Happy Birthday Dips! Sorry I am so late, early January is a bear to deal with. But I am taking a break from the make-up-for-the-holidays rush of work at work, and the cleaning of the apartment and putting away of presents at home, in order to write this post. Because I love you, 32 times over.
1.1. I love you because you were born in Copenhagen, which is just SO WEIRD. It makes me smile every time I remember it.
2. I love you because you were a child of a public figure, but not the usual politician or movie star father like most actresses. Your father was a master athlete, an international badminton champion. Which is why you were in Copenhagen, for him to train.
3. I love you because you broke with family tradition and forged your own path. After being a successful badminton player through out your childhood and teen years, you asked your father if you could quit and pursue your own dreams.
4. I love you because you chose modeling and acting, it didn’t choose you. You could have continued college studies, or your athletic career, but this was the life you wanted.
5. I love you because you set your career on a firm path at age 18, already knowing what you wanted from life and dedicating yourself to modeling on the way to acting.
6. I love you because your face was immediately fresh in your very first major TV commercial. Not just beautiful, but interesting
7. I love you because you chose for your film debut your home industry of Kannada in Bangalore.
8. I love you because you continued your soft slide towards mainstream film by featuring in a music video with Himesh Reshimeyya.
9. I love you because your first major film offer was in Happy New Year, playing the sweet naach girl.
10. I love you because Farah loved you so much that when Happy New Year was shelved, she recast you as the perfect “Dream Girl” 70s actress in Om Shanti Om.
11. I love you because after Om Shanti Om you made a savvy career decision to sign a smaller role opposite rising star Ranbir Kapoor in Bachne Ae Haseeno. You proved your ability to make an impression in a large cast, and without a major hero taking the lead.
12. I love you because you survived Chandni Chowk to China, that early disastrous attempt for a Hollywood studio to work in India.
13. I love you because you are human and made the very human mistake of publicly dating Ranbir Kapoor and getting his initials tattooed on your neck.
14. I love you because you survived the massive media coverage involved with dating a Kapoor.
(A Vogue photoshoot with your new boyfriends parents, this is not normal)
15. I love you because you went through a dark period, not only a very public break up but a string of terrible films, and came out the otherside stronger.
16. I love you because you were smart enough to stay close to your powerful first co-star Shahrukh by doing a cameo in his film Billu.
17. I love you because Love Aaj Kal was an early excellent performance and a sign of good things to come.
18. I love you because you survived being the heroine in a Housefull movie.
19. I love you because you didn’t turn your nose up at the idea of being the heroine of Desi Boyz.
20. And I love you because you survived this whole difficult era of sex farces and bad movies to emerge with Cocktail, your first film to display Deepika-the Fully Grown Actress.
21. I love you because you emerged not just as a fully grown actress, but a fully grown Star, easily able to handle your image and your personal life and public life.
22. I love you because you were on one of the most amusing and all time classic Koffee With Karan episodes ever, without ever seeming needlessly mean.
23. I love you because your second public romance keeps the happiness public and the difficulties private.
24. I love you because you have carefully handled your career somehow balancing art films with Amitabh Bachchan with big Hollywood action movies without ever feeling like you are forgetting either.
25. I love you because you did a Hollywood movie, but didn’t “go Hollywood”. You still showed up for FilmFare Awards and signed new movies in India, and did interviews with Indian media and so on.
26. I love you because you did go back and finally make Happy New Year, a decade after you first took the role and when your stardom was far beyond being the heroine in an ensemble drama.
27. I love you because your heroine in Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani was like what we had seen before (good girl tempted by bad boy) and yet felt completely unique.
28. I love you because you were the true hero of Chennai Express, earning your first billing in the credits.
29. I love you because your role in Piku is one of the all time great female parts in Hindi film history and you did a phenomenal job with it.
30. I love you because you did a cameo in Raabta, one of my favorite hidden pleasure movies!
31. I love you because you have become a spokesperson for mental health issues, going public with your own struggles, a very brave and very humane thing to do.
32. I love you because you are boldly yourself. Not wanting to get married, but also not wanting to hide your relationship. Wanting to make art films, but also play the love interest in silly Farah Khan movies. Not fitting within any easy box that the media and the public try to use on you.
Bonus reasoon: I love you because you starred in Lafingay Parinday playing a woman who dreams of roller dance fame, is blinded by a boxer who fights blindfolded, and then learns how to dance again with his help. Possibly the stupidest plot I have ever heard of, which gives me such joy to remember in all it’s perfect stupidity.