June 26, 2002 
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Tusshar and Esha Deol
The star lineage
And pairs in the Hindi film industry live on

Dr Rajiv Vijayakar

As Tusshar Kapoor and Esha Deol prepare for Kya Dil Ne Kahaa, their second and third celluloid outings respectively, deja vu permeates movies.

The young love confection with a contemporary theme is backed by the 1980s' purveyors of potboilers, the Padmalaya banner, whose Justice Choudhury, Qaidi and Mulzim had starred Tusshar's father Jeetendra with Esha's mother Hema Malini --- the same pair that was a Chennai compulsion in many films like Waris, Gehri Chaal, Meri Awaaz Suno and Farz Aur Kaanoon.

At one time, celluloid dynastic succession seemed the exclusive right of the male Kapoors and a Shobhana Samarth, with the rare Saira Banu (daughter of Naseem Bano), and Rajashree (daughter of V Shantaram). In 1981, it was Kumar Gaurav (son of Rajendra Kumar), and Sanjay Dutt (son of Sunil Dutt).

Today, we have female offsprings of star parents --- Karisma and Kareena Kapoor (daughters of Babita), Twinkle and Rinke Khanna (daughters of Dimple Kapadia and Rajesh Khanna) and Esha Deol; and heroines --- Kajol (Tanuja's daughter, Nutan's neice and Shobhana Samarth's granddaughter), and Pratibha Sinha (Mala Sinha's daughter). We also have a Saif Ali Khan (Sharmila Tagore's son), and Abhishek Bachchan (son of Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan).

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Quite obviously, the result is a barrage of star combos for the nostalgia-obsessed industry in search of an elusive greater hit percentage. Just a few weeks ago, the flop Rakesh Roshan-Hema Malini team of Paraya Dhan (1971) saw a generation shift with another non-starter Na Tum Jaano Na Hum (Hrithik Roshan-Esha).

Akshaye Khanna and Bobby Deol will lock horns in the thriller Humraaz, invoking memories of fathers Vinod Khanna and Dharmendra in Mera Gaon Mera Desh, Rakhwala and Patthar Aur Payal.

Sunny Deol too worked with Akshaye in J P Dutta's war epic Border. Bobby Deol's 2001 fare Aashiq, Hum To Mohabbat Karega and Ajnabee saw him wooing dad Dharmendra's heroine Babita's daughters Karisma and Kareena Kapoor respectively. Sunny and Karisma also worked in Ajay and Jeet.

Tusshar and Kareena Kapoor Tusshar debuted in Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai (opposite Kareena), which replayed the Farz magic of parents Jeetendra and Babita. Farz was Jeetu's breakthrough and image-defining film despite two earlier successes.

In the pre-Hema and post-Meena Kumari phase, Dharmendra had a hit phase with Sharmila Tagore (Devar, Anupama, Yakeen, Mere Humdum Mere Dost, Chupke Chupke, Ek Mahal Ho Sapnon Ka), with only one flop Satyakam.

We now have a team in Esha and Saif Ali Khan (Arjun Sablok's Na Tum Jaano Na Hum). Saif Ali and Sunny Deol also were not successful when Imtihaan bombed.

Interestingly, the unsuccessful Mala Sinha and Joy Mukerjee pair (Humsaya), suffered the same fate in the second generation with Mehboob Mere Mehboob with Pratibha and Sujoy Mukerji in 1992.

The Saif-Twinkle team (Yeh Hai Mumbai Meri Jaan, Dil Tera Deewana), did not prove a hit pair like their parents Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore (Aradhana, Safar, Amar Prem, Daag). Twinkle's mother Dimple and Fardeen Khan's father Feroz worked in Jaanbaaz, but not as a romantic pair, though the younger pair had a tepid success in Love Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega.

A look at other pairs and their track record:
* Dharmendra and Dimple Kapadia (no hit together despite about six films), preceded Bobby Deol and Twinkle Khanna in the success Barsaat, co-produced by Sunny and produced by Dharmendra.
Abhishek Bachchan and Kareena Kapoor * Randhir Kapoor and Jaya Bhaduri (hit in Jawani Diwani), gave way to Kareena Kapoor-Abhishek Bachchan (Refugee), Karisma and Abhishek in Haan.Maine Bhi Pyaar Kiya.
* Dharmendra and Tanuja (Baharen Phir Bhi Aayegi, Izzat, Do Chor), seemed a foolproof team, and Bobby-Kajol scored a hit too in Gupt.
* On an all-male level, Sanjay Dutt and Kumar Gaurav, brothers in Gaurav's Naam, were sons of Sunil Dutt and Rajendra Kumar, playing son and father in Mother India. To confound this reel relationship, Dutt and Gaurav are now brothers-in-law, when Dutt's sister Namrata (Sunil's daughter), married Gaurav.
* Saif Ali Khan and Fardeen Khan (Love Ke Liye...), were next generation for Sharmila Tagore and Feroz Khan, who did a couple of films, including the hit Safar together. Rajesh Khanna and Babita were a hit team in their common debut Raaz and Doli, but their daughters Rinke and Kareena were incipient sisters-in-law in Mujhe Kuchh Kehna Hai.
* Two heroines, Sharmila Tagore and Tanuja, who played mothers in the 1987 tearjerker Maa Beti, were as unlucky as their children Saif and Kajol in Hameshaa. Saif and Mohnish Bahl played brothers in Hum Saath Saath Hain, while Sharmila and Nutan had co-starred in the ill-fated Ricky.
* Jeetendra and Dharmendra costarred in about a dozen films, though with only one hit, Dharamveer to their name.
* Sunny Deol and Sanjay Dutt worked in Kshatriya (which also costarred fathers Dharmendra and Sunil Dutt), Yodha and Kroadh, while the seniors had done Watan Ke Rakhwale and Badle Ki Aag.
* Dharmendra-Raj Kapoor (Mera Naam Joker), are represented by Sunny and Rishi in Damini and Izzat Ki Roti. After Dharam-Biswajeet in Ishq Par Zor Nahin and Kehte Hain Mujhko Raja (both disasters) came Sunny-Prasenjeet in the washout Veerta.
* The hit Raj Kapoor-Nutan pair of Anari, Chhalia and Dil Hi To Hai was 'carried forward' by Rishi Kapoor playing hero to Mohnish Bahl's villain in Deewana and Bol Radha Bol.

With more star children coming into the fray (Sanjay Khan' son Zayed Khan has already signed a film with Esha Deol. The Khan had worked in Haqeeqat with Dharmendra and Babul Ki Galiyan with Hema), the pairings, romantic, uni-gender or otherwise, are bound to proliferate.


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