Why Zeba Bakhtiar Could Not Make it in Bollywood - Blast from the Past
Pakistani actress Zeba Bakhtiar had got a big break with Henna but could never strike it big in the industry
The great Raj Kapoor’s dream project Henna was an Indo-Pak love story where an Indian boy drifts into Pakistan and falls in love with a Pakistani girl. And here’s why Raj Saab would have never been able to make the film today were he alive: he was adamant that only a Pakistani girl play the title role.
This would be impossible in today’s day and age, given the circumstances. But back in the 1990s, the border between India and Pakistan was far more pliable. Raj Saab was looking for his Henna in Pakistan. His first choice was the singer Nazia Haasan. Raj saab was very close to Nazia’s family and kept insisting Nazia was his Henna. But she just not interested.
The Showman then zeroed in on Zeba Bakhtiar. But before Raj Saab could shoot his dream project, he passed away leaving the project in the hands of his elder son Randhir Kapoor. Apparently, Zeba gave Randhir a really tough time during the shooting.
Says a source, “She would disappear for long periods. Any time she felt like going back home to Pakistan she did just that, without caring about the disrupted schedules, etc. On top of her erratic work methods, she was also a very limited actress. Randhir Kapoor somehow managed to complete the film. But he never directed another film again.”
As for Zeba, she made no headway in Bollywood in spite of Henna proving to be a superhit. A couple of films like Stuntman and Jai Vikranta that she signed during the shooting of Henna were somehow completed. A major film that Zeba signed during Henna was titled Nargis where she played the title role. Nargis was never released in spite of being completed. Zeba’s career in Hindi films ended all too soon.