Bollywood fraternity came together today for their very own Dream Girl, Hema Malini. The senior actor and BJP MP launched her authorized biography, Beyond The Dream Girl on her 69th birthday.
Several celebrities from the Indian film and music industry were present to wish Hema Malini and to express their affection for one of the most beautiful actors that has graced the big screen.
Amitabh Bachchan, who has worked with her in several memorable films, shared anecdotes from their younger days. Lata Mangeshkar also revealed how she was surprised to discover Malini’s singing talent when the latter gifted her music album to the singing legend.
Hema Malini, in her book, Beyond The Dream Girl talks about her interaction with superstar, Rajesh Khanna. It seems the two did not get along very well initially, and both thought the other was “too arrogant”.
Excerpt from Beyond The Dream Girl…I don’t know what the issue was but something was amiss with Rajesh Khanna. He would behave strangely with me in the initial days. No doubt he was the reigning superstar and women would adore him for his charm. But I didn’t give him any special bhaav as a co-actor. People around him would often tell him false stories about me. And the same set of people would come to me and tell me stories about him. Rajesh thought that I was arrogant while I thought that he was too full of himself. But eventually we broke the ice when we started working together in back-to-back movies.
You can read many such anecdotes in the book.
“While planning the book launch on her birthday (October 16), we realised that Hemaji will also be completing 50 years in the film industry in 2018. So, we decided to make it special for her, and took on this Herculean task of roping in 50 celebrities to wish her on her birthday as well as golden jubilee,” says journalist-producer Ram Kamal Mukherjee who has written the book.
No Good Roles in Bollywood Says Hema Malini, Takes Up Singing
Lot of good (meaningful) films are getting made in Bollywood nowadays, but I guess, there are more actors available than the roles that are on offer. That is perhaps the reason that veteran actress (and politician) Hema Malini says there is a dearth of opportunities for older actresses in Hindi films (unlike in Hollywood).
Hema Malini, arguably the most famous actress during her hey days, has acted in more than 150 films during her career. There are many who think that Hema Malini has cut down on work because she has joined politics (she is an Indian MP from Mathura). The actress has acted in a few Bollywood films recently, a couple with Amitabh Bachchan (including ‘Baghban’), but not many.
Now the real reason, as Hema ji herself revealed, is that quality roles are hard to come by.
“Internationally, such beautiful films are made with elderly actresses but that doesn’t happen here in India. They don’t want to invest money because filmmaking is too expensive so why would they risk it with me?
Meryl Streep in Hollywood is doing fantastic work. She is of my age. I can also do so many things but I need opportunities for that,” says Hema.
With not much happening in films, Miss Malini decided to venture into a new territory – singing.
Yes that’s right!
In fact, Hema ji has already launched her maiden album ‘Dream Girl’ (remember her movie by this name?), which has been composed by Bollywood singer Babul Supriyo (he joined politics too) and features his duet ‘Aji suniye to zara, kya hai manjra’ with the actress.
The album also has two Bengali songs, which Malini had originally recorded for Kishore Kumar.
“I never thought I would sing professionally but it so happened that I made Babul hear a Bengali song that I had sung many years ago. He thought I should sing and bring out an album. I readily agreed. I don’t let any opportunity go. Even Dharam ji was surprised to hear me sing. He said, ‘I never knew you sing so well’.
The ‘Baghban’ actress has also recorded a bhajan album, which will be released soon.