Happy Birthday Rishi!!!! Did not realize you are the same age as my father. But mostly, Happy Birthday! An industry legend, who acted in your first classic film at age 18. And so I will give 18 reasons I love you. (this is an updated and reposted post from last year)
1.1. I love you because you “acted” in your first film at 18, but you were already in a film at age 3, playing one of the small children (along with your siblings) who walks by in the middle of “Pyar Hua Iqrar Hua” in Shree 420.
2. And then at 18, your father pulled you in again, this time to play a younger version of himself in his magnum opus, Mere Naam Joker. You were only a small part of the film, but you were already comfortable on camera.
(I’m sure it’s deeply meaningful to the plot, but just in this one song out of context, that doll is CREEPY!)
3. I love you because, when you finally had your “real” launch at age 21, you knocked it out of the park! Everyone talks about Kaho Na Pyar Hai as the first big star kid, star is born overnight, kind of movie. But you did it with Bobby decades earlier! With a better performance in a better movie.
4. I love you because you didn’t rest on your laurels, but made another film in 1974, and a total of 4 films in 1975. Including your first movie with future wife Neetu Singh, who became a close friend right away. And look how cute they are getting drunk to shoot this song when their characters are drunk!
5. I love you because you were the king of light romance and modern cool through out the 1970s.
6. And I love you because you kept up that light romance straight through the 80s, while everyone else was chasing the Amitabh Angry Young Man films, you kept up your commitment to big spectacle charming love stories.
(If you don’t speak Hindi, the refrain is “Tell me friend, what happens next?” So Rishi is telling her about how they’ll get married and then this and then that will happen. Also, it’s subtle, but I THINK there are some phallic symbols in this.)
7. I love you because you came from THE family of Hindi film, and you worked all the harder for it. Your father made Bobby not to launch you, but because he had to cover his loses from Mere Naam Joker and wouldn’t have to pay his son to be the hero in the youthful romance he envisioned.
8. I love you because you were friends with Neetu first, and she needed a friend, being a 15 year old heroine working day and night. You made her call your other girlfriends for you, and you also took her back and forth to the sets everyday so she wouldn’t have to travel alone.
9. I love you because you essentially supported your entire family through out the 80s and 90s. Being the most successful working actor in the Kapoor house of your generation.
10. I love you because you kept up the hero roles all the way into the 90s, even sharing a heroine with Shahrukh Khan in his first movie.
11. I love you because once the new millennium hit, you transitioned to father roles and introduced us to a new idea of the Indian father, the charming, youthful, and still romantic father.
12. And I love you because for the past few years, you have moved past that “charming father” part as well, and have become one of the best character actors in the business, creating terrifying original performances in Agneepath, D-Day, Aurangzeb, and others.
13. I love you because it is ALMOST believable that a woman might be torn between you and young Shahrukh in this song. And that is a triumph, considering Shahrukh is Shahrukh, and 28, and you are 40 and in a sweater.
14. I love you because you were somehow more attractive once you embraced your age and became the sexy father.
(German dubbed dialogue here, but I don’t mind, because I hate Saif’s voice. He sounds better in German)
15. I love you because you wrote a shockingly honest and very fun read autobiography.
16. You also reunited with your wife! In one good movie (Do Dooni Chaar) and one terrible movie (Besharam).
17. I love you because you really do just get better with age. You were the strongest actor in Kapoor & Sons, better than the stage pros playing your children, and the up and coming stars playing your grandchildren.
(Also, it’s a birthday song!)
18. And my final reason to love you is my favorite song of yours, I know this is out of chronological order, but it is so amazing!