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Kumar Gaurav, The Unsung Superstar



Kumar Gaurav who turns 61 on July 11, goes  the  dubious  distinction of  being the shortest-lived superstar  of Hindi cinema.

Kumar Gaurav who turns 61 on July 11, goes  the  dubious  distinction of  being the shortest-lived superstar  of Hindi cinema.

When his debut film Love Story released  in 1981 I  was an eager  student  clamouring to see the film. My friend  and  I had to return 3 times before we managed to procure the  precious  tickets in the black market.

I was  eminently  unimpressed  by Love Story. It was  clichéd often corny and  insufferably  sweet  and schmaltzy. Even  R D  Burman’s music which  contributed immensely to the  film’s  success  was  not impressive . One  of the songs  Kaisa tera  pyar  kaisa gussa hai tera was  ripped of  from ABBA’s I  have a dream.As  an  ABBA fan  I was  outraged.

But  Love Story broke  all  records to become the biggest star-launch  film of all times in Bollywood. In the year of the mammoth multi-starrers  Manoj Kumar’s Kranti and  Manmohan Desai’s  Naseeb, Love Story stood its ground. Gaurav’s father(who  played  his father in Love Story)  was  on Cloud 9. “My son has proved he’s a chip off the old block. My fans who supported and loved me extended  the same  support  to my son. What more can I ask for?”

Vijayta  Pandit who played Kumar Gaurav’s leading lady in Love Story recalled, “I’ve never seen  such hysteria  for any actor. Wherever we  would go, Kumar Gaurav  was mobbed  by hundreds  of fans. Not since Rajesh Khanna had we witnessed such  stardom”

 After Love Story Kumar Gaurav became the  most talked  about superstar  of  Bollywood. Producers  were falling   over each other  to sign Gaurav. And he  took on projects  as though there  was  no tomorrow.15  months after Love Story came Teri Kasam . It was  a better  film than Love Story  specially in the music department .

R D Burman’s  songs,  Amit Kumar voice and Gurav’s understated acting was  a foolproof  followup to the  blockbuster  debut. Gaurav though he had it made. “The adulation was deafening. I   couldn’t step out  of my house without being chased  by the public.We thought  the same audience which made Love Story  a  historic hit would return  for Teri Kasam.

It didn’t. The film’s  failure  shook Kumar Gaurav and his  father,  the latter was known  as ‘Jubilee Kumar’ in his  heydays for his uninterrupted string of  hits  in the 1960s. Rajendra  Kumar  left no stone  unturned  to  sustain his son’s  initial  stardom.After  Teri Kasam came  Star, a full-on musical with  music by  Biddu and vocals by Nazia and Zoheb Haasan, the Disco Deewane musical sensations  of  the 1980s.

Star bombed and so did  other big budgeted Gaurav vehicles  like Lovers, Romance, Hum Hain Laajawab, All Rounder …In 1986  Rajendra Kumar  produced the  high-profile Mahesh Bhatt directed Naam, an  updated  version of  Deewaar where Gaurav’s brother-in-law Sanjay Dutt walked away with all the  praise.In 1993 Rajendra Kumar  tried again to resurrect his son’s  lost glory in Phool  . Rajendra not  only produced Phool  he got his samdhi Sunil Dutt to also play a pivotal  role.

Phool flopped.  It was  nearing the  winter of  Gaurav’s career. He  retired  from the rat race soon after  Sanjay Gupta’s Kaante. Destiny played dirty with  Gaurav.  Sanjay Dutt and Gaurav  started off  their careers around the same time.  Gaurav got left behind in spite  being of a  better actor than DuttMahesh Bhatt’s Janam and Aaj are testimony to Gaurav being  a superior actor to both his  superstar-father and  superstar-brother-in-law.

Today at 61  Kumar Gaurav is far removed  from the  film industry.  “I  regret  nothing.  I miss nothing  about the  industry. My stardom was God’s grace and I am grateful to all my fans and appreciate their love for me. But I very much like my space.”


Year Film Role Female Lead
1981 Love Story Bunty Vijayta Pandit
1982 Teri Kasam Tony/Deepak Poonam Dhillon
Star Dev Kumar Rati Agnihotri/Padmini Kolhapure
1983 Lovers Viju Padmini Kolhapure
Romance Amar Poonam Dhillon
1984 Hum Hain Lajawab Pawan Kumar Singh Padmini Kolhapure
All-rounder Ajay Rati Agnihotri
Divorce Jasmin
1985 Ek Se Bhale Do Bunty D’Mello Rati Agnihotri
Janam Rahul Shernaz Patel
1986 Begaana Anand Mathur / Kailashnath Rana Rati Agnihotri
Naam Ravi Kapoor Poonam Dhillon
1987 Dil Tujhko Diya Vijay ‘Chhotu’ ‘Munna’ Sahni Rati Agnihotri
Albela (1987 film) Rati Agnihotri
Aaj Akshay Anamika Paul
1989 Goonj Sanjeev Kamat Juhi Chawla
Jurrat Inspector Avinash Amala Akkineni
1991 Hai Meri Jaan Bunty Ayesha Jhulka
Pratigyabadh Shakti Yadav Neelam Kothari
Indrajeet Vijay Neelam Kothari
1992 Siyasat Kimi Katkar
1993 Phool Karamraj ‘Raju’ / Gopal Madhuri Dixit
1996 Muthi Bhar Zameen Karan Poonam Dhillon
Sautela Bhai Shankar Farah Naaz
2000 Gang Nihal Singh
2002 Kaante Anand ‘Andy’ Mathur
2004 Guiana 1838 Laxman
2009 My Daddy Strongest

Kumar Gaurav’s:  Check Out Unknown Facts about him

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