Jaya Bhaduri is a well known icon in the Hindi film industry and now in politics. Born on the 10th of April 1948, Jaya was a bright, vivacious child. Her Jabalpur based, Hindu Bengali parents persistent on getting their daughter convent educated, enrolled her in St. Joseph Convent schools, Bhopal. The young girl soon found her calling in the glittery world of films and theatre. She debuted with Satyajit Ray's Mahanagar at the age of 15. Inspired by this experience, Jaya decided to study acting in the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune.
Jaya Bhaduri's foray into Bollywood was with quite a brilliant performance. She starred in the 1971 film, Guddi. The Hrishikesh Mukherji film earned her a lot of appreciation and this led to her working with the famed director in a lot of future endeavors. Guddi created for Jaya a niche, that would go on to define her journey in this industry.
Jaya, desperately wanting to change her demure onscreen image, decided to take up a glamorous role in the 1972 flick, Jawani Deewani. Bhaduri also went on to feature in Anamika. She played a negative character of a woman faking amnesia in this film. She was also instrumental in popularizing Middle cinema with films like Uphaar (1971), Parichay (1972), Koshish (1972) and Bawarchi (1972). In the few years of her journey in Bollywood, Jaya Bhaduri had established herself as a strong and versatile actor.
As her career flourished, there was something happening on the personal front too. The shy and reticent actress met Amitabh Bachchan on the sets of her first feature film, Guddi. The tall, brooding magnificent persona floored the woman. She was in love. Rajesh Khanna, a good friend of Bhaduri's, counseled her against Amitabh. He would even snub Bachchan when he would come to visit her on the sets of Bawarchi (1972).
Jaya was successful over night, whereas for Amitabh it was slow.
The love blossomed when they were filming the movie Ek Nazar. Amitabh professed his love and they were married by 1973. Zanjeer, Amitabh Bachchan's cult film was a huge box office success and to celebrate this, the couple decided to go on a vacation to London. However, Harivanshrai Bachchan, Amitabh's father refused to let them go without formalizing their relationship.
The marriage was a private affair with only a few close people in attendance. The couple went on to work in a string of iconic films after Zanjeer. Abhimaan (1973), Chupke Chupke (1973), Sholay (1975), Silsila (1981) etc were films that were great success at the box office, thus making the two a reel life star couple as well. The pair was extra ordinary. They were both highly superficial artists and constantly did well at their work. Their love blossomed with time too. However three years into their marriage, Jaya faced her biggest set back. Rumors of her husband's link up to the Southern actress Rekha started surfacing. Amitabh was filming for his movie Do Anjaane in the year 1976, when he fell for the sultry actress. Their romance blossomed, constantly hampering his relationship with his wife. The sordid affair left Jaya emotionally drained. However hard the couple tried to evade the issue, they constantly got embroiled in it.
Jaya decided to stay away from films after her marriage. Their two children Shweta and Abhishek are both married and settled now. While Shweta married industrialist Nikhil Nanda, Abhishek married India's celebrated model turned actress Aishwarya Rai.
However Jaya did star occasionally in a few films. She returned with a bang in the film Fiza (2000). She also went on to work in a few other successful films like Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham (2001), Kal Ho Na Ho (2003) etc.
In the year 2004, Jaya Bachhan took a step away from the film fraternity and stepped into the raw land of politics. Joining the Samajwadi Party changed a lot for the woman. She was a member of the Rajya Sabha and was re elected in the year 2012.
On her 66th birthday today, we take a look at her top 10 popular films:
Guddi:The movie traces the journey of the young, vivacious girl Guddi who is obsessed with Bollywood superstar, Dharmendra. She travels to Bombay to meet the man and it is here where she discovers the difference between reel and real life.
Piya ka Ghar: The story is simple and very realistic. The story traces the life of a couple, their marriage and the comical twists the social system brings along with it.
Uphaar: The 1972 film traces the story of Anoop and Minnu. Minnu (Bachchan) is a carefree girl who gets married to the city lawyer Anoop. The story is a simple take on relationships and ego clashes that persist between couples.
Koshish: The 1972 movie is a classic directed by Gulzar. The movie has challenging performances by the actors: Jaya Bhaduri and Sanjeev Kumar. They play the deaf and mute central characters in the film. The film speaks of hope, confidence and kindness.
Abhimaan: The story traces the musical journey of the couple played by Amitabh and Jaya. The husband is a singer and he decides to encourage his wife too. However with time, the wife shoots to fame while the husband lags behind. A classic take on jealousy and desires, Abhimaan is considered a cult classic.
Bawarchi: The 1972 film, is witty and fast paced. It traces the story of the family at Shanti Niwas and their cook, Raghu. However Raghu doesn't come with a clean slate.
Chupke Chupke: the classic comedy boasts of a rather colorful star cast. The film traces a comedy of errors as people pretend to be different characters and what follows is utter confusion. However it is a delight for the viewer and a must watch.
Silsila: Yash Chopra managed to create quite a stir when he captured the real life romance in his 1981 film. The film treads along the lines of infidelity, love and hurt.
Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham: Jaya Bachchan's role as the mother appealed to hundred's of women all over the world. The Karan Johar movie, managed to establish her as a superstar once again, although this time at the age of 53.
Kal Ho Na Ho: Karan Johar managed to capture the woman in all her glory once again in the 2007 flick. Jaya, played the role of the single mother in this film treading the paths of Diaspora. It was yet another Box office success.