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As Bollywood actor Ayushmann Khurrana rings in his 36th birthday today on September 14, his wife and filmmaker Tahira Kashyap posted an adorable of picture of the actor smothered in cake. The celebrity couple are in their native place of Chandigarh with their children and kept the revelry low-key keeping in mind social distancing rules during the COVID-19 era.
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“Having my cake and eating it too! Happy birthday, soul mate,” wrote Kashyap on Instagram, along with a mushy pic of the two. While they enjoy their cake, here are a few reasons why the National Award-winning actor continues to endear audiences…
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Poster boy for anti-nepotism: The Punjabi actor took a plunge into the television world when he took part in reality show ‘MTV Roadies’ in 2004 and emerged its winner. A quintessential outsider — with no powerful godfathers in Bollywood — he dabbled in anchoring shows before making his movie debut with comedy ‘Vicky Donor’ in 2012. Khurrana served his time learning the ropes of celebrity and films before getting his first break in a John Abraham production. Unlike star-kids who get a wide berth in Bollywood, thanks to their powerful fathers and acting dynasties they were born into, Khurrana made it on his own merit. His career catalogue is filled with interesting, socially aware and riveting films that subvert the usual tropes of Bollywood.
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Master of re-invention: Be it his first film ‘Vicky Donor’, which was a comedy that explored the issue of artificial insemination, or his brilliant turn in thriller ‘Andhadhun’ where he played a blind musician, Khurrana has always managed to surprise viewers. “I am not going to blow my trumpets yet. But I will admit that I felt a great sense of validation from the choices I have made in terms of movies starting from my first film ‘Vicky Donor’. I have not followed any formula for success in my life. But look at how things panned out in my life. ‘Andhadhun’ and ‘Badhaai Ho’ has turned out to be the best films of the year. I was in love with both the scripts the moment I heard them. I was expecting a certain [box office result] for both films, but it surpassed my expectations… But I am not going to blow my trumpet yet,” said Khurrana in an interview with Gulf News in 2019.
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Khurrana will continue to experiment in 2020 and beyond: For the first time in his career, Khurrana will play a cross-functional athlete in director Abhishek Kapoor’s new film. Khurrana is now gearing up to physically transform himself. The actor will undergo intense physical training to prepare for this career-altering role. “I’m supremely excited about the physical transformation that I will have to undergo. It will present me in an all new avatar. I have never looked like this on screen and I’m looking forward to seeing the reaction of audiences.” (Pictured from left: Khurrana, actress Vaani Kapoor and director Abhishek Kapoor.)
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Actor gravitates towards interesting content: In the comedy ‘Bala’, Khurrana played a young man whose confidence takes a hit due to his premature baldness. He was so excited about the project that he wondered why he never thought of this premise before. “The only promise I have made to myself is that I will choose unique content … How did we miss the subject of receding hairlines? Baldness is a problem that people face since time immemorial … What took us so long to make a film about it. It’s a gold mine of an idea,” said Khurrana in an earlier interview.
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Face of Unicef India: Last week, Unicef India roped in Khurrana as its celebrity advocate for promoting and supporting its work around ending violence against children. Khurrana joins the likes of celebrity footballer David Beckham who has also thrown his weight behind this cause.
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Khurrana and Kashyap give us relationship goals: The two were childhood sweethearts who grew up together in life and love. Kashyap, a writer and filmmaker in her own right, has always spoken highly of her better half especially while she was battling breast cancer. In an earlier interview with Gulf News, Kashayap spoke about how her husband was her pillar of strength during those tough times. She’s equally pragmatic about how difficult it is to sustain a relationship under the public glare. “In every love story, there’s never a constant state of just love, love and love. There’s love and hate in every relationship,” said Kashyap. Meanwhile, Khurrana viewed the troubled episode in their lives sagaciously. “Sometimes, life is often the biggest leveller,” said Khurrana.
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Khurrana’s best works have immense repeat value: He’s one of the few actors in Bollywood who hasn’t succumbed to stereotypes. With every film, he manages to bring something new to the table. For instance, in ‘Shubh Mangal Savdhan’, he played a man dealing with an embarrassing problem and he played that role with grace and gumption. His turn as a scrupulous cop in ‘Article 15’ dealt with caste and politics in villages with impressive precision.
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