ndsharma's blog

The making of a film star

Posted on: September 4, 2016

She disappeared from her home on the day I left the city in connection with a project that I was involved with. Her distraught mother ran into a Nepali friend of mine called Madhwari who told her that he had seen both of us going to the railway station together. I was done. Almost.
Let’s call her Miss X. She and her mother were tenants in the house of an acquaintance of mine. It was in the early 1960s. I was a university student then. Occasionally I used to visit my acquaintance. There I got acquainted with Miss X and her mother.
Miss X was a class eighth student. During the exam season, her mother requested me to help her daughter with her school work. Soon I found that Miss X was interested in everything except studies. She was a swimming champion in her school and had won awards in cycling, dancing, acting and various other extracurricular activities. Her obsession was the film world. I tried for a month or so to create in her mind some interest in studies but I can’t say I succeeded.
Then came the summer vacation and my leaving the city and her disappearance on the same day. After getting her ‘enlightenment’ from my Nepali friend, the mother was going to the police station to get my name included in the FIR but she was dissuaded by my acquaintance with some difficulty.
After I returned to the city a week later, I found that every friend and acquaintance of mine firmly believed that Miss X was with me and that I was hiding her somewhere. A Professor in my university, an Arya Samaji, summoned me to his house and told me in all serenity that he had talked to the manager of the local Arya Samaj Mandir and that we should get quietly married to avoid legal complications as the girl was a minor.
I had a sigh of relief only three days later when the local newspapers reported that the police had recovered Miss X and her abductor from a suburban house.
After some time, Miss X got a good break in a regional film which was shooting in the area. Her next jump was to Bombay (now known as Mumbai) where she got the chance to work with big names like Dev Anand, Amitabh Bachan Dharmendra and Jeetendra. She also featured in a popular TV serial produced by Ramanand Sagar. Meanwhile, she married a film personality.
Now I learn she is settled abroad with her children (her husband is no more) and running a dancing academy.
When I had returned to the city from my project assignment and came to know of the source of the mischief, I confronted Madhwari and asked him why he had done so. With a roguish grin on his face, he replied quietly: ‘Don’t you see how much fun we are having’. The scoundrel later got a teaching job in the Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu.

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“Behind every great fortune there is a crime”, originally attributed to 19th-century French writer Honoré de Balzac.

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