Flashback Friday: Reliving the Bitter Rivalry Between Kumar Gaurav-Mandakini

mandakini,Kumar Gaurav,Nostalgia
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It is no secret that over the years Bollywood has been home to some rather intense and bitter rivalries. Sometimes, these rivalries span over years and have devasting results for one of the parties concerned. Today, let us take a stroll down memory lane and revisit the unforgettable as well as hateful feud between Kumar Gaurav-Yasmeen Joseph (Madakini)

Yasmeen Joseph was born into an Anglo Indian family in Meerut. Her father Joseph was British and her mother an Indian Muslim. Right from childhood, she wanted to be a part of Hindi film industry. After facing lot of difficulties during her early life, she got a break when she was finally signed by producer Dinesh Bansal for an epic love story ‘Shirin Farhad’. Dinesh Bhansal signed superstar Rajendra Kumar’s son Kumar Gaurav to star opposite Mandakini. At that point, Kumar Gaurav was wrapping up the last schedule of ‘Love Story’.

As expected, Yasmeen eagerly waited for Kumar Gaurav’s ‘Love Story’ ( to get released so  that he could allot dates for ‘Shirin-Farhad’ ‘Love Story’ released on 27th February 1981 and turned out to be a massive hit making Kumar Gaurav a star overnight. He was the next big sensation after superstar Rajesh Khanna and became  the dream boy of every girl. It’s often seen that instant success goes to the head and something similar happened to Kumar Gaurav. He decided to do films only with known actresses . Moreover, he specified that he would not act opposite newcomers.

Dinesh Bansal tried his level best to convince Kumar Gaurav  to do his film but Kumar Gaurav .refused to change his decision He clearly told Dinesh that he would do this film only if he signed an established  actress. Yasmeen also tried her best to change  his mind, but her pleas fell on deaf ears.

Dinesh Bhansal had no choice but to shelve his film as he could not afford to sign  any known actress for this grand project. This shattered Yasmeen’s heart ’. Heartbroken, Yasmeen went back to her hometown and  gave up her dreams of becoming an actress. After  a while, Yasmeen came to know that the  showman Raj Kapoor was looking out for a North Indian girl  to star in his his next film.

 She returned  to the tinsel town only to meet Raj Kapoor at his studio. Raj Kapoor had taken several screen tests and was tired of searching his heroine. When he met Yasmeen, he was not confident about her but on her insistence decided to take yet another screen test. When he  took her screen test, she slipped  Into her character with effortless ease.The results pleased him so much that he instantly decided that Yasmeen was the ideal girl to play Ganga for his next film ‘Ram Teri Ganga Maili’ ( Moreover, he renamed Yasmeen to Mandakini (based on the famous tributary of the Alaknanda River which originated from Chorabari Glacier near Kedarnath in Uttarakhand).

Right from the first day  Mandakini  remained tense and scared due to her past experience. The movie starred Raj Kapoor’s third son Rajiv Kapoor and went on to become a blockbuster hit. ‘Ram Teri Ganga Maili’ (1985) also became  the highest grossing Hindi film of that year,  leaving behind Amitabh Bachchan’s ‘Mard’ & ‘Geraftaar’, Mithun’s ‘Pyar Jhukta Nahin’, Sunny Deol’s ‘Arjun’, Dharmendra’s ‘Ghulami’ and many other films. The movie also garnered  controversy  because of Mandakini’s  breastfeeding and bathing  Scenes Soon  Madankini became Hindi cinema’s  latest dream girl.

As a result, shewas flooded  with offers. As it so happens, one of them wanted to sign her opposite  Kumar Gaurav. In the short span of four years tables had turned upside down for Kumar Gaurav as after the massive success of ‘Love Story’, none of his films managed to strike gold at the box office. His films with popular actresses like Poonam Dhillon, Rati Agnihotri, Padmini Kolhapure proved to be letdowns.

In fact, the condition was so critical that  none of the big league heroines  were ready to do films opposite him. It is also said that Kumar Gaurav  suggested Mandakini’s name to a producer for his latest film. The producer met Mandakini and in order to impress her, told her that her name had been recommended by none other than Kumar Gaurav himself. The old wounds freshened up for Mandakini and reminded her of the hardship and pain she went through due to Kumar Gaurav. She instantly agreed to do the new film but on one condition.

The actress told the producer that she was ready to do his film, but only if he changed the hero. She added  that she would rather do a film with a newcomer.  Moreover, she also agreed to  ,  lower  her remuneration The producer was  left with  no choice but, to drop Kumar Gauravand bow down to the conditions of the emerging star Mandakini. It is said that there is nothing sweeter than the sweet taste of revenge and that’s what Mandakini tasted after signing this film. As for Kumar Gaurav this news was like a big dent in his declining career and since then he went on to become Mandakini’s sworn enemy.

Fun Facts

Raj Kapoor had announced ‘Ram Teri Ganga Maili’ (1985) way back in the 70’s with Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh. However, due to the failure of his ambitious film ‘Mera Naam Joker’ (1970)  he decided to go with a safer film in the form of ‘Bobby’ (1973).

Dimple Kapadia was one of the heroines who had auditioned for the role of Ganga in ‘Ram Teri Ganga Maili’.

Raj Kapoor and Rajendra Kumar were close friends.   They got  Kumar Gaurav engaged  with the showman’s daughter Rima Kapoor. But by the time ‘Love Story’ fewll in place, Kumar Gaurav was  involved  with Vijeta Pandit.  As a result, his engagement with Rima got cancelled. He later married his best buddy Sanjay Dutt’s sister Namarata . At presnt, he lives happily with his two daughters.

Mandakini had her share of hits like ‘Jeete Hain Shaan Se’ (1988), ‘Tezaab’ (1988), ‘Dance Dance’ (1987), ‘Loha’ (1987) and a few more but nothing could surpass the success of ‘Ram Teri Ganga Maili’ (1985).

Mandakini never worked with Kumar Gaurav. However, she managed to  managed  work with his brother in law, Sanjay Dutt in films like ‘Jeeva’.   

Comments

Why was Kumar Gaurav so arrogant? He was never a an A-lister. Its like Barun Sobti asking to work with Priyanka Chopra lol

similar to varun dhawan

I LOVEEEEE THIS hehehe good on her

Omg. Dadu in Kapoor and sons had the last laugh!!!

Mandakini was so popular in Sovet Union countries ( along wirh Mithun Chakroborty). People still remember them in those countries. As a child I loved her so much though saw her in few movies. Dance dance, pyar karke dekho and RTGM are my fav movies of hers?

Pyar jhukta Nahin was 1 of the biggest surprise hit.great acting by mithun & padmini.the movie became very popular with songs.i still remember it ran for more than 100 days in bangalore

Cannot believe Kumar Gaurav's career graph! Superstar one day and completely forgotten in just a few years. How did that happen!

Ram Teri Ganga Meri - awesome movie with great songs- timeless and iconic. You guys should watch it! One of the top 5 Bollywood movies of the 80s

Well Mandakini was considered for Betaab too,But Prakash Kaur felt blue eyed girls don't really fit into Hindi Films.
She was finalised for a David Dhawan film(co produced by Sulakshana Pandit for one of brother as lead)that too shelved
A K Balachandra film with a newcomer too shelved,She was already doing a film with Anita Raj Suresh Obrai,When Raj Kapoor saw her.
He rejected Dimple,as he wanted more young heroine after auditions.Jaya Prada n Poonam Dhillon refused RTGM,coz of its bold theme.
Padmini shot for few scenes,but she too wanted RK avoid bedroom scenes,Meenakshi came on the board,but could not provide bulk dates.
So RK decided to cast a newcomer..and Mandakini was finalised.
She was also rejected by Jeetendra's brother and an another filmmaker with whom she later worked..
she became huge star,but she had bunch of idiots around her..
Kumar Gaurav was arrogant,He even broke his engagement with RK's daughter.

Do you know why there was a fight between jeetendra and Meenakshi on set of Hoshiyar? I read about it on a blog but it did't give any details or reason.

Kumar Gaurav....boy oh boy...he was SOMETHING back in the days of "Love Story"

Mandakini's father had used her like a cash cow during her movie career , ( no loving parent would allow their gal to be so badly exploited by Raj Kapoor). He would turn up drunk when she was shooting & kick up a scene demanding money . For RTGM , the River Ganga symbolises purity , so Raj Kapoor rechristened her after a river . Unfortunately nobody forgot those scenes & her career never really took off. I'm so happy she's at peace today & found a Buddhist husband who does not use her past to whip her.

And I don't blame her for getting her own back at Kumar Gaurav . His engagement to Rima came to an end when his career went down the drain .

What about her link up with famous Gangster?

That is some sweet revenge!

Huh ? Mandakini was in Tezaab ? This is news to me

in Tezaab was a different heroine? Shock. I remember only a fair-skinned, blue-eyed Mandakini.

Yeah but it was more like cameo role. Tezaab is all about Madhuri Dixit, Anil Kapoor and EK DO TEEN. That's all. pv post pls.

she is the one who madhuri gets jealous of and anil kapoor goes crazy over

One more fantastic article by Pinkvilla & Divya Solgama. Love your efforts!!

Ram Teri Ganga Maili keeps coming on Zee Cinema and all these scenes are still shown on TV!!!

Both disappeared . So no sense in rivalry

Everyone will disappear one day,but she had last laugh.

Tezaab was in no way Mandakini's hit.

It was Mandakini a hit! If an actor part of the film, whether the movie hit or flop!

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