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The Timeless Dream Girl – Hema Malini

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For her sheer screen presence, she was hard to beat. With her jingling laugh & the looks that arrested your eyes she was the heartthrob of millions throughout the 70’s & some parts of 80’s. She had everybody oohing over her grace and beauty. Dreams and Hema Malini are synonymous. She’s Hindi cinema’s dazzling Dream Girl.
Hema was born in the Tamil-speaking Chakravarthy household on October 16, 1948 in Ammankudi, Tamil Nadu. Her dad’s name is V.S.R. Chakravarthy and her mom, Jaya, was a film producer.Hema met with failure at the onset of her professional life. She was considered for a Tamil film when she was 15 only to be rejected by director Sridhar.
She was offered her a dream break opposite Raj Kapoor in Sapnon Ka Saudagar(1968) where she was labeled “Dream Girl” which was a promotion strategy for the film. The label since then has stuck with her.
Along came Dev Anand’s blockbuster “Johny Mera Naam” where she played a gangster’s pawn. She did take her share of career risks. Sixties heroines were unwilling to play the deglamourised role of the sari-clad widow in Andaaz (1971). No heroine was willing to play the black-shaded role of Raaj Kumar’s scorned and vengeful mistress in Lal Patthar (1971).
Mumtaz was not willing to lower her price for Seeta Aur Geeta (1972).
Hema took on all these films and they changed the course of her career.
The box office success of the boisterous Seeta Aur Geeta, where Hema played two roles — as the meek Seeta and the fisticuffs-ready Geeta made Hema the No 1 heroine.

The actress in her wasn’t left behind either. Besides star power, Seeta Aur Geeta established Hema’s histrionics and won her Filmfare’s Best Actress award. Her three films with Gulzar — Khushboo, Kinara and Meera — saw the serious side of Hema. These movies won Hema critical acclaim.

Dharmendra and Hema met for the first time on the sets of Tum Haseen Main Jawan. They went on to work together in 28 films. Witness their chemistry in films like Pratigya, Naya Zamana, Raja Jani, Jugnu and Sholay.
Even though Jeetendra and Sanjeev Kumar proposed marriage to Hema, it was married man Dharmendra who won her over.
In 1980 Hema defied convention and became Dharmendra’s second wife. Her spotless reputation and regal demeanour saw her facing little flack for this act of societal defiance.
Hema Malini was highest paid Hindi actress along-with Zeenat Aman from 1976-1980 and 2nd highest paid Hindi actress with Zeenat from 1982-85 and 4th highest paid Hindi actress from 1971-1975. Served as Chairperson of the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) from 2000-2003.

After ruling the box office for almost two decades, Hema gracefully made way for others. The 1990s saw her play supporting roles in Jamai Raja, Himalaya Putra, Hey! Ram etc.

From being a dream girl, she moved on to direct her maiden television series, Nupur.
The impressive Nupur was followed by an even more lavish directorial debut on the big screen. Dil Aashna Hai, released in 1992, featured Jeetendra, Mithun Chakraborty, Dimple Kapadia, Amrita Singh, Sonu Walia, Shah Rukh Khan and the late Divya Bharti.

Hema Malini being a trained classical dancer takes pride in giving stage performances at this emeritus age. A first-class performer in the Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi and Odissi styles of dance, she is renowned worldwide for her interpretation of Durga, one of the most formidable Goddesses of the Hindu pantheon. The choreography is based on the charitas (stories) from the Devi Mahatmaya and also from the common folklore of Sati, Parvati and Durga. Her ballets, presented by her company the Natyavihar Kalakendra, have thrilled millions of viewers.

She prefers to maneuver her options. From a screen goddess to a producer-director, from a politician to a stage performer Hema does it all with elan. She is one person who can truly say she has lived her life her way. The dream called Hema Malini lives on!!!

Here’s a video clip of “Durga” – Dance Drama by Hema Malini:

Avid music lover and Dev Anand fan

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