It is Mallika Sherawat’s birthday. Sherawat? Remember the oomph girl who got herself clicked with Obama, and claimed she was in Bollywood only out of patriotic courtesy. Or else the West waited breathless for her august presence.
I knew Mallika when she was Reema Lamba. Sherawat is her mother’s name. The father was never in the picture. India’s no.1 paper star, original name Reema Lamba.Hails from Rohtak, the same district of Haryana as Randeep Hooda. The two have never met.
I remember Mallika as exceedingly and dangerously ambitious. She started her career with a supporting role as Kareena Kapoor’s saheli in Vashu Bhagnani’s Jeena Sirrf Tere Liye ( an unofficial remake of the Noorajehan-Suraiya starrer Anmol Ghadi) where her vibes with Kareena were icy cold.
Billed Reema Lamba in her first film. In Murder she abandoned that name to adopt her mother’s name Sherawat. She also abandoned all her legacy from the past including a pilot-husband. Mallika’s first film as leading lady Khwahish was directed by Mallika bhakt Govind Menon. A scene by scene word by word rip-off of Erich Segal’s Love Story the film boasted of a record number of kisses.
Mallika didn’t get along with her Khwahish co-star Himanshu Mallik who complained the director was too besotted to pay attention to anyone except Mallika. Mallika didn’t get along with Murder co-star Emraan Hashmi either.
Surprisingly she hit it off with Rahul Bose the most. They did the successful Pyar Ke Side Effects and the flop Maan Gaye Mughal-e-Azam together.
Apparently Mallika’s conservative father never approved of her ambitions. The daughter and father remained hostile towards one another for a very long time while her Mallika’s mother and brother were cool about her ambitions from the start.The cold war ended when Mallika became what her official website describes as a ‘Bollywood superstar’. A debatable, claim like all her other claims.
She made her affections for Dharmendra very clear while working with him in one of her early flops Kiss Kiss Ki Kismat. Claimed her mother had a crush on Garam Dharam. Mallika’s unstoppable attention embarrassed both Dharmendra and his wife Hema Malini.
She claimed to be a virgin while shooting Murder. She told me she lived like a nun. She didn’t specify which convent she belonged to.
She also claimed she had a thriving career awaiting in Hollywood , that she knows half the celebrities in Hollywood and has selfies with them to prove it. However her only ‘American’ film Republic Of Love has been shelved for years now. Her other firangi film Hisss finished off American director Jennifer Lynch’s career. Jennifer told me it was a nightmare trying to make Hisss.
In her entire Bollywood career of twelve years she has been in 13 flops and only 2 hits . Lately she seems to have lost the knack of staying in the news . But knowing her, I am certain Mallika Sherawat will be back. Can’t wait.