There is an uncanny resemblance between Akshay Kumar and Kartik Aaryan’s personalities and career. When I speak to Kartik I hear the same lack of artifice and pretense, the same hunger to excel , a simplicity of approach to life’s complexities, a refusal to speak ill of anyone, and an enthusiasm and an awe at the rapid progress from an outsider to an insider in Bollywood.Here’s looking at the similarities that I have observed in the two superstars who made it without godfathers.
1. Both are health-conscious North Indian dreamers who travelled to Mumbai with the dream of becoming superstars. Rajeev Bhatia changed his name to Akshay Kumar. Kartik Tiwari became Kartik Aryan. That’s how their journey began.Both have a unassuming populist personality that is an appealing mix of the earthy and the sophisticated. Fans, specially the ladies , connect easily.
2. Both are incorrigible ladies’ men . They love the company of women, and the women love them back. The number of women that Akshay dated before marriage could fill a medium-sized telephone directory. Kartik is getting there. The link-ups, break-ups, make-ups and shake-ups are beguiling and sobering, to say the least.
3. Both Akshay and Kartik are fiercely devoted to their families.When Akshay’s father was alive his parents were the centre of his universe. Kartik’s parents who live with him in Mumbai,are his mainstay .He doesn’t move an inch without their consent.Akshay dotes on his only sister Alka and would do anything for her. Likewise Kartik for whom his sister Kritika is the world. I’ve seen the same love in both for their siblings.
4. A similar hunger to excel and entertain. Favourite genre of acting being comedy for both.Like Akshay, Kartik is now inching towards more serious dramatic roles. Like Akshay , Kartik wants to graduate from Anees Bazmi and Priyadarshan to Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Deepa Mehta.I remember how excited Akshay was when he was signed to play the lead in Water in Deepa Mehta. That didn’t work out.I saw a similar excitement in Kartik when he was signed by Imtiaz Ali for Love Aaj Kal. Neither Akshay or Kartik will give up the quest to keep moving ahead.
5. Finally they are both in Bhool Bhulaiya . Akshay slayed the horror-comedy genre in the first Bhool Bhulaiya film in 2007. Now Anees Bazmi tells me Kartik is a revelation in Bhool Bhulaiya 2. “You mark my words. He will make a whole new generation of fans with this film,” prophesies Anees. No arguments on that.