Mr & Mrs 55: Celluloid Magic by Stalwarts
9th July is the birth anniversary of Guru Dutt while 31st July is the death anniversary of Mohammed Rafi. Rafi had a great equation with not only Dutt but also with his wife Geeta with whom he had the opportunity to sing some legendary songs. OP Nayyar was also so fond of Rafi that he never looked beyond “The God of Music” as some of the Rafi fans eulogize him.
 
It is extremely difficult to pick only a few songs from Rafi’s vast oeuvre.
 
Here we review Mr & Mrs 55 – a 1955 release produced and directed by Guru Dutt. The movie was hugely successful at the box office. This was the only film where Madhubala and Guru Dutt were seen together. “Udhar Tum Haseen Ho, Idhar Dil Jawan Hai” and “Jaane Kahan Mera Jigar Gaya Ji” have stood the test of time as immortal classics.
 
An impoverished and struggling cartoonist, Preetam (Guru Dutt), encounters Anita (Madhubala) at a tennis match. Anita is controlled by her aunt Sita Devi (Lalita Pawar), a crusader for Women’s Rights who wishes to shield Anita from men.
 
However Anita’s father stipulates in his will that Anita will inherit his fortune only if she marries within a month of turning 21.
 
Anita’s love for a badminton player Ramesh (Al Nasir) proves to be unrequited as Ramesh is least interested in getting married to her. Sita hatches a plan to get Anita married to someone who can be given a monthly stipend for consenting to the marriage, who would later be persuaded to divorce Anita. 
 
Anita and Pritam have met earlier – but Pritam hides the fact that he is the chosen short-term contractual husband for her. Even when they meet in the registrar’s office, Pritam is silent on the subject. But when Anita comes to know the truth, she is furious.
 
Though Pritam and Anita do not stay together, Pritam kidnaps her and takes her to his home in a nearby village. Johnny supports him in this endeavour. As Pritam and Anita start getting drawn to each other, Sita Devi arrives and takes Anita away.
 
 
Resigned to his imminent fate of losing Anita, Pritam fabricates evidence against himself to facilitate their divorce.
 
Heart-broken, Pritam decides to leave Bombay. Taking a dig at the overbearingly commercial focus of Bombay and the equally unmistakable political character of Delhi, he tells Johnny, “I have chosen to leave behind the city of traders (Bombay) and move to the city of Emperors (Delhi).” Even as the divorce proceedings are on in the court, Anita is overcome by remorse and the moment of epiphany soon arrives. She realizes that Pritam was truly in love with her. Johnny acts as a catalyst to bring about this reunion.
 
The last scene of the film shot at the airport featuring Dutt, Walker, Madhubala and Yasmeen is a must-watch. This scene stays with you long after you have watched the film.
 
Many netizens have opined that the title Mr and Mrs 55 wasn’t very appealing, but I beg to differ. I think it is one of the most innovative film titles for that era.
 
Guru Dutt cocks a snook at women’s emancipation – but in a subtle and gentle fashion – without sensationalizing the issue. Kudos to him! Dutt and Madhubala indeed make a great pair on screen. Johnny Walker’s brand of comedy may sound a bit outdated today – but on hindsight Johny Walker’s comic interludes were clean, enjoyable and often blended with the film’s narrative.
 
The support he renders to the hero as his friend makes you long to have a friend like him! Someone who is jovial – caustic at times – but someone who also stands by you during a crisis! In real life, Dutt and Walker had an excellent personal rapport that they could extend to their characterisations on screen.
 
The other memorable tracks in the film are “Dil Par Hua Aisa Jadoo” and “Chal Diye Banda Nawaz”. The former was a Rafi solo while the latter was a duet by Rafi & Geeta Dutt. Mr and Mrs 55 also boasts of the melancholic “Preetam Aan Milo” sung by Geeta Dutt that was later used by Gulzar in his ribtickling comedy “Angoor” (1982). The movie also has a cabaret (not the vulgar kind) by dancer Cuckoo (“Neele Aasmani”) who in real life, splurged all her wealth and died in penury in the early 80’s.  How can we forget “Thandi Hawa Kaali Ghata” sung by Geeta Dutt and Shamshad Begum. The song was shot in the Mahatma Gandhi swimming pool in Bombay’s Shivaji Park.
 
The cartoons in the film were drawn by R. K. Laxman.
 
The lyrics by Majrooh Sultanpuri are poetic. Cinematography by V K Murthy is as always brilliant. Murthy was a regular fixture in all the films produced and directed by Guru Dutt. Murthy was considered a creative genius. Despite the fact that Mr and Mrs 55 has been shot in black and white, it exposes you to the Bombay of the mid 50s. The shots of Dutt’s and Walker’s banter in a Bombay bakery remind you of the Parsi/ Iranian bakeries that dotted the Mumbai skyline decades ago.
 
As someone who is a philogynist and loses his heart to the beautiful woman whom he has met, Guru Dutt breathes life into the role of the indigent cartoonist Pritam.
 
Guru Dutt’s nuanced acting is equally complemented by Madhubala’s competent performance. Her impish charm and childlike innocence prove that Madhubala was one of the rare cases of a beautiful actress who could also act.
 
Lalita Pawar makes a powerful impact as an elderly woman who has no qualms about displaying her misandrous disposition. Kumkum has a brief role playing Guru Dutt’s sister-in-law where she speaks about the importance of family for a woman. While in Kumkum’s house, Anita tells  her, “You have been married for four years and you already have three children. It is important to maintain a distance between children”.  Guru Dutt subtly hints at the significance of family planning here. Johnny Walker (as Johnny) and Yasmeen (Vinita Butt) as Julie too make a lovely pair.
 
The film was adapted from a play written by Abrar Alvi titled “Modern Marriage”. Alvi’s dialogues are racy, thought-provoking, caustic and deliver a punch. The dialogues blend with the plot seamlessly.
 
“If you don’t have roti, why don’t you eat bread?” asks an innocent Madhubala.
 
Later she also fumes at her husband, “Flatter me as much as you want – you won’t get 1 Rupee more than your salary of Rs 250”.
 
When Sita Devi meets Pritam for the first time, she asks him, “Are you a communist?”. Pritam replies, “No, I am a cartoonist.”
 
A romantic comedy that also makes you think, Mr and Mrs 55 is mildly satirical. The film drives home the point that a woman is incomplete without a man – modern women may not subscribe to this (supposedly) archaic view! Dutt also takes a dig at the growing influence of western culture in India and pays glowing tributes to the traditional Indian values. Too sad that we lost such a creative genius so soon!
 
The fluid camera movements, long tracking shots and intelligent use of light, shade and close-ups give the impression that Dutt was highly influenced by Hollywood. It is downright hilarious when he tells his brother’s children not to touch her Anita because being a fairy, she would fly away if they touched her!
 
Pawar as a feminist and a crusader of women’s rights becomes repetitive after a point and Guru Dutt smoking in every alternate scene also is a major irritant.
 
TRIVIA
 
Al Nasir who played the charcater of Ramesh was married to famed character artiste Veena. Veena later acted as Guru Dutt's arrogant and high-handed wife in the 1959 classic Kagaz Ke Phool. An actress known for her classic beauty and impeccable dialog delivery, Veena became a victim of stereotyping. Al Nasir often went hunting with Veena and his two children in the forests of Bhopal.
 
Yasmin (Vinita Butt) made her screen debut in Mr and Mrs 55. She also acted in Filmistan’s international venture, “Three Headed Cobra”. Vinita fell in love with makeup man Jimmy Vining while shooting for this film. They became man and wife in November 1955. After honeymooning in Mahabaleshwar, Vinita settled down as a home maker. Like Bhagyashree later, Vinita insisted on acting only in those movies that employed her husband as a technician.
 
 
Vinita was clear about her career – “Either make a success of your chosen profession or get out of it.”  She was born in Rawalpindi on 3 April 1937.  Vinita spent the first seven years of her life in Kashmir. She arrived in Bombay in November 1954, sometime after she had done her Senior Cambridge in Bangalore. In Bangalore, she had appeared on the stage in Tagore’s “Sacrifice” and one of J. B. Priestley’s plays.
 
Guru Dutt spotted her in Bangalore and offered her a film contract. But things didn’t materialize for some time. Later, Chandulal Shah offered her a role in Oot Patang.  She enjoyed acting and expressed her gratitude to Chandulal Shah and Goharbai whom she admired and respected.
 
Vinita met Guru Dutt in Mehboob Studios where the latter offered her the role of the Anglo Indian girl in Mr and Mrs 55.
 
Vinita Butt aka Yasmeen who became Mrs Jimmy Vining steadfastly shunned all publicity and media hype after her marriage. Unconfirmed reports say that she stays in Valsad now... but again no one knows the truth!
 
A question to film historians - why did Guru Dutt never act with Madhubala again? Are there any answers? 
 
(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.)
 
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    COMMENTS

    Ramesh Poapt

    2 months ago

    'mast' one! zakkas!

    REPLY

    Bhagyalakshmi Seshachalam

    In Reply to Ramesh Poapt 2 months ago

    Thank you so much, Sir. I really appreciate your feedback.
    I would also like to inform the readers that the actor Al-Nasir who enacted the role of Ramesh in this movie passed away two years after the release of this film in 1957. He was only 34 years old then. His actress wife Veena has shared this in an old interview of hers. Veena singlehandedly managed her children after her husband's tragic death. Veena was the elder sister of character actor Iftekhar. She herself passed away in 2004.

    Bhagyalakshmi Seshachalam

    In Reply to Bhagyalakshmi Seshachalam 2 months ago

    It also appears from a few publications that Al -Nasir was quite a casanova. Veena was his third wife. He was also married to actress Meena Shorey of "Ek Thi Ladki" fame.

    Dhund (1973): A Gripping Thriller
    28th July is the death anniversary of well-known character actor Jagdish Raj Khurana. Jagdish Raj played the role of a police inspector in numerous Bollywood films. Dhund is one such film where he had a slightly extended role as an inspector who supports police inspector Madan Puri who is investigating the murder. Dhund was adapted from Dame Agatha Christie’s novel The Unexpected Guest.
     
    The most remarkable aspect of B R Chopra’s directorial abilities is that he could make a thriller with the same panache as he could a socially relevant film (like Sadhana, Gumraah, Nikaah). I think some of the credit has to go to his editor Pran Mehta who edited most of Chopra’s films. 
     
    Dhund has memorable music by the redoubtable Ravi. It also has Chopra favorites Nana Palshikar and Ashok Kumar in pivotal roles. Zeenat Aman has been presented well too and Sanjay Khan looks handsome even though he was 32 when the film released.  Zeenat Aman’s sartorial sense deserves special mention – whether it is a saree or a night dress, she carries it off so well. Very few actresses have had such an excellent fashion sense in Bollywood. It is a mystery how the veteran actress managed to style herself so well in film after film. She deserves credit for her innovative styling.
     
    Veteran actor Danny Denzongpa recalled how he had to persuade Dharam Chopra, the cinematographer, to allow him to throw a plate the way he wanted to.
    That particular scene had a powerful impact when the movie released.
     
    But the most tragic aspect of viewing Dhund is to recall the acrimonious association between Sanjay Khan and Zeenat Aman in real life. Sanjay Khan, who has also released his autobiography, was born as Abbas in Bangalore in 1941 and studied in St Germaine’s High School near Ulsoor lake. He grew up in Cox town before shifting to Bombay in the early 60s to try his luck in Bollywood. In Dhund, Khan plays the knight in armour who comes to the rescue of a young woman Rani Ranjit Singh (Zeenat Aman). Khan enacted reasonably well the role of Suresh, a lawyer who is contesting the elections in Mahabaleshwar. Rani is mentally and physically tortured by a boorish husband Ranjit Singh (Danny Denzongpa in the role of a lifetime).  In real life, Khan and Aman were married for a brief while before they separated. Khan was already married to a Parsi woman called Zarine Katrak in the mid 60’s.
     
    During the shooting of BR Chopra’s Insaaf Ka Tarazu in Pune, Aman was shuffling between Pune and Mumbai. Sanjay Khan was holding a party in a well-known five star hotel in Bombay and he allegedly forced Zeenat to travel from Pune to Bombay to attend the party.
     
    According to insiders in Bollywood, he had become suspicious of Zeenat Aman and wanted her to give more preference to his home production Abdullah. Reports say that he took out his shoes (with pointed heels) and hit Zeenat with such a force that it damaged one part of her eye. Perhaps they had had a nasty argument. But it appears that he kept hitting her even as his guests who had graced the party cheered him on. Aman and Khan separated soon after but Aman had to be hospitalized and till today the ravages of the violent attack can be seen on her beautiful face. I was pained to read about the violence that Aman had to undergo under the hands of her lover. I don’t think any woman deserves this kind of treatment!
     
    On a misty night in Mahabaleshwar, a car meets with a freak accident and the man driving the car Chandrashekhar (Navin Nischol) enters the house of Ranjit Singh (Danny) to make a telephone call. Instead he finds Ranjit Singh dead and a woman (Zeenat) standing in front of the dead body and holding a gun. The woman says that she has killed her husband and says that her husband was violent and animal-like in his behaviour. They had had an argument. Ranjit had taken the revolver to shoot at her and in the physical tussle that ensured, the bullet had accidentally hit Ranjit Singh. Chandrashekhar stages a ploy to save Rani from the gallows.
     
     
    The police are called and events are narrated in such a fashion as to create the impression that robbery was the motive behind the murder. Chandrashekar’s creativity comes handy but he lies to the police that he saw a man in a black or dark blue overcoat rushing out of the house. Rani is thankful to Chandrashekar for saving her.
     
    But as the police team (Madan Puri and Jagdish Raj) start investigating the murder, skeletons start tumbling out of the cupboard one by one. Ranjit Singh was a maniac who lost both his limbs during a hunting expedition when a tiger had attacked him.
     
    Ranjit Singh treats his family members (mother Urmila Bhatt, a younger brother and his wife Rani) so badly that they are all fed up of him. He keeps using his revolver to shoot at birds, dogs and cats. Even the servants in the households (Deven Varma and Ashoo) are petrified of their master.
     
    Ranjit, who leads an insular life in his bungalow near the jungle, never loses an opportunity to fire a volley of abuses at his hapless wife. He is frustrated to the core due to his physical handicap and that he has to be wheel chair bound forever.His hectoring has assumed gigantic proportions causing intense discomfort to his family members.
     
     
    When Rani attempts suicide, Suresh (Sanjay Khan) saves her in the nick of the time. He escorts her back home and assures Rani that he would visit her daily.
     
    Slowly a bond develops between Rani and Suresh (we can’t really blame Rani, can we?) which eventually blossoms as love. Suresh assures Rani that he can get her a divorce from the wily and vituperative Ranjit. Ranjit has no hold on his tongue as he abuses his wife in front of Suresh.
     
    Things take a turn for the worse when there is a major argument between Rani and Ranjit and the latter threatens to either kill her lover or spill the beans about their affair in front of the media gathering at Savoy Hotel. Rani calls up Suresh at the hotel and informs him about Ranjith’s nefarious plans.
     
     
    What happens next? Who murdered Ranjith Singh? Who is the real culprit? How are things resolved towards the end? Do Rani and Suresh get united? For answers to these questions, you have to watch the movie. The courtroom scenes are interesting to watch and Ashok Kumar as the public prosecutor Mr Mehta manages to charm you with his arguments laced with sarcasm and humour. Nana Palshikar as the judge has his moments too. Palshikar’s dialog delivery is amazing.
     
    When Dhund was released in 1973, it was only an average grosser. May be the film was ahead of its time. Songs like Jubna Se Chunariya Kisak Gayi Re, Sansar Ki Har Kshay Ka , Uljhan Suljhe Na are eminently hummable and these compositions are proof of the wonderful synergy that composer Ravi had with the legendary lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi.
     
    Performances are avant-garde, be it Danny, Sanjay Khan, Zeenat, Palshikar or Ashok Kumar. Deven Verma as the Nepali servant provides the comic relief in an otherwise intense plot. Nivedita (Libi Rana) has a brief role (guest appearance) and strangely her name is not featured on the credit rolls.  Rana had debuted with the Kamaljeet-Waheeda Rehman starrer “Shagun” but despite her beauty and charm, she couldn’t make it in Bollywood. You could easily call her the Katrina Kaif of the 60s. She is now settled in South Mumbai. It is a bit ludicrous to see the posse of policemen (Puri, Jagdish Raj etc) who are bulky and obese. However, they have played their parts with perfection.
     
    Dhund is a fast-paced thriller that is a must-watch. It also has repeat value mainly because of the way the screenplay has been treated. Cinematography by Dharam Chopra is brilliant and so is the editing. Chopra has captured the beauty of the picturesque Mahabaleswar in the most aesthetic fashion.  The background music adds to the suspense quotient of the film.
     
    Dhund is a must-watch….Don’t miss it and do not reveal the end to anyone! 
     
    Dhund was remade years later in Tamil as Puriyadha Pudhir (1991) and the film starred Raghuvaran, Rehman, Rekha and Sithara. It was a moderate success at the box office.
     
    (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.)
     
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    Ramesh Poapt

    2 months ago

    nivedita had arole in 'djarti kahe pukarke' with sanjeev kumar, a good
    song picturised on her, 'diye jalaye aaj hum, chalo isi khushime'
    she was heroine in one more black n white movie with again
    sanjiv kumar as hero. story was about believing in God or not.

    REPLY

    Vydehi

    In Reply to Ramesh Poapt 2 months ago

    I recall having seen this movie. It was called "Jyoti". Sarika was a child artist then and had a screen name called as "Master Suraj". Sanjeev Kumar and Nivedita played the lead in this film that had a memorable number "Soch Ke Ye Gagan Jhoome" that was sung by Manna Dey and Lata Mangeshkar. This was a 1971 release.

    Anil Kumar

    2 months ago

    Great review and background information. Thanks

    R Balakrishnan

    2 months ago

    Nice review. Had seen this movie in its first week of release. And then seen it another time. Thanks

    Opportunity Knocks for Moonlighters
    AVM Rajan and Pushpalatha were one of the popular star couples in Tamil cinema. Pushpalatha was a Christian while AVM Rajan was a fervent Hindu devoted to Lord Muruga. There came a time when Rajan decided to convert to Christianity and became a pastor. He also quit films even when there was enough bandwidth for him to transition to character roles.
     
    Rajan had the opportunity to play some wonderful roles (though he mostly played second fiddle to the hero) in movies like Mannippu, Major Chandrakant and Thunaivan. Many of his movies were remade in Hindi.  In Major Chandrakant, his role had shades of grey as he played a lover boy who ditches his girlfriend (played by Jayalalitha, perhaps the only movie that she acted in under the direction of K Balachander).  Major Chandrakant was made in Hindi where Feroze Khan reprised Rajan's role and KR Vijaya, a popular South Indian actress, debuted in this movie. Sadly, this was Vijaya's first and last role in Bollywood. 
     
     
    For an actor who was so much in the limelight, how was it possible to give it all up and switch over to spirituality? It was life's bitter experiences perhaps. Rajan's daughter Sri debuted in the Tamil movie Ranitheni [Queen Bee] with well-known playback singer Deepan Chakraborthy. But the movie tanked at the box office. Sri switched over to Kannada movies with a new name - Mahalakshmi but then, later on, she too had to call it quits. 
     
    Rajan's spirituality helped him immensely in moonlighting as a pastor. Mahalakshmi had to undergo plastic surgery after an accident and understandably film offers dried up.
     
    Jayalalitha had a brief career span for 13 years (1966 to 1979).  Even in these thirteen years, Jayalalitha was at the top only for four years (1966-1970). When things soured between her and MGR, she turned to Sivaji Ganesan. Between1971 and 1975, Jayalalitha did many films but she fell seriously ill in 1976. By the time Jayalalitha acted in her last movie - Nadiyai Thedi Vandha Kadal with Sarath Babu, her acting career had dipped to abysmal levels. But Jayalalitha had already moonlighted as a writer having written novels like Uravin Qaidigal, Nenjile Oru Kanal etc and her oratorical skills were being talked about in Tamil Nadu's political circles. By 1980, MGR and Jayalalitha had chosen to bury their hatchet. Jaya also put her brief affair with Telugu actor Shoban Babu on the back burner.
     
     
    Jayalalitha was a voracious reader and had a well-stocked library. Thus the end of her glorious acting career signalled the beginning of her political career. In reality, Jayalalitha is a great actress who unfortunately never got her due. She reprised Sadhna's role in Woh Kaun Thi (remade as Yaar Nee in Tamil) and her role as a courtesan in the Tamil movie - Engiruntho Vandhal is one of her most brilliant performances in Tamil cinema. This movie was a remake of the 1970 blockbuster Khilona that starred Sanjeev Kumar and Mumtaz.
     
    Sadly, until the end of her career, Jayalalitha remained an underrated actress. However, she moonlighted as a writer and a political orator without realizing what the future had in store. The rest as we know is history.
     
    Thus, when you start moonlighting an alternative career [Plan B] life can throw an unexpected surprise at you. There are many individuals who are writing stories, teaching, getting associated with non-government organisation (NGOs) and spiritual organizations like AOL & Isha Yoga. One thing is for sure. Most of them reach their true calling when they start moonlighting as a career option.
     
    Advertising professionals often escape a burnout by taking a break and writing novels. Ravi Subramaniam is a banker, who discovered his true calling in novel writing. 
     
     
    Arjun Rampal, the Bollywood actor, has a flourishing hotel business. Acting is a part-time profession for Suneil Shetty with his hotel business flourishing. Former Tamil actresses Radha and Vichitra have flourishing restaurant businesses.
     
    Even Dimple Kapadia started candle making as a pastime and it became a serious vocation for her. Her daughter Twinkle Khanna became an interior designer. Now she is a best-selling author. 
     
    Marathi actor Ravindra Mahajani became a builder of repute after he realized that cinematic fame is ephemeral and audience tastes can be fickle. Suchitra Krishnamoorthy turned to singing and painting after a failed marriage with the maverick Shekhar Kapur and a disastrous Bollywood debut opposite Shahrukh Khan. Shabana Azmi is a social activist. Girish Karnad was more a playwright than an actor. 
     
    Rangarajan who worked in BEL Ltd in Bangalore started moonlighting as a writer of Tamil fiction and voila! He became so famous that he is remembered more as a writer than as an employee of BEL. There are college professors who do content writing, do real estate and insurance brokerage, legal consultancy services and what not... 
     
    Look at actresses like Hema Malini and Vyjayanthimala for whom dancing is not an art, but a passion. Sharman Joshi (famous for his role as Raju in Three Idiots) is an accomplished theatre artist.
     
    Mansoor Khan, the director of Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak turned to farming and is blissfully settled in Coonoor. 
     
     
    Lucky Ali, actor Mahmood's son, crooned for Hrithik Roshan in Kaho Na Pyar Hai but his main interest is in organic farming. He lives life on his own terms and is a connoisseur of art. He has admitted that he is a foodie and a gourmet.
     
    The classic example of moonlighting success is that of Chetan Bhagat. As a banker he would not have achieved even a fraction of the fame that he has achieved as a writer of pulp fiction. Even when he was working in a bank, Chetan moonlighted as a writer and today he is being invited to speak in colleges and is an accomplished columnist of repute.
     
    Actress Kamini Kaushal who recently played Shahrukh's grandmother in Chennai Express and is seen in the "Sprite Ad" (O, O, dear...) is an expert in making dolls.
     
    What started as a hobby eventually became a passion. She has directed movies for children and has even written short stories for children. 
     
    Neelam had a short career in Bollywood but by the time her career reached a moribund stage, Neelam who was already moonlighting as a jewellery designer, turned to jewellery designing as a full-time vocation. 
     
     
    Mandira Bedi moonlighted as a cricket commentator and when there were no film offers, she took to cricket commentating as a full-time vocation.
     
    In another inspiring example, L Vijaylakshmi who grew up in Pune and Chennai and for whom dancing was a passion became an actress in Tamil and Malayalam cinema and an odd movie in Hindi (Shabnam). Her comic timing was perfect in her swan song - Ooty varai Uravu (1969). Lovers of Tamil cinema can never forget the song that she danced with MGR (Adaludan Padalai Chernthu Racipathile Dhaan Sugam Sugam). Legend has it that MGR was so scared of dancing with her that he rehearsed many times before the actual shot was taken.
     
     
    When she quit movies in 1969 to settle down to matrimonial bliss with a Bengali scientist in the Philippines, it was dance that came to her rescue. In her spare time, Vijayalakshmi chose to study further instead of leading a humdrum and monotonous life as a housewife. She pursued studies to become a chartered financial analyst and when the family migrated to the US, opportunity as a professor beckoned her. 
     
    Thus there are innumerable examples where moonlighting efforts have led to great success. It is important to have a Plan B in your career. You never know what the future has in store for you. Rather than cribbing about what you cannot achieve with your current job, why not find out something that you can do at leisure? For all you know, this may open doors of opportunities in the future. 
     
    (After working in the corporate world for close to two decades, Bhagyalakshmi 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 80’s, 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.
     
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