Bollywood Nostalgia

Meeting Vyjayantimala

By NK Sareen

In the summer of 1982, I went to Madras to cover an award function for Filmfare on the instructions of its editor BK Karanjia.

After the function was over, I decided to stay back for a few more days to renew my connections with the south Indian film industry. Whenever I used to land in Madras, I usually utilised the opportunity to network with the south stars and that trip was no different.

On that trip I was desperate to meet Vyjayantimala.

In 1982, she had become sort of recluse. I knew she hadn’t stepped out of her home for long and I wasn’t sure if she would like to get photographed. 

So, I requested a journalist friend (who knew her personally) to help me out. My friend called her and surprisingly she agreed. That very afternoon, I remember taking a taxi to a huge bungalow in south Chennai.

On I reaching there, Vyjayantimala asked me wait in the huge hall on the ground floor. Even though I had wanted to photograph her without any make-up, she was not ready to face the camera without some paint on her face.

She took a good one hour to finish her make-up and then came downstairs.

I remember that we had a brief conversation about her returning to acting and she told me point-blank that she has retired for good. Those days, this was news. But at the same time, she mentioned in the same conversation, that she wanted to pursue her dance career.

Little did I know that two years later she will contest the Lok Sabha polls and win from south Chennai!

Here is a slide-show of a few pictures that I clicked during that  shoot. She gave a few beautiful expressions which I tried to capture on my black and white film. Most actresses of her generation used to emote through their eyes and she was the best in the art.

Check the photographs out. You might like them!



All photographs are copyrighted to NK Sareen. 
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Sareen's last post on this blog,Stepping up to an iconic number Posted on November 23, 2013
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