Bollywood’s strange print girl, Zeenat Aman was a much-fantasised sex pitch in a pre-Sunny Leone era. In 1970-80s Hindi cinema, she wore sass on her sleeve and was many sought after by filmmakers wanting to expel a badass and fashion-forward womanlike character. At a time when many heading heroines were regressive and decorous during best and subjugated during worst, Aman was a insurgent who charted her possess choice trail by unabashedly opting to play a array of released characters, trimming from voluptuous siren, bar dancer, mermaid and supposed bad lady to desirous career woman, independent and feisty princess. Some critics have attributed her Westernised mores to her mom who reportedly remarried a German male and a immature Aman’s prejudiced upbringing in US and Europe.
It was her moist sex interest and Western ways that drew a Anglophile Dev Anand to her. Anand’s 1971 blockbuster Hare Rama Hare Krishna noted a attainment of Aman in a rarely radical role, during slightest for a time. Who else could have played a hippie with such smouldering insouciance as Aman? The cult picture of her with a pot siren in hand, bouncing from one reveller to another in a smoke-filled Dum maaro dum from Hare Rama Hare Krishna has turn iconic over a years. It’s weirdly Freudian that yet Dev Anand plays Aman’s hermit in a film (he is in hunt of his careless sister mislaid to a hippie culture, on that a tract centres) in genuine life he was hypnotised by a 21-year-old bombshell only like a rest of India.
In his journal Romancing With Life, Anand, sounding really many like an feeling teenage lover, wrote, “Whenever and wherever she was talked about glowingly, we desired it; and whenever and wherever we was discussed in a same vein, she was jubilant. In a subconscious, we had turn emotionally trustworthy to any other.” He wanted to announce his adore to his new find though an old, aged crony came in a way. As a evergreen star put it, “Suddenly, one day we felt we was desperately in adore with Zeenat – and wanted to contend so to her!” He chose a regretful grill as a assembly indicate though before he could complete a 3 enchanting difference he had speckled a inebriated Raj Kapoor throwing his arms around her during a party. Anand had listened a rumours that Kapoor was soft by Aman’s charming attracts and was penetrating on casting her in a large plan he was launching. That film was Satyam Shivam Sundaram and Aman would shortly be an RK lady, a pretension that in film parlance hold prestige. “My heart pennyless into pieces,” snivelled a lovelorn Dev Anand.
Another iconic Zeenat Aman shade picture comes from Satyam Shivam Sundaram (1978). A cinematic voyeur, Kapoor put his heading lady in a white sari underneath a rapids – for a initial time, exposing and exploiting a actress’ amorous appeal. Kapoor himself saw this picture as a pitch of purity, explaining because he had Aman draped in all-whites. Ironically, Kapoor might have been ensnared by Aman’s beauty though in Satyam Shivam Sundaram, he gave her picture dual extreme overhaul. One was that he expel her conflicting type. Roopa (Aman) is a encampment belle, totally conflicting a actress’ worldly and civic persona and secondly, she is shown with a partially burnt face. By doing so, Raj Kapoor snatched divided a alluring beauty of his heading lady. Or, did that disfiguration indeed raise her beauty?
By 1980, a encampment lady had graduated to being a bar dancer. Qurbani of 1980 was a trendsetter in some-more ways than one. Aman illuminated adult a shade with a bar number, Aap jaisa koi. And that brings us to an critical Zeenat Aman bequest – her low-pitched treasures. From Dum maaro dum, Haay haay yeh majboori and Churaa liya hai to Do lafzon ki hai and Laila o laila, her songs are an anthem hummed even today.
(Shaikh Ayaz is a author and publisher formed in Mumbai)