Bollywood actors taking a 'bald' step ahead ...

By Sameer Wadekar, Indo-Asian News Service

imageMumbai, (IANS) Going bald is the latest fad in Bollywood and Salman Khan is the latest to join the bandwagon. He has shaved off his head for Sajid Nadiadwala's forthcoming film.

Salman will be playing three different characters, each with a specific get-up and apparel, reports Bollywood Trade.

The trend is not new though earlier it was restricted to bad guys only. Remember Kulbhushan Kharbanda as Shakaal waving his palm across his baldhead in Ramesh Sippy's multi-starrer "Shan"? His gesture sent shivers down the audiences' spine but the performance also cemented Kharbanda's rank as a first-rate actor in the industry.

One could also recall the famous Shetty, who used to design the stunts back in the 1970s and also played henchman to the villains. He was an instant standout because of his bald pate.

The late Amrish Puri donned a distinct bald crust that was capped by his trademark hat.

The ever-brilliant Anupam Kher was distinguished right from the beginning due to his bald pate and the equally classy Paresh Rawal had put on a hairless act for many of his movies - "Dilwale" being the most noticeable.

All these actors were, needless to say, scoffed at initially and in Bollywood the clean-shaven look was plausibly restricted to villains. Heroes generally avoided the polished plain-head look but now you will notice a radical change in the scenario.

Getting bald has now become a fashion gambol and it is fast gaining acceptance amongst celebrities. Actor Aditya Panscholi has adorned the look and went on with the same stride in "Musafir" as the cunning cop.

Just remember the bald right-hand of Amitabh Bachchan in "Sarkar" played by the talented Ravi Kale, whose stern glare in the movie was remarkable.

Some time back when Deepa Mehta was making "Water", actress Shabana Azmi had shaved her head for her role in the film. Unfortunately Deepa had to shelve the film due to the protests from certain contingent, but now the film is completed and will be soon released in India. The only difference is that Shabana's role is now essayed by Seema Biswas of "Bandit Queen" fame.

Today's celebrated filmmaker Rakesh Roshan and his music director brother Rajesh Roshan are other bald celebrities to reckon with.

The witty ex-cricketer Vinod Kambli sported the bald get-up for a long time and retained his shimmer for his acting attempt in Mahesh Manjrekar's "Hathyar".

But Hollywood actors have sported the clean-shaven look as and when the opportunity surfaced. Recently, Colin Farrel played a bald villain in "Daredevil" and now the gifted Denzel Washington has done the same for his latest film "The Inside Man".

So if Hollywood hunks can go for the extreme then why not our very own desi counterparts?

On the flip side, if all Bollywood's stars decided to go clean-shaven what would happen to the hairdressers and hairstylists in the industry?

The actors should rather opt for the Aamir Khan style in "Mangal Pandey" to keep hairdresser's job secure. But one thing is for sure: Bollywood actors have started to get experimental and are taking a 'bald' step ahead. So let them walk on!