Then and Now: What the heroes of past doing now.

There was a time in our lives when we had to queue up outside a movie hall to buy tickets. Often with our friends and parents we use to visit the most popular restaurant of the city. Drive in a Fiat car or on father’s bajaj scooter. Phone had just arrived (in case of my generation) but it did not excused us from meeting every Saturday evening for long chats.


With the gleaming multiplex in city and hi-tech cars everywhere we never realized when that time did went past our lives. Scooters are now part of history and Pulsar is the most common bike now. SMS is the medium of conversation and watching movies on DVD on our flat panel Televisions is the most common entertainment. The most popular Udupi hotel in the city is no more popular. In fact we cant remember since when we got addicted to Pizza and Filter Coffee. 

For my generation one thing was always with us. We call it an idiot box. There was a time when I loved the Nirma girl. Now I like Hutch Boy with his pug. “I love you Rasana’ was popular line by the cutest kid on the television, where did she go? I thought she would never grow up. For that matter where is Rasana?Madhuri’s smile once symbolized feminity in the bollywood now it’s Mallika’s cleavage.



There were people whom I remember stirring up entire nation. They were the only people talked about for some days or even month of years, but today? Where are they? 

Where is my favorite Arvind Swami who earned laurels for extraordinary acting in Roja and
Bombay? Where is that Swami of our all time favorite ‘Malgudi Days’? Where is that Hum Log family now? The Academy Winner Bhanu Athaiya for Gandhi ? There are just too many names to recall. 

N. Manjunath : Our Dear SWAMI

He was a grandchild of every grandmother in the country. His innocent behavior made me see my reflection on the screen. At the age of 10 he entertained us in the T.V. version of RK. Narayan’s Malgudi Stories. Today the serial and Swami both an antics in the history of Indian Television.


Manjunath today at 29 runs a liaison manager for Nandi infrastructure. After a dozen television serials and 60 films he decided to switch to an entirely different career. Even though acting is not a closed chapter for him, he dreams of directing a film in future. Manjunathan is forgotten by the Indian household but SWAMI is immortal.


ARVIND SWAMI : The Roja and
Bombay Hero

Suddenly after Roja(1992) he was the most talked about actor in the industry. With his unusual looks with mustaches and high class acting, he emerged as an lifeline for art movies. A protagonist in Roja and a Hindu marriing a Muslim girl in Controversial Bombay. Suddenly people realized that there in more to movies than just hero heroin running in the Bushes. Credit of success undoubtly goes to Maniratnam but it was Arvind Swami who gave these movies a ‘face’. 


14 years later to Roja, Arvind Swami 39 is a entrepreneur with is outsourcing company in
India. He does not regret his exist from film industry. “I was an accidental actor” says this unassuming man. For this management graduate spending time with children is the best use of time. He is also active in the field of Social service Especially children welfare.


Milind Soman : The middleclass Greek God

He was born is swizerland. He fell in love with a girl of age 9 when he was 12. He was a very good swimmer. But that is not what he is known for. The first Indian supermodel became a heart throb of Indian girls when Alisha Chinoy’s ‘Made In India’ hit the music stores. He was already well known in the Indian and International fashion circles. Unlike most other model’s he never really became part of that culture. Coming from a typical Brahman family, he was thrilled when a director offered him Rs. 30000 for a single Ad. The director spotted him in the crowd standing to watch the shooting. Perfect body structure, killer looks and modest behavior made him popular among youth. Despite of good movies like ‘Tarkieb’ and t.v. serials like ‘Captain Vyom’ he never got appreciation from the viewers.


Today at 46 Milind is acting in movies for a timepass. He has few offers which can not be counted as significant. He is unmarried because he can’t forget his childhood love. His mother is very apprehensive about this. Yesterday’s models like Arjun Rampal and John Abraham are far more popular than him today but he has no regrets. He is not seen in Page3 parties nor in fashion shows these days. Even at this age he has maintained his perfect body structure and it seems as if time had very little effect on his body.


SUBIR BANERJEE: Apu of Pather Panchali

Apu of age 8 was one of the main characters of the Best Indian film ever made ‘Pather Panchali’ of Satyajit Ray. He went unnoticed so badly that the India Today team had to work for 2 month to track him down


Now 60 he was found in an engineering factory. Today he is just another face in the crowd. The wife of this integral part of cinematic history discovered the facts about her husband only after she came to live with him in Kolkata suburbs where the Apu was immortalized by him.


Our ‘Sabse Tez’, ‘Whatever it takes’ journaliusts and news channels whould have done something to the person to whom the entire film industry owes so much. With a single movie to his credit it is shame for our 800/year and 8000crore movie industry that Satyajit Ray’s Apu has to work as a millhand in Kolkata suburbs.


“After Pather Panchali’s success we had to hide at an relatives place to hide from press attention” says the man. 


9 thoughts on “Then and Now: What the heroes of past doing now.

  1. You struck a chord in me, boy! I never gave these past celebs a wince of a thought until I read your dedicated column at ur blog. Is this a blog? Well, got to yank myself in the present to understand the term “blog”.
    You took me back in time, kiddo…Thank you, for such a satisfying read!
    tuje Sonaldidi

  2. u made me nostalgic….
    the line “Madhuri’s smile once symbolized feminity” was really good….

    were u innocent as a kid…? i doubt it….;)

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