Many Indians have already been on the cover of Time Magazine, this well-known American weekly that most of us have bought to try to improve our English and to be more cultured but who have never managed to read the least article to the end because it was too difficult and too economically oriented.
Mahatma Gandhi is the champion, of course, since he has appeared three times but only before the date of his death.
Being named Gandhi (Rajiv Gandhi, Indira Gandhi) would have seemed to be the condition sine qua non to have your portrait on the cover of this magazine if Sachin Tendulkar and his gold cricket-bat hadn’t had this honour too. I find this picture really beautiful, which is unuasual for the Time!
Very few Bollywood actors have had this tremendous honour which means that you have some kind of power or influence in the international society. Only three. Who? Raj Kapoor? Nooooooo! Amitabh Bachchan? You’re freezing! Shahrukh Khan? Ah ah ah! Stop pulling my leg! It’s ticklish*!
No, the winners are:
In 2003, Aishwarya Rai (Between you and me, I don’t really know what she has done to be on this cover. Apart from acting in marvellous Devdas and in this stupid remake of Pride and Prejudice… I must have missed an episode…or I suppose she has been the best representative of this new generation of artists who managed to cross the Indian borders to make their mark worldwide. )
In 1976, Parveen Babi was also on the cover… everybody knows who Parveen Babi was, of course! So, if you already know her, I don’t need to tell you that she was a famous Bollywwood actress and a model in the 70s and 80s and that according to Wikipedia, she had a little canari in her head as she accused Amitabh Bachchan of trying to kill her. She finally died alone at home, in 2005.
And in 2012, the third Bollywood star on the Time cover is Aamiiiir Khaaaan! (I know, there was no suspens, the picture is above and it is the title of my post!) He is not a starlet from Bollywood, he hasn’t slept with Danny Denzongpa and has never had the role of Elizabeth Bennet in the film adaptation of a Jane Austen’s novel. No, he is the hoster of Satyamev Jayate I have already written about here. I like the headline: Khan’s Quest which summarizes what I think of Aamir Khan, a man who just tries to go forwards, a man who wants to add a new piece to the jigsaw puzzle of the Indian society but who doesn’t seem to despair even if his piece is tiny.
Your intention please! I’ve just discovered that Shahrukh Khan had already featured on a Time-cover BUT… it was just for a 2004 Special Issue called Asia’s Heroes. Better than nothing…