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Cinema

Bollywood bygones

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<b>The Princess of Cute <br></b><br><br>Bhagyashree Patwardhan was first seen in Amol Palekar's TV Serial Kachchi Dhoop on Doordarshan. Palekar happened to be a neighbour - he offered her a role in his show as a stand-in. His original choice had eloped with her boyfriend. Kachchi Dhoop made her a household name, and she was seen in a few more TV shows. When Bollywood came knocking at her door, Bhagyashree was planning to go overseas for further studies. Her co-star was an unknown - a new kid on the block named Salman Khan. Since she wasn't too keen on joining films, it took some convincing. How was she to know the enormity of that decision? Maine Pyar Kiya not only became a runaway hit, but made an impact that was to resonate for years after. <br>Bhagyashree and Salman were stars overnight. India was in love with Bhagyashree - they couldn't have enough of her. Had she gone on a film-signing spree like Salman did, history would have read differently. But Bhagyashree was in love. A wedding happened soon after and she became Mrs Himalay Dasani. She took a vow that day - not to sign any film without Himalay in the lead. They went on to do three films together: Payal, Tyagi and Qaid Mein Hai Bulbul - every one of them flopped. Even Rajinikanth's presence in Tyagi couldn't salvage it. Then, Bhagyashree resurfaced in TV soaps. She also does bit roles in films and is often seen at social do's.

Bollywood bygones

Amborish Roychoudhury | January 19, 2013


The Princess of Cute


Bhagyashree Patwardhan was first seen in Amol Palekar's TV Serial Kachchi Dhoop on Doordarshan. Palekar happened to be a neighbour - he offered her a role in his show as a stand-in. His original choice had eloped with her boyfriend. Kachchi Dhoop made her a household name, and she was seen in a few more TV shows. When Bollywood came knocking at her door, Bhagyashree was planning to go overseas for further studies. Her co-star was an unknown - a new kid on the block named Salman Khan. Since she wasn't too keen on joining films, it took some convincing. How was she to know the enormity of that decision? Maine Pyar Kiya not only became a runaway hit, but made an impact that was to resonate for years after.
Bhagyashree and Salman were stars overnight. India was in love with Bhagyashree - they couldn't have enough of her. Had she gone on a film-signing spree like Salman did, history would have read differently. But Bhagyashree was in love. A wedding happened soon after and she became Mrs Himalay Dasani. She took a vow that day - not to sign any film without Himalay in the lead. They went on to do three films together: Payal, Tyagi and Qaid Mein Hai Bulbul - every one of them flopped. Even Rajinikanth's presence in Tyagi couldn't salvage it. Then, Bhagyashree resurfaced in TV soaps. She also does bit roles in films and is often seen at social do's.

<b>The 'ILU' Boy <br></b><br><br>Back in the early '90s, the 'cool' acronym in school and college campuses was not WTF, LOL or ASL. It was 'ILU'. It was extensively used by road-side Romeos, and was particularly ubiquitous at tourist-spots and on tree-trunks. The word was mouthed by a pair of newcomers in 1991's blockbuster Saudagar: Vivek Mushran and Manisha Koirala. Vivek, a Sherwood College alumnus, had a freshness that instantly endeared him to audiences, especially teenage girls. The pair had been featured in an earlier film that very year, First Love Letter, which sank without a trace. But Saudagar, a Subhash Ghai-helmed project co-starring veterans Dilip Kumar and Raaj Kumar, was a resounding success. Though Manisha went on to have a long, successful stint, Vivek's Bollywood career didn't really take off. There were some big films in quick succession like Prem Deewane and Satwaan Asmaan with Pooja Bhatt, Bewaffa Se Wafa with Jui Chawla (all 1992). He was soon relegated to doing the 'other guy' roles, playing second fiddle to the likes of Shahrukh Khan (Ram Jaane, 1995) and Ajay Devgn (Dil Hai Betaab, 1993). Currently, he stars opposite Shweta Tiwari in the TV show Parrvarish as a hapless father of a teenager.

Bollywood bygones

Amborish Roychoudhury | January 19, 2013


The 'ILU' Boy


Back in the early '90s, the 'cool' acronym in school and college campuses was not WTF, LOL or ASL. It was 'ILU'. It was extensively used by road-side Romeos, and was particularly ubiquitous at tourist-spots and on tree-trunks. The word was mouthed by a pair of newcomers in 1991's blockbuster Saudagar: Vivek Mushran and Manisha Koirala. Vivek, a Sherwood College alumnus, had a freshness that instantly endeared him to audiences, especially teenage girls. The pair had been featured in an earlier film that very year, First Love Letter, which sank without a trace. But Saudagar, a Subhash Ghai-helmed project co-starring veterans Dilip Kumar and Raaj Kumar, was a resounding success. Though Manisha went on to have a long, successful stint, Vivek's Bollywood career didn't really take off. There were some big films in quick succession like Prem Deewane and Satwaan Asmaan with Pooja Bhatt, Bewaffa Se Wafa with Jui Chawla (all 1992). He was soon relegated to doing the 'other guy' roles, playing second fiddle to the likes of Shahrukh Khan (Ram Jaane, 1995) and Ajay Devgn (Dil Hai Betaab, 1993). Currently, he stars opposite Shweta Tiwari in the TV show Parrvarish as a hapless father of a teenager.

<b>The Waterfall Sensation <br></b><br><br>Yasmeen Joseph was known to turn heads from a young age and with good reason. The doe-eyed Yasmeen was a striking beauty with alabaster skin. All of 16, she was virtually a kid when she entered filmdom. Showman Raj Kapoor 'discovered' her and cast her in his ambitious Ram Teri Ganga Maili, under a screen-name - Mandakini. The film was supposed to showcase his youngest son Rajiv Kapoor but it ended bringing untold fame to Mandakini. An iconic sequence involving her, a gossamer-thin saree, and a waterfall made her an overnight sensation. Predictably, producers lined up at her doorstep. She featured in dozens of films after that, but the magic of Ram Teri. . .  was not to be repeated. She quit films, got married, and other than sporadic public appearances, she was kept off limelight. Recently, Mandakini was in the news again - it appears she's been married to the legendary Murphy baby!

Bollywood bygones

Amborish Roychoudhury | January 19, 2013


The Waterfall Sensation


Yasmeen Joseph was known to turn heads from a young age and with good reason. The doe-eyed Yasmeen was a striking beauty with alabaster skin. All of 16, she was virtually a kid when she entered filmdom. Showman Raj Kapoor 'discovered' her and cast her in his ambitious Ram Teri Ganga Maili, under a screen-name - Mandakini. The film was supposed to showcase his youngest son Rajiv Kapoor but it ended bringing untold fame to Mandakini. An iconic sequence involving her, a gossamer-thin saree, and a waterfall made her an overnight sensation. Predictably, producers lined up at her doorstep. She featured in dozens of films after that, but the magic of Ram Teri. . . was not to be repeated. She quit films, got married, and other than sporadic public appearances, she was kept off limelight. Recently, Mandakini was in the news again - it appears she's been married to the legendary Murphy baby!

<b>Prince Charming <br></b><br><br>Couple of years back, a 'supernatural thriller' called Rokkk took the box office by storm - an ice-storm to be precise. The film was produced by a certain someone named Sumeet Saigal - the name will ring a bell for those who grew up in the '80s. Some actors are inexplicably prolific though with a few hits. Saigal debuted with Imaandar (1987), and his second year in Bollywood saw nine releases, right from Ab Meri Baari to Souten ki Beti (both 1989). Saigal's moment in the sun came with a Punjabi song from Bahaar Ane Tak (1990) - "Kali teri gut te paranda tera laal ni". The notable film in Saigal's career after that was Sauda (1995), one of the two films Bollywood ripped off from Indecent Proposal (the other being Rishi Kapoor's last outing as a hero, Karobaar, 1995). Apart from being a producer, Sumeet directs music videos.

Bollywood bygones

Amborish Roychoudhury | January 19, 2013


Prince Charming


Couple of years back, a 'supernatural thriller' called Rokkk took the box office by storm - an ice-storm to be precise. The film was produced by a certain someone named Sumeet Saigal - the name will ring a bell for those who grew up in the '80s. Some actors are inexplicably prolific though with a few hits. Saigal debuted with Imaandar (1987), and his second year in Bollywood saw nine releases, right from Ab Meri Baari to Souten ki Beti (both 1989). Saigal's moment in the sun came with a Punjabi song from Bahaar Ane Tak (1990) - "Kali teri gut te paranda tera laal ni". The notable film in Saigal's career after that was Sauda (1995), one of the two films Bollywood ripped off from Indecent Proposal (the other being Rishi Kapoor's last outing as a hero, Karobaar, 1995). Apart from being a producer, Sumeet directs music videos.

<b>Critically Acclaimed Failure <br></b><br><br>Early 19th century, a merchant ship carrying a contingent of Indians lands in British Guyana. British landowners are shipping in Indian labourers. Among them is a hero. Rohit Jagessar's Hollywood venture Guiana 1838 (2004) is rather compelling. But what interests us more is the leading man. Manoj Rajendra Tuli, more commonly known as Kumar Gaurav, had had a smashing debut in Bollywood 23 years ago, under a different screen name. His impact shook even the Big B's throne. <br>Bollywood lore has it that Rajendra Kumar and Manoj Kumar were fast friends in their struggling days. In 1960, Rajendra named his son Manoj. The boy is launched 21 years later by his father as Kumar Gaurav in Love Story. Gaurav achieves cult status within weeks, and industry analysts announce the arrival of the next big thing. A string of films followed but the aura wore off very quickly. Multiple attempts at revival failed - even a pairing with the then-infallible Madhuri Dixit in Phool (1993) flopped. There were some high points in his career - critically acclaimed roles in Naam (1986) and Janam (1985) and as part of an ensemble cast in Kaante (2002). Lately, he's been dabbling in tourism and telecommunications. He's married to Namrata Dutt, Sanjay Dutt's sister.

Bollywood bygones

Amborish Roychoudhury | January 19, 2013


Critically Acclaimed Failure


Early 19th century, a merchant ship carrying a contingent of Indians lands in British Guyana. British landowners are shipping in Indian labourers. Among them is a hero. Rohit Jagessar's Hollywood venture Guiana 1838 (2004) is rather compelling. But what interests us more is the leading man. Manoj Rajendra Tuli, more commonly known as Kumar Gaurav, had had a smashing debut in Bollywood 23 years ago, under a different screen name. His impact shook even the Big B's throne.
Bollywood lore has it that Rajendra Kumar and Manoj Kumar were fast friends in their struggling days. In 1960, Rajendra named his son Manoj. The boy is launched 21 years later by his father as Kumar Gaurav in Love Story. Gaurav achieves cult status within weeks, and industry analysts announce the arrival of the next big thing. A string of films followed but the aura wore off very quickly. Multiple attempts at revival failed - even a pairing with the then-infallible Madhuri Dixit in Phool (1993) flopped. There were some high points in his career - critically acclaimed roles in Naam (1986) and Janam (1985) and as part of an ensemble cast in Kaante (2002). Lately, he's been dabbling in tourism and telecommunications. He's married to Namrata Dutt, Sanjay Dutt's sister.

<b>The Original Loverboy <br></b><br><br>In the early '90s, Carlos Santana wasn't the God of Guitar for the mango people of India. It was a lanky young man with a rather radical hairstyle for the time. The imagery of Rahul Roy holding his guitar is rather iconic and the stuff of Bollywood folklore. Aashiqui's soundtrack broke all records and a young Kumar Sanu made his way onto the top charts. Suddenly, among youngsters across the nation, Rahul Roy was the flavour of the season - the only thing that teenagers loved more than Rahul was his hair! But Rahul Roy's stardom didn't stick. Riding on the success of Aashiqui, he signed more than 40 films in quick succession. This included the smooch-fest Baarish (1990), Pyar ka Saaya (1991), Sapne Saajan Ke (1992) and villain Ranjeet's directorial venture Ghazab Tamasha (1992). Come 2006, Rahul Roy landed up among the housemates on Bigg Boss. He won it, and stardom beckoned all over again. Recently, he rejected the offer to appear in an Aashiqui sequel.

Bollywood bygones

Amborish Roychoudhury | January 19, 2013


The Original Loverboy


In the early '90s, Carlos Santana wasn't the God of Guitar for the mango people of India. It was a lanky young man with a rather radical hairstyle for the time. The imagery of Rahul Roy holding his guitar is rather iconic and the stuff of Bollywood folklore. Aashiqui's soundtrack broke all records and a young Kumar Sanu made his way onto the top charts. Suddenly, among youngsters across the nation, Rahul Roy was the flavour of the season - the only thing that teenagers loved more than Rahul was his hair! But Rahul Roy's stardom didn't stick. Riding on the success of Aashiqui, he signed more than 40 films in quick succession. This included the smooch-fest Baarish (1990), Pyar ka Saaya (1991), Sapne Saajan Ke (1992) and villain Ranjeet's directorial venture Ghazab Tamasha (1992). Come 2006, Rahul Roy landed up among the housemates on Bigg Boss. He won it, and stardom beckoned all over again. Recently, he rejected the offer to appear in an Aashiqui sequel.

<b>The Hulk from India <br></b><br><br>Edgar Rice Burroughs wouldn't have ever imagined that his book, Tarzan of the Apes, would be turned into a Bolly-wonder, complete with disco beats by the incomparable Bappi Lahiri. Adventures of Tarzan (1985) starred a piping hot Kimi Katkar and Hemant Birje, as Tarzan. In the words of a leading blogger it's "one of the finest musical-jungle-epics the world has known". The film bombed but Birje with his Greek god physique, kept getting offers. Apart from Tarzan, he'll go down in history for starring in the Ramsay Brothers horror classic (no less) Veerana (1988). With acting skills comparable to Arnold Schwarzenegger's, Birje was seen in a slew of don't-blink-and-stillyou'll-miss roles. In 1997, he was roped in by mentor Babbar Subhash for an 'international' production: Divine Lovers (1982). The movie had him 'modelling' Khajuraho-style sculptures, indulging in some rather amorous activities on-screen. Birje's life-long association with Mithun Chakraborty secured him roles in Commando (1988), Muqaddar (1996), Hitler (1998), Arjun Devaa (2001) among countless others. Recently he's been in the news for domestic violence and fistfights in public. Last heard, he was planning a remake of his debut movie, starring. . .  himself!

Bollywood bygones

Amborish Roychoudhury | January 19, 2013


The Hulk from India


Edgar Rice Burroughs wouldn't have ever imagined that his book, Tarzan of the Apes, would be turned into a Bolly-wonder, complete with disco beats by the incomparable Bappi Lahiri. Adventures of Tarzan (1985) starred a piping hot Kimi Katkar and Hemant Birje, as Tarzan. In the words of a leading blogger it's "one of the finest musical-jungle-epics the world has known". The film bombed but Birje with his Greek god physique, kept getting offers. Apart from Tarzan, he'll go down in history for starring in the Ramsay Brothers horror classic (no less) Veerana (1988). With acting skills comparable to Arnold Schwarzenegger's, Birje was seen in a slew of don't-blink-and-stillyou'll-miss roles. In 1997, he was roped in by mentor Babbar Subhash for an 'international' production: Divine Lovers (1982). The movie had him 'modelling' Khajuraho-style sculptures, indulging in some rather amorous activities on-screen. Birje's life-long association with Mithun Chakraborty secured him roles in Commando (1988), Muqaddar (1996), Hitler (1998), Arjun Devaa (2001) among countless others. Recently he's been in the news for domestic violence and fistfights in public. Last heard, he was planning a remake of his debut movie, starring. . . himself!

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