Of all the leading ladies that Shammi Kapoor introduced to the screen, and these included Sharmila Tagore and Asha Parekh, only one lost her way. And that was Kalpana (not to be confused with Dev Anand’s better-half Kalpana Kartik).
Kalpana made her high-profile debut with Lekh Tandon’s Professor where she rocked the box office with Shammi Kapoor and songs like ‘Awaaz dekar humein tum bula lo” and ‘Ho Koi Ayega’. Every box office pundit predicted Kalpana would be the next big thing after Sharmila Tagore.
But fate had other plans for Kalpana. In spite of a blockbuster beginning there weren’t too many producers willing to sign her. She soon found herself struggling for survival.
It is rumored that Kalpana began to take shortcuts to make money in the entertainment business. Her marriage to the reputed screenplay writer Sachin Bhowmick did nothing to win back her reputation. On the contrary everyone wondered how and why the respected Bhowmick married her in the first place.
Kalpana’s not-so-secret means of making quick money points to a disturbing truth about the entertainment business. Success can be a cruel mistress, and cruelest to those who are in a hurry to make hay while the sun shines. It is said that Kalpana made herself available for activities other than acting, and soon lost any chance of being cast as a leading lady in movies.
She did do a couple of films after the superhit Professor. But nothing to write home about. Today Kalpana is remembered as that Professor leading lady who nearly ruined writer Sachin Bhowmick’s life when he married her hoping to improve her lifestyle. But Kalpana was too far gone. Addicted to easy money, she squandered away the opportunity Bhowmick gave her to retrieve the respectability that she had lost.
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