“Ranbir Kapoor is so charming, so adorable, I fell in love with him,” exclaims 1960s megastar Sadhana in a tete-a-tete over the phone.
After remaining determinedly reclusive for years, Sadhana has returned to the spotlight; and is delighting in it. The star emerged out of decades of seclusion (her swan song Geeta Mera Naam was released in 1974) for a good cause — at a fund raiser for cancer patients, Sadhana walked the ramp while being escorted by Ranbir Kapoor and Shaina NC.
The style icon of her generation, Sadhana sported her famous fringe on the ramp too; and obviously enjoyed all the attention she received. She laughs, “Ranbir is a terrific actor; but, more importantly, as a person he is utterly, butterly delicious.”
The consensus is that Sadhana too has retained her famous mystique as she walked the ramp in a Shaina NC saree. When I managed to get her on the phone after a 15-minute wait, she apologised profusely, saying, “My telephone hasn’t stopped ringing since the last three days. People have been flooding me with calls to congratulate me on the event. Fans from London who had seen the event on youtube called me too.”
Euphoric, she continues, “Even at the peak of my career, I never received such a thunderous standing ovation. There were thousand odd people and they kept applauding from the time I appeared on stage till the time I left.” The reason for this overwhelming show of love and affection is rather obvious. “I guess it was because people saw me after 30 years. They were probably wondering where I had disappeared,” Sadhana admits.
Sadhana has been a self-confessed recluse but she couldn’t refuse her good friend Shaina NC. She explains, “Shaina has been my friend, philosopher and guide. She helped me a lot during my (property dispute) cases. She had approached me last year too but I had firmly refused. However, this year she told me that she just won’t take no for an answer. She emotionally blackmailed me.”
Exuding elegance at 72, Sadhana wore a shaded pink chiffon sari with silver embroidery. She says, “Shaina’s saris are not just about the material and colour, they are about the way you wear them. I wore a stole with my sari. This was the first time I walked the ramp (though she did participate in a beauty contest in her debut film, Love In Simla) but once I had made up my mind, I was confident.”
What helped was also the warm welcome back she got from fellow celebs who were also present that day. Backstage, Aditi Rao Hydari and Sakshi Tanwar touched her feet (“I was visibly embarrassed but moved”) and when she sportingly agreed to pose for pictures with them, they insisted “that they wanted to pose with me individually.”
Though her return to the spotlight has been heartwarming, and despite the fact that she has lost 26 kilos after some of her medication was stopped, Sadhana says firmly, “This is the first and last time I am making a public appearance, on the ramp or otherwise.”
- By Dinesh Raheja, Bollywood News Service