February 6, 2008

February poll: Pyar ka mausam

Stumped for ideas for this month's poll, I went to my friend Beth, a veritable font of creative and diabolical ideas. "Valentine's day is coming," she said, "why not ask what everyone's favorite Shabana jodi is?"

Pure genius, I tell you. So here it is, in honor of the season: Which actor is your favorite romantic pairing for Shabana Azmi?

I've listed all the significant choices I could think of here; but remember that I've still seen fewer than a quarter of Shabana ji's films - if I've overlooked your favorite, please let me know in the comments, and accept my apologies. Otherwise, get to the right-hand sidebar and vote!

Shashi Kapoor

This dashing star was Shabana Azmi's own favorite when she was a girl, and when she grew up she got to appear opposite him in films. Whether in commercial films or art films, the combination was always searing and edgy.

Vinod Khanna

Vinod was, for a while, the biggest star in Hindi films not named Amitabh Bachchan, and Shabana Azmi was his Heroine Number 1. I have not yet seen many of their films, but the pairing was popular, and I've got a few queued up for the not-too-distant future.

Naseeruddin Shah

I think everyone loves this pair. Their understated acting styles mesh well together in a pairing that is always real, believable, and sweet - and occasionally steaming, as in the scene from Sparsh from which this screencap is taken.

Rajesh Khanna

My feelings about Rajesh Khanna are a matter of public record, and the only film I've seen of this pairing is Avtaar, which left me rather cold. But he was a massive star, and Shabana ji was paired with him frequently, so I am sure there are folks out there who love the match-up.

Sanjeev Kumar

One of my favorite actors, I've only seen Sanjeev Kumar with Shabana ji in Shatranj ke khilari, in which chess had already pretty much killed whatever spark there might have once been in their marriage, leaving poor Shabana ji's character bitter and scheming. But I know they've been cute together in other films I haven't yet seen, as can be seen in the adorable song linked in this early Shabana-gaana post.

Kulbhushan Kharbanda
[picture to be added]
It's a little twisted to include Kulbhushan ji in this collection, as he only seems to play a neglectful husband to Shabana ji. Even in their portrayal of troubled marriages, though, there is something about these two that connects, an earthiness I guess that makes them good to watch together.

Om Puri

Om Puri has played in a variety of types of roles opposite Shabana ji, but their romance in Mrityudand - still one of the finest seduction scenes I have ever seen in any film - earns him a spot on this list.

Nandita Das

You didn't think I'd leave her out, did you? I know Fire is not for everyone, but I think most who have seen this film would agree that the pairing was intense, smoky and sweet all at the same time.

Boman Irani

A very recent pairing, Shabana ji and Boman Irani played off one another with delightful humor and tenderness in Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd., and had a briefer and more acrimonious turn together in Farhan Akhtar's Positive from the AIDS JaaGo series. I know lots of folks would like to see them together again.

What do you think? Vote on the right.


Beth Loves Bollywood said...

Hard! I haven't seen most of these, so my vote is a little ignorant. But given that he can have chemistry with a post and she can match his presence, I'm givin' my love to Shabana-Vinod. Parvarish is awesome. I wanted to vote for Shabana-Shashi, but her character in Fakira doesn't have as much oomph as one wants in masala (despite the broken bed), and they're so angry at each other in Junoon.

Aung Phyoe said...

Hi, I got the news on Shabanaji next project! Very very interesting !! Directed by "Rituparno Ghosh" named "Kya Haseen Sitam" starring Shabana Azmi ,Naseeruddin Shah and Vidya Balan. If the news true and this film comes out I am nearly to die for waiting. :D , At present I am excited for Aparna Sen "The Japanese Wife" !

Anonymous said...


first comment on this blog!

My choices:
1) I vote for the obvious - Shabana-Naseeruddin.
2) Boman.

Bitterlemons (From Bollywhat)

Filmi Geek said...

Thanks for the comments and votes, all.

Beth: after seeing *Shaque* - not even a great movie - I am so down with the Shabana-Vinod pairing. Rrrowr!

Aung: Thanks for the news, I made a post about it and will keep my eye out for more.

bitterlemons: Awesome to see you here! Shabana-Boman is a very promising pair and I hope to see them again in the future.