Happy Birthday Bobby Deol, Our Universal Soldier

Bollywood

Happy Birthday Bobby Deol, Our Universal Soldier

Illustration: Palak Bansal

T

he year was 1998. On one hand, Bollywood royalty, Salman Khan and Saif Ali Khan were busy establishing contact with black bucks in Jodhpur, and on the other, Amartya Sen was living up to his Bengali surname by winning a Nobel Prize. In these heady times, Bobby Deol, a new entrant to the roster of Bollywood heroes, was blissfully riding the angsty bad boy wave after the success of Gupt. Despite the film featuring two badass women leads, Deol cemented his presence on the back of a potent thirst trap that included incredibly sexy black shirts and a cigarette permanently perched on his lips.

It helped that this Diet Coke version of the Deols had a chiselled face, rugged charm, and dimples that made Bollywood directors go weak in their knees, prompting them to offer him only lead roles without a box-office compatibility test. In the three years that the younger Deol had been in the industry, he had shouldered two duds, or in star-sperm parlance, had been “warming up”. The star kid is usually rewarded by being gifted a “Filmfare Best Debut Award” and offered five more films as “motivation”.

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