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“Vinod Mehra Got Me Three Suitcases From The US”  Shabana Azmi On Vinod Mehra’s Death Anniversary



Vinod Mehra

 There isn’t single soul in the film industry who doesn’t speak fondly of Vinod Mehra. Even his ex-wives don’t have anything negative to say about him.

His favourite co-stars were  Moushumi Chatterjee with whom he did  eight films  films, and Shabana Azmi with whom he did  Sweekar Kiya Maine, Yeh Kaisa Insaaf,  Ek Hi Raasta , Swarag Narak and Amar Deep.

Shabana  says  some of these films were not pleasant experiences otherwise. “But Vinod’s  presence always  took away  from whatever the discomfort. He  was a kind and thoughtful  co-star.He was a dear dear friend . I remember he got  three  suitcases for me all the way from the US…Three!!!!  Who does that ?!! And a set of Christian Dior makeup brushes from London which I still have .”

 Shabana  remembers  Vinod calming her down during rehearsals for  their intense shots. “He was very protective of me because I used to drain myself emotionally during the rehearsals . He would keep reminding me to do it mechanically and keep the emotion for the shot .We did some interesting films  together.In Sweekar Kiya Maine I played a woman who comes to accept  her husband’s child from  another marriage. In Amar Deep which was  a  big hit, Rajesh Khanna had the  central  role.  I was paired with Vinod.We had a romantic song together which  went  Halki si  kasak masak. It was  shot as a  typical sensuous  rain song. Vinod and I  had fun shooting it.I would always return from my shootings with  Vinod with a  smile.”

   Shabana  has only  affectionate memories  of  Vinod Mehra. “He was a generous costar and a warm person . He would happily do  films where the heroine had  the  central  role . Which hero does that?I remember him with great fondness.”

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