MEN minus MAKE-UP
For most people, Nadira’s name conjures up the picture of a person wonderfully alive. The image is only partly true. She is much more… A shade of color, a gesture, the play of sunlight on the pavement can exhilarate her. She is an intelligent and voracious reader, has quite a keen sense of humor and is good at repartee. Making her debut a decade ago in Mehboob’s “Aan,” Nadira has had the opportunity of working with almost all the heroes of the Indian film industry and, in light vein here, she records impressions about these famous men.
THIS is something personal. It is mine —my ideas, my views, my opinions of some of the finest men I have known in this short but full life.
I have seen, known and enjoyed everything that is worthwhile and today I am old enough and decisive enough to state:
“HANDSOME”—that’s how I’ve always addressed him. A very, very difficult, fastidious perfectionist, an introvert who is perpetually unhappy and restless. There is an unending battle between his orthodox ideas and his acquired strength in compromising with this caricature of a world. He looks at life with a smile that can light up the darkest nights… but not those that are his!
HERE is an innocent man. God-fearing, utterly humble and very hard working. I knew him first when he had reached terrific heights in stardom, and he was the same even then. He has no business dabbling in politics. He’s too straight for that sort of thing.
CULTURE, refinement and education ooze from every pore of his skin. Every line on his face is like a permanent scar symbolizing the cruel slashes he has received during his varied life, of which he has not forgotten a single one.
HOW can he ever get old? After having played lover to a bagful of women, he has finally landed up “loving life.” Every moment of this man’s existence is a pulsating experience which he absorbs with greed for more and more understanding of life. He is absolutely oblivious of the Unknown—but I will not be surprised if he becomes a saint in the final phase of his existence, and even then he’ll look too young for the role!
THE name of this most lovable and magnificently obsessed being should actually be: “Motion Picture” (Making). He eats, drinks, sleeps, thinks, talks, breathes films and makes them, too. Never satisfied fully, his first and last love is films and he sees and does everything through this one medium. He is the most determined and single-track minded person I’ve ever known. For him the limit is: “Sitaron se aage jahan our bhi hai.”
I HAVE always asked him why he has that amused, always knowing look on his face. He carries the kind of smile that is worn by a cynic who has learnt how to be humored by the idiocies of people and the farce the world presents.
HERE is a very genuine boy who has been challenged into stardom. If he ever learns the art of relaxing and developing a personality of his own—individual, independent and original —he will have triumphed over and achieved everything that’s worthwhile.
“MUSCLE MAN”—nothing is more important on the screen than a biceps. I learnt taking the light on one’s face from him. Once, when I was convincingly swearing fidelity to him (on the screen), I was distracted by the busy twitching of his biceps in the foreground. Jolly good chap and a real down-to-earth comrade.
WHEN you do anything, do it in a big way—and make sure there is a lot of noise, too! That’s his motto. Cannot be cheated, for he enjoys being made a fool of. I came close to this charming, everlasting friend when he was closest to himself: when he was about to marry Geeta. What I discovered about this man I would keep to myself, as it would seem incredible to anyone else.
HE is so anxious to convince you about his own convictions that he leaves you dizzy with his outrageously difficult vocabulary. Very interesting, acutely sensitive and a thorough gentleman. But, absolute chaos. No man with a tear in his eye has moved me more.
POSSESSING unlimited grace and knowledge, Bharat has no value for the material things of life. From whatever I have seen of him, I think he has acquired the enviable state of “Satori.”
PAINFULLY correct. As stubborn and proud as a bronze monument, Moti is ours, loved and criticised by all. He can fight (and has fought) the angel of death with his willpower and self-respect. Take out some blood from any portion of his anatomy and you’ll think you’ve got some blue ink in your syringe.
I DON’T know anything about the man. I know him very little, we hardly meet, and we never cross each other’s path (even on the wrong foot).
After having worked with an assortment of people like this, I have become a Bata shoe. Strong, lasting and eternal, with a fixed price of Rs. 3 and 90 nP. The moment I ask for Rs. 4, I lose the producer forever. (This interview was conducted in 1962).