Seema Kapoor: The Sizzling Life of the '70s Pin-Up Girl Who Vanished From Bollywood

Seema Kapoor: The Sizzling Life of the '70s Pin-Up Girl Who Vanished From Bollywood

She was a contemporary of Zeenat Aman and Parveen Babi but could never strike it big
Seema Kapoor: The Sizzling Life of the '70s Pin-Up Girl Who Vanished From Bollywood

She doesn’t exist today. Like several other adult actresses and models of the past, Seema Kapoor has vanished into oblivion. A Google search of her name doesn’t yield a single result. There is no footprint of her anywhere.

Seema Kapoor is nowhere to be seen today. But here, we are going back to the time when she thrived and captured the hearts of men in the ‘70s. This was the era when every magazine used her pictures, especially Debonair, the adult magazine edited by famous journalist Vinod Mehta. She was hugely popular and continued to be in demand through the mid-70s before, suddenly falling off the radar. As is common in showbiz, she was quickly replaced by somebody else. However, veteran photographer NK Sareen didn’t forget her.

It was he who shot the maximum number of photos and featured her on the covers of numerous magazines, both English and regional. “I was introduced to Seema Kapoor by the editor of a film magazine. By then, she had already made a name for herself as a glamour model. She was very fair but when I saw her for the first time, she looked rather ordinary,” says Sareen.

However, Sareen thought that he would still give it a shot because he had promised his editor friend that he would shoot her. The first meeting, as Sareen says, was a warm one. “She received me with a lot of enthusiasm. She then asked me to wait for a few minutes. She came out of her home, went up to her car, opened the left door of her Fiat for me and occupied the driver's seat herself. She then removed her shoes and started driving barefeet. As she drove, she asked what kind of pictures I wanted to shoot. But before I could utter a word, she told me she would like to pose for only glamorous images because those were the ones that were in demand,” Sareen adds.

Then, says Sareen, came the trick question. “She gave me a mischievous smile, named another editor and said, ‘He says I have a million dollar body, what do you think?’ I was not expecting such a direct and brazen question and neither did I know how to answer her,” Sareen recalls.

They went to Madh Island and shot some sizzling pictures. And predictably, nobody at Debonair could say no to the shoot including Vinod Mehta. “She made two Debonair covers and was later featured in an extensive article shot especially for the magazine. She made it to several magazine covers one after the other. An English weekly from Delhi was launched with her picture on the cover and the second issue carried her on the cover again. Later, my pictures of Seema were used by several publications in Hindi, Gujarati, Malayalam, Bengali and other regional languages,” Sareen adds. Her pictures were sought-after and she was the ultimate pin-up girl, fuelling the fantasies of many men.

Seema continued to charm, shock and beguile a conservative nation and even acted in what would be considered some B and C grade movies before suddenly falling of the radar. Just as she had entered the industry, she disappeared. Today Sareen doesn’t know where she is and says that he has lost her number.

Maybe, Seema Kapoor, the lost glamour girl of the seventies and eighties would prefer to remain lost and anonymous.

Interestingly, she was a contemporary of Zeenat Aman and Parveen Babi, the two sizzlers who achieved immense fame and popularity in Bollywood with their sex appeal and glamour quotient. They made a name for themselves as actresses and dancers but Seema, despite being as stunning, could never go beyond the B or C movies and magazine covers. Perhaps it was because she was neither as polished or sophisticated or well educated like them. Moreover, Bollywood was notoriously clannish (even more than today) and it was impossible, perhaps, for someone like her to break into the big league. But for the brief time she was present in the movie industry, she ruled the roost, albeit through her pictures and as a fantasy object for men.

Take a look at some of her pictures:

Pics provided by NK Sareen

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