When Premnath Shocked The Stars From Hollywood And Gave A Bad Name To The Industry
Ali Peter John
Premnath was never the same dashing handsome hero after he went on what he called ” A quest for peace”. He had come back after several years accompanied by a group of Sadhus who he said were all over 125 years old. When he reached Bombay, he surprised the entire industry with the change in him. He had gone bald, he wore only a simple lungi and had hundreds of malas not only around his neck but all over his body and his favourite greeting was Bam Bam bhole . But there were film makers like Vijay Anand , Dev Anand and Subhash Ghai who were still willing to work with him in roles that suited him. He became popular again with his “wild ” performance in Vijay Anand’s ” Johnny Mera Naam” and especially became known again because of his wild and almost semi pornographic dance with Padma Khanna in which he was also an eccentric character in Ghai’s films like “Kaalicharan” and “Karz”.
Krishna Shah, an Indian filmmaker who had made it big in Hollywood was making his first heist film in Hindi and English and called Shalimar. He had a mischievous cast of stars from both Hollywood and Bollywood and among the more prominent stars were Dharmendra, Zeenat Aman, O. P. Ralhan and Premnath, the Hollywood stars were Rex Harrison, Sylvia Miles and if I remember right John Saxon.
Shalimar was launched with a grand function at one of the he beat known grounds of bombay. The entire industry was present and so were all the stars from Hollywood .
Premnath came in one of his ancient car accompanied by his gang of Sadhus and before the mahurat shot , he and the sadhus strangles several fowls and through them on the streets. It was his way of performing a puja.
He also had an ADC in uniform standing by his side with a brass pot in his hand. He suddenly shouted at ADC” pot leke aao”. The ADC had no other way but to follow his master’s mad order. He brought the brass pot to him and Premnath in the presence of the entire crowd of luminaries from different walks of life,lifted his lungi and urinated in the brass pot which was still held by the ADC. People called it obnoxious,but premnath was unpleased by all their comments. This was a ritual he followed wherever he went. Once even on a flight.
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