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October 22, 2001
Subhash K Jha
The most well-attended mahurat in ages was held on October 18 at Spectral Harmony studio, Bombay, where J P Dutta formally launched his long-awaited war epic LoC (Line Of Control).
Barring Sanjay Dutt, Abhishek Bachchan and Nagarjuna, all his stars and technicians were there for the pooja; as were his friends and well-wishers. Then J P's favourite music composer, Anu Malik, recorded the film's first song.
Raveena Tandon, who along with Kareena Kapoor is expected to helm the female cast, flew down from Bangalore (where she’s currently shooting for a Kannada film) especially for the event. Kareena, however, was down with a bout of typhoid and couldn't make it to the mahurat.
"J P and Bindiya (former actress and J P Dutta's wife) are like family," Raveena said emotionally. "I wouldn’t miss this for the world."
Suddenly, she spotted Himanshu Malik in an orange tee shirt at the other end of the crowded room, whom she knew well. By way of friendly greeting, she slapped him on his back.
'Himanshu,' though, turned out to be Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi hero, Amar Upadhyay, who was startled out of his wits when the stunning actress greeted him so warmly.
On her way to the airport to catch a flight back to Bangalore, Raveena chortled in embarrassment. "I knew something was amiss when I saw the mole on his chin. I wondered when Himanshu had acquired that. Later, my puzzlement turned to full-blown embarrassment when the real Himanshu came to greet me. For a minute, I thought I was seeing double."
Raveena then dragged Himanshu to Amar and apologised for her faux pas. "It was hilarious," laughed Raveena uproariously. "They even had similar tee shirts on. I swear, they could easily play twins in a film."
One is not sure who should feel embarassed over this case of mistaken identities.
Himanshu was certainly worried. "Do I really look like Amar Upadhyay?" he kept asking anyone who cared to answer the question.
Tum Bin's director Anubhav Sinha certainly seems to think so. "In my unit, I was the only one who noticed the resemblance."
When I narrated this incident to my dear friend Bindiya, she was in splits. "Yeah, come to think of it, there is a resemblance between the two."
Director Govind Menon who’s just made Danger, -- I think it is a terrific film -- wants to cast Himanshu in an author-backed script he has written. Menon says Himanshu reminds him of Rock Hudson, while columnist-editor Malavika Sanghvi thinks there’s a dash of Christopher Reeve in Himanshu’s personality. She once requested Himanshu to dress up as Superman at her son’s birthday party.
So does that mean both Amar and Himanshu resemble Hudson and Reeve? Or just Himanshu? How confounding!
I know for a fact that some actors don’t enjoy being compared to other actors. Reena Roy used to balk each time she was told she resembled Asha Parekh. But Manoj Kumar loved it when some zealous cineastes compared him with Dilip Kumar. Raakhee hates to be compared with Meena Kumari. "She isn’t even my favourite actress. Vyjanthimala is," Raakhee bristles.
This, of course, is a different case altogether.
Both Himanshu and Amar are starting their film careers together, though Amar is a bit more experienced. He has been acting in television serials since his teens, when he first appeared in Dekh Bhai Dekh.
Himanshu, on the other hand, is relatively fresh. He spent a few years doing theatre with Makarand Deshpande, practising his diction and honing his body language. And he has a will to excel, which will take him far.
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