There are a multitude of stories, one cannibalised from another, where the iconic Dharmendra is quoted as saying he will “finally” get to work with the five-time National Award winner Shabana Azmi in Karan Johar's Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani.
However, the impression that they will work together for the first time is erroneous. They have done a film together in the past.
“That’s right,” Dharamji clarifies. “We were together in a film called Mardon Wali Baat which was released in 1988. It was directed by that very dear man Brij Sadanah who died a very tragic death along with his family (Brij Sadanah shot his wife and child and then shot himself). He was a gem of a producer-director.”
Recalling more about the experience, Dharmendra tells me, “I was paired with Shabana and Sanju (Sanjay Dutt) was with Jaya Prada. It was an enjoyable experience. Shabana didn’t at all behave like a National Award winning actress. She was fully into the naach ganaa. This was 40 years ago. Now look at destiny! We are back together in Karan Johar’s film.”
As for Jaya Bachchan, Dharmendra recalls, “She started her career with Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Guddi with me. She played the fan of Dharmendra, the star. Since she was my fan in real life, it was easy. A year later, after she became a big star we were paired as the romantic lead in a film called, I think, Samadhi - Prakash Mehra’s film. I played a double role. And she was one of my leading ladies. We had a very nice song together in the film 'Maine dekha ek sapna'."
“It is good to catch up with old colleagues again. There are so many beautiful memories from the past to share," concludes the legend, who has worked with every major heroine including Suchitra Sen (Mamta) and Jayalalitha (Izaat).
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