Another October birthday that deserves the full number of reasons to love her. So get ready for multiple Hema posts to get us up to 68! (part 2 here)
1.1. I love you because you started young, in a supporting role in a Tamil film at age 15.
2. I love you because you were discovered for Hindi film by/directed by/co-starred opposite Raj Kapoor. Something you share with Nargis, Vyjantimala, Dimple Kapadia, Padmini Kolhapure, and Mandakini.
3. I love you because that first movie with Raj Kapoor was a flop, and yet India still fell in love with you. And gave you the nickname “Dream Girl” based on the title Sapno Ka Saudagar.
4. I love you because you were in 6 more movies, none of them real hits, in the 2 years after Sapno Ka Saudagar. Before you finally got a hit with Johnny Mere Naam.
5. I love you because one of those 6 movies, Sharafat, was also where you met your future husband, Dharmendra, when you were 22 and he was 35.
6. I love you because you were a trained Bharatnatyam dancer, one of the reasons Raj Kapoor chose you to replace Vyjantimala when she dropped out of Sapno Ka Saudagar at the last minute.
7. I love you because your chemistry with Dharmendra onscreen (and possibly also off, how would we know?) was immediately apparent.
8. I love you because you met Dharmendra on the set of Sharafat, but you also co-starred that same year in Tum Haseen Main Jawaan. Which, based on this 7 minute video which is all I know about it, must be THE GREATEST MOVIE OF ALL TIME!!!!
9. I love you because a year after being discovered by Raj, you co-starred with his little brother Shashi.
10. I love you because you effortless played the confident woman with Dev Anand wrapped around your little finger in a stone-cold classic, just two years into your film career.
11. I love you because you worked on Salim-Javed’s very first movie, directed by the producer’s son, Ramesh Sippy (foreshadowing!!!!).
12. I love you because that film was such a hit, and you all enjoyed working together so much, that the team reunited a year later for a little film called Seeta Aur Geeta.
13. I love you because Seeta Aur Geeta apparently was HUGE in Eastern Europe. I’ve talked to people from Slovenia, Poland, and the Ukraine who all remembered it from their childhood and could recite lines and scenes.
14. I love you because the fact that Salim-Javed built a script around a female star, and the whole film was promoted and filmed around your talents, was practically unheard of! Only 4 years into your career, age 24, and you were already a once in a generation female star.
15. I love you because you agreeing to do Seeta Aur Geeta meant that the film got made, which meant that your evil stepsister was cast, which meant that Honey Irani ended up working on a film with Salim-Javed, which meant that she and Javed Akhtar fell in love, which meant that they got married, and Farhan and Zoya were born. Bam! Straight line from Hema Malini to Dil Chahta Hai and Talaash!
16. I love you because Andaz, Salim-Javed’s first movie, also was the film that let you complete your collection of Kapoor brothers, finishing off with Shammi.
17. I love you because Seeta Aur Geeta is completely worthy of being loved by all of Eastern Europe, mostly because of your performance.
18. I love you because by the time of Seeta Aur Geeta, your chemistry with Dharam-Garam was so off the charts, it was even apparent when you were playing the “bad” twin who wasn’t supposed to be in love with him.
19. I love you because you also had chemistry with Sanjeev Kumar, who also (supposedly) fell in love with you on the set of this film.
20. I love you because you even got to do a drunk scene! And not the usual “I’m drunk so I’m being sexy” kind of scene, but an actual inappropriate behavior at a party drunk scene, just like any other hero.
21. Speaking of you being the hero, check out the way you take Sanjeev’s hat, and ride the bigger horse (or is that a camel?) in this song. Not to mention literally wearing the pants.
22. But really, it’s mostly about you being SO AWESOME that this fanvideo is really the only way to encapsulate the whole thing.