Anyone that’s seen a Bollywood film in the last 20 years probably known Alok Nath to be the most iconic actor to ever play the role of a father (or uncle). Having acted in hundreds of films since the 80s, Nath has built quite a reputation as the most sanskaari dad to hit the big and small screens—even going so far as to inspire a recent trend of sanskaari memes!
Check out 8 of Nath’s most memorable fatherly roles because let’s face it, Nath is the epitome of #dadgoals!
1. “Maine Pyar Kiya” (1989)
Nath is perhaps best known in his babuji roles for family values-heavy Rajshri Productions films (they make up a good portion of this list). In this 1989 film, he plays Suman’s dad, and gave us all the feels.
2. “Hum Aapke Hain Koun”
In this all-time classic film, Nath wasn’t technically Prem and Vivek’s father—he was their uncle who raised them like his own sons. He still displayed the utmost sense of sanskaars, and put the ideals of friendship, family, and searching for the “perfect” mate in perspective for all of us. Also, we secretly shipped him and Reema Lagoo’s weirdly unspoken history as former college loves turned into present day in-laws.
3. “Pardes” (1997)
Directed by Subhash Ghai, this film was an instant classic for audiences in India and abroad—even though it was filled with stereotypes about NRIs being too rich and spoiled. All about the culture clash between a sanskari girl, Ganga (Mahima Chaudhry), and the NRI she’s supposed to marry, Rajiv (Apurva Agnihotri), Nath play’s Ganga’s father. His character represented—you guessed it— the sanskaar of the traditional Indian family, and was proud to have raised a daughter who is cultured and traditional.
In the face of a turbulent reality check of all the ways her future husband is a less than ideal mate, Ganga learns to stand up for herself—while also falling in love with Rajiv’s friend, Arjun (Shah Rukh Khan).
4. “Taal” (1999)
As Tara Babu in this 1999 film, Nath plays Mansi’s father—a simple, traditional man who is an amatuer musician and well-respected family man. When Mansi (Aishwarya Rai) falls in love with the rich city boy, Manav (Akshay Khanna), Tara Babu goes to battle for his daughter, both against the injustices of class privilege but also in encouraging his daughter to become independent and pursue a career in music.
Added bonus: This film’s iconic A.R. Rahman-composed songs, like “Ishq Bina” and “Taal Se Taal Mila,” are still classics today.
5. “Hum Saath Saath Hain” (1999)
According to patriarch Ram Kishan (Alok Nath), “the family that prays together, eats together, stays together!”
Yet another Rajshri film, this role epitomized Nath’s established reputation of being a good father. He has built a sucessful business from scratch, raises Vivek (Mohnish Behl) as his own son, still holds tightly to the traditions and values he has raised his children with, and works tirelessly in the second half of the movie to hold the family together in the face of his wife’s (Reema Lagoo) desires to split all their assets between the children because Vivek is not her actual son and she wants her biological son, Prem (Salman Khan) to take on the managing role in their company.
The star-filled cast, iconic songs, and traditional joint family story, made this film a super hit.
6. “Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham” (2001)
Though Yashvardhan Raichand (Amitabh Bachchan) is the father more focused on in this movie, Alok Nath plays Anjali’s (Kajol) father for a brief but memorable portion of the first half. He has raised two daughters on his own, both of whom are so attached to him that they can’t imagine leaving his side. As usual, Nath’s role in this film was also a stark contrast to the kind of father Raichand was, in terms of class and values—something that built up throughout the movie as a conflict between the two families when Rahul (Shah Rukh Khan) falls in love with Anjali and marries her against his family’s wishes.
7. “Vivah” (2006)
In this more recent Rajshri feature, Nath plays Poonam’s (Amrita Rao) uncle, Krishnakanth, who raises her as his own daughter.
In this role, Krishnakanth epitomizes the closeness of the relationship between a daughter and her father. In a society that often takes daughters to be a burden, especially in regards to getting them married, this film, and Nath’s character, shows how special it can be to find a suitable mate for one’s daughter when the values, traditions, and emotional bonds of the two families are strong.
8. “Sapna Babul Ka.. Bidaai” (2007-2010)
In more recent years, Nath has branched into television roles. “Sapna Baabul Ka… Bidaai” was a classic show that extended similar themes from “Vivah”: the relationship between a father and his daughters, as well as what the family, and father, go through when daughters head towards married life.
It was shortly after fans saw this continuation of Nath’s sanskari father roles that the hilariously viral sanskari babuji memes went viral as early as 2009. (Nath has even said on Twitter that he finds many of these memes funny too!) Thanks, babuji, for all the sanskari lessons!
This post was originally published on our partner website India.com and republished here with permission.