Accomplishments bereft of ANAND – The Tragic Demise of Bollywood Baddie Mahesh Anand.
It was one of those days, about a year ago, I was having a lazy day at my den when a sudden thought crossed my mind – what happened to the Bollywood bad guy with a great physique and long hairs? I didn’t even know his full name at that point, but I sure did remember him for his numerous villainous parts in Bollywood films in the ’90s.
So, my first task was to uncover his name before delving further into his current whereabouts. I remembered watching him in the Govinda starrer Coolie No.1, and that’s how I got to know his name, Mahesh Anand, after going through the film’s cast. I have this unusual knack of reading about these well-known personalities from films and television who were once an imperial part of my childhood memories, and I seek to know more about their disappearances. At times, I find some of them are doing good, running a steady business or something sustainable. On the hindsight, I also find some who are leading miserable lives, which is not something new in this hypocritical industry called Bollywood. There are infinite examples to prove my point.
I commenced my Google search on Mahesh Anand, and just as I was anticipating there wasn’t anything substantial about him for well over a decade. There was some old news that reported some conflict between the actor and Versova police sometime in 2009; the actor alleged that the police assaulted him physically. It was a case of drinking and causing a public nuisance, and that was pretty much the last news about him after I spent hours on the internet. I continued my research about him over the next few days, and after browsing through some blog, I got to know that he was on Facebook and pretty active on it.
It didn’t take me long to discover his Facebook page, though with a different name, and eventually his profile as well. I was kind of happy to see him alive and kickin’, and to be honest he looked way better than his acting days. He was in great shape, wore a bandana and posted a lot of his recent pictures on Facebook. He was indeed very active and used to post on regular basis.
Since then I started to follow his story, and as you would presume from someone who has been out of the industry for such a long time period, he was lonely and his posts used to reflect the same on occasions. He used to post a lot about his ex-wife – Lana, whom he seemed to miss the most. He would occasionally post about some of his old films, and his bygone modeling days. In fact, I didn’t know that he was one of the supermodels of the ’80s. Sometimes his spirits were high, and he used to show a lot of positive – don’t give up attitude. It was only last week that I got to know about his recent comeback in the industry with Rangeela Raja released in 2019, and he was ecstatic about his comeback. Alas! The happiness was only temporary, and so were his days.
Mahesh Anand’s death once again highlighted the harsh reality of Bollywood that it holds no place for those who are forgotten but have contributed profoundly to it. Sadly, Anand was not the only person faced this ungracious reality, and the list is never ending for those who experienced similar conditions. Just look at what happened to the recently demised legend like Kader Khan, and the versatile singer Mohammad Aziz – no one bothered to stand by them during their final days, except a few.
Mahesh Anand is one of the countless victims who had fought a losing battle against the hypocrisy of the industry, falling prey to alcohol and isolation – no work, no support, not even proper condolence after his death – is this the price someone has to pay for giving his life to the industry?
When Tanushree Dutta raised an alarm on sexual harassment in the industry, the whole industry came forward to her support igniting the #MeToo movement, but what about these individuals who have experienced such terrible fates – what about #HeToo? Even if you go back in time, distinguished actresses such as Meena Kumari, Parveen Babi, and Vimi also died in isolation – what about #SheToo? I have nothing against the #MeToo movement neither I mean to demean it in any way, I’m fully aware of the ill practices that women face in the film industry. My only concern is that there is a greater evil prevailing in the industry, and even after so many years, so many instances – no one has bothered to address this.
Mahesh Anand is one of the countless victims who had fought a losing battle against the hypocrisy of the industry, falling prey to alcohol and isolation – no work, no support, not even proper condolence after his death – is this the price someone has to pay for giving his life to the industry? In fact, as reports state, there was no one to claim his dead body initially, but eventually received by his ex-wife Lana (as per some reports). Anand might have multiple marriages and relationships with different women, some say he became a little erratic, had trouble with finances, finding work, but these don’t obsolete him as a human being. It was Mahesh Anand who sort of provoked me to dig dipper into other individuals living in a similar state like him, and I only hope that someone starts #HeToo or #SheToo movement to save these individuals whose immense contributions can’t just be ignored.
R.I.P Mahesh Anand