If I wanted I could have been known as the king of controversies and gossip . I claim that I know more inside stories about the world of Hindi films than those who have been accepted as the masters of gossip stories – Ali Peter John
But , I don’t think my life would have been worth it if I had done what others did only for a few rupees .
Will I come out in the open about the secrets of the lives of stars, superstars and legends ?
I had not for the last 50 years and I don’t think I ever will . I have had my share of unplanned and unintentional stories and they have been just one or two such stories . This is one story I can share without harming or hurting anyone .
Raakhee Gulzar had separated from her husband and was living in her own bungalow , ” Muktangan” with her daughter Bosky or Meghna as she came to be known as she grew up.
I had the opportunity to talk to Raakhee for quite some time one afternoon and like most famous names , she too opened up and told me interesting stories about her past .
She had told me how she had started her life as a junior assistant of the legendary actress Sandhya Roy and how she used to even carry her bag and makeup basket .
She had also talked about her first marriage to director Ajoy Boss and how it had ended with her leaving for Bombay and Ajoy staying back to pursue his own career .
I could have written the entire story as she had told it to me , but I only selected the human side which was her struggle to make it .
And I wrote the story in my column Ali’s Notes without giving a thought to the consequences I would have to face .
It was on the Very second day after my piece was published in “Screen” and the bombardment of notices from her lawyer Mr Deshmukh followed .
I was not used to receiving such notices and frankly , I panicked . The notices claiming that I had fabricated the story kept coming every day and I was in a trap with my management asking me to apologize to Raakhee and my conscience telling me that I had not done anything wrong and had only written what Raakhe has told me
The story about my being served with a notice by Raakhee slowly spread and my own editor who was a dear friend of Raakhee and my colleagues kept looking at me as if I had committed a major crime.
I spent restless days on sleepless nights trying to find ways of redeeming my reputation which I had earned after working very hard and with sincerely over the years , but I couldn’t find a way out.
There were days when I stood outside “Muktangan” to catch a glimpse of Raakhee and try to explain my condition to her , but even this plan made by me failed.
I knew the relationship between Gulzar and Raakhee, but I also know that they met for dinner once in a way .
I reached Gulzar’s office in Boskyaana and told him about the unfortunate insident involving Raakhee and me.
Gulzar heard me out as we kept sipping our favourite green tea and after a while, Gulzar looked at me and said , ” I would have not done anything like this for anyone, but you are dear to me and I will do it.
Meghna and me are going to have dinner with Raakhee tonight and I will put up your case for her consideration and the rest is up to your luck and God “.
I was a little relieved , but still tense . The next morning, Gulzar called me to Boskyaana and after having a glass of his green tea with me , he said, ” tumhara darkhwast ( case) khaarij kiya gaya hai .
Ab neend kharaab karne ke zaroorat nahi padegi tumhe” . I felt as if I was a hardened criminal who was set free from Tihar Jail.
The very next afternoon I was sitting behind Raakhee and we were about to watch a trial show of Pramod Chakrovarty”s film Police Force in which she was playing the mother of Akshay Kumar.
And she took me by a very pleasant surprise when she looked back and said , ” Abhi toh hum dost hai. Kya Kamaal ke wakil the tumhaare. Unke saamne mujhe haarna hi tha”
There was another time when the editor of a trade magazine who was making “Libaas” with Gulzar as the director was trying to play dirty tricks with me and Gulzar had gone out of his way to defend me and fight for me till I won .
KAASH WOH DIN WAAPAS AATE AUR HAMAARI DOSTI WAISE HE REHITI JAISE UN DINON MEIN HO THI THI. KAASH………