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When Dharmendra got drunk on New Year’s Eve despite Ashok Kumar’s warnings, fell in his lap while shooting next day

Bollywood actor Dharmendra once showed up drunk on the set of his 1966 film Mamta and his co-actor Ashok Kumar gave him time to recover.

ashok kumar dharmendra movieAshok Kumar, Suchitra Sen and Dharmendra in a still from the movie Mamta. (Express archive photo)

Veteran actor Ashok Kumar, fondly called Dadamoni by his colleagues and friends in the film industry, had a rule of not working on January 1. But, he broke that rule of his life for the ‘He-man’ of Bollywood Dharmendra, on his special request. But his only condition was that everyone will come to the film’s set on time and won’t party on New Year’s Eve.

It so happened that during the shoot of the 1966 film Mamta in Kolkata, Dharmendra had to leave for Ladakh where he had to shoot for his film Haqeeqat. So, he requested Ashok Kumar to work on January 1 so that he could reach the set of his other film in time. Actor Annu Kapoor narrated the incident in his radio show, Suhaana Safar With Annu Kapoor.

“Dada, please adjust kar lijiye mujhe Ladakh pohnchna hai (Please adjust, I have to reach Ladakh),” Dharmendra told Kumar. After much persuasion, Kumar agreed, but he put one condition, “Main tere liye apna rule todd raha hun, kal (January 1) time pe aa jaana set par. Aaj raat (31st) ki party mein mat ulajh jaana. Koi daaru nahi piyega (I am breaking my rule for me. So, make sure to reach the set on time tomorrow. Don’t party tonight and don’t get drunk).” Dharmendra agreed and went to his hotel.

Suchitra Sen and Dharmendra in Mamta. (Express archive photo)

The actor was ready to sleep but decided to take a look at the New Year celebrations that were going on at his hotel. Dressed in a kurta-lungi, he decided to have a look at the party taking place in the lobby but, people recognised him there and pulled him inside the party. They forced him to drink, and by the next morning, Dharmendra was drunk. “When the party got over, Dharam ji was drunk. He thought that if he would go to his hotel room now, he will not reach the set on time. That is when he decided to go and sleep in his makeup room at 4 in the morning,” Kapoor narrated.

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Eventually, when Ashok Kumar came on the set, he enquired about Dharmendra. He eventually realised that the actor was drunk as while trying to shoot a scene, Dharmendra fell in Kumar’s lap and told him with folded hands, “Dada, aaj mujhse nahi ho raha hai (I cannot do it today).” That is when the senior actor gave Dharmendra time to recover. They then completed the film’s shoot by afternoon and Dharmendra left for Ladakh.

After Mamta, Dharmendra and Ashok Kumar collaborated on other films including the 1971 film Naya Zamana and the 1969 movie Satyakam.

First published on: 30-11-2022 at 14:21 IST
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