Guess who I bumped into this week at an ad audition? A face from my favourite film… DDLJ! Nope not Raj or Simran but Chutki! Simran’s little sis, remember? The only thing is she isn’t little any more… she’s all grown up. I went up to her and said, “You’re Chutki right?” and she nodded flashing the same sweet smile with an indication that she’s heard that a million times before…
I really wonder how it would feel, getting stuck to a character for the rest of your life! Think about it; ‘Chutki’, ‘Gabbar’, ‘Mogambo’ and ‘Tulsi’ are characters who’s shadow the actor never grew out of.
A one-hit wonder is a person (artiste) best known for a single success, who then disappears back to a normal job, stage acting, a few commercials or gets married or goes back to the rest of their life, with the contentment of having that one big hit, something that most actors dream about.Bollywood is generously dotted with single-hit
sensations that could never really take a joyride on the success of that film leading to sustained stardom.
The classic example would be Bhagyashree, paired with Salman Khan in the mega hit Maine Pyar Kiya. Forcing producers to sign on her new husband Himalaya as a hero, she turned down every offer that came her way and committed the classic mistake of getting ahead of herself!
Anu Agarwal was another wonder who came as a whiff of fresh air with Mahesh Bhatt’s blockbuster Aashiqui, starring another debutant, Rahul Roy, before being seen in a couple of trashy flicks.
Some actresses gracefully step out of the spotlight or fade into oblivion like Gayatri Joshi, Mahima Chaudhary and Gracy Singh. Whether it's an act of destiny or just human fallibility, these stars’ instant fame don’t reign for long and they remain a one-hit-wonder year.
On the contrary, actresses like Rani Mukerji and Aishwarya Rai, who’s initial films bombed badly, went on to have more sustained careers and be in for the long haul lasting for decades ahead of their debuts. Bollywood is definitely a better playfield for the tortoise than for the hare, colloquially called the Lamba race ka Ghoda. Then again, I’d rather be a one- hit- wonder than
neither be a hit nor a wonder!