Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Hero from the Hills

I am no movie buff. This can be judged from the fact that I have not seen as many movies as I have seen summers. But this does not mean that film world or moviedom does not exist for me. Reading about films and actors & actresses , has been my favourite pastime and their lives have always fascinated me as they have often appeared to be larger than life, true to their filmy persona. Little wonder then that I have been an avid reader of Magazines like Filmfare , Star Dust and Screen.

Living at Shimla, which for quite some time has been a hot favourite with the film people as a shooting locale, I have had the opportunity of seeing in flesh and blood heroes and heroines like, Sunil Dutt, Rajesh Khanna, Hema Malini , Dimple Kapadia Priya Rajvansh , Nazima as also Ranjit and Manmohan Krishan. But they appeared as distant as ever perhaps because in common perception they belonged to an altogether different world.So what do you do when on a cold winter day a well dressed gentleman enters your workplace and humbly asks you to make some seating arrangement for a hero for a short while , who is to wait till the set is ready for the shot ?

In the early eighties , I was working in a Nationalized Bank at its branch office near the Lift on the Mall , Shimla . It was peak winter ; we already had a snowfall and heaps of snow which had been shoved while clearing the roads could be seen here and there. In the forenoon, a well dressed gentleman came upstairs into the Bank and requested for some seating arrangement for Danny Saheb, who was supposed to wait for the set to be ready for the shot to be taken outside. In no time, two chairs were placed around the bukhari, which , in winters , was kept warm and ready through out the day during working hours. After a short while , in came Danny Dengzongpa , the Hero from the Hills accompanied by Ms. Ratna Bhushan, wife of the legendary hero Bharat Bhushan and an actress in her own right. After exchanging pleasantries, they were offered the chairs which had been put there. A few of us took autographs in the personal diary. Danny and Ms Bhushan happily took tea offered to them in “ Sheeshe ke Gilass ” . Danny Saheb and Ms Bhushan had no airs of a filmy hero/ heroine and were quite down to earth and forthright in conversation. When the set was ready, someone from the crew came to call them and they parted smilingly, thanking us all , leaving a lasting impression on all of us.

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