Saturday, June 20, 2015

Anita Guha: “Women used to put their new born in my arms to seek blessings!”

‘Wo Bhooli Dastaan Lo Phir Yaad Aa gayi….

This soul stirring song from the movie SANJOG (1961) staring legendary actress Anita Guha, (popularly recognized as Santoshi Maa for her role in JAI SANTOSHI MAA) suits aptly to recall the actress but today nobody remembers her.

June 20 marks the death anniversary of Anita Guha, Raaga.Com pays her homage and enlightens the younger generation about this unsung starlet. 

Anita Guha, ruled Bollywood in the 50’s and 60’s in hit movies like GOONJ UTHI SHAHNAI,DEKH KABIRA ROYA, SHARADA and the most memorable of them all JAI SANTOSHI MAA which has immortalized her in the annals of Indian cinema.

Winner of ‘Miss Kolkata’ crown in the early 1950’s Anita Guha came into filmdom after excelling as the number one contestant in the talent hunt competition ‘Kardar-Kolynos Talent Contest’ held in Mumbai in 1952. Readers would be surprised to know that ‘Kardar-Kolynos Talent Contest’ was a joint effort by Bollywood and Hollywood to search budding talent for film industry. It was organized by Bollywood filmmaker A.R.Kardar’s ‘Kardar Studio’ and Hollywood’s ‘Lee Kamarin’. 

Though Anita Guha did many successful films both commercial and B-grade action thrillers but it she won stardom in mythological movies beginning with SAMPOORNA RAMAYANA, which made her a household name as Devi Sita. 

Later with ‘JAI SANTOSHI MAA’ she literally began to be looked upon as goddess. In an interview Anita Guha said, “The movie had such a tremendous impact upon the viewers that it became difficult for me to step out because wherever I went people thronged in large number to touch my feet.” She added, “I began to be recognized as Santoshi Maa and what was most embarrassing is that women used to bring their new born babies and put them in my arms to seek blessings!” 

Interestingly readers would be amazed to know that though Anita Guha immortalized the character of SantoshI Maa on the silver but in real life she was the devotee of Devi Kali Maa!!!

Untold story of Rajesh Khanna's bungalow that will soon become history!

India’s first superstar Rajesh Khanna’s renowned bungalow Ashirwad will soon become part of history as the new owner Shashi Kiran Shetty, Executive Chairperson of Allcargo Logistics, part of Avvashya Group, has decided to demolish the 6,500-square-foot property into a multi-storey building. 

It may be noted Shetty had bought the property at a whopping price of Rs 90 Crore! 

As the bungalow will soon go into dust and in its place a new multi-storey building will come up, let me enlighten the readers about the strange story of the bungalow. 

Few are aware that in the early 60’s when Bandra’s Carter road area facing the bewitching Arabian Sea was developing, music maestro Naushad had build his bungalow Aashiyana and at a stone’s throw there stood another bungalow which was empty. Nobody dared to purchase it due to superstitious tales of the bungalow being hunted.

However upcoming actor Rajendra Kumar, who was an acumen businessman rubbished all the tales and bought the bungalow at a cheap rate of mere Rs 60,000/-. He named the bungalow ‘Dimple’ on his daughter’s name. 

Surprisingly what was regarded as hunted bungalow turned a gold mine for Rajendra Kumar and his luck skyrocketed and he became a superstar and won the title of Jubilee Kumar (as all his films created jubilee at box office). Meanwhile he even purchased a bungalow at Pali Hill in Bandra and shifted into it. 

When Rajesh Khanna, another struggling actor came to know that Rajendra Kumar had shifted into his Pali Hill bungalow he contacted him and urged to sell his carter road bungalow to him. In fact Khanna hoped the ‘Lucky’ bungalow may prove a blessing for him too. After lot of pondering Rajendra Kumar gave in. 

Rajesh Khanna renamed the bungalow as Ashirwad and as expected the bungalow brought bagful of smile for Khanna and in a single year he delivered 15 hits and won the elusive title of India’s First Original Superstar! 

It was at this bungalow Rajesh Khanna later saw his downfall too and breathe his last. 

Now the bungalow is being demolished…one wonders will it bring luck to the new owner Shashi Kiran Shetty as it did for Rajendra Kumar and Rajesh Khanna or will it bring his dome only future will tell!