Jaya Bhaduri rediff.com

         HOME  |  MOVIES  |  FEEDBACK
Jaya Bhaduri

Dinesh Raheja

Dimunitive she may be, but Jaya Bhaduri has managed to cast a long shadow over the world of Hindi films

When Jaya entered films with Guddi in the early 1970s, chic but torturously coiffed and elaborately made-up heroines (Sharmila, Mumtaz et al) ruled the roost. Jaya, with her unpretentious looks but palpable talent, was a gale of fresh air and proved immensely popular.

Famous songs picturised on Jaya Bhaduri
Song Film Singer
 Bol re papihara  Guddi  Vani Jairam
 Sooni re nagariya  Uphaar  Lata Mangeshkar
 Piya ka ghar hai yeh  Piya Ka Ghar  Lata Mangeshkar
 Jaane jaan dhoondta  Jawani Diwani  Asha Bhosle, Kishore  Kumar
 Patta patta boota  boota  Ek Nazar  Mohammed Rafi, Lata  Mangeshkar
 Sare ke sare gama  ko lekar  Parichay  Asha Bhosle, Kishore  Kumar
 Banake kyon bigada  re, ooparwale  Zanjeer  Lata Mangeshkar
 Baahon mein chale  aa  Anamika  Lata Mangeshkar
 Piya bina piya bina  Abhimaan  Lata Mangeshkar
 Mera padhne mein  nahin laage dil  Kora Kagaz  Lata Mangeshkar
 Maine kaha phoolon  se  Mili  Lata Mangeshkar
 Kabhi khushi kabhie  gham  Kabhi Khushi  Kabhie Gham  Lata Mangeshkar

Audiences fell for her extremely endearing personality, a gurgly, effervescent laugh and the ability to illuminate the inner lives of her many complex characters.

Despite an abbreviated-by-marriage career span initially, Jaya became a major star, acted in a string of hits. She hacked a path for deglamourised heroines like the contemperaneous Archana (in Jaya's mentor Hrishikesh Mukherji's Buddha Mil Gaya) followed by Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil and Deepti Naval.

Even after Jaya married long-time boyfriend Amitabh Bachchan and became Mrs Superstar, she has time and again bagged awards for acting in the ocassional film, produced successful television serials (Dekh Bhai Dekh), and determinedly carved out her own identity.

The often briskly outspoken actress was born to noted author-journalist Taroon Kumar. Acting opportunites came Jaya's way early. She was still in her teens when she acted in Satyajit Ray's Kolkata classic Mahanagar [1963]. Another Bengali film, Dhanni Meye, fetched her a share of the spotlight. After a stint at the Film and Television Insitute of India, Pune, Jaya was offered several Hindi movies.

E-Mail this report to a friend
Print this page Best Printed on  HP Laserjets

Hrishikesh Mukherji came down to Pune to meet Jaya at her pricipal's recommendation and signed her on for the titular role in Guddi [1971]. Jaya was a huge success as the filmstar-crazy teen tornado who reluctantly gives up her obsession for matinee idol Dharmendra as she finds herself drawn to the man next door. Jaya's art held little artifice and she could project wide-eyed innocence without a false note. Guddi's giggly, girlish character became closely identified with Jaya. Though it sometimes constricted the range of roles she was offered, it made her a star.

Within three months of Guddi's release, Jaya shone once again in her second Hindi film Uphaar [1971], another tale of a mischievous girl caught in the troubled cusp between childhood and adulthood. The film did well and Jaya was gifted with box-office muscle.

Jaya could illuminate even Anil Dhawan movies like Piya Ka Ghar and Annadaata [both 1972]. Her early films opposite the love of her life, newcomer Amitabh Bachchan, rode largely on her popular appeal.

Though Jaya did her share of commercial films subsequently (eminently successful ones like the 1972 frothy musical Jawani Diwani), she seemed more at home with middle of-the-road cinema of Hrishikesh Mukherji and Gulzar. Playing a peripheral role as Dharmendra's dolled-up girlfriend in the hit Samadhi was not her forte.

Jaya Bhaduri's Landmark Films
Year Film Actors
1971  Guddi  Dharmendra, Samit  Bhanja
1971  Uphaar  Swaroop Dutt
1972  Jawani Diwani  Randhir Kapoor
1972  Parichay  Jeetendra
1973  Koshish  Sanjeev Kumar
1973  Zanjeer  Amitabh Bachchan
1973  Abhimaan  Amitabh Bachchan
1974  Kora Kagaz  Vijay Anand
1975  Mili  Amitabh Bachchan
1975  Sholay  Amitabh Bachchan
1981  Silsila  Amitabh Bachchan
2001  Kabhi Khushi Kabhie  Gham  Amitabh Bachchan

In Gulzar's Parichay [1972], she could have been satisfied with portraying yet another extension of her popular Guddi persona, but Jaya worked hard on deciding the mannersims of an obstinate but insecure motherless girl. She struck a great working relationship with Gulzar, whom she called Bhai [brother]. He gifted her with an extremely challenging role in his next Koshish [1973], as part of a deaf and mute couple (opposite Sanjeev Kumar), bravely trying to overcome their disadvantage.

Jaya's initial films with Amitabh (Ek Nazar and Bansi Birju), made few ripples at the box-office. But May 11, 1973 saw the release of Zanjeer, whose immense success would change their lives forever. Jaya had a largely unremarkable 'girlfriend' role in the film, but playing the angry young man of Zanjeer transformed Amitabh into a mega star.

Jaya and Amitabh could now afford to get married. They did on June 2, 1973 taking off for a long honeymoon to London. Unfortunately, it also put Jaya's career in question, especially when she soon became pregnant.

Jaya's career was at its peak then. Hrishikesh Mukherji's Abhimaan [1973], which starred the Bachchans and was released soon after their marriage, was a success. Moreover, Jaya had drawn raves for her performance as the talented singer-wife of an insecurity-ridden crooner and won Filmfare's Best Actress award, too.

    Recent Profiles
Rajendra Kumar
Manoj Kumar
Sanjeev Kumar
Asha Parekh
Dilip Kumar
Mala Sinha

The next year, Jaya won another Best Actress Award for her performance in the marital strife drama, Kora Kagaz [1974]. That year, she also gave birth to daughter Shweta and her priorities changed. She wrapped up her last few assignments, like Mukherji's Mili and Chupke Chupke and the Ramesh Sippy blockbuster Sholay [all released in 1975]. Son Abhishek was born soon after and Jaya concentrated on bringing up her children.

Jaya did make a comeback with Yash Chopra's relationship saga, Silsila [1981], giving rise to much speculation. But the film did not make too many waves. Jaya was next seen onscreen only when her children were grown up. Noted avante garde filmmaker Govind Nihalani gave her an author-backed role in Hazaar Chaurasi Ki Maa [1998], and Jaya adeptly picked up the threads of her acting career once again.

Since then, Jaya has won awards for her stylised but finely-tuned performances in Fiza [2000] and Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham [2001]. Both on and off screen, the one-time guddi (doll) is now a graceful grandmother.

Design: Uday Kuckian

(c) 1996 - 2002 rediff.com India Limited. All Rights Reserved.