You can’t keep a good man down. This is not the best of birthdays for Akshay Kumar. Barring OMG2 which was more Pankaj Tripathi’s film ,Akshay’s last six films in the movie theatres did not do well at all.
But this too shall pass. Is Akshay worried? Not at all! He has his priorities right. He always has. When he was trying to establish a foothold in the film industry he pursued every major filmmaker relentlessly. No harm in that. Even Shabana Azmi went after the directors until they said yes. Akshay’s mentor and game-changer was Suneel Darshan whose Jaanwar in 1999 put Akshay in the top league.
Before Jaanwar he was called a wooden non-actor. After Jaanwar Deepa Mehta wanted to cast him in Water.Akshay got busy learning Sanskritized Hindi and wearing the dhoti. He eventually lost the role to John Abraham. But Akshay’s quest for upscaling his life and career was and remains an obsession.His target was to do films with directors who would add value to his image. In his personal life he wanted to marry someone from a distinguished film family.
From Akshay’s mouth to God’s years. Akshay wasn’t born in a film family. But he married into one. Both his father-in-law and mother-in-law Rajesh Khanna and Dimple Kapadia were renowned actors. Superstardom came to him as his dowry.
Akshay and Twinkle met and fell in love in 1999 during the making of International Khiladi. It was hate at first sight for the sophisticated chic well-read Twinkle.Akshay took up the challenge of winning her over.Ironically in the film Twinkle kept chasing Akshay when in reality it was the other way around.
At one point of time,Akshay was simultaneously dating Twinkle and Shilpa Shetty, unsure of which one to marry but sure it would be one of the two. Finally he picked Twinkle because, as he told me simply, “Tina makes me laugh.” Shilpa Shetty married Raj Kundra who shares his birthday with Akshay.
Akshay achieves a rare synthesis of vulnerability and valour in his performances. In real life he remains a family man . His pride at his wife Twinkle’s success as a columnist and author is genuine.He sportingly allows his wife to bully him in public. But he knows when to assert himself without seeming a spousal tyrant.He is the happiest when bonding with his two children Aarav and Nitara and the saddest when he has to work on a Sunday.
While the other superstars are beginning to show their age by fumbling towards flab, Akshay Kumar remains physically fit and fab . He has been naturally fit for years. Never opting for quick remedies to obtain six packs. He doesn’t want them. His screen presence is like Kishore Kumar’s voice. Do you know of anyone who doesn’t warm up to it?
Akshay Kumar never tries to make good copy by badmouthing his colleagues, or darting clever innuendos about them. At the risk of being branded boring he has remained steadfast in his resolution to never talk ill of anyone in any format of expression… print, electronic or personal communication.
Akshay is not afraid to age, and to show it. He wears his salt and pepper beard like a veteran soldiers war wounds. Akshay knows which scripts work for him. And he’s seldom been wrong in the past. Lately he has been stumbling with his choices. It is time for a re-invention.
From being a non-entity in Bollywood from Delhi who made a living as waiter in Bangkok to support himself and landed in Bollywood with no calling card , to being ridiculed as being wooden and flat-voiced by one and all(including by Akshay Kumar himself) to now being arguably the most fit-and-fine star-actor of Bollywood ….it’s a long way to travel.