It’s Alia’s birthday! Which I have somehow never honored before so I have to write this very quickly from scratch. Let’s see if I can manage it!
1.1. I love you because your family is extremely talented, not just your brilliant director father, and your movie star older sister, but your mother Soni Razdan is an excellent actress.
2. I love you because your family background doesn’t fit into any simple box, your father is divorced and half-Muslim and half-Brahmin and illegitimate, and your mother is half Kashmiri and half German, raised in England but finding her home in India.
3. I love you because you were raised on film sets, spending time with your big sister the movie star and your father the director.
4. I love you because your mother coordinated all the details of your launch film, signed the contract and everything, but you took seriously the orders given you by the director (“lose weight”) and gained his love and loyalty through your hard work.
5. I love you because you were still a child on that first set, your co-stars taking turns dropping you home so you wouldn’t travel alone, your mother with you most days, and yet you also managed to do your job and do it well.
6. I love you because this song, with your baby face declaring Radha’s lack of guilt, is a wonderful image of a new young Indian woman who will not accept the traditions of the past.
7. I love you because your second movie took that freedom of the young woman to a whole new level.
8. I love you because that second movie was also the first time you sang your own songs, something very unusual which you have continued to do for many of your later movies.
9. I love you because against all odds, you made a love story between your teenage self and a much much older actor/character make sense.
10. I love you because that second movie is when you truly revealed your acting abilities.
11. I love you because you took a risk and took a break after your first role in Student of the Year, spending a year preparing for and filming Highway instead of trying to rush out another release.
12. I love you because you used Highway as an acting school, letting the director and your co-stars guide you into pulling out a deep emotional agonizing performance, learning enough craft of acting to immediately be considered one of the top stars.
13. I love you because you followed up the intense Highway with a lighter role in a more standard rom-com, 2 States.
14. I love you because you continued the rom-com trend with Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania.
15. I love you because after the interesting but flopping Shaandaar, you zigged back to intense roles with Udta Punjab, somehow managing to bring even more agony to your character than you had put into Highway.
16. I love you because you had no problem doing cheerful sex scenes in your first rom-com.
17. I love you because your second rom-com, Humpty Sharma, introduced you and Varun Dhawan as one of the best modern jodis of Hindi film.
18. I love you because your 3rd rom-com was an odd ultimately unsuccessful film, but you committed to the concept and it gave you one of your most interesting dance performances.
19. I love you because the same year as that odd unsuccessful rom-com, you co-stared with the same actor in a very not light and not rom-com kind of story.
20. I love you because you ended up being the heart of the story in the middle of a packed cast.
21. I love you for not accepting any standard box for your career, mixing in light love stories with intense personal dramas.
22. I love you for providing the best answer to nepotism accusations, by simply being so good that it is clear you got where you are on your own merit.
23. I love you for letting the public feel like they know, letting us in to your childhood and your family, while still keep parts of yourself (like, who you are dating) private.
24. I love you for being confident in your own abilities and career while still respectful of your elders in the industry, whether they are your co-stars or your directors.
25. And finally, I love you for participating in this video, which was both a brilliant career move and downright entertaining!