What SRK and Colin Firth have in common
Often one takes fluency of speech as a taken for granted aspect of one's personality. Not everyone, however, is blessed with the eloquence of distinguished orator.
How it poses problems and embarrassment for an individual, even if blue-blooded, is stunningly portrayed through Colin Firth's Oscar-nominated performance in The King's Speech.
On the other hand, in the topsy-turvy outlook of Bollywood, speech impediments are a thing of fun or a classic gimmick. Here's a look at some of the most notable attempts:
Shah Rukh Khan, Darr
Although Baazigar released a month before Yash Chopra's 'violent love story' and successfully depicted SRK's gore and glee at bumping off unsuspecting victims in cleverly planned murders, it was his iconic stammer while announcing, I love you K-k-k-kiran that won unmatched attention and following.
So potent was his stutter that even the film's hero Sunny Deol felt sidelined and cried foul play.
Image: A scene from Darr
Shahid Kapur, Kaminey
Speech issues play a key role in Vishal Bhardwaj's breezy action drama, Kaminey.
In this story of twin brothers, one lisps whereas the other stammers. While Shahid Kapur must have had a wild time dubbing for the twain, it's his crooked, antsy doppelganger we prefer most.
Yes, the one who spells fuh as fuh.
Image: A scene from Kaminey
Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif, Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahani
How to insert the proverbial 'kahani mein twist' when there are more than a hundred love stories floating in the universe?
Filmmaker Rajkumar Santoshi's idea of novelty is to make his leading pair -- Ranbir and Katrina -- stumble for words every time they get sad or sentimental.
The ploy works as it provides a couple of laughs, awws and solid opening at the box office.
Image: A scene from Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahani
John Abraham, Jhootha Hi Sahi
Too bad JA's attempt at nerdy in Jhootha Hi Sahi didn't quite meet the same response as the yellow trunks of Dostana.
As the fumbling, nervous, shy bookshop owner in London, John is unable to articulate his thoughts in the company of new faces.
To his astonishment the stammer doesn't show up when he's chit-chatting with a mysterious stranger on a helpline service.
Image: A scene from Jhootha Hi Sahi
Shreya Talpade, Golmaal 3
The Golmaal franchise is best known for its irreverent, absurd jokes.
Keeping the tradition alive, Shreyas Talpade plays a bloke who stutters incessantly and is the butt of several nasty comments.
Not everyone has an appetite for insensitive humour as it evoked the ire of Dehradun-based The Indian Stammering Association who sued them for mocking at a physical disability.
Image: A scene from Golmaal 3
In Pankaj Parashar's retelling of Seeta Aur Geeta, Sridevi plays twins with contrasting personalities.
While the fearless, plucky Sri drinks like a fish and kicks ass, the scaredy-cat sister trembles and falters with words.
Remember the tormenting scene in which a wicked Shakti Kapoor insists on her calling his 'B-b-balma?'
Image: A scene from Chaalbaaz
Johnny Lever, Awaara Paagal Deewana
Trust comic veteran Johnny Lever to raise laughs out of inanity in Vikram Bhatt's uninspiring remake of The Whole Nine Yards.
As Chhota Chhatri, a side-kick to forgetful gangster Yeda Anna [Suniel Shetty], Lever employs his faltering speech to produce some of the silliest LOL moments of the caper.
Image: A scene from Awaara Paagal Deewana
Shakti Kapoor, Satte Pe Satta
Before he got stuck spewing Lolita, Shakti Kapoor made a fleeting impression as one of Amitabh Bachchan's goofy brothers with his 'atak gaya' syndrome in the 80s entertainer, Satte Pe Satta.
'Koi farak nahi albata, Crimemaster Gogo.'
Image: A scene from Satte Pe Satta
Sharat Saxena and Ravi Kisshen, Phir Hera Pheri
A comedy of confusion ensues when one stuttering mob-man converses with another in Priyadarshan's dumbed down sequel of Hera Pheri starring Paresh Rawal, Akshay Kumar and Suniel Shetty.
To Saxena and Kisshen's credit, they make the foolhardiness mildly tolerable.
Image: A scene from Phir Hera Pheri
Dharmendra, Chupke Chupke
Officially, Professor Parimal Tripathu aka Pyarelal aka Pyaremohan could give world-famous orators a run for their money.
But in Hrishkesh Mukherjee's blithe comedy where he's up against the wary Jeejaji, Dharmendra is in complete prankster mode.
And if that translates to developing on-the-spot ailments like squint or stammer, so be it.
Image: A scene from Chupke Chupke