Salman Khan turns 55 today. Given his ultra-fit state, he looks like he’s only turning 31. He’s still giving stars half his age a run for their money at the box office. Nubile lasses all over the world want to have his babies, and maybe marry him. Both would be nice too. Other stars break their backs acting their hearts out, Bhai stands in a frame and the film makes 200 crores. He’s North’s only answer to Rajinikanth for sure. A film starring both might make break all existing and future box office records. That’s food for thought for the producers all right. From being the sanskari lover boy Prem to being a Bhaijaan who wins hearts across the border to being a wrestler with a yen for redemption, he’s done it all with panache. But the only thing you remember is his warm smile, and his large heart. He’s a superstar both on screen and off screen. On his birthday, presenting 55 reasons why we love the evergreen Bhai…
1. For making Prem a cool name. Prem Chopra’s onscreen antics had made people shy away from naming their children Prem. But Salman’s superhot popularity after Maine Pyar Kiya brought it back in vogue.
2. For unleashing the gym fetish among Indian youth. In fact, Salman is a Dronacharya of sorts for a legion of bodybuilders!
3. For helming the shirtless trend among our screen idols. after Salman, Having
a chiselled bod has become de rigueur for other actors.
4. For looking super hot in suits. Salman can make even a Salvation Army suit look like an Armani.
5. For making even Indian formals the ‘in’ thing and looking super sanskari in them.
6. For breaking the tall, dark and handsome myth. Short, fair and handsome anyone? Good things come in small packages after all.
7. For being the eternal eligible bachelor. Girls from both within and outside the industry still clamour to be his bride.
8. For being a self-confessed virgin. That’s quite an achievement, alright. So we deduce that all his affairs have been mostly platonic. Girls, perhaps, like him for his conversation skills.
9. For being the hopeless romantic who never gets the girl… we won’t name them, they know who they are and so do you… wink, wink!
10. For making world class beauties fall in love with him time after time. They say unicorns attract virgins and perhaps the reverse could also be true
11. For believing in religious harmony wholeheartedly. Eid and Ganpati are celebrated with equal joy and vigour in his household. He’s the best example of secularism.
12. For his ‘tomorrow is another day’ attitude. Come rain, hail or sunshine, Bhai doesn’t give a damn.
13. For making us forgive his every indiscretion.
14. For gifting a flat in Bandra even to his bodyguard. Who does that?
15. For generating more fans with every controversy.
16. For his large heartedness towards his family. The super successful, the super rich star launched them in showbiz as well.
17. “Dosti ki hai, nibhani to padegi hi… the line from Maine Pyar Kiya has become the anthem for a plethora of filmmakers.
18. For actually believing in the above line in real life. The amount of films Bhai has done for friendship’s sake defies logic.
19. For those brooding almond eyes, which makes girls from 8 to 80 go weak in the knees.
20. For bringing caps back in demand. The ‘Friends’ emblazoned cap is a collector’s item today.
21. For doing the same with bracelets. Every wannashine sports a thick silver bracelet with a faux turquoise. In fact, peddlers have made a fortune selling those.
22. For bringing caps back in demand. The ‘Friends’ emblazoned cap is a collector’s item today.
23. For introducing new heroines and nurturing their careers. Bhai has been a lodestone for scores of fresh faces, his good luck charm turning them into stars.
24. For not playing the broad Punjabi stereotype in every film.
25. For not playing the broad Muslim archetype ever.
26. For his diehard popularity with children.
27. For launching a cottage industry of South remakes.
28. For those super easy dance moves that anyone can follow.
29. For treating his co-stars and crew with huge homemade tiffins.
30. For his various charities, both known and unknown.
31. For publicly accepting he’s a lazy actor.
32. For never dishing out the dirt on any of his exes to the press.
33. For his music sense, which helps him play Godfather to new composers.
34. For getting the moustache back in vogue.
35. For being the unofficial brand ambassador for urban cycling.
37. For remaining starry-eyed in front of yesteryear stars.
38. For his inspired cameo in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai despite his superstardom.
39. For not taking to politics despite his huge fan base.
40. For his clueless act in Andaz Apna Apna. It wouldn’t be such a cult classic minus his ‘goofy’ talent.
41. For his quicksilver energy in his TV shows.
42. For having one of the coolest farmhouses in Panvel, complete with dirt tracks and 4X4 dirt bikes and dune buggies.
43. For saying all those bombastic dialogue with aplomb.
44. For the ability to make digs at himself, both on screen and off it.
45. For being a photographer’s delight and looking good in every camera angle.
46. For putting his heart and soul in the songs he’s sung, never mind if he’s off key
47. For making obscure titles work big time. Like, what does Prem Ratan Dhan Payo even mean
48. For always letting his heart rule his head.
49. For making 50 look 30
50. For being the Sultan of all he surveys
51. For being human despite being a superstar
52. For proving that he’s the best action star we have with Tiger Zinda Hai
53. Because he’s beyond Race, caste, creed, and religion.
54. For being such an entertaining television show host and not losing in individuality.
55. For not slowing down and taking his work for granted even after tasting superstardom.