If you were asked to name the only actress in Hindi cinema who has worked with as many exceptional filmmakers as possible, who would you name? Simi Garewal is not a name that comes easily to mind. She has been out of the limelight ever since her immensely popular chat program Date with Simi Garewal was closed. Her acting career almost came to a standstill.
But check out his amazing lineup of directors: Raj Kapoor (Mera Naam Wildcard), Satyajit Ray (Aranyer Din Ratri), K.A. Abbas (Make Boond Pani), Hrishikesh Mukherjee (Namak Haram), Mehboob Khan (He loves God), ramesh sip (Andaz), Yash Chopra (kabhi kabhie). Then there are his unsung triumphs in auteur films like Prahlad. by Sharma vidyapati (in which one of the by lataji most beautiful melodies Morey Naina Sawan shade, tori reh-reh yaad satay) and Girish Ranjan bengali dak in 1974, which was not a pleasant experience for Simi.
Always an outsider, Simi grew up in London. At the age of 15, she arrived in Mumbai to become an actress, only to be greeted with abject coldness. An incident early in her career proved to be an indicator of Simi’s future in Bollywood. Attending a see-through party and feeling completely isolated, Simi chatted with another, more established actress who came from a similar background to hers. The actress seemed nice and friendly enough. But a while later, Simi overheard the actress whispering ugly insults about Simi to her mother in the bathroom.
Simi, who was just a teenager at the time, cried her heart out and decided that if she wanted to survive in Bollywood, she would have to be much stronger emotionally and not look for friends in the film industry.
All the rays of hope (pun intended) came into Simi’s life on their own merit. She won two Filmfare Awards, for Raj Khosla. make badan and of sridhar Saati, where she was the second protagonist. His biggest success as an actor was Subhash Ghai’s Karz. Simi played Bollywood’s first bona fide female villain. Simi had serious reservations about playing a woman so evil that she murders her husband for money. The film earned Simi much praise. But she turned down all the negative roles that came her way after her. Karz.
Always living her life her way, Simi’s. talk show Date with Simi Garewal exotic guests such as Benazir Bhutto, Jayalalitha and Ratan Tata were brought into our living rooms. All of them opened their hearts to their hostess. She gained the trust of her celebrity guests. They knew that she was genuinely interested in their lives.
Who but Simi could have made Jayalalitha sing? Aaja sanam Madhur Chandni mein hum tum in your program?
A perfect hostess, one of the joys of visiting Mumbai was dining with Simi and her lovely sister Amrita. They No they just make you feel special, plus they serve the most appetizing food.
Nobody knows this. But Simi is the best impersonator in the world. The take-offs of him about…never mind…they’re so perfect even Never-Mind would be baffled. If my No just served fabulous food…also served food for thought.
The actress, who turns 75 today, is eloquent, witty, erudite and a gossip… who could be all of that and more? I wish we could see more of her on screen. maybe a continuation of joker Mere Naam, where Catholic teacher Mary returns to rekindle her association with the Kapoors. This time, perhaps with the son of his favorite student, Rishi Kapoor, Ranbir ogling?
Subhash K Jha is a Patna-based film critic who has been writing about Bollywood long enough to know the industry inside out. Tweet at @SubhashK_Jha.
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