“Hum toh chale pardes hum pardesi ho gaye”
You must have thought of this retro Hindi song as a depiction of Bollywood and its diasporic lingering for the homeland. But then, you also have to keep in mind the maddening zeal and zest of Bollywood for its famous NRI characters.
From the iconic Raj (SRK) in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge to Katrina’s Jazz in Namastey London, there is a loop of emotional roller coaster you must have felt while watching these characters on the big screen.
While it was really difficult to choose some of these characters from a long long list, let us take a sneak peek at some of our forever favourite NRIs from Indian movies.
This Blog Includes:
Shahrukh Khan’s Raj: Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)
As Raj Malhotra’s (SRK) iconinc line goes “Bade bade deshon mein… aisi chhoti chhoti baatein hoti rehti hai!”
The timeless character did make it big to rule as the epitome of romance in Indian cinema. Just like with the first “Palat! Palat! Palat!” Simran aka Kajol turns around to later fall head over heels for Raj. Netizens have been turning to theatres ever since then to enjoy the young NRI Raj cross oceans to win over Simran’s dad. So much so that the movie continues to run in theatres to this day.
SRK’s Raj has become timeless as the lover-boy who crossed countries to obtain the seal of approval from his beloved’s family. Even now, women wish for a boyfriend/life partner like Raj.
Shahrukh Khan’s Arjun: Pardes (1997)
Another SRK-starrer film to feature in this list is none other than Pardes. Fun fact – This was the debut movie of Mahima Chaudhary who went on to star in many major movies.
The movie name Pardes itself hints about the diasporic lives in foreign countries. The movie follows the usual love-story concept prevalent in the 90s with a slight twist. And it is indeed a delight to watch King Khan as Arjun saves the damsel in distress.
If you are wondering why netizen loves SRK as our charming NRI in Pardes, then do not forget the song ‘Yeh Dil… Deewana…’ and what about ‘Do Dil Mil Rahe Hain’. These songs, filmed in exotic locations, provide our Hero with the essence of Heropanti as he steals the hearts of ladies all over the world without even breaking a sweat.
Also Read: Bollywood Actresses Who Studied in UK and US
Katrina Kaif’s Jasmeet aka Jazz: Namaste London (2007)
It would be tough to complete this list without mentioning this movie. The movie is based part in India and the UK, starring Katrina and Late Rishi Kapoor in an NRI family role. The surprise is, you would end up in praise for both Jazz (Katrina) and Akshay’s speech as a proud Indian till the end.
With Namastey London’s Jazz, Katrina has created a cute NRI accent trend, which is still the best to date. And do not forget the fashion sense of Jazz in the movie, still a defining moment of that era. And who can forget the way she blows off prospective grooms in a hilarious sequence?
Irfan Khan & Tabu as Ashoke and Ashima: The Namesake (2006)
How many of you have heard, if not read, Jhumpa Lahiri’s celebrated novel ‘The Namesake’? If you are mongering to watch the melancholic side of NRIs through the lens, then the Namesake movie adaptation is not worth a miss. Especially when the NRIs are none other than the Late Irfan Khan and Tabu serving justice to the character of Ashoke and Ashma, first-generation migrants from Calcutta to the States.
Through the story of Ashok, Ashima, and their son Gogol, you will learn about what it is like to live as NRIs away from your culture and peers.
Well given the enormity of Bollywood movies, there are many more characters worth special mention as we speak of the famous Bollywood movie NRIs. Some of them are Shahrukh in Kal Ho Na Ho, Saif in Slaam Namastey, Akshay’s Patiala House, and many others. And how can you ever forget the “WooHoo! Good Morning Aunty!” of NRI Hrithik Roshan in Main Prem ki Deewani Hoon. This one was epic in depicting a false and trollable side of overhyped energy in NRIs visiting India.