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Remembering Navin Nischol

Last updated on: March 21, 2011 19:00 IST

Remembering Navin Nischol

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The fact that he was a gold medalist from Film and Television Institute of India gave Navin Nischol enough confidence to try his luck in the Hindi film industry. 

With his strapping good looks and romantic hero persona, it wasn't all that hard to do and the star enjoyed a rather impressive first few years. 

Although he couldn't sustain that level of popularity for too long, Nischol was pragmatic enough to make a switch from leading man of ho-hum films to supporting roles in meaty dramas.

Bollywood lost the affable looking actor on March 19. Rediff.com pays a tribute to the veteran by listing some of the highlights of his career.


Image: Navin Nischol

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Sawan Bhadon

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This 1970 over-the-top musical potboiler marked Nischol's debut, along with Rekha, in Hindi films.

Sawan Bhadon is best remembered for a super-lean Nischol who shook a leg and wooed his memorably gawky heroine with the help of catchy ditties like Kaan mein jhumka, chaal mein thumka.

Despite the oddity of it all, the movie was a success.


Image: A scene from Sawan Bhadon

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Parwana

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Before Zanjeer came out, Amitabh Bachchan was still struggling to find foothold in the industry. Meanwhile, Nischol was already an established name.

The duo starred together in Jyoti Swaroop's noir thriller, Parwana wherein Nischol plas Mr Nice Guy against Big B's baddie.

Image: A scene from Parwana

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Buddha Mil Gaya

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Like his colleagues, Nischol too had the opportunity to work with the acclaimed filmmaker Hrishikesh Mukherjee with Buddha Mil Gaya.

A fun 'n' thrill packed entertainer, Buddha Mil Gaya boasts of a mellifluous soundtrack by R D Burman, featuring enduring hits like Raat kali ek khwab mein, Bhali bhali si ek surat and Aayo kahan se Ghanshyam.

Image: A scene from Buddha Mil Gaya

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Victoria No 203

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Although the implausible frolic in Victoria No 203 is woven around the charismatic camaraderie of Ashok Kumar and Pran, Nischol and his love interest Saira Banu lend the proceedings enough charm and credibility to make this full-on fluff a lot less crazy than it sounds.

Image: A scene from Victoria No 203

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Dhund

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Inspired by Agatha Christie's detective play, The Unexpected Guest, B R Chopra's Dhund stars Nischol as a sympathetic plotter who comes to Zeenat Aman's rescue in the middle of a murder. 

A taut whodunit, Dhund is one of the best woman-centric suspense dramas to come out of Bollywood in the swinging 70s.

Image: A scene from Dhund

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Dekh Bhai Dekh

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Nischol's television stint turned out to be way more successful than anyone had anticipated.

Anand Mahendru's droll family comedy, Dekh Bhai Dekh, produced by Jaya Bachchan, was an instant hit on Doordarshan. 

Nischol's portrayal of a chilled-out, genial eldest son amidst the effervescent Diwans was universally appreciated.


Image: A scene from Dekh Bhai Dekh

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Bollywood Calling

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As the pompous ageing superstar faking infrequent bouts of modesty, Nischol is simply flawless in Nagesh Kukunoor's take on the whimsical workings of Bollywood.

A remarkable departure from all the sweet, patriarch roles, Nischol is, unfortunately, not cited as often he should be for his work here.

Image: A scene from Bollywood Calling

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Khosla Ka Ghosla

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Technically, playing Imran Khan's understanding dad in Break Ke Baad was his last acting job but it's his perfectly jittery delivery as a passionate theatre veteran thrown into a real-life acting scenario to teach a prospering fraud a lesson in Dibakar Banerjee's delightful Khosla Ka Ghosla that made a lasting impression. 

Image: A scene from Khosla Ka Ghosla

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