B-town has been abuzz with the speculations of Imran Khan’s comeback and at this point, we are all just starry-eyed fans waiting for our OG rom-com hero to make a return to the big screen. His roles in classics like Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, I Hate Lover Stories, Gori Tere Pyaar Mein, etc. stayed with us long after the screens went blank as these characters were the embodiment of a ‘walking green flag’.
However, there were far too many Bollywood cuties around that era for us to pine after than just one! Did you know there is a whole trope centered around these early 2000s shy, sweet boys? It is called the ‘chocolate lover boy’ trope that features soft, bubbly and kind men like Shahid Kapoor in Vivaah, Salman Khan in Hum Saath-Saath Hain and more. From movie screens to music videos and all across our TVs, these characters ruled our hearts and minds alike.
In this era of macho action heroes, we yearn for our soft boys to soothe us just like they used to back in the day. They are solely responsible for setting our standards high, and we believe that it’s about time they take back their rightful place among the heartthrobs.
Here are some heroes from the early 2000s who are the personification of the soft lover boy trope.
1. Abhay Deol
We have been seeing him take over more serious roles on OTT, recently and Trial By Fire is one example. But oh how we lament to see him back in his OG avatar! He is the flag bearer of Bollywood soft boy era and we feel that it has been far too long since we last saw him portray such a character on screen. We pined over him all throughout the 2000s and we can’t wait to see more.
2. Dino Morea
This supermodel turned actor was officially nicknamed ‘chocolate boy of Indian cinema’ and we believe aptly so. His recent works in web series like Tandav and The Empire can make one question the previous statement but it stands true. Dino was the epitome of lover boy vibes in the early 2000s and we long to see him back in that Musu Musu Hasi form.
3. Rajeev Khandelwal
Even after witnessing him in a plethora of TV serials and movies in the late 2000s, we still couldn’t get enough. He always managed to stand apart from his contemporaries. He carried his soft boy image with such ease, be it while hosting shows like Sach ka Saamna and Juzz Baat or while donning his character in Kahiin Toh Hoga.
4. Hussain Kuwajerwala
From Gattu in Hum Paanch to Indian Idol, Hussain has been responsible for so many people sitting in front of the TV for hours at stretch. He introduced the concept of ‘green flag’ to Indian screens with his roles and has constantly been our favorite host. We can’t wait for him to return to our screens with yet another character who is sweet, supportive and sanskari, all at the same time.
5. Ruslaan Mumtaz
His character in MP3: Mera Pehla Pehla Pyaar made sure to raise standards of each and every person out there. When he traveled all the way to Paris to win his love back, it definitely made us feel all sorts of giddy. It was the ideal rom-com for us back then and it stands true to date. We have seen Ruslaan in a number of serials since then but all we ache for is his rom-com comeback.
6. Vivan Bhathena
The former Mr. India has never not been a heartthrob. He might not have been the greenest flags in Chakk De India or even in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi but he was for sure one of the OG chocolate boys. His boyish charm made him the ultimate boy next door. This early 2000s cutie has now transformed into a handsome hunk but we will always remember the iconic Maine Payal Hai Chhankai boy.
7. Rahul Khanna
We saw him first in 1997 Earth but his role in Wake Up Sid as the Chief Editor of Mumbai Beats magazine has a permanent place in our hearts.
8. Vatsal Sheth
This reel car designer is the epitome of nerdy charm. His character Raj was the soft boy who wooed all our hearts. He has been ruling our hearts and our screens as the ultimate cutie and we can’t wait for his comeback to the lover boy genre.
All these heartthrobs have been constantly leaving us in disbelieve with their range of acting in more recent years. However, there seems to be a void that only a chocolate boy from the early 2000s can fill!