Sunny Deol burst on the Hindi cinema scene in 1983 and boy, did he have a lot of baggage to carry!
He is the son of Dharmendra, one of the most loved cinema-idols of all time and right from the start, Sunny, whose real name is Ajay Singh Deol, had a lot of expectations attached to his career. But he did not disappoint! After starting off with Betaab, an out-and-out romantic film, he went on to perform in movies that tapped into the angst of youth and addressed social issues like the rampant unemployment in the 1980s. He was widely appreciated for movies like Arjun.
However, it was action movies that proved to be his forte and projects like Tridev, Kroadh, Inteqam, Vishwatma, Lootere, Joshilaay, Tridev and Narsimha, among others that made him a household name in the 1980s and early 1990s. Ghayal gave him one of the biggest hits of his career in 1990 but it was Bandini that made people sit up and take notice of his acting prowess and dramatic chops. He even won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor for the role.
As the 1990s winded down and viewers’ interest began to wane in action movies, Sunny delivered the then highest grossing movie of Indian cinema with Gadar: Ek Prem Katha. The partition saga, which was budgeted at Rs. 18 crores, was widely appreciated and went on to gross almost Rs. 70 crores in 2001, an unheard figure at the time. It also provided Sunny with a career resurgence who went on to star in a string of movies laced with patriotic fervor and flavor.
Today, he is busy preparing the debut feature for his eldest son Karan, for whom he will be directing a movie himself. As he turns 58, we bring to you some of his best dialogues which will forever be etched in golden words in the book of Indian cinema.
1. "Yeh Dhai Kilo Ka Haath"- Damini
Inarguably his most popular dialogue ever, "Yeh Dhai Kilo Ka Haath", is one of the best examples of a perfectly poised delivery of a line, regardless of the content. It becomes especially effective when you look at Sunny. Yes, this guy really means what he says and is pretty capable of beating you to death.
2. "Mathuradas Zindagi Ka Dusra Naam Problem" - Border
Border still stands as one of the most epic movies ever to have been made. Its heartfelt portrayal of the war of 1971 and the Battle of Longewala will be remembered for a long time to come. One of the most gut-wrenching scenes in the movie, this sequence involves Sunny Deol's Major Kuldip Singh Chandpuri berating a soldier under his command for displaying his happiness on getting his leaves approved to his fellow comrades. Deol's intensity shakes you to the core and makes you pause and consider the enormous personal sacrifices our soldiers make, just to serve their nation.
3. "Tarikh Pe Tarikh" - Damini
Another one from Damini, this eardrum-piercing call for justice will leave you speechless. Like, really!
4. "Hindustan Zindabad" - Gadar: Ek Prem Katha
You don't mess with Tara Singh. Especially the Tara Singh who traversed hundreds of miles just to be with his wife. If you do, well, hand-pump.
5. "Laashein Bicha Dunga" - Jeet
You don't leave Sunny Deol hanging out to dry. He will vouch to kill each and every person you will ever set your eyes on. Never, ever, KLPD Sunny paaji.
6. "Qasam Ganga Maiya Ki" - Ghatak
Just revel in the fact that somebody thought of the lines, "Patak Patak Ke Maarunga, Patak Patak Ke Maarunga" for our pleasure. And could you think of anyone better to deliver the same other than Sunny paaji?
Happy Birthday, Sunny Paaji. Live long, prosper and beat the shit out of everything.
Title Image Courtesy: BD