a friend, but will not sneak a peek at it because he believes in making it on his own. If Rancho would have asked any of us to take a train to learning, a la ‘Millimetre’, none of us would have wanted to let go of that moksha. Rancho helped turn around the lives of not just his friends Raju and Farhan, but even the principal of his college, Viru Shahastrabuddhe. And of course, who can forget the Phunsuk Wangdu-named spell on Chatur!advertisementPKIn 2014’s PK, Aamir shed his clothes but left India’s billions-worth godmen industry exposed, naked. The alien PK taught us all the importance of rationality, showed us how to question blind faith and chased a bahurupi through the lanes of Delhi, albeit with dire consequences in the form of complaints and protests. But what PK the film and Aamir did with the film is left a section of people in the country very, very uncomfortable. On the one hand when we had audiences lapping up PK like a plate of hot jalebis, on the other hand we had godmen up in arms against it. Despite all of that, PK still is among the biggest blockbusters India has produced… even China would agree.DANGALAnd to last year’s Dangal.”Mhare chhoriya chhoro se kam hai ke?” is a question that shook our collective conscience when a grey-haired pot-bellied Aamir asked it. Dangal documented the journey of the godawfully strict father who pushed his daughters to get home the elusive ‘gold’ in wrestling, a man’s sport. Aamir the father, Aamir the mentor, made sure Dangal was written in film history as one of India’s finest films. And that is not even taking into account the kind of success the film achieved at the box office. As of today, Dangal is the highest grossing Indian film ever.Now we have him in Secret Superstar. Wand firmly in hand, Aamir the magician-mentor is ready to have us dance to his charm all over again.Tim lak-lak te tim lak-lak.(The writer tweets as @ananya116)ALSO SEE: Aamir guides Zaira Wasim through life and music in Secret Superstar trailerALSO SEE: Dangal’s China run ends, Aamir gets moving tributeALSO WATCH: Dangal Movie Reviewlast_img

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