You cannot really take moustaches out of Bollywood. From the walrus in Mughal-e-Azam to the feline joke in Shree 420, from the neatly designed Pyaasa to the dense, compact Hero, from the treacherous Saudagar to the regal Jodha Akbar, from the charismatic Prem Pratigya to the ubiquitous Shakti Kapoor butterflies, it has been moustaches galore everywhere right from the very beginning to the very rotten, from the very unique to the very lupine ones. And I won't even mention the kings from the South of the Vindhyas here, they have taken their bristles to a different plane altogether.
The purpose of this article is not to dissect the brillinace of moustaches with respect to era, popularity, sensuousness or underworld involvement of a movie. This is simply to enlist the top (or bottom) three moustaches in the history of the industry:
Gambler: The Horizontal Hanging Garden
As Dev-saab meticulously put those inimitable lips to dil aaj shaayar hai, we sat there, enthralled, amazed in front of the TV set listening to Kishore Kumar singing a song without a sthayi (mukhda) or an antara; but what took away my breath was that horizontal bit of vegetation, the ends clearly dangling, the roots originating in mid-air. It looked so unreal that you had to remain open-mouthed, awestruck.
I suppose he was persistent in his attention-seeking mode: Gairon ke sheron ko o sunnewaalon, ho is taraf bhi karam.
Daag: The 8.20 Magic
I suppose the whole thing was an intended camouflage. Remember the second antara? Koi dhoondne bhi aaye, to humen na dhoond paaye.
Lamhe: The Golden Absence
Consider, for example, Anil Kapoor. The Anil Kapoor. The winner of any kind of body hair award among homo sapiens, and good enough to give a bear or two a good run for their money. One would think it would have been impossible to get him rid of his prized growth. But then, you can't put anything beyond the illustrious man and his productions.
What did he look like? Man, HIDEOUS. Absolutely pathetic. It was for good reason that Sridevi and Lataji cast a glance at him, and broke out Main to laaj ke maare, ho gayi paani paani...
Yes, there's good reason to be embarrassed of sharing a screen with an Anil Kapoor without facial hair.
BANNER CREDITS: RITUPARNA CHATTERJEE
A woman with the potential to make it big. It is not that she cannot: she simply will not.
PHOTO CREDITS: ANIESHA BRAHMA
The closest anyone has come to being an adopted daughter.