Rustom—admittedly wooden Akshay Kumar in pristine white 8As and No 2s that seem like an ad for a detergent even in jail—has opened up the door to look at other afsarein Hind, even as they go on to defend Bharat Mata ki laaj. These are men with brawn, not necessarily wit, but then who cares? Everyone loves a man who stands out in uniform, never mind the errors in stars, stripes and lanyard.
This is our very personalised list of hot on-screen faujis.
Shah Rukh Khan: He was born Fauji (for those who came in after the 1980s, this was his launch teleserial). King Khan’s uniforms are always a cut above whether it was the hip-hugging Air Force pilot blues in Veer Zaara or the camouflage vardi of the maroon beret in Jab Tak Hain Jaan.
Hrithik Roshan: He was Adonis to start out with, and a pumped up beefcake at present, but there was a time somewhere in between when Roshan wondered, Main Aisa Kyun Hoon? Women didn’t really care, as long as he marched onwards to battle to the tune of Kandhon se milte hain kandhe in Lakshya.
Shashi Kapoor: The blink and you’ll miss it role in Silsila was crucial to the narrative. But we are not talking about that here. He carried his uniform charmingly. He also died, which added ladles to his appeal. Who doesn’t like a martyr?
Kapoor was carelessly hot even as the army captain in Sharmeelee.
Dev Anand: With or without moustache (and without even a leg) as Major Verma and Captain Anand in Hum Dono. Even in black and white (later a coloured version too) Dev Anand inspired boys to join the army, if only to dress up and look as natty as him.
Rajesh Khanna: The Roop tera mastana number often blurs out the other image of Rajesh Khanna in the film_ Aradhana. The Air Force fighter pilot looking for his sapnon ki rani, and later, fulfilling the dream of his mother as she sang _Chanda hai tu… had an entire generation of women swooning.
Madhavan: The only man with a job in Rang de Basanti, his death fuelled the revolution in his aimless friends. Many a woman envied Soha Ali Khan when he whisked her away, to the strains of Tu bin bulaye mujhe le chal kahin.
Ajay Devgn and Saif Ali Khan: In the sea of military fatigues in LOC Kargil, two men stood out. Ajay Devgn as Major Manoj Pandey and Saif Ali Khan as Captain Anuj Nayar