Sunday, January 04, 2009

Teen Deviyaan... Part II

Due to overwhelming public demand (11 comments on the previous post on the same topic, of which GG's was a rather esoteric wishlist), it is only natural that I do another post on the Teen Queens of the late 80's. And to keep alive the dreadful pun, here are teen aur...

Farha

FarHA is not to be confused with FarAH (Khan). Her full name is Farha Naaz - and in her later life, she became known as the elder sister of Tabu. But when Tabu debuted in Vijaypath, Farha was already quite a doyenne (!) of Bollywood. Her first major hit was Love 86 (I think), which she co-starred with Neelam.
She did a large number of films from the mid-80s to the mid-90s. Her initial forte was the outspoken female tapori, who thinks nothing of trying to seduce heroes. Rakhwala, Kaala Bazaar, Veeru Dada, Halal ki Kamaai are her notable (!) films. She soon shifted to some martyr-ish roles in which she played tormented souls (Yateem) or wives of philandering men (Pati, Patni aur Tawaif). After taking a break in the mid-90s, she is now seen in bhabhi roles here and there (Hulchul).
She fell in love and married a man who went by the name of Vindoo (what kind of name is that??) and was only known as Dara Singh's son (Ah! That explains it.). There was opposition from both sides because of their religious differences but love prevailed in true Bollywood tradition. But only till the end credits rolled. They have now separated and Vindoo has married a Russian model.

Shilpa Shirodkar
Contrary to popular belief, the first swimsuit scene of Hindi cinema was not Nargis' in Awaara. The first 'swimmer' is a lady called Meenakshi, who appeared in an ironically named film called Brahmachari. Such things have a tendency to skip a generation as her two maternal grand-daughters were the Shirodkar sisters - Shilpa and Namrata.
Shilpa made her debut as a blind girl in Bhrashtachar (a film by Ramesh Sippy, starring Mithun and Rekha). Usually, blind roles are associated with great histrionics but this one is known for a graphic rape scene (involving a revolving bed, mirrors and Anupam Kher). After this, Shilpa was seen as a rural belle (the Hindi film kind, wearing a mini-sari-sans-blouse), the love interest of Anil Kapoor in Kishen Kanhaiya.
After these two revealing roles, Shilpa's position as a buxom leading lady (usuually rural) was secured.
She acted in films like Lakshmanrekha, Aankhen, Benaam Badshah - all of which required her to perform unusually energetic dance movements under waterfalls (real and artificial).
Thanks to her rapidly expanding girth, most of her roles did not involve wearing skimpy clothes but was restricted to exposing her voluminous shoulders and substantial calves. For people who are impressed with Aamir Khan's physique in Ghajini would do well to watch Shilpa in Aankhen. She sang a song ("Angna mein baba, duwarein pe ma / Kaise aaoon gori, main tohre ghar ma") in rustic attire and the 70 mm screen fell short to accommodate her.
Like most of her other contemporaries, Shilpa too married an arranged match and settled abroad. I read somewhere that she has a daughter. Going by trends, this daughter will surely lead a low profile but her daughter is the one to look out for!

Mamta Kulkarni
With our colonial hangover, we thought nothing of calling Mamta Kulkarni a ghati. She was an outsider, no filmi pedigree, no convent background or accent.
She made her debut in Tirangaa and promptly got lost in the bombastic rhetoric of Raaj Kumar and Nana Patekar. She returned in Mehul Kumar's next patriotic slugfest - Krantiveer - a few years later. But by that time, she had acted in a few indistinguishable films - Aashiq Aawara (Saif's debut), Waqt Humara Hain (starring Akshay Kumar and Sunil Shetty) - and cemented her position as a 'bold' heroine of a pronounced pout, husky voice and very little acting skills.
She was usually the heroine of the junior hero in a multi-starrer or she was the tomboy, shrewish heroine who have to be brought back to Indian culture by the hero. In her biggest hit - Karan Arjun - she was a bit of both!
Mamta's biggest claim to fame was a cover picture for Stardust for their September 1993 issue. Connoisseurs would remember the picture (and probably even have the issue!) while the others don't need to know. It earned her a lawsuit and overnight stardom. 'The Sizzling Siren' had done with a magazine cover what she could not do with her films. A few years later, she was supposed to be having an affair with Aamir Khan (while shooting for Baazi), which she did not bother to refute.
Wherever she is right now (USA? UK? Dubai?), does she know that on Bollywood fan sites around the world, her Stardust picture is still discussed with almost religious fervour?

You know you are really old when you realise there is hardly any dope on the 'net about your adolescent filmstars.
You know you are really jobless when you start putting the dope on the 'net!
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