Yeh Dosti: Some Filmland Friendships That Have Outlived Cynicism

It’s widely believed there can only be working relationships in the entertainment industry. That two people, be it co-stars or actors –filmmakers, are yoked in a yaraana only until they are working together .Usske BaadKhuda Haafiz?  Not necessarily. There are many filmland friendships which defy  skepticism and unbelievable work pressures to remain permanently stable in a world of greed, opportunism and selfserving motivations. Here’s celebrating some lifelong(touchwood!) Bollywood  dosti.

1.     Salman Khan-Sooraj Barjatya: When Salman Khan broke down at Sooraj Barjatya’s cousin Rajjat’s memorial meeting it was made clear to the world once and for all that these two are friends share a closeness far beyond work.Sure, Salman hurt Sooraj with the ‘black buck’ incident during the shooting of Hum Saath SaathHain. But we hurt only the ones who matter to us.And the two did not work together for 14 years. But the unspoken bond between the softspoken gentle unassuming director and  the flamboyant superstar remained. Sooraj once told me, “Salman is like my own brother.We share a bonding that goes beyond the films that we work in together.”  While one goes to sleep at the time that other wakes up, the two spiritually bonded friends  even resembled each other physically during the making of Hum Aapke Hain Koun. The character ‘Prem’ thatSalman plays in Sooraj’s films is actually the director’s alter ego. And when Hrithik Roshan tried to play him in Sooraj’s Main Prem Ki Deewani Hoon, disaster struck.There is only one Prem in Sooraj Barajatya’s cinema.

Salman Khan-Sooraj Barjatya
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2.     Rakesh Roshan-Jeetendra: The two , often joined by Rishi Kapoor, met every single evening over drinks and gossip sessions until some years ago when family obligations made the daily bonding difficult.  But Rakesh Roshan and Jeetendra still meet. “We’re been friends for over 30 years . Our friendship has nothing to do with work,” says Rakesh. Sadly their children (Jeetendra’s Tusshar and Ekta, Rakesh’s Hrithik and Sunaina) do not share their fathers’ mutual affection.

Rakesh Roshan-Jeetendra
Rakesh Roshan-Jeetendra

3. Farhan Akhtar-Ritesh Sidhwani: Friends first , business partners later. Farhan and Ritesh contuinue to work and bond together , although they lead separate lives. “We don’t have to meet every day .We are not married to one another. We’ve separate lives. But we’ve been friends long enough to not let vested interests spoil it,”says Farhan.

Farhan Akhtar-Ritesh Sidhwani:
Farhan Akhtar-Ritesh Sidhwani:

4.  Shatrughan Sinha-Pahlaj Nihalani: Pahlaj Nihalani considers himself Hanuman to Shatrughan Sinha . Indeed he has been a loyal and trusted friend to not just the Sinha scion, but also his entire family. The twins Luv Kush and superstar-daughter Sonakshi spent many hours of their growing years in Pahlaj Uncle’s lap.  SaysPahlaj, “We may not meet every day due to our killing schedules. But the minute he needs me I am there. We do not have to talk about our friendship. It is there , like the air we breathe,” says Pahlaj emotionally.


5.  Asha Parekh-Shammi: The character actress Shammi is now 86, unable to hear or walk properly. But best friend Asha Parekh looks out for her old(in more ways than one) pal, Says Ashaji, “Shammi Aunty—I call her that because she’s much older to me—is no longer able to move out of her home. It is difficult to have a conversation with her. But she is been my friend for 50 years.We don’t have to talk to each other to communicate.She knows I am there for her.”

Asha Parekh-Shammi
Asha Parekh-Shammi
6. Abhishek Bachchan-Goldie Behl While Abhishek’s Dad doesn’t really have any best friends except his own son, Abhishek is a buddy’s buddy. Outgoing and loyal, Abhishek’s friendship with filmmaker Goldie Behl has lasted since their childhood and outlasted two thundering flops that Goldie directed with Abhishek. “I don’t care whether the films with Goldie work or not.Our friendship is not work-based.”

7.  Danny Denzongpa-Jaya Bachchan: “They know one another from the time when they were FTII alumni. When Jaya was seeing Amitabh she often confided in Danny about her feelings. He, in turn has been a steadfast influence in Jaya’s life. “We don’t meet or even talk that often any more. But she knows I am there for her,” says Danny.


8. Anil Kapoor-Anupam Kher: Their friendship went through a dark phase when Anil did his own version of Mahatma Gandhi’s story knowing very well that Anupam was doing it. But all acrimony has been washed away.Now Anil and Anupam are the proverbial two peas in a pod. “I can drop in at Anil’s for breakfast or dinner unannounced if my wife is not around. We don’t need to be formal with one another. We are not.”

anil anupam

 9.  Rani Mukherjee-Vaibhavi Merchant: This actor-choreographer bonding has lasted for more than a decade. Rani and Vaibhavi are so close that on marrying filmmaker Aditya Chopra ,cynics in the film industry wondered if Vaibhavi will accompany Rani to Aditya’s home as a part of the dowry gift.

10  Ranbir Kapoor-Ayaan Mukerjee: The joke in the film industry is, girlfriends may come and girlfriends may go, but Ranbir’s dosti with Ayan Mukerjee goes on forever.Amen to that.




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