Star Siblings – Friends Or Foes?

I over heard a starlet while attending one of the shoots at Film City some time back. “These star sisters?uff, they are a pain yaar, if the younger one is shooting , the elder one will roam around the sets and put on an act as if she is doing some great  creative supervision of the shoot. She may be having a dozen flops, but will act as if she is a superstar by herself?..”  the conversation was flowing with top of the gun expletives and there were eager listeners amidst  sarcastic laughs galore. They were talking about Shilpa Shetty , who used to wander on the sets of kid sister ‘ Shamita’ most of the times a little birdie told me! Now, the big question in front of us is, whether inferiority complex is making the star siblings insecure? Or why is it that in moviedom sibling rivalry is very much present. But, as an exception to the rule, we have many stars who are very jovial and they seem to be rejoicing and are happy to bask in the glory of  their star siblings.

The Bollywood list is endless of happy and bewitched siblings. Chetan Anand saab and Dev Anand are brothers. Also the third one Vijay(Goldie) Anand. But there was  no sibling rivalry at all. They are known for the different films they churned out and barring the elder one the other two have acted in movies which have become all time hits too. The Bangalore Khans can not be left behind. Feroz being the eldest one and Sunjay (Abbas) the second and the last one is Akbar Khan. Another one  Sharouque is based in Sharjah and is into business. Their only sister Dilshad is married to a Pakistani millionaire. No doubt the Khans are known for their temper and always are fighting with each other. Akbar Khan, even dragged bade bhaiyya Sanjay to court  over the squabble of producing ‘The Great Maratha’. Feroz and Sanjay Khan started speaking after the former’s daughter  Laila Khan got married to Rajpal.

During and post marriage the Khans got closer. Also, during the fire accident at premiere studios in Karnataka, Sanjay had started a thaw in their relationship, when Feroz had paid a courtesy visit to Sanjay who got fried with 65% burns in the fire. Still, Feroz has not reconciled with his wife, Sundari, mother of his children Fardeen and Laila. “Either you are married or happy” is the famous quote of Feroz Khan doing the rounds of cocktail circuit since 25 years!! He and his wife are living in the same bungalow, he on the first floor and Sundari Khan on the ground floor. But, there is no communication at all. During their daughter and recently Son’s marriage the couple were together, but not a single word was exchanged by them!! What a fiery Khan this Feroz miya is ?

The late veteran actress Shobhana Samarth, the 50s actress is mother to  two popular actresses, Nutan and Tanuja. Till the time Nutan was alive, Tanuja and herself were not on talking terms. The surprise element is, even they were not in talking terms with their mother. So we will never find Kajol and Tanisha, Tanuja’s daughters  talking to their only cousin Mohsin Bahl! Surprise, isn’t it? But, the ugly duckling turned Swan, Rekha AKA Bhanu Rekha is very much in happier terms with her sister Dhana laxmi and mother Pushpavalli. Only she did not speak to her father the late Gemini Ganeshan till his death and even had the audacity to not attend to his funeral, last year when he had a sad and lonely demise. He was a Tamil character artiste who did not marry Puspavalli but fathered children out of wedlock. Take for example, Madhuri’s sister Bharathi who is a doctor by profession and well settled in the US of A. She and her brothers had a soft corner for Madhuri and they saw to it that their kid sister had no problems in facing the wrath of the media. They provided her with the emotional strength which is vital when you are a national icon. Constant media attention is killing, always!

The Deol family with strong and deep rooted joint family concept is the one which is role model for every one. Bade Bhaiyya Sunny does not drink. Bobby loves his drinks, so his wifey, Tanya   and their night club outings too. Baap Dharmendra is a ‘tanki’, who can snatch the ‘Devdas’ title along with the bottle. But both the women in his life have put up with his drinking menaces and there is a saying in Juhu, that when occasionally Dharam paaji goes off booze, the wine shops in Juhu report heavy losses in business. His daughters from Hema, Esha and Ahana are well brought up and have no problems with each other, also there is not an iota of a rivalry at all. Same goes for the first family of Bollywood, the Kapoors, each knows his limitations, plus and minus points down the years and there is no rivalry. Be it Raj, Shammi, Shashi or even Randhir, Rishi and Rajeev. Karisma and Kareena’s behaviour too does not show an inkling of sibling rivalry. Mahesh Bhatt and  Mukesh Bhatt are living like friends. Ditto for Meghna Reddy, Sushama Reddy and Sameera Reddy, the eveready (pun intended) sisters!!

Ronit Roy and Karan Roy, the two brothers   who are TV stars are very much cordial. Also the TV czarina Kekta(oops)Ekta  kapoor and Tushar are a  very much happy siblings. Only Sridevi had a jolt out of the blue, when her close confidante cum best friend ‘Srilata who was her doted younger sibling along with her husband, took Sridevi to court for a partition of her wealth and  assets! Sridevi was helped by Boney Kapoor, who was her producer then and now husband. Thus she could win the case and teach her sister a nice lesson. The ways of Bollywood are very different than other industries. Full of insecurities and undaunted pressures, most of the star siblings are at logger heads with each other. But, as we saw already there are exceptions to each and every rule in this world . so has Bollywood!

Author: Donald DSilva- Mumbai