Mamta Kulkarni’ controversial photoshoot for Stardust in the 90’s
Kahan gaye woh log? Khalid Mohamed on movie stars who have vanished from the scene.
Faisal Khan was noticed for a fairly competent performance in Mela, in which he featured with his elder brother Aamir Khan. Followed forgettable performances in forgettable films. Rumours circulated that he was hospitalised for acute mental stress for nearly six months. A broken marriage compounded his condition.
Now, talk is that he has remarried,is better but keeps out of the public glare. When a journalist contacted his father for information, the door was slammed on the fact raker.
After Naach tanked, and her debut directorial film Mr Ya Miss produced under the umbrella of Ram Gopal Varma’s Factory, was panned, Antara Mali is uncontactable. It’s conjectured that she has become a recluse.
A national craze after the success of Maachis, Chandrachur Singh was last seen in a Hyderabadi biryani titled Aamdani Atthanni Kharcha Rupaiya. After that, no news. It’s said he has shifted far away from the madding showbizcrowd to New Delhi.
Anu Agarwal, the Aashiqui heart-throb, after a grievous road accident, is believed to be seriously into yoga. Some say she is at the Missionaries of Charity, Kolkata.
Hard luck stories abound in Mumbai show business. If you’re not hot, then you might as well opt for the cool climes of anonymity and hopefully, peace of mind.
Every individual has his or her own compulsionsand real world to deal with. Women more often than not, lock up their vanity kits, for marriage and motherhood. A few long to return to the bright lights and do so triumphantly. Conversely, others shudder, “I’m very happy, thank you, away from the pancake and premieres.”
Out of the limelight, out of public mind. Only the rare nostalgiaphile cares to expend a passing thought for the men and women who once entertained him for the price of a ticket. Forgotten songs are rescued from the audio archives and replayed as bhule bisre geet. But yesterday’s stars – mega and mini – are mere curiosities on the re-runs of the golden oldies on telly.
Perhaps that jungle hit Tarzan doesn’t show up frequently on TV, but Kimi Katkar’s Jumma chumma act in Hum with Amitabh Bachchan, does. The pressure of a round-the-clock career and it seems a mother with irrepressible ambition, caused Kimi Katkar to retire mid-career. Marriage to ace photographer Shantanu Sheorey and their son Siddhant, caused the high cheek-boned actress to call it quits..and migrate to Australia.
Among her last films were Humlaa, Sarphira, Siyasat and Zulm ki Huqumat which were as tacky as their titles. “Never, never, never. Are you joking?” she would say affronted, on being asked about a possible comeback.
For a movie geek, there has been a sense of loss, too, over film personalities who disappeared from the corridors of the heart – without so much as a by-your leave. Like Nivedita, a porcelain beauty, who featured with Sanjeev Kumar in the black-and-white Jyoti. Initially, assigned the screen name of Liby Rana, she was a woman of grace.
Run into Nivedita at the Taj Mahal Hotel bookshop, summon up the courage to tell her you recognise her and she wants to run the other way. “No, no, you’re mistaken,” she insists. On sensing your disappointment, she concedes, “Okay yes, I was in the movies once. It was fun but you can’t hang on unless you want to suffer on a Sunset Boulevard.”
Parmendra, a bhakt of Dharmendra, danced and sang with the frontline heroine Mala Sinha in Holi Aaee Re. When it flopped, like every thing he touched, the robust hero returned to the Punjab wheatfields.
Tariq, the spry guitar strummer of Yaadon ki Baarat and Vijay Arora, a Pune Film Institute graduate, also in the baarat-naama, faded into obscurity. Bids to return to stardom were in vain.
Sameer Khan, blood brother to Feroz, Sanjay and Akbar Khan, was believed to have moved to Dubai. Very few recollect his rendezvous with Simi Garewal in the breezy but underappreciated Pasand Apni Apni andSaawan Kumar Tak’s overwrought Gomti ke Kinare, with Meena Kumari and Mumtaz.
There were the unconventional heroines, too, who didn’t look like Barbie dolls, but who could act up a storm. Director Kishore Sahu’s daughter Naina Sahu quite Mick Jaggerish in Hare Kaanch ki Chooriyan and Vasant Joglekar’s daughter Meera in Ek Kali Muskayee, scored single hits. Full stop.
Oomphy magazine cover girls of the sexy ‘70s could give the Mallika Sherawats a sprint for their money. Like Komilla Wirk who is said to be settled in London today, working around the zodiac clock as a fortune teller. Faryal, the former airhostess, who figured as a heroine with Shashi Kapoor in Biradari, is a hazy memory. Leena Das, who steamed up the vamp scene in Bindu’s Mera naam hai Shabnam heyday, no longer lives in an upscale Bandra bylane.
Nita Khayani, Shirley MacLaine to Bachchan’s Jack Lemmon in the Apartment remake, Raaste ka Patthar, is a mystery. More poignantly, there are no records of Vimi, who was allegedly murdered, just the way she was in her conundrum of a performance in BR Chopra’s Humraaz.
And there was motor-mouth Mamta Kulkarni who upped and left for a NRI marriage in the US.
Truly, it’s enough to make you believe that there’s no business like show business – here today, gone with the wind tomorrow.
Article Dated: 19 Aug,2006