Happy Birthday Alok Nath! It’s a Slow News Day, So You Get a Whole Post To Yourself!

I like Alok Nath as much as the next person, but he’s not normally the type who would get a birthday post.  But it’s a slow news day, I feel like throwing up a video post, so why not!  Plus, he’s turning 60, so it’s a big one!  Here are 12 reasons I love you, 1 for every 5 years you’ve been alive!

1. I love you because the very first movie on your official filmography is Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi!  A very auspicious beginning.

2. I love you because for a few brief years in the 80s, you tried to make it as a regular hero, including co-starring with Tina Munim (future Mrs. 40th-richest-man-in-the-world, Anil Ambani).

3. I love you because you are the sole connection between the 2 revolutionary romances of the 80s, Maine Pyar Kiya and Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak.

4. I love you because you were only 32 when you took your first big father part, in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, playing a father figure/uncle to 23 year old Aamir Khan.

5. I love you because your reaction shots contribute greatly to the wonderfulness of this, my favorite Rajshri song.


6. I love you because you even played father to Amitabh Bachchan, in 1990 in Agneepath.

(Can’t find a video, Dharma is now renting it on youtube so all the illegal ones have been taken down.  But here’s a screenshot!)

7. I love you because you were also a father figure, if not actually a father, in Shahrukh’s very first released movie (the first movie he signed was Dil Aashna Hai, but the release was delayed), Deewana!

(Okay, so he’s not actually in this song, but imagine him in the background, being supportive and wise to Divya)

8. I love you because you somehow managed to convey the hint of a lost romance through just a few glances and lines of dialogue to Reema Lagoo in Hum Aapke Hain Koun.


9. I love you because while you were presenting the most sanskar-y possible life onscreen, off screen you had a live-in girlfriend, Neena Gupta, who was famously the mother of Vivian Richards’ child outside of marriage.  Oh, and she was the other dancer in the “Choli Ke Peeche” song.  So, not very traditional and respectably Indian.


10.  I love you because you worked hard, playing in 16 movies in 1990 alone, and averaging around 8 every year between 1988 and 1999, when your focus switched a little to TV.

11.  I love you because almost 20 years after your first fatherly role, you still played it to the hilt without a miss-step in Vivah.


12.  And finally, I love you because in 2013 there was a minor twitter-quake for no reason with Alok Nath jokes.  Which went on to inspire a marketing discussion and analysis, which went viral in turn!


14 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Alok Nath! It’s a Slow News Day, So You Get a Whole Post To Yourself!

    • Huh, we’re both wrong. He has dropped a ton of money lately, is out of even the top 100 of the world’s millionaires list for 2015. Mukesh jumped up a bit, is at 38. I think I was thinking of a few years back, when he was around the same place as his brother. He was much higher on the list about ten years ago, but he lost a lot of money in 2008 and dropped out of the top ten and has been steadily dropping since then. Anyway, I like just using “40” as an estimate, because he’s been averaging around then most of the past few years. Although, if his losing streak continues, I may have to switch it to “Tina Munim, Mrs. I-Lost-My-Entire-Fortune-and-All-I-Have-is-This-Ridiculously-Large-House Ambani”.


      • No, no, the “ridiculously large house” is Mukesh’s. 🙂 That’s interesting, though. I always knew Mukesh had more money, and the better business savvy, but didn’t realize they’d dropped down so much in recent years, but they’re still multi-billionaires, not mere millionaires (except in a technical sense).

        (I just checked — Mukesh has $21.2 billion as of today, and is ranked no. 36 on Forbes’ list, while Anil, as of today, is no. 688 with $3 billion)


  1. 13. Alok Nath, I love you coz you’re the pioneer of the “Wow such values” face! (I think you know where I got that phrase from xD Pretentious Movie Reviews!)

    I was very fond of his role on MPK. Like a lot of his ‘dad’ roles later were sweeter and softer, but I really loved how layered his character Karan was. Naive but angry and fierce and protective when his daughter’s character was questioned. You know, somehow in my mind there was always a connection between HSSH and MPK, specially because they shared several cast members with somewhat reversed roles. In MPK, Rajeev Varma plays the uppitty Kishan, Ajit Vachani the wily Ranjit, Mohnish Behl the abusive Jeevan, Reema Lagoo the levelheaded Kaushalya, Salman the childlike Prem and Alok Nath an angry Karan. By HSSH, Rajeev becomes the father who *seeks* Alok Nath’s son’s hand in marriage for Tabu, Reema is the weak link in the family easily swayed by her gossiping friends, Mohnish her dutiful stepson and Ajit the brother in law who tries to knock sense into his erring sister before it’s too late. I’ve always wanted to explore the parallels in these two films and what these role reversals might mean.


    • What an interesting thought! Especially how Reema’s character, the “Mother” figure, changes film to film. Not just MPK and HSSH, but MPK and HSSH and HAHK. In MPK, she is noble and wise and understanding, in HAHK she is good, but blind to what is going on right in front of her eyes, almost destroying her daughter by her blindness. And in HSSH, she sees things that aren’t even there, imagining concerns that are problems.

      Of course, Alok Nath is always awesome. And always kind of a little too gentle for this world, bullied by his wife in HSSH and Vivah, easily giving in to his children in MPK and HAHK.


  2. You could totally do a comparison post on those two tho xD xD

    Yknow what amazed me about Kaushalya in MPK was that she was v progressive for her times. She didn’t plead with Kishen to stop Prem or cry and beg because he left. She MADE him leave with her blessing, gave him her bangles to give to Suman, drove away all his doubts of his leaving being wrong. Rather than bind him to herself and their family for the rest of his life, she made an adult of him with this one sweeping gesture. Funny enough, it was her possessiveness and distrust that drove Prem away from home in HSSH, this time to bring back Mohnish’s character. I imagine Kaushalya would have a few choice words to give to Mamta if they ever met lol.


  3. I love Kaushalya in MPK! The other comparison that is interesting is Nandini, Jaya’s character, in K3G. It’s almost the same, she gives away her bangles and blesses her son as he leaves. But she doesn’t confront her husband or tell her son that he is right and his father is wrong. At least, not until the very end. She is trying to have it both ways, to bless her son but not condemn her husband, and it doesn’t work out.


    • It’s not a “comparison” exactly between MPK and K3G, is it? I saw K3G before MPK, but once I’d sen MPK, I realized that Karan Johar totally lifted that scene straight out of the earlier movie. Maybe it was his way of paying tribute to Sooraj Barjatya. 🙂


      • I’m assuming tribute as well. It’s not like he could have really used that scene and not thought that most people would immediately go “Oh hey, Maine Pyar Kiya!”


  4. Yeah Nandini is the ultimate repressed Indian woman. She KNOWS what Yash is doing is wrong, and somewhere deep inside she is angry with him for what he did to Rahul and how his words broke the family in half, but she is so used to not allowing herself the space to be heard, and so used to being silenced, that she can’t stand up to him when she really, really wants to. Until the moment where the silence becomes too unbearable for her and she has had enough, and heard enough. There is so much pent up anger and years of frustration evident when she says “keh diya? Bas, keh diya” back to him.

    I think Kaushalya in that way has sort of established a space where she demands respect, where she won’t allow anyone to silence her, to the extent that when she finally talks to Prem, she knows that there is no space for Kishen in this and he couldn’t take this authority away from her if he tried. She is confident in her own power. Had Nandini realised this in the beginning, it would have saved her a lot of heartache I think.


    • Yes, that’s it exactly! Kaushalya shows how you can be a wife and a mother, but still think for yourself and do what is best for the family. Nandini just could not bring herself to even admit that she wanted anything besides what her husband wanted, that she had an independent thought, until the very end. Of course, her husband is Amitabh and Reema’s husband is just Rajeev Verma, so he is probably easier to ignore 🙂


      • I think the difference between Kaushalya and Nandini is the difference between someone who actually knows and understands traditional Indian womanhood, and someone who only knows of such people in terms of stereotypes. Sooraj Barjatya is not only much more grounded in Indian traditions than Karan Johar, but he was also aided by his grandfather in his first two films, in terms of having the story thoroughly reviewed and approved. Of course, it’s not as if Karan’s other characters are particularly realistic, either. Most of his characters seem to be sketches of an idea, rather than well-developed actual people.


        • I agree that Karan’s characters in some films are more character types than rounded people, and K3G is probably the worst in that regard. But I don’t know if you could say that it’s necessarily related to who was around to help them, especially in terms of women characters, since Karan’s mother is producer on most of his films and she actually IS an Indian woman, so I would assume she knows more about Indian womanhood than Sooraj’s grandfather.


          • Ah, you misunderstood. Sooraj’s grandfather was an experienced film maker, hence had better grasp of all things that make a movie work, whether a strong story, strong, believable characters, or a clear narration. So his help to Sooraj was in all those things, not just female characters. But, if you notice, the characters (male or female) were not as fully realized in HSSH, because by that time the grandfather was dead, and Sooraj was on his own. I felt that the difference was quite discernible.

            As for Karan’s mom, she is a producer on his films the same way Gauri is a producer on Red Chiies’ films — i.e., it’s just on paper, for tax purposes. Now I have no idea how traditional or otherwise Karan’s mom is, but I have gathered, from various interviews of his over the years, that she really doesn’t give any input into his films till after they’re made and released, unlike his dad while he was alive, who was also an experienced film maker.


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