Men in Her Life

Though people don’t really agree to the fact, human beings are by nature polygamous, and it of course isn’t limited to the more reviled gender. In fact there are quite a few articles on the blogs of psychologytoday.com where various researchers (I assume they are not amateurs like me) and most of them at least has the degrees, PhDs to go by , bring out different psychological aspects.

For example, there is an article- Are People “Naturally” Polygamous?’ where the author talks of both aspects, polygyny (Single male Harem) and Polyandry (Matriarchal – single wife, multi husbands). But these are with blessings from society (at least of the region). In another topic “Are women more faithful than men” the author brings out interesting facts, of course common sense, if men are doing the casual sex (or may be through planned seduction) of ‘other women’, then definitely the women too have their affairs with ‘other’ and ‘different men’? In fact as we all know, being one of the ‘Animals’ that the monogamy is an imposed act, some of the articles there and elsewhere talk about why?

It is the animal in us. We might think of the rogue elephants or the lions expelled from the pride. These are forced to be wife-less whereas the powerful ones (for example our undisputed numero-uno once and still a legendary golfer) manage to keep a harem. These rogue elephants become menace to the society, and to avoid that and also considering the ratio, which is universally bad, not only in India (India is one of the worst category though), but internationally too, it is somewhere around 103 to 105 per hundred in the troubled (reproductive) ages. So keep the rogues from being rogue, and be in society and not indulging into mischief, the society tried to play safe, and gave them at least an opportunity, by imposed monogamy. Whether that helped or not is a moot question, but it might have definitely reduced the extra-curricular activities. Of course it (monogamy) being unnatural, the Darwin directed the women, (obviously unofficially), to improve the gene-pool, through additional efforts. The men were of course more than happy to contribute. The stats over there of course show less women indulging in (unofficial) polyandry than the men in (unofficial) polygyny. But then one have to ask (obviously the researchers didn’t) one can’t clap with one hand.

There is of course one basic fact brought out some of the papers (common sense, when I read that, so it really isn’t plagiarism of the thought), the women indulge less in it, to maintain their and the children’s social security. It would be interesting to know that, whether in this age of empowerment, that aspect is nullified? But that would be some psychologist/ statistician to research on, may be someone is already on job too, and that is provided the respondents tell the truth. Maybe the brain-programming of the gender(s) that had taken place through millennia is retained in the psyche. And the one that broke the program, did it several times, so that might explain; one hand clapping with many, while other hands are hidden in the skirts.

Obviously Nutan couldn’t be an exception to it, and more so in the field of activity she was in. With working in the movies, definitely she is bound to be romantically linked with quite a few men. This obviously can’t be taken as something too unnatural.

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I am of course not talking of the two men in her life, Rajnish and Mohnish and here-onward when I talk of the men she was involved in, these two would be excluded.

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 We would talk of the other men, including but not limited to Sanjeev Kumar. 

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I was just looking at her love life, and it looks bizarre to be polite.She has never stuck to one man, for a significant period. The two above are excluded, since they were the only constant men/child with her, till end. In fact there were times when she was having simultaneous affairs with different men. I could get record of her 97 escapades (or let us say 95, since two of them were very small, minor ones, in different ways). Of these I could get my hand on most, and it is quite strange.

There had been as many as 45 men with whom she had affair, in certain cases it was limited to the romance level and in others it went beyond to physical stage. And she never had anything to do with one man for a long time, continuously replacing them with another.

I am not talking of her personal life of course, which is unblemished, but of her screen life (the romantic ones, are where they die and the physical- technically, is where they live happily ever after) .. this data is really very interesting, to say the least.

Here I have only compiled the love interest (romantically involved like say Laila Majnu, Heer etc), the unrequited loves- may be to be fulfilled in next birth, if they believed, and if rebirth does happen…

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Sometime however they were not ready to wait for re-birth (or they didn’t believe in it- who knows) and went ahead — but did they ‘Live happily Ever After? We don’t know, since the movie at least didn’t bind them to it.

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In rest of the times, of course the director didn’t want us to ke kept in suspense (or may be he didn’t want some other hitch in the way if they went for long engagement) and settled the matter within those couple of hours, unequivocally, and thereby crushing any hopes, if, the male/ female viewers had – of making an attempt, 

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Of course all the movies, to find all the men she was sweet on, isn’t available on web. At least with me, whether in Youtube or in DVD or at least VCD format.
Missing the information on, 
Minor Affair – TV – Mujrim Hazir,
Pedophilic (if she had) Affair – Nala Damayanti
Major Affairs – on record (screen) – Chilaka Gorinka (Telugu), Jogidas Khuman (Gujarati) and Bollywood- Zid, Aas aur Pyas, Mayuri and Aulad Ki Khatir,

I would take Nala Damayanti off the list, since she was about 8 at that time, and only love interest she would have then on screen was same gender (mother, who was the heroine of this missing movie). So except this, in her 96 probable opportunities to lose her heart to another man, I have the authentic proof in 89 instances (74 with me and 15 others available in web- say IMDb) that she did it at least 104 times. I am keeping our Kaliganj Ki bahu in count.

Obviously one can make out that since the score is higher than the chances, she has in a few cases, multiple men at a given time, in her life (say Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya – Dharmendra and Rehman), Saudagar had three (one unknown, since she was born as widow, in the movie, then the other two were Amitabh and Trilok) the complete list is,

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Do not take a paper and/or calculator out, since this will not add up to 89 or 96. That is due to presence of multiple love interests in the same movie. This total as on now adds up to 104 and if I consider her third, or rather the very first unknown husband in Saudagar, it is a figure of 105.

The following are not taken in account –

The first (unknown) husband in Saudagar, he isn’t counted in the Nil , which should be technically 12.

Also I have not considered Rehman twice raping her (may be the only one to Rape her and that too twice? Once in Saanjh Ki Bela and once in Dulhan Ek Raat Ki). It was no love, from either side in Saanjh Ki Bela, and at least not from her side in Dulhan Ek Raat Ki, though he was later seen to be repentant and caring for, ready to make amends.

All other rapists, she had managed to make marry her, even though they might not have raped her, but others, in other movies. Except Rehman, I don’t recall any other dared/ took liberty. Some, say Jeevan, did try, but either she escaped, or Hero came to rescue. These bad persons quite often turned out to be bad husband later. For example she had Pran, Ramesh Deo, Danny and Premnath in her purse and even the confirmed molester, Prem Chopra, she married twice. And then Rehman, whom despite the two rapes, she married four times, had he managed to win her over in these two, he did try in Dulhan Ek Raat Kii, but failed to win her affection then, he would have been the numero uno at a count of 6 matching Sunil Dutt.

Also out of the list is Anil Dhawan (Saajan Ki Saheli) – again there was no love from her side, what happened was accident, as far as she was concerned. He might have been sweet on her, but she wasn’t.

She had only Sunil Dutt at top that too only 6 movies and widely spaced (Sujata, Milan, Khandan, Bhai Bahen, Meherban and Gauri). Shriram Lagoo, with the five were of mature age and roles (Kasturi, Sajan Bina Suhagan, etc) and one was in fact bilingual Paradh (Marathi) and Anjam (Hindi).

It was with only Kishore Kumar, that she had a long term relationship (three movies one after another without break- proverbial hat-trick- only the mid one saved and it wasn’t a hat-trick of flops. (Chandan, Dilli Ka Thug and Kabhie Andhera Kabhi Ujala).

Why?

The major trouble with Nutan was her capacity to excel, and thus even in small roles to keep such an indelible mark on the audience that the movie became her.
Movies like Paying Guest or Tere Ghar Ke Saamne were out and out Dev Anand’s movie, Nutan had played the love interest but with not much work than looking nice. Even in Paying Guest, all the movie revolved around Dev’s antics, Shanti (Nutan) was the filler, around which he could play those. That is one I won’t like to review in a hurry, since as a movie it was horrible, and she made it float. Anari was out and out Raj Kapoor’s (Raj Kapoor in and as Anari) as far as plot was concerned.

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In my opinion, (which contradicts with her mother) that Nutan was natural, by which I mean relaxed, not self conscious that she is acting and in fictional world, while acting. A few sudden aberrations indicate this aspect. At least two of this I had observed, once in the Anari song, where in the end when Raj Kapoor rubs her hand, she is distinctly uncomfortable of course she quickly gets over that. Similarly in “Sawan ka Mahina” of Milan, she almost laughs just when Sunil is correcting her “Shor” to “sor” again it was for a millisecond and she quickly composes her. May be later when I can collect a bit more of that, and may be other actors too, I might make post. May be the idea can be used by someone else, as his/ her tribute to her.

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Along with the large number of the heroes she had worked with, interestingly with the ones she had made several movies were rarely on a continuous attachment. In most of the cases these were spread out far and thin.When one is acting as well as is herself, by making herself the particular character, there is a good possibility that she could develop an emotional attachment to the other person.

That was, I feel the main reason she didn’t made a golden-pair with any hero. Exceptions of course were there. With Nasir Khan she almost had consecutive movies, but at that time she was just a girl. With Kishore Kumar all the three were consecutive. But with his antics/styles she was quite safe.

Though she herself has said that she read the story and it has substance, she would accept the role. But I doubt on her veracity on this subject. Now that one hereby unknown information is on media, about her being the first choice in Mughal e Azam. The choice of Asif can’r be questioned if one looks with now available knowledge.  We must remember that Asif’s eyes were on her from 1950 onwards (when Shobhana went ahead with her venture). Nutan was trained in childhood in Kathak and at least I have seen two not so bad performances in Dil Hi to Hai (Nigahein Milane – though not pure Kathak), and of course in Zindagi Aur Toofan, a Mujra, that she had to (being in the role of Umrao Jaan, on whom the story was based on, though with a non-tragic ending- the happily ever after Photograph in the left bottom with Pradeep Kumar ).

Her appearance those days, post Seema it does look logical choice. Seema, Heer, Anari,…she won’t have been misfit in the role, in looks, the acting prowess need not be talked of. Agreed Madhubala looked divine in the movie, but she and Nutan had entirely different kind of looks, one soothing and another sultry. That particular role could have been equally successful with either type of divas. Clearly the thought of a great director like Asif was for her type, and if one try to imagine, maybe he was right? Would the heroine in that state be a bit more timid and vulnerable, and thereby the feeling of being wronged carried forward by viewers? Or may be the second type of casting was the perfect one, though forced by choice after two first preferences refusal, due to same reason, one silently and gracefully withdrawing and other speaking out?

Difficult to tell, since the movie has become so closely and inextricably linked with MadhuBala, that it is difficult to imagine anyone else in that role.

However this is the first type of hero, she didn’t have anything to do with. I wonder how many similar heroes and movies are there. This one came out since Asif has, strangely, first signed the heroine, before he thought of the hero to fit the show. In most of the cases, being hero oriented industry, it would be the hero who would be signed, and then the heroine and other support cast, may be based on his recommendation, roped in. In these type of cases if someone doesn’t like the hero, or the story, no one, not even the director, will be able to tell with certainty, of what was the actual reason that she refused the movie. Unless of course there is an industry knowledge on the matter.

Second may be the type of heroes which didn’t fit into her fabric. They might be doing a type of characters that don’t really fit into her type of roles. Though one won’t find many, for example she had done with serious actors like Sunil Dutt and Boisterous ones like Kishore Kumar or Shammi Kapoor. However there had been no movie with say Jeetendra (YOB-1942), though interestingly he was in a movie as son (Maa Aur Mamata – 1970). The directors tried to make her look old, by dyeing her hairs, but the skin couldn’t lie. The age difference? Jeetendra had a movie with Mala Sinha (another 1936), Mere Huzoor (1968). The vibe though matched with Kishore or Shammi, I can’t imagine the same taking place with Jeetendra, or his kind of movies.

A third category might be which she could have but providence? Like say Biswajeet, especially Shashi Kapoor, who before venturing into the potboilers had done good movies. However unfortunately when she came out of retirement he was gamboling around bushes with heroines, leaving the serious roles for others to attempt? Manoj Kumar too, being more of sober actor could have had a go, other than his trade-mark ‘Bharat Kumar Movies”

However a part of these actors and most of the bigger ones, I suspect didn’t want to risk working with her. Insecurity? Most probably yes. These were the stars. The movies carried their names, in the credits as well as in the box office draws. No one wanted to do a say Anand, where the tall and dark (not angry back then) took all the adulation, leaving the superstar fuming. And she had a habit of stealing the credit. Not only in the heart of the audience but from the makers too. I might talk of that later. However there are too many cases, where with quite big stars, and that too not with acting disability, she could take the rug from below their feet. How many could risk that? The male Chauvinism would have been hurt badly. After all it had been (except rare occurrences) a purely male dominated industry. Even where there is a strong female role (Say Patita), still the last call would remain with the males. Even in Manzil, it isn’t she who makes the decision, it is Dev Anand. With an author backing them up, how could they afford to not only share, but pass on the cake to the other? So they must have, I am sure, played safe.

However this is only assumption, there is no record, but these look quite interesting. After back to back quite a few super-hits in 1963/1964- she didn’t get any role against any of these actors.

Dev Anand- Tere Ghar Ke Saamne was her last of the four movies as was Dil Hi to Hai with Raj Kapoor. The very next year Dev Anand had Sharabi, Guide, Teen Deviyan…, Raj Kapoor (Sangam, Dulhadulhan,…) I simply can’t believe people didn’t try another with her. And that too after another string of hits Milan, Dil Ne Phir yaad Kiya, Khandan. Not only these two, didn’t producers think of pairing her with Rajendra Kumar? Rajesh Khanna?

The movie making had already become actor dominated by then and not the production houses. Actors, especially heroes, being the draw in the box offices had started dictating terms. Now we don’t have anymore Asif, Mehboob, Bimal, Gurudutt, Sohrab Modi, Filimistan (the renamed Filmalaya was more into promoting the son, which he couldn’t be in a women dominated movie, even the heroine should be chosen who can’t dominate) they were all things of past.

The movies were usually by then (mid 1960s) already into the Soaps (like we see in today’s infinitely stretched Serials in various TV channels in India) eulogised as family drama. All with same story, with just a few twists here and there. Tyrant Mother in law, oppressed and teary wife/ sister in law, the other sister in law (MIL’s daughter) is obviously with her mother, spectator Father In law, and nincompoop husband. Or the plain love story (the third side always being Pran). The important part was that despite all the wrongdoing the husband (or the lover) would be in the right, and thoroughly wronged heroine, in the end would fall on his feet, asking for forgiveness (for what I always wondered).

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In these times the heroes ruled, they still do, with various factory heads. Then one was Rajendra Kumar, the other was the darling of Madras (now Chennai) Jeetendra; Rajesh Khanna was coming into being .. and the age of inane fantastic movies had started.

With this movies, without any engrossing stories the heroes ruled, and they might have been (almost certainly in some cases) nominated the heroines, obviously the ones who won’t challenge their supremacy on screen and suddenly make an otherwise Rajendra Kumar movie as say Sadhana movie (Mere Mehboob could well have been). Of course they sometimes came out with crazy justifications.

For example Rajesh Khanna (YOB 1942) – reportedly had said that he didn’t want to work with older heroines.

Really ? Then why did you work with Mala Sinha as your love in Maryada (1971) of course she was a bit younger, by 6 months, (11th November 1936). And at that time you were already a star. Amitabh Bacchan (YOB 1942) or a bit older Sanjay Khan (YOB 1941) didn’t have this misgivings? It is just not cricket.

These are anyway hypothetical interpretations, the only fact being, the major stars she didn’t work with, or they didn’t work with her, were- Shashi Kapoor (1938), Rajendra Kumar (1929), Rajesh Khanna (1942)- who could well have, Dileep Kumar- she won’t, and Jeetendra (1942) – most likely she won’t have, in his type of movies, and he couldn’t have afforded to be in her type of movies, he still had hopes of reaching somewhere on the top rung, which of course we know failed at.

Only the stars that were willing to work with her, were primarily actors (and perchance stars), professional, and might be (in fact as far as we are aware) thoroughly gentlemen- Sunil Dutt, Dharmendra, Ashok Kumar, Rehman, dared to come with her again and again and left their mark too in the heart of the aficionados. Vinod Khanna of course were too young (10 years junior in the earth).

Sanjeev Kumar, I am not counting since he was never considered a star or a draw, maybe that’s why he attempted, to use a stepping stone? Who knows, he isn’t there to clarify. However there was no sharp rejoinder either when Nutan, much later, mentioned the facts. He was still alive.

Some corrections were be made: I had left out (I think Wasti), her legally wedded husband in two movies (Laila Majnu and Shabaab), and Darpan her other husband, in Heer (of course reluctant Nutan’s husbands) but they count, after all there was a royal decree of the validity of it in Heer.  And another love interest in Gauri, mistaken, but it was from her side. 

4 thoughts on “Men in Her Life”

  1. Nice informative post, SBasu. Yes, indeed, the roles of actors as those who decided, it makes sense. And the others who didn’t want the risk of working with her: do you think because she stole their limelights? BTW, you hardly comment on RK’s role as a partner, and on the whole (even though of course this might not be more than speculation), you don’t try to imagine which of the men liked her more than they would let on. I know her official story doesn’t contain any affairs… But can’t you imagine some of her partners “liking” her a little more than the rest?

  2. I think now I have to go for a sequel. This first one was more of my love (statistical analysis) to check to facts raw data, less of interpretation. But as you know things come out, just from this. For example after super-hit TGKS- no one tried to repeat? Or either of them refused. Why? Between post retirement period and say Saraswatichandra- she might have been one of the heroines in most demand for serious role. Note- Madhubala is no more, Meena has spoiled herself. Who else was there then? Why Rajendra Kumar never tried anything? Rajesh Khanna? It is insecurity doubtless, they were the stars, could they afford to share or may be turn out to be the second in screen space?

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