Mar 20, 2011, 08.35am IST
The young Bollywood buff might just remember him as the conscientious theatre actor who helps a bunch of youngsters get even with a real estate shark in the film, “Khosla Ka Ghosla”. But for many older Hindi movie fans, Navin Nischol, who died of a heart attack on his way to Pune on Saturday, was an endearing 1970s star who promised much more than he finally delivered.
In early 1970s Bollywood, Nischol was hot and happening. He was the dapper, guitar-strumming guy who serenaded heroine Yogita Bali with that unlikely Madan Mohan composition, Yoon na sharma phaila de apni gori gori bahein in “Parwana”. An envious Amitabh Bachchan, who played a villain in the film, looked on. The year was 1971 when Rajesh Khanna was the box-office demi-god but Nischol became the new kid in town after delivering a box-office smash with director Mohan Segal’s “Sawan Bhadon” (1970). Both Nischol and his leading lady Rekha made their debut in the movie.
In the next couple years, the gold medal winner from Pune’s FTII played the leading role in a clutch of money-spinners. Director Brij’s comedy ” Victoria No. 203″ was among the biggest hits of 1972 though the veteran pair of Ashok Kumar-Pran cornered credit for the film’s success. In 1973, with winners like “Hanste Zakhm”, “Dharma and Dhund” (a special appearance), Nischol shone brightest among a clutch of contemporaries such as Vijay Arora, Romesh Sharma, Vinod Mehra, Mahendra Sandhu and Anil Dhawan.
But like the rest, Nischol was destined to be a shooting star. Soon, his films started bombing with alacrity. His boyish charm wasn’t suitable for the action yarns that were rapidly becoming the rage. Nischol’s attempts to swim with the tide in films like the swordfight-filled Zorro and the action-thriller “Aafat” flopped as his career went into free fall.
Some of his performances earned critical acclaim though. His portrayal of a moody businessman in Rajshri Production’s “Ek Baar Kaho” earned rave reviews. He was also appreciated for his performance as a cop in the Ramsay Brothers suspense thriller, “Saboot”. But his only major success in the 1980s came in Manmohan Desai’s multi-starrer, “Desh Premee”. The solo hit eluded him. The actor enjoyed a second run of success in television with the hit sitcom, “Dekh Bhai Dekh”, where he played one of the few sensible members in a zany household. And his prolonged toe-sucking of Rekha in one of the most erotic scenes in Hindi cinema went a long way in ensuring the surprise success of Basu Bhattacharya’s “Aastha” (1997).
Nischol, 65, kept doing films and serials but protracted marital problems drained him out with the last few years being the worst. In 2007, he was charged with abetting wife Geetanjali’s suicide. He was acquitted later. Last year, he made a comeback of sorts playing hero Imran Khan’s father in “Break Ke Baad”. But perhaps he was already beyond repair.
In his prime, the actor was lucky to have mouthed some of the finest Bollywood melodies on celluloid like Raat kali ek khwab mein aayee (Buddha Mil Gaya, 1971), Simti si sharmayee si (Parwana) and Maine kuchch khoya hai, maine kuchch paya hai (Mere Sajna, 1975). He also drove a taxi with Priya Rajvansh by his side, and crooned the immortal melody, Tum jo mil gaye ho (Hanste Zakhm, 1973). Ironically, Navin Nischol also died in
Navin Nischol was born on March 18th, 1946 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navin_Nischol
March 18th, 1946
3 + 18 = 21 = his core number = Universally appreciated. Timeless classic.