From the Cine Blitz archives of December 1983, a blow-by-blow account by Dinesh Raheja of all those extremely interesting behind the scene incidents. See what hit the headlines this month, 30 years ago!
January ‘83 began with a battle, most unexpectedly. Rajesh Khanna cornered Aabha (Principal Correspondent, Cine Blitz) at the SWAMI DADA party and Tina was aghast when he invited Aabha to Hyderabad. “I have a hot story, for you,” he whispered for dramatic effect. Aabha swallowed it with her Thums Up, and thought it was just party smalltalk.
But Rajesh was serious and Aabha was hijacked to Hyderabad. A veteran scoopist, she made Rajesh cough out the whole story on the Dimple-Ramesh Sippy affair, how Sanjay tortured Tina and some most uncalled for offrecord stories on a ‘frank’ actress’ orgies, and a top actress’ mass-scale abortions. Thanks for the tip Rajesh, but when we decide to bring out a pornographic magazine we will certainly contact you.
On landing in Bombay, Aabha was received by Prashant, Rajesh’s right-hand man and offered a lift home. Nayan, Tina’s brother, will also speak to you, Rajesh promised, and give you details of how Sanjay physically tortured Tina. But Nayan was not game and Aabha met Rajesh again at Holy Spirit Hospital. At his request she showed him the skeleton of the story to be carried. Rajesh furnished her with further details, and requested Aabha not to reveal any of his quotes to Tina, as he wanted to do so himself. He obviously doesn’t like his women seeing him play James Bond espionage games. He advised Aabha to meet Hashu Masrani (a friend of Dimple’s) at the Oberoi Towers (Room No. 3310) who would give her the lowdown on Dimple’s amorous activities having had an affair with her himself. Aabha tried but failed. She was tired of the Rajesh overdose and was at rest only when the story went in to print.
When Cine Blitz hit the stands, Rajesh turned tail. 20 days later, he sent us a legal notice, which we received on January 14, 1983. He had the audacity to deny having given the interview. He eagerly showed Tina the legal notice he had sent us. But, forgot to show her the reply he received from Cine Blitz. We haven’t heard from him since then. Though, we hear he continues to tell all those who care to listen that he has sued Cine Blitz. February ‘83 highlighted Asma’s suicide story. It all began with Dilip’s version last year – which would have gone down better with Aesop’s Fables. Knowing his version was hogwash, we met Asma, and gave you her ‘scoop interview’ (which was tape-recorded). The meeting culminated in friendship with Asma and enmity with Dilip. He told us it was in bad taste to print Asma’s version. He forgot that we carried his version first. Asma continued to be on the phone with us daily (she had no other friends in Bombay), and in spite of tight security we kept in touch. When Asma found Dilip repeating our conversation to her, she accused us of spying on her for Dilip. It was only later that we discovered that Dilip had tapped her line and taped our conversation.
Besides playing hide-n-seek with us and tossing from Saira’s court to Asma’s like a tennis ball, Dilip tortured Asma by slowly moving out of her life and ostracising her. She disintegrated, unable to comprehend what was happening around her. Her children too hated her because after Dilip’s interview to Cine Blitz it was they who suffered repercussions.
Dilip threatened to sue us, and he had the nerve to do it.
Asma, after eight months of ‘he loves me, he loves me not’ ran out of straws and as a final straw attempted suicide. She expected Dilip to be by her bedside; he threw her out of the house instead. We spoke to her at the Sea Rock, the day before she left Bombay. But her brother eventually took the phone from her because she couldn’t stop crying. She broke down and left…We still maintain if it was not for one foolish move – marrying Dilip – she was a fine, cultured woman. Plus, she kept her word and gave no other interviews. Unlike Saira, who promised us an ‘exclusive’ and finally ended up crying in every available magazine – fooling each one that she hadn’t spoken to any other.
In the same issue we had Sarika’s mother having a ‘jolly’ ride with her driver and sure enough we were right, because that was what made Sarika finally walk out of her home. We also had Bindiya-Vinod speaking on each other, but it was converted into Bindiya’s ‘confidential diary’ on Vinod. Vinod posed for the pictures but kept dodging the interview on his ‘loving wife’. Only later did it hit us that Vinod could not bear to be such a hypocrite he knew of his wife’s lover, Jyoti Dutta.
In March, Aabha took the month seriously and marched off to Vijayeta’s house. She conned Vijayeta into believing that she was a freelancer and had a message from a common friend for her. That was enough for Vijayeta to melt and for the first time admit to her affair with Bunty (Kumar Gaurav) and that he was ‘only hers’.
In April, we carried an article titled, ‘The ‘Other’ Side Of Amitabh’, which was acquired from producers, some of whom were gutsy enough to tell us, but not gutsy enough to be quoted. We however, left it open for Amitabh to give a rejoinder. He never did. We still don’t know whether it was because he was busy, guilty, or plain indifferent. We received however, a spate of letters from Amitabh loyalists.
In May ‘83, Alpana (Sub Editor) exposed the true side of Basu Bhattacharya the way he ill-treated and tortured his wife who was finally compelled to leave home. A top actor informed us of how ruthless he was with her. To cover up his misdeeds he spread false stories about her, painting her as a traitor. Alpana who is usually averse to scoops didn›t mind this one because it brought to light the perversity of a man who preaches one thing (in films) and practises quite the opposite. Now if we pester her for a scoop, she promises to get one, the next time she goes out for an ice-cream. In June, we were all set to do Asha Chandra’s School for Scandal. A set of students had been pestering us to expose her sex den (referring to her classes). Wonder how Asha Chandra got a hang of it, because the students rang up pleading, ‘Please don’t mention our names. She will destroy our careers.’ One newcomer who was bold enough to go on record, was nearly thrown out of a major film.
Asha Chandra inadvertently helped us to do this article, by walking into our office and having a gruelling session with Gertrude (Deputy Editor). When Gertrude walked out of the room after having grilled Asha, she wore a battered look and her ears echoed with ‘adjectives’ (unprintable) that Asha had used for some of her students.
Reena sent shock waves through the industry with her decision to quit. Following in Mumtaz’s footsteps, one thought. Only difference being that Mumtaz bagged a multi-millionaire whereas Reena settled for a lowscoring batsman.
July ‘83 was a shocking issue. We had three heroines speak on taboo topics like adultery, orgies, homosexuality – Zeenat, Shabana and Simi. We are sure Dev Anand will accuse us of lifting the idea from his TEEN DEVIYAN. But the three together in one room were like a ticking bomb. Because they share bad vibes. And to think that Shabana and Zeenat were great ‘friends’ during the ASHANTI days. But now there seems to be a lot of ashanti between them. We chose the mad combination because Simi is an eloquent speaker, Zeenat sexy, and Shabana outspoken. Only Shabana lived up to her reputation. Simi spoke like a school-marm and dressed in white like one too. Zeenat was far from sexy; she rightly said her friends think she has become a ‘square’ and ‘straight on the line’.
Simi had a puncture on the way to the session and kept Zeenat and Shabana waiting. The two had a tough time tolerating each other. Simi made Shabana feel worse when she threw her long arm around her saying “Hi Shabby.” Jagdish Mali (photographer) plucked out the few strands of hair left on his head when all fought for their right profile, till Zeenat fluttered her eyelashes and said, “I don’t mind any side.”
Zeenat was unintentionally hilarious. When talking on sex, she queried, “Who is the man who wrote Kamasutra?” “Oh yes! Kama of course,” she recalled profoundly. Simi, the schoolmarm, insisted that talking of sex was like talking about going to the loo. Yes, we presume talking about and indulging in sex are not to be mixed. And Zeenat went haywire, she talked of sex in historical terms, threw in some statistics, and went on to sculpture, art and literature, which had most of the actors in hysterics.
On orgies too Zeenat claimed to be ignorant. The NAMUMKIN unit however insist that Frank organised one in Canada for Zeenat to see! We don’t know who saw what! One-night stands made Simi protest, “It takes me six months to relax with a person. One-night stands? Ridiculous!” When a young actor read this he could not stop his sides from splitting. Wonder what he found so funny?
On drugs they were all hesitant to speak. Customs would arrest them, they argued.
On adultery they spoke fleetingly. We don’t need to specify why.
Finally, we are sure Simi wrote in her diary of how shabbily Shabby had treated her, and how Zeenat needs to say ‘Rukhsat’ (good-bye) to the industry.
‘Feroz Khan A Local Menace In Bangalore’ was a story Feroz Khan disliked immensely. But everyone else lapped it up and the police authorities of Ashok Nagar Police Station, Bangalore, gave Aabha a pat on the back for exposing Feroz. They admitted that his goondaism had been carrying on for too long, due to ‘Goonda’ Rao’s (ex-chief minister of Karnataka) patronage.
Feroz, took so much offence that he sent threatening messages promising to sock her jaw in.
In August, Aabha tagged along with a friend to meet Rekha’s ailing mother at Dr. M. Vishwanathan’s Research Centre in Royapuram, Madras. The stuff she got was too tempting, so she put it down, cutting out a lot of damaging material. Mrs. P made no bones about calling Amitabh a ‘badmash’ amongst other adjectives. We didn’t quote the (exact amount of) exorbitant lakhs spent on their jewellery, which she told Aabha about. It shocked us to know that any actress in India could possess so much!
In September, Rati confirmed that she was in love with Sanju. So all those magazines who had accused us of forcing Sanjay to say “I love Rati,” were proved wrong.
Kamal Haasan was tracked down to Windsor Manor Hotel having a gala time with Sridevi. The eager-beaver housekeeper told us ALL, including how she was called at midnight to change the linen and found Sridevi in her nightie. A case of washing one’s dirty linen in hotel laundries? Amitabh’s fun interview was a laugh riot, his cover a sell-out. His films may not sell, he still does.
Dimple stole the November cover and our sympathy too. The anguish the woman has gone through is pathetic.
This issue had us exposing Rati. She played Rat(i) and Cat games with umpteen producers, giving them a run for their money. The dates due to the producer were passed to Sanjay Dutt, we presume. Because she was in a ‘date’ mess.
When the article was published smoke filtered out of the ears of a fuming Mr. Roop. The industry folks rang up to congratulate us. Two big producers were furious because their films were not considered on the ‘sufferers’ list. Sunny-Chimpu added colour to the year end, with their passionate, hot affairs. We had a tough time deciding the cover highlights, because some of them sounded misleading almost as if Sunny-Chimpu were having an affair with each other!