90s was the period when Karan Johar and Yash Chopra defined romance, with Shah Rukh Khan as the torch-bearer. Arms wide open, violins and guitars in the background, and the heroine running into his waiting arms, the Rajs and Rahuls were our dream lovers. But nearly two decades later, the times have changed. Now, the lovers do not descend from private jets to take you to La La Land. Instead, they reside in the neighbourhood and take you to the nearest chaatwala, in an auto. But the love remains the same, raw and forever.
So here’s an ode to all the small-town heroes who have wooed our hearts.
Chirag Dubey, Bareilly Ki Barfi
Ayushmann Khurrana aced the role as an owner of the publishing press who writes one novel about his ex, and turns out a girl picks it, and he eventually falls in love with her. Chirag’s intensity, his love, his endearing qualities as well as his helplessness, makes one fall for him, not just Bitty.
Mudit Sharma, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan
He looks at her, blushes and can’t muster the courage to speak. So much so that the girl eventually comes up and asks him out. Ayushmann is lovable as the corporate employee Mudit.
Deepak Chaudhary, Masaan
Vicky Kaushal brought an innocence to the lover who stole glances at the heroine at the fair and later kissed her by the river bank.
Humpty Sharma, Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania
Varun Dhawan as the adorable Humpty cried buckets as he watched DDLJ and did all he could to sweep his Dulhania away, and he succeeded.
Arjun Burman, Aisha
He brought a constant to an agile Aisha, and made us believe in the fact that sometimes, true love resides in our best friend and worst critic.
Krish Malhotra, 2 States
Okay we are breaking the Malhotra rule to include this one. A slightly awkward nerd from IIT who falls for the Economics student, all against the backdrop of IIM. He didn’t spread his arms, just wooed the fiery heroine with his innocence, and did all he could to convince her parents and his.
Jasjeet Singh Shergill, Raanjhanaa
We all know the Raanjhanaa of the movie, Dhanush’s Kundan. But the lover who caught our fancy was the college stud and politician Jasjeet Singh Shergill, who not only won Zoya’s heart but ours too, and Abhay Deol was just perfect here.
Prem, Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani
Ranbir Kapoor stepped into the shoes of the super endearing Prem who runs the Happy Club, stammers when upset, and loves unconditionally. As he falls for Jenny (Katrina Kaif), we fall for him.
Which guy next door are you falling for?