Both have profound similarities, even a blind can announce from the rooftops!! Each and every individual born on mother earth craves for name and fame along with loads and loads of money. How to amass wealth? By what means? Acting in bollywood films! Well.. Easy choice. He/She gets a coveted role and succeeds in mesmerizing the audience. Becomes a Star over night. Some females have to go topless to reach the top!! The casting couch exists cry the pundits! Agreed, Fine! But, the itch is so powerful and the wild desire so enormous to become famous and gain mass adulation, well very contagious. Indeed! Then, why should we leave the Mafia behind ? They are also demigods! They dictate terms to all and sundry, that they mean business by extorting and firing the daylights of wealthy builders, Diamond merchants and also the film fraternity who are sitting on millions! Both need publicity to survive. Both are crazy about and love being in the eye of the media! Love to be talked about and written about!
Since Haji Mastan, the notorius smuggler?s times the mafia has been smitten by Bollywood. They took to fancy towards moviedom and were successful in chasing the ?B? class and ? C? class heroines and bedding them. Financing movies and arranging shows abroad. Along with minting money, also they lived their fantasies!! Mafia is the real world filled with bloodshed, gory murders and movies are , fancy creations filled with gory details of several of these stories. Stars, by enacting their roles provide fodder for the layman to think, relish their dreams, live in a world of fantasy and when the show finishes, he comes in touch with reality. Mafia Gurus always have a hidden fear of running away from law. Then, why not, both the dream merchants and the real maut ka saudagars should not meet? Dear readers, have these thoughts ever crossed your minds? Yes! Exactly the same happened. Birds of same feathers flock together. And, it happened and how?
In the late eighties!! One Mafioso fell madly in love with Hindi movies ka one and only Showman, Sriman Raj Kapoor?s heroine, the blue eyed beauty, Ms. Mandakini. Her real name was Yasmin. Her father was a pauper called Joseph and they called themselves Anglo-Indians. They used to stay at Antop Hill?s CGS Colony to begin with. Hey! There were a lot many flats available for the strugglers of Bollywood. Surprising isn?t it! Even Sonali Bendre and her two sisters, along with their parents stayed at this once notorious, now calm place. Ragheshwari, the singer, actor and VJ all rolled into one babe, is put up at her abode near the famed ?Shanmukananda Hall?. Once they were also the inhabitants of Sector 3 at Antop Hill!! The list is endless. We should now see, how the transformation happened of Yasmin AKA Mandakini into a dreaded don?s mistress!!
From a near by middle east country, when the fugitive gangster started his nefarious activities and showing interest in financing movies, it was not considered as serious matter by the rich and famous bollywood Badshahs!! They took their small kinder garten disputes and got it settled abroad and flew back happily and rejoiced and basked in the glory that ?Bhai had interfered and has become the ?King Solomon?of this era and how He settles disputes gracefully, Bollywood needed someone like him, ? Der Aye Durust Aye?, Blah, Blah, Blah! Great!! and more over they were ready to part with their moolah as a percentage of settling the disputes amicably!! Imagine!! Falling prey to some one who is absconding from law .The demand from abroad started. It was a time bomb which was ticking since a long time!! And, now it really exploded!! Bollywood fell on all fours.Everything started getting routed through Dubai!!
Mandakini, who was brought up in poverty by her parents and was a ravishing beauty could not escape the mafia chief?s roving eye. Mandakini dumped her mentor Raj Kapoor and fled abroad. She acted with Mithun in movies directed by Kewal Sharma reportedly financed by the mafia namely ?Jeete Hain Shaan Se? and regaled audiences with dancing in songs such as , ?Humko cycle walla Micheal nahin Mangta, Johny Johny, Julie ka dil tum pe aya Johny? She was totally fida on Dawood and also changed her name into some begum and fled to Bangalore. Now, she started dictating terms to bollywood producers and her diktats were difficult to match. The movie offers slowed down and she was asked by her husband to quit shows altogether. He provided for her. Thus she became the first heroine from bollywood to become a wife of a Mafia Chieftain!
As , Hema Malini is rightfully called the ?First woman of second marriages? in bollywood, and later on aped by many starlets who followed suit. Like wise, many followed in the footsteps of Mandakini as well. Among them, very popular is another M!? Mamta Kulkarni!
Mamta Kulkarni , was a brattish babe. Her father again was working with the RTO, Andheri. A soft spoken gentleman and had two other daughters as well. One among them is the popular actress on TV, the ?Sonpari? aunty of children Mrinal Kulkarni!! One can say the difference from Chalk and Cheese, and from day one, Mamta was at logger heads with the Press, because she was popular for her revealing dresses and for jism ki Numaish! She became the media?s fav. Punching bag!! As per the popular hindi adage, people who live in glass houses should not throw stones at outsiders. In Ghatak, she performed a nice item number ? Koyee Aye Jo le Jayen, Meri Lakh Duwayen Payen??? for producer, director, Shri Raj Kumar Santoshi. The duo bonded beautifully. A new friendship was born. The irrepressible Santoshi went and announced ?China Gate? with mamta in the lead. The industry watchers have always had reservation with Santoshi?s reputation as a womanizer. Now, the latest development was a big surprise. Mamta and Santoshi gave joint statements to the media. China Gate was termed as the next Sholay by insiders!! A NSD graduate, Mukesh Tiwari was termed as the new ?Gabbar? to come out of the movie and the hype built up!! Then, out of the blue, newspapaer headlines screamed!! Mamta accusing Santoshi of mis-conduct!! Producer accused of molesting Starlet, Popular producer given a tongue lashing by a popular heroine etc etc!! The whole industry was agog with rumors and the buzz was that there again the casting couch serpent has begun to sneak out his head! Mamta went to town alleging all types of misdeeds on part of Santoshi and accusing him of forcing her to sleep with him. All hell broke loose. The entire film Industry was split into two!! Now, the angry Santoshi expelled her from the movie and started shooting her portions with a new starlet. Now, calls started coming from neighboring country!!
Vivek Goswami is a member of world renowned drug cartel. He allegedly was the caller behind threatening calls to Santoshi. He warned him with dire consequences and pressurized to take Mamta back into the film. Totally devastated Santoshi had no other choice, but to take her back!! But, the scheming director showed his vengeance. He chopped off her important scenes and just left only five scenes in the film!! Talk about revenge. Only his close staff knew about this. Nobody else! The movie was released amidst all fan fare, but bombed. Now, who is to be blamed? The Director, who as alleged by the starlet who was a hard core womanizer? Or the starlet who was an underworld moll?
As of today, Mamta Kulkarni has quit films and she is believed to be staying in a palatial bungalow in Jumeirah in Dubai and her boyfriend is about to be released from jail in the UAE. He was reportedly imprisoned for some drug related case .Whenever the starlets exhibit their underworld clout, they have reportedly been shunned by the Industry. Now, the nexus between mafia and bollywood is very thick, or need we say it is built with Ambuja cement, it can?t be broken!!
Author: Donald DSilva- Mumbai