Doosri Sita: Jaya Salvages Lurid Plot
As Jaya Bhaduri and Amitabh Bachchan celebrate their 46th wedding anniversary this month (3rd June), let us have a look at Doosri Sita (The Second Sita), one of Jaya Bhaduri’s lesser-known films that was released after her marriage in 1973. 
 
The film was directed by Gogi Anand and produced by BK Khanna. The music by RD Burman had only one memorable number – “Tu Jahan Mile Mujhe” (presumably shot in Mazgaon dockyard, Mumbai). Lyrics were written by Gulzar but surprisingly the other songs do not connect with you and leave little impact. Nitin Mukesh’s rendering of “Tu Jahan Mile Mujhe” is insipid and lacks rhythm and finesse.
 
Sita Wagle (Jaya Bhaduri) is in love with Ramesh (Romesh Sharma) but the latter considers her as a friend. Sita is the daughter of Ramesh’s beloved teacher (A K Hangal). When Ramesh doesn’t reciprocate her feelings, Sita is forced to marry another man who turns out to be a rogue. He not only harasses her physically and mentally but also forces her to provide sex to his friend. A highly incensed Sita ends up murdering her husband. What follows is a court case that keeps dragging because Sita refuses to open up and reveal the truth. The jail authorities discover that Sita is pregnant. Her lawyer (Simi Garewal) fights hard for her and eventually, Sita is released on parole. She delivers a baby and refuses to even touch the baby but persistent attempts by Ramesh makes her thaw. Ramesh realizes that he too is in love with her and is hopeful of securing a release for Sita so that he can marry her. But how could a movie in the mid-’70s have had a happy ending? 
 
 
The film has a supporting cast of Raza Murad, Lalita Pawar, Mohan Chotti, Kuljit, Praveen Paul and Sudhir. But let us admit it – the film is macabre and is watchable only because of its leading lady’s screen presence.
 
Not much is known about Gogi Anand except that he was related to the legendary actor Dev Anand. He was Jaya Bhaduri’s classmate in FTII. His original name was Alokmitra Anand. He also directed “Double Cross” a movie that released in 1973 and starred Rekha and Vijay (Goldie) Anand.
 
Romesh Sharma, the lead actor in Doosri Sita, was born in Gurdaspur in 1947. His father Brij Sharma was a film distributor.  Just like Gogi Anand and Jaya Bhaduri, Romesh is also an alumnus of FTII. He produced the movie “Hum” that starred Amitabh Bachchan, Kimi Katkar, Rajinikanth, Deepa Sahi, and Govinda. In the process, he became family friends with the Bachchans.
 
 
As an actor, Romesh Sharma’s oeuvre was limited – Parinay (with Shabana Azmi), The Burning Train (with Padmini Kapila) and Sajjo Rani (with Rehana Sultan). But being born with a silver spoon in his mouth, he had good innings as a film producer before he migrated to Australia in the ’90s.  He launched his son Karan Sharma in the 2005 film “Dil Jo Bhi Kahey” but the film tanked at the box office despite the presence of stalwarts like Amitabh Bachchan and Revathy. The film was directed by Romesh Sharma but had a weak script that damaged its box office prospects.
 
Doosri Sita had a limited run at the box office, thanks to the lurid plot, poor production values, and a predictable ending. It is clear that the otherwise choosy Jaya Bhaduri would have agreed to play this role only because it was helmed by her FTII colleague. Kudos to her magnanimity! It is amazing how all the FTII alumni have such strong bonding, unlike today's college students who forget their friends as soon as they finish college and enter the job market.
 
When a journalist went to meet Jaya Bhaduri-Bachchan in the ’80s to discuss and review the films that she had done, Jaya exclaimed, “27 films – is that all what I have done?” Today that number may have increased slightly but the fact is that Bollywood lost one of its charming and bubbly actresses to matrimony.  Jaya Bhaduri-Bachchan will continue to be remembered in the annals of Bollywood film history as the girl-next-door with a squeaky clean image and great acting prowess.
 
If any readers have any information about Gogi Anand, please share the same in the "comments" column.
 
(After working in the corporate world for close to two decades, Bhagyalakshmi Seshachalam started her second career innings as a head-hunter. She is passionate about Hindi movies and loves retro music. When her family shifted to Chennai in the 80s, Bhagya had a taste of Tamil cinema too. In the long term, she plans a book on two of her favourite directors – Guru Dutt and K Balachander. She travels across the country on work and is based in Mysore.)
Comments
Vydehi
4 years ago
Thanks for the nice review Ms Seshachalam. I am based in Chennai. Can you please review 'Door Ka Rahi' 1971 movie of Kishore Kumar and also Jayaji's Piya Ka Ghar? This is a request Madam.
Ramesh Poapt
4 years ago
sorry about gogi, but i did see the movie.
excellent fact-full article!nostalgic flashback,wow!! thanks.
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