23 June, 2021

Everybody's Dadamoni

With Ashok Kumar, a little bit of laughter has gone out of Bombay cinema, says Waheeda Rehman

Everybody's Dadamoni
I have fond memories of Ashok Kumar. I worked with him in Rakhi and Zindagi Zindagi (opposite Sunil Dutt). But technically, we worked together only in Rakhi where I played his sister in a film about sibling relationship. In Zindagi Zindagi, we didn't have any scenes together. I remember that the very first scene of Rakhi required me to tie a rakhi on Ashok Kumar. Just when we were about to begin the shoot, he asked me if I had any brother. I replied that I didn't have any and that I always pined for one. "From today you will tie a rakhi on me every year on this day," he replied. But I didn't take it seriously, dismissing it as one of those impulsive statements.

It so happened that the next year, a few days after Raksha Bandhan, I bumped into him at a party and immediately after seeing me, he asked: "What happened?" I was confused and did not know what was he referring to. "I was waiting for you on rakhi day and you never turned up," he answered, seeing my bewildered expression. "Come on, don't joke, you didn't mean it!" I answered. "Of...
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