When Manoj Kumar Requested Hema Malini To Save His Career - Blast from the Past
Two women saved Manoj Kumar's career when he was on a low. Find out more
Manoj Kumar was one of the top stars of the 1960s with a string of hits to his credit. But by the middle of the 1970s all the roles of the leading man had begun to dry up for Manoj. Still a topnotch name as a director, the only director eager to sign up Manoj Kumar as a leading man was Manoj Kumar!
This is when Manoj hit on a masterstroke manoeuvre to revive his sagging career. He designed a project called Sanyasi with one of his favourite directors Sohanlal Kanwar and asked him to sign Hema Malini as the leading lady.
Hema in the 1970s was pure gold .Anything she touched turned into a boxoffice hit.There was only one hitch. Hema was not too kicked by the idea of working with Manoj. Earlier,she had a far from happy experience while working with him on a film called Santosh. Kanwar was helpless. Manoj said to leave it to him. He drove down to meet Hema and requested her to do the film.
At first Hema made excuses and then relented on condition that the songs be sung only by Lata Mangeshkar.There was a problem there too. Lataji had a massive fallout with Shankar, one-half of the music composers Shankar-Jaikishan, after Jaikishan’s death. She was not willing to sing for Shankar. Here again, Manoj Kumar requested Lataji personally. She agreed to sing for Sanyasi. The result was such chartbusterts as Chal sanyasi mandir mein, Bali umariya jogan banu kaise and Sun bal bramhachari.
Sanyasi was a superhit when released in 1976. It is a known fact that two factors contributed predominantly to its success: Hema Malini and Lata Mangeshkar. However being a fiercely patriarchal society, the one to benefit the most from the success of Sanyasi was its leading man Manoj Kumar.