It is no secret that over the years Bollywood has been home to some rather intense and bitter rivalries. Sometimes, these rivalries span over years and have devasting results for one of the parties concerned. Today, let us take a stroll down memory lane and revisit the unforgettable as well as hateful feud between Kumar Gaurav-Yasmeen Joseph Madakini)
Yasmeen Joseph was born into an Anglo Indian family in Meerut. Her father Joseph was British and her mother an Indian Muslim. Right from childhood, she wanted to be a part of Hindi film industry. After facing lot of difficulties during her early life, she got a break when she was finally signed by producer Dinesh Bansal for an epic love story ‘Shirin Farhad’. Dinesh Bhansal signed superstar Rajendra Kumar’s son Kumar Gaurav to star opposite Mandakini. At that point, Kumar Gaurav was wrapping up the last schedule of ‘Love Story’.
As expected, Yasmeen eagerly waited for Kumar Gaurav’s ‘Love Story’ ( to get released so that he could allot dates for ‘Shirin-Farhad’ ‘Love Story’ released on 27th February 1981 and turned out to be a massive hit making Kumar Gaurav a star overnight. He was the next big sensation after superstar Rajesh Khanna and became the dream boy of every girl. It’s often seen that instant success goes to the head and something similar happened to Kumar Gaurav. He decided to do films only with known actresses . Moreover, he specified that he would not act opposite newcomers.
Dinesh Bansal tried his level best to convince Kumar Gaurav to do his film but Kumar Gaurav .refused to change his decision He clearly told Dinesh that he would do this film only if he signed an established actress. Yasmeen also tried her best to change his mind, but her pleas fell on deaf ears.
Dinesh Bhansal had no choice but to shelve his film as he could not afford to sign any known actress for this grand project. This shattered Yasmeen’s heart ’. Heartbroken, Yasmeen went back to her hometown and gave up her dreams of becoming an actress. After a while, Yasmeen came to know that the showman Raj Kapoor was looking out for a North Indian girl to star in his his next film.
She returned to the tinsel town only to meet Raj Kapoor at his studio. Raj Kapoor had taken several screen tests and was tired of searching his heroine. When he met Yasmeen, he was not confident about her but on her insistence decided to take yet another screen test. When he took her screen test, she slipped Into her character with effortless ease.The results pleased him so much that he instantly decided that Yasmeen was the ideal girl to play Ganga for his next film ‘Ram Teri Ganga Maili’ ( Moreover, he renamed Yasmeen to Mandakini (based on the famous tributary of the Alaknanda River which originated from Chorabari Glacier near Kedarnath in Uttarakhand).
Right from the first day Mandakini remained tense and scared due to her past experience. The movie starred Raj Kapoor’s third son Rajiv Kapoor and went on to become a blockbuster hit. ‘Ram Teri Ganga Maili’ (1985) also became the highest grossing Hindi film of that year, leaving behind Amitabh Bachchan’s ‘Mard’ & ‘Geraftaar’, Mithun’s ‘Pyar Jhukta Nahin’, Sunny Deol’s ‘Arjun’, Dharmendra’s ‘Ghulami’ and many other films. The movie also garnered controversy because of Mandakini’s breastfeeding and bathing Scenes Soon Madankini became Hindi cinema’s latest dream girl.
As a result, shewas flooded with offers. As it so happens, one of them wanted to sign her opposite Kumar Gaurav. In the short span of four years tables had turned upside down for Kumar Gaurav as after the massive success of ‘Love Story’, none of his films managed to strike gold at the box office. His films with popular actresses like Poonam Dhillon, Rati Agnihotri, Padmini Kolhapure proved to be letdowns.
In fact, the condition was so critical that none of the big league heroines were ready to do films opposite him. It is also said that Kumar Gaurav suggested Mandakini’s name to a producer for his latest film. The producer met Mandakini and in order to impress her, told her that her name had been recommended by none other than Kumar Gaurav himself. The old wounds freshened up for Mandakini and reminded her of the hardship and pain she went through due to Kumar Gaurav. She instantly agreed to do the new film but on one condition.
The actress told the producer that she was ready to do his film, but only if he changed the hero. She added that she would rather do a film with a newcomer. Moreover, she also agreed to , lower her remuneration The producer was left with no choice but, to drop Kumar Gauravand bow down to the conditions of the emerging star Mandakini. It is said that there is nothing sweeter than the sweet taste of revenge and that’s what Mandakini tasted after signing this film. As for Kumar Gaurav this news was like a big dent in his declining career and since then he went on to become Mandakini’s sworn enemy.
Raj Kapoor had announced ‘Ram Teri Ganga Maili’ (1985) way back in the 70’s with Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh. However, due to the failure of his ambitious film ‘Mera Naam Joker’ (1970) he decided to go with a safer film in the form of ‘Bobby’ (1973).
Dimple Kapadia was one of the heroines who had auditioned for the role of Ganga in ‘Ram Teri Ganga Maili’.
Raj Kapoor and Rajendra Kumar were close friends. They got Kumar Gaurav engaged with the showman’s daughter Rima Kapoor. But by the time ‘Love Story’ fewll in place, Kumar Gaurav was involved with Vijeta Pandit. As a result, his engagement with Rima got cancelled. He later married his best buddy Sanjay Dutt’s sister Namarata . At presnt, he lives happily with his two daughters.
Mandakini had her share of hits like ‘Jeete Hain Shaan Se’ (1988), ‘Tezaab’ (1988), ‘Dance Dance’ (1987), ‘Loha’ (1987) and a few more but nothing could surpass the success of ‘Ram Teri Ganga Maili’ (1985).
Mandakini never worked with Kumar Gaurav. However, she managed to managed work with his brother in law, Sanjay Dutt in films like ‘Jeeva’.