Mumbai: Remembering legendary screenwriter and director Sachin Bhowmick, Sharmila Tagore says he was not only instrumental in bringing her into Hindi films but also in getting her the coveted role in ‘Aradhna’. She rues that he got into a bad marriage with actress Kalpana.
Sharmila Tagore had the honour of being directed in the only film ‘Raja Rani’ that the pioneering screenplaywriter Bhowmick directed. He also wrote some of her most beloved films from ‘Amar Prem’ to ‘An Evening In Paris’.
Bhowmick, who was part of the Hindi film industry for over five decades, passed away at his home here Tuesday. He was 82.
Recalling the family-friend fondly Sharmila said: "From the early 1960s he wrote some of my best films and he also wrote my son Saif`s `Yeh Dillagi` in the 1990s. Truly prolific he was! Sachin was a very learned writer and a dear friend of my mother.
"During those days, around 1959 Sachin was a travel writer. He would travel to various destinations specially in Europe and then write beautiful pieces, a la today`s Suheil Seth. I remember in one piece Sachin had written, `If you want to see the town drive slowly. If you want to see the jails drive fast.` That line stayed with me."
About her best-known film ‘Aradhana’, Sharmila said: "It was Sachin who convinced my mother to let me join Hindi films. If it wasn`t for him my mother would`ve never allowed me. And it was Sachin who convinced Shakti Samanta to sign me for `Aradhana`. I think Shakti-da wanted Hema Malini because she had just come as the Dream Girl and all that. Sachin pitched in for me. That incident brought us closer."
Then came a time when Bhowmick married actress Kalpana, who starred with Shammi Kapoor in ‘Professor’.
"And married badly," quipped Sharmila. "It was a big mistake. And Sachin was so embarrassed, he hid away from all his friends including me and Shakti Samanta. Luckily, he divorced and married a beautiful Bengali woman. He lived in Mumbai and had his 80th birthday recently. I couldn`t go."
"The last time I met him was at a screening of `An Evening In Paris` a few months ago. He wrote that film. He was there, so was Shammi Kapoor, my leading man. It was a memorable evening. A biography of Sachin was being written. He wanted it completed in his lifetime. But it remained incomplete because I have not yet met the author."
As for Bhowmick directing her in a film ‘Raja Rani’, Sharmila laughed, "He was very quiet. And to control Kaka (Rajesh Khanna) was not in Sachin`s power. The film sounded much better on paper than on screen. Let`s say, I preferred him as a screenplaywriter."