From the Jacket
Hema Malini, the quintessential 'Dream Girl' of Hindi cinema has truly nurtured a dream, and followed it to its realization. After being unceremoniously dropped from her first Tamil film as the director felt that she didn't have 'star quality'. Hema signed the Hindi film she was offered opposite Raj Kapoor. Just eighteen, she soon conquered the hearts of all moviegoers with her beauty, grace and charisma. From Johnny Mera Naam to sholay, from Meera to Baghbaan, she has portrayed a diverse range of characters that will always remain a part of the film legend.
Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Sanjeev Kumar
She worked with all the leading stars, but it was with Dharmendra that the chemistry on screen was palpable. The special bond she shared with Dharmendra set the rumour mills buzzing and defying all conventions, Hema married her jat hero in May 1980. Striking a perfect balance between her personal and professional life, Hema maintains a dignity about the little world she shares with daughter Esha and Ahana.
This intimate portrayal, the first authorized biography, by Bhawana Somaaya is a result of her long years of association with Hema as a film journalist and critic. Hema speaks to Bhawana more candidly than ever before about her life, with and without Dharmendra, her children, her mother and her twin passions of dance and acting.
A writer-journalist and film-critic, Bhawana Somaaya is the recipient of the Mahila Shiromani Award (1990) for her contribution to the field of journalism and her various prominent titles published over the years. She has regularly contributed to various columns in Sunday observer, Afternoon, Janmabhoomi Pravasi, Hindustan Times. The Hindu, The Pioneer and the News time. Author of well known titles like Amitabh Bachchan-The Legend, Salaam Bollywood, Take-25, The Story so far and cinema: Images and Issues, Somaaya is currently the editor of Screen, the extremely popular film weekly from the Indian Express Group.
Back Of The Book
'There are no doubts that in the history of Hindi cinema Hema Malini has had the longest reign as a number one star. No heroine before or after her has enjoyed her position or power despite several limitations and hurdles she has pushed herself to the optimum level to explore varied mediums like television, direction and at the moment Parliament.'-Gulzar
'We value opportunities only in retrospect. When I was doing films, it was never with the intention that they could turn out to be milestones someday. At that point I was so caught up with the pressures of day-to-day shooting, of make-up
that it is only now that I realize how fortunate I have been. Films today have little emphasis on the story
the location, costumes, presentation are exotic
but the roles are far from memorable.'- Hema Malini.
To agree to a biography reflects a state of mind. It means you are ready to reflect on your past actions. Part of me was ready for the exercise for I believed that not analyzing meant escaping. Unless I'm able to accept myself with all my inadequacies, how can I, in all sincerity, complet my relationships with my dear ones? My daughters insisted that I should. At least this way they could connect with all that happened to me when they were not a part of my life.
I bided my time, asked myself if I was willing to share my private world with strangers
I felt hesitant. Connecting with your fans via your films is one thing and exposing your heartbreaks and the struggle that made the dream possible quite another. Time went by
Then one evening, as I was driving to my new home in Goregaon, I saw the crimson sun dive into the sea. The moment was a reminder that the best of things have to end sometime. Something resolved for me that moment
I had made up my mind
My mother always said that we assume that we make decisions. But it is destiny all the time that holds our finger and leads us to our karma
I would not have been able to achieve all I did in my life and career without the passion and devotion of one woman, my mother. She has been the signal of all my turning points, both on celluloid as well as on stage. Before I plunged into the final decision of unveiling the varied phases of my life via this book, I needed to seek her approval. As always, she surprised me with her candour. 'You should have done it a long time ago
And you need not be scared of people's reactions because you can do it your way, the way you always have.'
I guess that's what I've done, spoken from the heart. This one is for you Amma
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