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Where Is Aneeta Kanwar?



With  Buniyaad  making a grand comeback to   national television,  interest in cast  of  the  film has  been  revived  all over again. Unlike Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan where  many  of  the  actors  and technicians  are no more,  most  of  the Buniyaad cast is still  with us.

Except  the show’s  leading lady  Aneeta Kanwar who has disappeared  from the face of   showbiz.

Anita was a rage  as  the rustic matriarch Lajwanti,  aka Lajjoji in Buniyaad. But after  playing the role  for a full year Kanwar  was just  worn out being the sugar-sweet  Mom to actors her own age.

I remember meeting her  for an extensive  interview  at Film City in 1986  where she was  shooting for, what else, Buniyaad.

She  sounded angry when I complimented her.  “Thank you  for appreciating my work. But it’s become a very  big burden  to carry around. Wherever I go I am addressed as  Lajjoji. People have forgotten my real  name!  They have also forgotten  I am not the 70-year old woman that  I play in Buniyaad. I  am a  fun-loving girl. I like to  do  the normal things  that girls my age  like to do.”

Just to  break the  matriarchal   image  she  played the  role  of  Rajesh Khanna’s vampish daughter-in-law  Mohan Kumar’s Amrit  while  Buniyaad was  being telecast.

It was  a minor  role with no shades.  But Anita just enjoyed being bad.

“Can you imagine  what Lajjo would  have thought of  this horrible  woman who throws  her father-in-law  out  of his  house?” she had chuckled.  I agreed it was a stroke of defiance. But  disappointing to her fans.

Rather than accept matriarchal roles Aneeta quit acting and disappeared  in Gurgaon near Delhi. She made  a comeback five years  later in serial Saboot where she played a  detective, She  told me she accepted the role  only  because it took her as far away from Buniyaad as possible. Saboot flopped. I never heard  from Anita Kanwar again

Where is  she? Does she watch Buniyaad  along with the rest  of  the godforsaken locked-down  humanity.  And  if she does, does she think  more kindly of her incurably sweet character  than she did when Lajjoji was every Indian male’s  idea of a  perfect mom?

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