No one is reading these posts, but I don’t care! It’s Yash Chopra’s birthday, I love Yash Chopra, and watching his songs and reading about him for this just cheers me up. Part 1 here, and Part 2 here.
56. I love you because you proved yourself human by making one truly terrible movie, Parampara.
57. I love you because even with that terrible movie, you were still the starmaker, launching Saif Ali Khan.
58.I love you because you really discovered “Shahrukh Khan”. That is, the Shahrukh who combined the good Indian boy with the dark and twisty inside, the actor who could pull off the love songs and the monologues, everything that really sets him apart.
59. I love you because Darr not only brought the real Shahrukh out, it also brilliantly deconstructs the macho “hero” character, showing his essential uselessness.
60. I love you because Darr is also where Aditya and Shahrukh became friends and future collaborators, thanks to you bringing your twenty-something kid who wanted to be a director along with you on the shoot.
61. I love you because you managed to film a song that never shows Shahrukh’s face, and yet is so essentially “Shahrukh-y” that it is considered one of “his” greatest hits.
62. I love you because you also crafted one of the essential Holi songs, which isn’t afraid to dig into the darker side of Holi, the unwanted attention it can bring to woman.
63. I love you because you let your son cut together the trailer for this movie, making one of the all time great trailers ever, in any film industry. And something that India had never seen before. Just the first time Aditya would break through barriers.
64. I love you because you took 4 years between Darr and your next film, choosing to focus instead on helping your son get his start, by making sure he was able to pull together his whole vision for his debut.
65. I love you because after your son proved himself with his debut, you wasted no time in bringing him into the business as a full partner and, soon after, making him the head of the whole studio.
66. I love you because while DDLJ set off rumors that you had “ghost-directed”, by Dil To Pagal Hai, the rumors were reversed, that Aditya was helping you. And in both cases, you never acknowledged them.
67. I love you because this was your second collaboration with Shahrukh Khan, and you took his stardom forward, just like following Deewar with Kabhi Kabhi for Amitabh, by showing how his complex image onscreen could be used for a lover just as easily as for a villain.
68. I love you because, once again, you proved that your films aren’t just about the hero. Giving Madhuri one of her best roles, and Karisma possibly her all time greatest.
69. I love you because, through out all this, you were just a very nice man. After you death, stories came pouring out, how you would call people up, ones you had never worked with, to congratulate them on their new films, to compliment them on a good performance, to wish them happy birthday.
70. I love you because, while your son quietly revolutionized the industry from his corporate office, you were the face of the studio, doing the public appearances and interviews Aditya couldn’t handle.
71. I love you because you died as you lived, being loyal to your friends. Fighting through a fever to go to Amitabh’s 70th birthday party, and being hospitalized the next day after wearing yourself out.
72. I love you because your final movie came out after your death, and after all of that sappy melodrama, it was the tribute to you over the end credits that really made me sob.
73. I love you because the title poem for your final film could also be seen as a thesis statement on your life and your art. That you would keep working and making art until your heart stopped beating.
74. I love you because in your last film, you included one of my all time favorite songs, which was also a lovely tribute to your Punjabi heritage, one last time.
75. I love you because you are such a nice man, I know you won’t mind sharing your birthday post with your nephew Ravi. Who directed the amazingly epic The Burning Train.
76. While Adi inherited Yash Raj films, Ravi inherited BR Chopra Films, and gave them their most profitable hit shortly after with the Mahabharat TV serial.
77. After the Mahabharat, things were slow for a while at BR Chopra Films. But they picked up again with the release of Baghban, the kind of social familial drama that BR founded the studio on.
78. Only, unlike the BR films, Baghban also included some fun and commercial song sequences that were distinctly Yash Chopra-like. Like this song, for Valentine’s Day.
79. And this one, for Holi.
80. And then you followed up Baghban with another social drama film, one with a more controversial message hidden under all the gloss. Although the gloss was gorgeous!
81. But the soul of it was in sequences like this.
82. Okay, enough of that, back to Yashji! I love you because just before your death, you did an amazing no holds barred interview with Shahrukh.
83. I love you because for your first birthday after your death, your family held a tribute fashion show. How perfect for the king of costumes!
84. And finally, I love you for this, just all of this.