‘Apna Banda, Apna Koki’: What Makes Kartik Aaryan Bollywood’s Next Superstar?

Team FC

That Iconic Monologue

When Kartik Aaryan delivered the now-iconic, five-minute monologue in Pyaar Ka Punchnama (2011), it resonated with thousands of young Indian men and boys, becoming an anthem for those who felt confounded by women and relationships.

The Outsider Tag

In an industry that’s notorious for favouring insiders, actors like Aaryan are rare. Only a handful, like Shah Rukh Khan, Ranveer Singh and Akshay Kumar, can lay claim to having risen to the top despite being complete outsiders.

The Small-Town Underdog

Aaryan’s life seems to be unfolding like a classic Bollywood film, in which a small-town underdog, after years of struggle, finally makes it big in the city of dreams. When Aaryan appears on screen, the audience knows they’re watching someone who didn’t have to ‘research’ to understand the struggles of everyday life.

Apna Banda Hai

He lends credibility and relatability to a story, no matter how ridiculous or misogynist it is. “He gives a very ‘Apna banda hai’ (He’s one of us) vibe. Others feel like stars, he feels like ‘Apna Banda, Apna Koki’,” said Bhavya Gugnani, who has been an Aaryan fan since 2017.

The Megastar?

Aaryan has two upcoming releases this year — Shehzada and Satyaprem ki Katha — and the success of these films will go a long way in deciding whether or not the actor can become a megastar of commercial Hindi cinema.