25 Years of Aashiqui: Then and Now
It’s been 25 years since Mahesh Bhatt’s Aashiqui released, take a look how the team of the film has moved on since
Exactly 25 years back on July 23rd 1990, Mahesh Bhatt’s Aashiqui released across India and went on to become a smash hit, largely because of its music. The chartbusting soundtrack of Aashiqui was courtesy a relatively new music director duo - Nadeem Shravan. The film also brought together a rather unusual pair, a floppy haired, scrawny Rahul Roy and a dusky, impish looking Anu Agarwal. 25 years later, the music of Aashiqui continues to be just as catchy and popular but the team which made the film and the music such a grand success did not share the same longevity.
Mahesh Bhatt accidentally ran into Rahul Roy when he went to meet Rahul’s mother at her home. Seeing the young boy, Bhatt felt he had the potential to be an actor and offered him Aashiqui. Though Rahul Roy had the looks, his voice evidently was not good enough, so Aditya Pancholi dubbed for the actor. Though Rahul worked in a number of films post his super hit debut, he could not repeat the success of his first film. The only memorable film Rahul Roy has been part of since Aashiqui has been the tele-film Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayi. The actor was resurrected in public memory for a short while in 2006, when he won the first season of the reality TV show Bigg Boss.
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The tall, skinny and dusky Anu Agarwal was unlike any typical Bollywood heroine. The actress appeared only in a handful of films after Aashiqui, she was notably seen in Mani Ratnam’s Thiruda Thiruda, Mani Kaul’s The Cloud Door and Rakesh Roshan’s King Uncle. The former model met with a serious accident in 1999, which left her in coma for 29 days. Anu later embraced holistic yoga and wrote a memoir titled Anusual - Memoir of a Girl Who Came Back from the Dead.
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The music cassette of Aashiqui brought out by T-series, reportedly sold 1.50 crore units! The success of Aashiqui shot music director duo Nadeem Shravan to fame and fortune and their reign over the music charts continued well until the early 2000s. Aashiqui’s music also made popular the remixed audio tapes with ‘jhankaar beats’ a popular format in Bollywood. The popularity of Nadeem Shravan also created a phase of ‘music bank films’ in the industry - which meant that, a film could be floated purely on the basis of a few songs by the duo, the story, script, casting and director could be added to it at a later stage! Yes, they were the highest paid music directors for almost a decade, and many times were the biggest stars in a film. Their dream run came to an end when in 2007 Nadeem was named as a suspect in the killing of T-series chief Gulshan Kumar. Though the courts acquitted him later, the duo never regained their past glory and finally split in 2005.
As usual Bhatt borrowed parts of his life and adapted them to the screenplay of Aashiqui. According to reports, a 21-year-old Mahesh Bhatt fell in love with a 17-year-old Lorraine Bright and they got married despite family objections. Lorraine converted to Hinduism and took on the name Kiran. This episode from his life inspired the basic story of Aashiqui. Like Anu in the film, Bhatt’s wife Kiran too lived in an oppressive catholic hostel, and Bhatt himself was dealing with his parent’s separation, like Rahul’s character in the film.
Bhatt gave up directing films in 1999, after his last release Kartoos. His latest film as a writer and producer, Hamari Adhuri Kahani, which was again inspired by episodes and relationships from his own life, was a total failure at the box-office.
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