Lisa Haydon is one of the most loved stars in the industry. I seriously thought she had the potential to be another Zeenat Aman. Pert, uninhibited, sensuous and spontaneous, Lisa Haydon kind of exploded on screen in a walk-on part as an airhead in Aisha. I thought she should have played the title role.
Lisa was an independent bird, unconnected to the film industry. She probably didn’t know the difference between Yash Chopra and Yash Johar, just like Zeenat. But strangely, Zeenat got her stardom in spite of her very natural Westernized demeanour but Lisa didn’t. Maybe she didn’t give it time. I thought she was charming and disarming as the trio of lechers Anupam Kher, Piyush Mishra and Annu Kapoor’s object of lustful adoration in Shaukeens, that very poor remake of Basu Chatterjee's Shaukeen.
While everyone in Shaukeens hammed it up, Lisa was just her beautiful self-conscious self. Rati Agnihotri who had played the same role in Basu Chatterjee’s original told me she liked what Lisa did in the remake. Lisa was also splendid as Ranbir Kapoor’s ex-girlfriend in Karan Johar’s Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. As the clueless Lisa D’Souza she walked in and walked out, head high,spirits higher, with just 3 minutes of screen time.
Lisa was better than everything else put together in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. Karan told me he named the character after Lisa just as he had named Rani’s character Tina in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai after Twinkle Khana (Tina being her nickname) because the part was written for Twinkle. The piece de resistance of Lisa’s career is of course the fabulous Vikas Bahl romp into a woman’s womb in Queen. As ‘Queen’ Kangana Ranaut’s buddy, Vijaylaxmi, Lisa was plain and simple, the scenestealer.
Given time, Lisa would have grown into stardom organically but here is the thing. She found something much better than stardom. She found true love. Wisely and quickly she married Dino Lalvani in 2016 and quit Bollywood and left the country to be Mrs Lalvani and the mother of three children in quick succession. I know of so many queens who have given up the chance to marry, only to finally end up as a lonely spinster or in a compromised marriage. I don’t know Lisa . But I do know she has a better marriage and family life than 90 percent of the actresses in Mumbai. Yes, she chose well. As for stardom, who knows? It may be hers to take somewhere in the future.
Happy Birthday, Mrs Lalvani. The babies are as gorgeous as you.
Image source: Instagram