Only money matters here. I am not a pessimist, I am just trying to understand and tell the truth about life, especially in this good, bad, crazy and sad world of Hindi films.
Vinod Mehra (how many people remember him?) was one of the most popular and successful actors of the 70s and 80s. He was known for his goodness and honesty! This was a truth about his life and career which was unanimously accepted. People said that he did not succeed so much not because of his talent, but because of being a gentleman.
Vinod Mehra was competing against stars
In the 80s he was competing against stars like Jeetendra, Shatrughan Sinha and even Vinod Khanna! He used to shoot in two shifts in a day. He used to travel from Hyderabad to Bombay. He had a bungalow in Bombay which he bought from the famous director Hrishikesh Mukherjee.
His dream was to direct and produce a film. But he had to wait because of his engagements as an actor. Eventually he found time to launch his own film, Gurudev, under his banner of VM Productions.
He had signed big stars like Rishi Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Sridevi. He spent a long time working on his screenplay with writer KK Singh, who became very popular after writing Raj Kapoor's 'Ram Teri Ganga Maili'.
The writer was addicted to alcohol after the success of Ram Teri Ganga Maili! For this reason he would sometimes get admitted to a Nature Cure hospital in Juhu and meet the producers and directors there to discuss his script.
Well known filmmakers Firoz Khan, Sanjay Khan and Vinod Mehra used to visit him regularly in the hospital till his treatment. And finally Vinod Mehra's script is ready!
The three stars had promised him that they would give him full support as he was one of them. Shooting started in Bombay and it was going smoothly for a few months and Vinod was happy with the progress of his film.
However, problems waited to 'attack' him when his unit landed in Europe to complete a long shooting schedule during which all major scenes and songs were to be filmed and Vinod's first bitter test took place.
There it was seen how the stars changed their color! The three stars who were just shooting for their film, started harassing them when it came to dates. The film was getting delayed, but Vinod continued shooting with a smile.
His troubles were increasing and he could not complete the work he had planned! The stories of how he is being troubled by those three stars reached Bombay and his friends and well-wishers felt bad for Vinod.
He invited me to his house to talk about the 'great job' he had accomplished. Even in the month of December, I could see him drenched in sweat as he was speaking with me over a big glass of whiskey.
When it was very cold in Bombay and it was also night time. He kept telling me stories about what the work he had accomplished abroad was like and I kept listening to him only because he was a very good friend of mine and was known to be a true man.
But somewhere within me, I knew he wasn't telling me the truth which hurt and I was in awe as I first heard about how his star-friends' unbelievable behavior in his film was delayed.
Our meeting ended at midnight and he asked his driver to drop me home, but not before requesting to meet me again, when he would tell me the full story of what really happened in Europe.
But at 6 in the morning I got a call from his bungalow and the caller was crying when he told me that Vinod passed away the same night due to a heart attack. His last word was 'sorry', which he said to his wife Kiran, whom he married just before he started shooting for his film.
There was a huge crowd at his funeral and people were watching Anil, Rishi and Sridevi strangely angrily!
Almost every star of the industry attended his funeral. There were many others who paid tribute to Vinod and the best tribute to him was given by Amitabh Bachchan, who called him 'a very nice man, gone too soon'.
It was very sad that even at such times media and industry people were only interested to see whether Rekha would come to bid farewell to Vinod or not. It was not known what happened to Vinod's film.
Was Vinod unlucky from birth? The events of his life show that he was not so lucky in life. He was born with a serious heart disease, but worked hard all his life and the only sign of his illness was when he used to sweat while sitting on the sets or in an air-conditioned room.
Vinod was also very unlucky about the women who came into his life. He was married to Meena, who was in love with home and had nothing to do with the industry.
Their wedding reception at the Sun N Sand Hotel had the kind of guests that could be seen at any other reception. However, this marriage did not last long and ended in divorce.
He also had a brief affair with actress Bindiya Goswami. But his most talked about affair was with Rekha, about whom people still believe that she married Vinod. But Vinod lived a happy and prosperous married life with Kiran, who originally hailed from East Africa and had a daughter and a son.
Daughter Sonia made her debut as an actress in the remake of one of the biggest hits (Victoria 203'), but the film flopped and Sonia was not seen in films for a very long time thereafter. It is also said about his son that he makes films, but not much is heard about him.
Vinod's bungalow has disappeared into the air and all that is left of him are memories. And these memories also live on with very few people who actually admire, love and respect Vinod.
Whenever I remember my friend Vinod Mehra, I lose faith in goodness and truthfulness. Should people like Vinod Mehra step into this industry where humans have become or become so selfish? I do not have the answer to this question.
This question can be answered by those who can look into their hearts. Does anyone have the courage to look inside themselves and speak the truth, or are they ready to face their own truth? Or else this industry will continue to be infamous like this and decent people like Vinod Mehra will continue to live and die.
Tags : vinod-mehra | Birth Anniversary
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