All decked up for the PT Display, our Ruby House was ready for the march-past. We were waiting for the end of the welcome speech for the Chief Guest. Girls behind me were discussing hindi feature films to kill time. And then one head threw the same rotten question towards me. “Who is your favourite hero?” Thinking of the latest movies i had seen songs of, i went in a hallucination with Amitabh Bachan dancing with breaking moves in Bade Miyan Chhote Miyan in front of me in the sports arena. Returning back to the realm, all i could say was Amitabh. He wasn’t called Big B in those days and i was in Std III. The response to this was, “Woh toh buddha hai”. I was made fun of. Then and there all my liking for Amitabh kissed goodbye for never to return. (So i thought.)
DD Metro as it was called then, had this dhaaravahik named “Sea Hawks” which featured R.Madhvan as a coast guard officer, maybe Milind Soman was there too. Alongside as a Mumbai Police Inspector was Anoop Soni (He still kills in Crime Patrol and Baalika Vadhu). And the villain was Manoj Pahwa as Bhaamra. The extraordinary talent of copying any sound “decibel to pitch” was inherent in Madhvan’s character. I fell in love. The affinity for tall, dark and handsome men started right there when i was not even 10 years old. I remember its title track like a lullaby. Its music had more energy and was yet so very mystical like Shanti’s. All good things end. The serial too ended.
I didn’t end up like a devdasi. I moved on and followed another man. This time it was Kanwaljit Singh from Farmaan. The title song went like this, “ Har dil ko sunate hain farmaan, farmaan mohabbat ka. Pyasa hai boht pyasa, insaan mohabbat ka.” This nawaabi role enchanted me for another year or so. But there was always more to die for. Madhvan came back. I was in Std VIII and the movie RHTDM came to shake awake an appreciable percentage of North Indian Eves. It was then that i got to know that he is a South Indian actor. What a loss! Years passed and a year ago his declaration “Kunwara hu kunwara” made me say nothing else except “How come? Try me!”
In the mean time, cable tv walas had trapped families like never before. Result was clear. You could watch ESPN all the time. Cricket was in the head of every single teenager and adoloscent and you could not help but watch it. There i found myself supporting my own initials. RD. Rahul Dravid. The Wall. With time this went like crazy madness and i was found with half a morsel in my mouth so engrossed in watching him that i forgot to chew the rest of it. Even facebook as said my millions followed him in his retirement and let the Wall retire and Timeline filled in.
If David Beckam could have only one adjective it could only be “sexy”. I realized the realms of this adjective by the end of my twelve years of rigorous and disciplined schooling. Thankfully i realized. They don’t teach this in school. However, in Std. IX i was pushed by my English teacher to think of a celebrity i could have a flight with. Then, all i could think of was the Rugby player cum social worker cum actor cum…. Rahul Bose. I was so much fascinated by this man that i mistook one of my Calcutta cousins as him at the Calcutta railway station. The essay on “the flight with a celebrity” however, could not be romantic or i would have been hanged. But i felt “Jhankaar Beats” for him then and even now when i feel something for someone i term those hulchuls as “Jhankaar beats”.
Once school got over, i came out of an all girls organization into a not so balanced world with more of men, that too not at all like the heroes i had always revered. So when i went to college, all i knew was that the real life is not at all filmy. I found some tall, dark and handsome men and the world has lots of them. But, as destiny would have it, the more crucial aspect never worked. Mentality and mindset could not at all show even a speck of synchronization with mine. I gave up on men. Seriously.
When a few years ago, Amitabh played the love interest of a young girl, i mentally found those Std IIIrd tinytots slapped in my head. That “buddha” is still oggled by more than a million damsels in our country and Pakistan and Bangladesh too, i’m sure. That liking was a secret for years but i never felt ashamed of having liked him. But in all these years one thing that is persistent is, i’ve always fallen for men who were older than me.
Having crossed two decades on this planet, i realise that the most sacred and untarnished love i’ve ever had for a man happened to be for one younger than me. Harry Potter. I grew up with him. All those books and the movies. I wouldn’t dare to name Daniel Radcliffe because he doesn’t interest me. But even if he is six months younger, am i committing a sin missing him so much. Not knowing what is happening in Hogwarts now leaves me so alienated. If Rudyard Kipling had to author an adult book, couldn’t she just showcase Harry’s married life! At least, i would have still had a share of him.
At the end of the day, all i realize from Madhvan to Harry is that i’m not into tall, dark and handsome men any longer. Shahrukh, you were correct. “Hi handsome! Hi handsome!” Dev Patel, you are next dude.