If Sridevi was alive, she would have played the role of the doomed tawaif Bahar Begum in Abhishek Varman’s mega-starrer Kalank. But God had other plans. It is hugely ironical that the actress stepping into Sridevi’s role is none other than her biggest and only archrival Madhuri Dixit. It is a fact that Madhuri was the only actress of her generation who was considered a threat to Sridevi’s supremacy. It is also true that the two could never see eye to eye, and that the only film that was to bring the two divas together was Ramesh Sippy’s Zameen and that too was never completed.
Apparently, Madhuri was very reluctant to do a role earmarked for Sridevi, and that too opposite Sanjay Dutt with whom she has an unpleasant history. The two were in a relationship that ended abruptly when Dutt was accused of anti-national activities. Madhuri ceased all communication with Dutt thereafter.
Known to be explosively emotional, Dutt would launch into a tirade against Madhuri Dixit after downing a few drinks in front of close friends. Time, as they say, is the greatest healer. And of course, there is the Karan Johar factor. He can make the impossible happen. Both Dutt and Dixit have moved on and are in seemingly happy marriages. The bitterness of the past has been washed away, thanks in no small measure to the intervention of Karan Johar. Karan reminded both the actors that they would benefit immensely from their alliance in Kalank. It goes without saying that he as the producer of the film would also benefit.
The mutual benefit always supersedes all other considerations. What about Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Salman Khan. After a bitter fall-out and Salman hurling curses at his former friend, they are back together, with all traces of bitterness washed away.
It takes the guts of a Ranbir Kapoor to say no to Sanjay Leela Bhansali. Ranbir turned down every film that Bhansali offered him after Saawariya. Ranbir decided he won’t work with his Christopher Columbus. No power on earth could persuade him.
So much more convenient to shove all differences under the carpet and pretend nothing happened. Selfish? No no! Selfie, please?