Dil Chata Hai’s Siddarth Sinha was a refreshing, starkly human character who gave the film undeniable depth. His contemplative nature is in stark contrast to not only contemporary Hindi film protagonists, but even to his impulsive friends in the film, Akash (Aamir Khan) and Sameer (Saif Ali Khan).

While the other two got more screen time and provided the film with entertainment and style, Sid’s storyline and Akshaye Khanna’s portrayal of the philosophical artist transcended the rest of the plot, a story worthy of individual depiction.

Love to Sid does not have to have the seemingly indispensable Bollywood happy ending, as, for an artist and a human being, the state of being in love is enough for him. He does not need his family’s approval, his friends support, or even reciprocation from Tara, artfully played by Dimple Kapadia.

Even as each of the film’s three protagonists ride extreme highs and lows through the story, coming out with valuable life lessons and gained perspective at the end, Sid stands apart as he imbibes a sense of mature acceptance. He made himself vulnerable to the world and allowed himself to fall in love with his eyes wide open, understanding that even if he was to ultimately get hurt, it was all part of the journey of life.

Despite his continuous brooding, Sid still isn’t the archetypical deflated introvert. He shows his enthusiasm for life in controlled bursts, such as when he splashes paint on his friends, runs off like a small child to fetch his art supplies after Tara agrees to let him sketch her, and his general demeanor of excitement on their drive down to Goa. Sid was a great character because he showed every side of the quiet, thoughtful artist, from the depths of sadness to the crescendo of joy, and he was brought to life in a way that could not be matched by the inspired Akshaye Khanna.

Watch Khanna’s masterful portrayal of Sid in this scene featuring a tense confrontation with Akash below:

Image source: Screen-grab