I am not sure if this can be turned into a fact but the past year might just have been Alia Bhatt’s year: in 2016 she played the protagonist in two major Bollywood films – Dear Zindagi and Fox Star Studios’ Kapoor & Sons. Born to acclaimed filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, Alia Bhatt made her debut as a child artist in the late nineties, and then some thirteen years later starred in Karan Johar’s Student of the Year, where she was critically praised for her ability to carry a likeable character effortlessly, from Rensil D’Silva’s script.
Alia describes her SOTY days differently as a point in time where she was written off, which is so surprising to know. Nepotism is often a conversational piece in Bollywood, and I don’t think it would be far-fetched to wonder if Alia got her first taste of the industry because she was born into a star family – I think it is rather rare to find Bollywood stars who only made it on their own mettle, and drive.
It is so that despite how Bhatt might have got her foot in through the door, that it wasn’t until 2014 when Alia could call herself a hindi film heroine in the industry: three films, Highway, 2 States and Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, cemented her position, which was then followed by winning the top honours in various Bollywood award circuits, just last year. Alia is afraid of failure, in spite of her success and she also regularly interacts with her fans in the hope that as a heroine she is able to enjoy everything that her career can offer her.
Bhatt likes to stock up on cheddar cheese and goat’s cheese, and for her twenty-fifth birthday, she wants to take a holiday to Greece. Inspired by Juhi Chawla, Madhuri Dixit and Kareena Kapoor, Bhatt also wants to do a comedy someday – where she stands on her comic timing is something that should be best left for her performances in the future to reveal but one other experience she has been wanting to explore for forever is cooking aloo fry, like a pro; I have always frowned at this image Alia has in the industry of that tiny, little girl from SOTY because it doesn’t really describe how Bhatt is in the flesh: a blend of old grace, a certain type of a determined-seriousness and child-like innocence.