"The journey that I have undertaken, meeting people from all walks of life and learning from them, has been my biggest achievement." - Aamir Khan
14th March 1965, an entertainer was born who was destined to become the largest influencer in Hindi Film Industry. His father Tahir Hussain and mother Zeenat Hussain named him, Aamir Khan. Today, the world calls him Mr Perfectionist.
As he was growing up, Aamir wanted to pursue 'tennis' as a career, but poor grades in school exams forced his dad Tahir to make him quit tennis. It is said that Aamir's father wanted him to do something stable, but he always wanted to play tennis. And today, we must say that we are thankful to God that he ended up becoming an actor. It's true; God has a bigger plan for us than we have for ourselves.
How Aamir signed his first film? What are the ups and downs that he faced?
Let's have a look at his journey so far, and what we can learn from it.
But before you proceed, let me also tell you about the actor's recent joining on Instagram and gathering 200k+ followers within a few hours. If you haven't followed him till now, you can do it now. Go ahead!
As he had already quit tennis, Aamir soon left studies and chose to assist his uncle Nasir full-time. It was the beginning of his career as an assistant director, and on the contrary, he started playing small roles in the documentaries created by FTII, Pune students.
Ketan Mehta, FTII alumni, saw an actor inside Aamir in those documentaries and offered him a part in his experimental low-budget film, Holi (1984), opposite the names like Naseeruddin Shah, Late Mr Om Puri and Ashutosh Gowarikar, which perhaps proved to be a humble beginning for Aamir Hussain Khan. The film failed to garner the broader audience, but Mr Perfectionist (in the making) didn't lose hope and dedicated himself entirely to acting. He then went on to join a theatre group, Avantar, where he mastered the art of acting there.
In 1988, when Nasir Hussain's son Mansoor was making his directorial debut with the film Qayamat se Qayamat Tak, he chose Aamir Khan to play the lead role opposite Juhi Chawla. Inspired by Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, the movie (then) became hugely popular nationwide, earned him overnight stardom and proved to be the biggest commercial hit at the box-office.
Aamir's second film Raakh (1989) failed commercially, but critics said it's an entry of a gem method actor in the industry. Despite failing to perform at the box-office, Raakh earned Aamir Khan the National Film Award. Later in the same year, he reunited with Juhi Chawla for the film Love Love Love (1989) which proved to be a box-office bomb.
Aamir's movie list increased with five numbers in the year 1990, but unfortunately; the first four films released that year failed drastically at the box-office and ruined his stardom and fame that he had earned with Qayamat se Qayamat Tak.
In the month of June 1990, actor Aamir Khan again hit the box-office starring opposite Madhuri Dixit in Dil (1990) which was directed by Indra Kumar. The film replicated the success of Qayamat se Qayamat Tak and then arrived Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahi (1991), and we saw Aamir Khan winning the hearts of the audience once again.
"I have had unsuccessful films, but I learned a lot from those films. I give my failures as much importance to my success."
Year 1990s marked the addition of some fantastic films in Aamir Khan movies list. Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (1992), Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (1993), and Rangeela (1995) are some of those movies that help him in earning global fame.
In 1997, Aamir Khan at the age of 32 restricted his number of films to one or two each year, and it later became a career-defining decision of his life. Raja Hindustani (1997) released and who'd have thought that Aamir Khan would win the Best Actor in a leading role by beating well-established artists of that time, Nana Patekar, Govinda, and Sunny Deol.
Like a roller coaster ride, after every up, Aamir Khan films have seen downs. His career became a little stagnant and the films which released during this time Ishq (1997), Ghulam (1998), Sarfarosh (1999), and Mela (2000)) saw his downfall.
Aamir Khan, whose films struggled to earn the significant profits in the 1990s, hit the gold in the new millennium when his friend and filmmaker Ashutosh Gowariker convinced him to play the lead role in his film, Lagaan (2001). The film set in the backdrop of India's colonial British rule received critical acclaims worldwide and got selected as India's official entry for the Oscars (74th Academy Awards). The film had also won the National Film Awards and Filmfare Awards.
Later released Dil Chahta Hai (2001) which took the success of Lagaan to another level. For media students, who were pursuing their career in filmmaking, these two films became part of their syllabus.
By now, Aamir had become Mr Perfectionist for stepping up to producing films like Lagaan, acting in it, and taking it to the Oscars. Fans around the world had now started seeing an idol in him, getting inspired by him, listening to his songs, quoting his dialogues and following him. But, little did they know where destiny would steer his career.
I do what I feel is right. I do not fear to walk on a new path and take a risk.
Always in the news and rumours, Aamir Khan's name has been attached to many famous female celebrities, and even some magazines accused him of having an affair with a British journalist. In between all of this, Aamir and his first wife Reena started having the temperamental differences which turned into a mutual divorce. After the divorce, the custody of his two children Junaid and Iva was given to Reena.
To escape from stress and depression, Aamir announced his break from acting and Bollywood. The first actor to take four years of a long break at the most crucial time of his career.
After coming out of the depression, Aamir Khan married Kiran Rao, who was an assistant director in Lagaan. They tied the knot in December 2005 and now have one son, Azad.
Kiran influenced his life in a very positive way, and at the age of 40, Mr Perfectionist was ready once again to make a grand comeback into the industry.
"Probably the most traumatic period has been my divorce, not just for me but everybody involved, I imagine. I can't think of any other significant low."
Aamir returned to the silver screen with Mangal Pandey (2005) which disappointed his fans. Seeing this, Aamir adapted quickly to the change in the audience's taste and signed Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's Rang De Basanti (2006) which became his another entry for the Oscars and BAFTA. The film also won National Awards in India. In the same year, he released his film Fanaa (2006).
Ghajini (2008), 3 Idiots (2009) became the highest earning films in the history of Indian cinema and biggest blockbusters in the Hindi film industry. These films were honoured with all the awards that the Indian film fraternity had to offer.
Who'd have imagined a child artist introduced for a minute on a silver screen would someday rule the same screen. But, he wasn't done yet. There were some lands (Television) which remained uncaptured, and Aamir conquered all of them.
As a host, Satyamev Jayate marked the entry of Aamir Khan on television as well. Surprisingly, this one show had united the whole nation, and people of all age would stick to television sets on Sunday mornings at 11:00 am to watch a film star talking to ordinary citizens from all walk of life sharing their experiences.
All the credit goes to Aamir Khan and his creative team for doing the much-needed research on social ailments that plague India.
Aamir even postponed the shoot of his dream project PK by six months for this show, and he also became the highest paid television host. The show is rated 9.2 on IMDb and Aamir became a household name in India.
Every project that Aamir has touched turns into gold. Dhoom 3 (2013), PK (2014) and recent super hit release Dangal (2016), are the best examples of that. It's not because of his stardom and acting, but whatever Aamir Khan does, he surrenders himself to it.
For instance, his transformation for the film Dangal was so extreme, that he beat his own standards of working hard to get into character. The actor had to gain 28 kgs and then to get into shape in next five months for his wrestler character, something which we all can learn.
Aamir Khan has always remained in the news for different reasons. When he initially started his career, all the mainstream media doubted if an actor of his height would be having a successful career or not.
Aamir Khan's name came into the light after divorcing his wife and marrying Kiran Rao. Everything was just settling down, and then he was again in the news for calling his dog Shah Rukh, which is coincidentally also the name of his friend and Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan.
The biggest and most controversial thing that Aamir has done till date is his interview with the Indian Express newspaper, where he expressed his feelings on rising intolerance in India, which was misunderstood by most of the people and ignited the fire of hatred for him nationwide.
Insights from Aamir for his fans: If you're not happy with something, never do it.
Aamir Likes: Listening to old music, playing chess, watching movies and playing Tennis.
Aamir Dislikes: Loud music, Indian film awards.
Fan of: Alfred Hitchcock stories.
One thing he can't live without: Reading.
"I never thought this would happen. I can't believe how I have reached here. I am happy that I have entertained people and made them happy."