Tribute

Jayalalithaa’s only Hindi film was with Dharmendra

She played a tribal woman named Jhumki in ‘Izzat’, directed by T Prakash Rao in 1968.

J Jayalalithaa (1948-2016) was one of Tamil cinema’s biggest stars, so it is not surprising that she wanted to spread her luminescence beyond her state’s borders in the 1960s. Hindi remakes of Tamil films and vice versa were common enough, while several actresses from the Southern language cinemas, including Vyjayanthimala and Padmini, had appeared in big-name productions in Mumbai. By 1968, Jayalalithaa had headlined numerous hits in Tamil and Telugu, and she chose Izzat as her vehicle towards fame in the Hindi belt. She had previously appeared as Krishna in a dance sequence in the Hindi movie Man Mauji in 1962.

The lure must have the chance to star opposite the hunky and dependable Dharmendra. T Prakash Rao’s movie, written by Rajinder Singh Bedi, stars Dharmendra in a double role: one character has light brown make-up on the face, and the other has a fair complexion.

Dharmendra in ‘Izzat’.
Dharmendra in ‘Izzat’.

The mystery behind the boot polish-smeared Shekhar in the opening scenes is cleared soon enough: his mother is a tribal woman. After her sudden death, the village priest reveals the family secret. Shekhar is the illegitimate son of a wealthy landlord (Balraj Sahni) who refused to marry her after she got pregnant. Shekhar swears revenge, but hesitates when he finds a lookalike half-brother, Dilip (Dharmendra again), who is in love with another tribal woman, Jhumki (Jayalalithaa). Dilip is too cowardly to marry Jhumki, and Shekhar is determined not to let the sins of the father visit the son.

Play
‘Sar Par Lampa Top Leke’ from ‘Izzat’.

Jayalalithaa is presented feet first, in the one-piece sari and cheap silver jewellery that was the standard costume of tribal women in Hindi films. Jhumki is coquettish and frisky and a very good dancer. Tanuja plays Shekhar’s girlfriend, and they walk in stately fashion through the beautiful hillside locations, but Jhumki has the louder and weepier role. The ordinary music and hackneyed plot did nothing for Jayalalitha’s career outside Tamil Nadu. She went right back to where she had come from, and delivered many more hits before she retired from acting in 1980. Two years later, she entered politics.

Jayalithaa in ‘Izzat’.
Jayalithaa in ‘Izzat’.
We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

When did we start parenting our parents?

As our parents grow older, our ‘adulting’ skills are tested like never before.

From answering every homework question to killing every monster under the bed, from soothing every wound with care to crushing anxiety by just the sound of their voice - parents understandably seemed like invincible, know-it-all superheroes all our childhood. It’s no wonder then that reality hits all of a sudden, the first time a parent falls and suffers a slip disc, or wears a thick pair of spectacles to read a restaurant menu - our parents are growing old, and older. It’s a slow process as our parents turn from superheroes to...human.

And just as slow to evolve are the dynamics of our relationship with them. Once upon a time, a peck on the cheek was a frequent ritual. As were handmade birthday cards every year from the artistically inclined, or declaring parents as ‘My Hero’ in school essays. Every parent-child duo could boast of an affectionate ritual - movie nights, cooking Sundays, reading favourite books together etc. The changed dynamic is indeed the most visible in the way we express our affection.

The affection is now expressed in more mature, more subtle ways - ways that mimics that of our own parents’ a lot. When did we start parenting our parents? Was it the first time we offered to foot the electricity bill, or drove them to the doctor, or dragged them along on a much-needed morning walk? Little did we know those innocent acts were but a start of a gradual role reversal.

In adulthood, children’s affection for their parents takes on a sense of responsibility. It includes everything from teaching them how to use smartphones effectively and contributing to family finances to tracking doctor’s appointments and ensuring medicine compliance. Worry and concern, though evidence of love, tend to largely replace old-fashioned patterns of affection between parents and children as the latter grow up.

It’s something that can be easily rectified, though. Start at the simplest - the old-fashioned peck on the cheek. When was the last time you gave your mom or dad a peck on the cheek like a spontaneous five-year-old - for no reason at all? Young parents can take their own children’s behaviour available as inspiration.

As young parents come to understand the responsibilities associated with caring for their parents, they also come to realise that they wouldn’t want their children to go through the same challenges. Creating a safe and secure environment for your family can help you strike a balance between the loving child in you and the caring, responsible adult that you are. A good life insurance plan can help families deal with unforeseen health crises by providing protection against financial loss. Having assurance of a measure of financial security for family can help ease financial tensions considerably, leaving you to focus on being a caring, affectionate child. Moreover,you can eliminate some of the worry for your children when they grow up – as the video below shows.

Play

To learn more about life insurance plans available for your family, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of SBI Life and not by the Scroll editorial team.