It’s often seen that right from the silent era our film magazines were filled with the gossip tales related to the blooming romance between the hero-heroine at the sets of their forthcoming films. The readers loved reading such sensuous tales which helped them to connect instantly with the on-screen romance of the lead pair in the film. These romantic stories did help in creating curiosity among its readers and gave them a sneak peek into the private lives of their favorite stars. But then there were some rare tales which revealed the dark side of what in actual happened at the time of shooting between the lead pairs. No, it’s not about the egoistic fights or starry tantrums which keep taking place in every alternate film but, something unbelievable or an unethical incident which occurred behind the closed doors of film studios.
Vinod Khanna was a big star when he renounced his stardom and sought solace into the Rajneesh’s ashram. After serving him for several years, Vinod decided to return back into the starry world. He contacted some of his producer-director friends and quickly signed a few big films with them. One of them was his old friend Mahesh Bhatt, with whom Vinod signed two films ‘Jurm’ and ‘Prem Dharm’. ‘Prem Dharm’ was produced by actress Hema Malini’s uncle and starred her along with Dimple Kapadia opposite Vinod Khanna. Vinod was simultaneously shooting quite a few films due to which he was doing double shifts. On one such day where he was shooting for a particular film in the day time, Mahesh decided to shoot for ‘Prem Dharm’ in the night shift. It was a bed scene where Vinod was supposed to kiss Dimple and later hug her, before going to sleep. The whole unit was ready and was waiting for Vinod to complete his day shoot and be out there for the night shoot. After a slight delay, Vinod entered the dim-lighted set, changed his costume and took his position over the bed with Dimple Kapadia besides him. Mahesh kept the bare minimum light required for the shoot and started the camera by saying ‘action’. Vinod followed the scene by giving a few kisses to Dimple and later hugged her. Mahesh decided to take one more shot but this time, a long one to get the intensity of the scene.
Thus, Mahesh along with his basic unit shifted their base at a distance. Due to the distance, Mahesh had to shout ‘action’ bit louder than the last time, after which Vinod followed his instructions and started kissing Dimple. The moment he hugged her, Mahesh asked for a cut. But his voice failed to reach to his hero’s ears and Vinod kept hugging and kissing her again. He repeated his action and held her tightly. Dimple was in a big shock and was not able to understand what was going on. She tried her best to seek help from the director, but before he could realize, Vinod kept continuing his act. Finally, Mahesh and a few of his assistants rushed into the sets and kept shouting ‘cut, cut, cut’. Before Mahesh could reach the main location, Vinod heard his voice and released Dimple. Dimple was in a state of shock and so was Mahesh. They failed to understand what happened to their hero with whom both of them have worked earlier. Dimple rushed to the make-up room, after which Mahesh confronted Vinod about his inhuman act. It is said that later, Mahesh made Vinod apologize to Dimple and convinced her that he was intoxicated and had lost his control as he was shooting such scenes after a long time.
We don’t know how true this event was, as it was never featured in any of leading film magazines of that time. Only one regional film magazine dared to publish this article with full details attached to it. It could be fragmentation of cheap journalism, but just imagine that even if a small part of such incident happened to be true, there could be so many unfolded, untold incidents buried within the tall walls of the film studios.
Fun Facts –
‘Prem Dharm’ took a long time in making and failed to see its theatrical release. The movie was renamed as ‘Maarg’ and was released directly on home video in the year 1992.
Vinod Khanna and Dimple Kapadia worked in five films (‘Insaaf’, ‘Aakhri Adaalat’, ‘Batwara’, ‘Khoon Ka Karz’ and ‘Lekin’) before the release of ‘Maarg’ (1992). After a decade, they teamed up again in ‘Leela’ (2002) followed by Dabangg in the year 2010.
‘Insaaf’ (1987) was Vinod’s comeback film and was a huge hit. Vinod used to sit quietly in a corner when he started shooting for this movie. He used to get nervous if anyone saw him act. In-between he lost himself to his Bhagwan again and kept an expensive set worth eight lakh waiting. He also decided to leave the film mid-way. The film almost collapsed, but after a month, Vinod was back with full confidence and determination to be back in the industry. Later he got so emotionally involved in the film as in the scene where Dimple Kapadia dies that he had real tears in his eyes as was shooting after a long break.