Pradeep Chandra on the pictorial biography of Aamir Khan
Well-known photo journalist Pradeep Chandra says that he might not know Aamir Khan but he has seen him growing in front of his eyes. Chandra’s first assignment was as a still photographer for Raj Khosla’s Do Raaste. The Khoslas made a dark room for him in the garage of their Marina Apartments, the same building where Aamir lived since childhood. “I found him an interesting subject when in the age of marketing he refused to be waxed at Madame Tussauds and while shooting for Satyamev Jayate he declined commercial advertisements.” Chandra says among the current crop of stars, he is the only one who could transform himself into a character. “You give any makeup to Shah Rukh, he remains Shah Rukh but with Aamir, you tend to forget that he is the same guy. When he lost weight for the character in 3 Idiots, he ensured that the diet should be such that the youthful shine of the face remains intact.”
Chandra also finds him interesting because of his discreetness about personal life. “There is no controversy around him. There was no bickering when he separated from his first wife and she continues to be present at all events of his life. When a British journalist alleged that she has a child with Aamir, the story was not picked up and pursued by major media houses. Even Dilip Kumar could not come up with satisfactory answers about his alleged marriage with Asma,” notes Chandra.
In terms of styling, Chandra sees in him a young Dev Anand. “I could see a reflection of him in Aamir’s romantic films like Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin, Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke and Mann. You will be surprised that in his entire career, the only film he did without listening to the script was Dev Anand’s Awwal Number. One day, when he came back home, his father said that Dev called up and he wants to sign you. Go and work with him and Aamir could not say anything,” relates Chandra, adding, the kind of themes he has picked as producer-director puts him in the league of Raj Kapoor and Guru Dutt.