She was unshakable in the defense as the goalie-captain in Chak De! India. Her friends will tell you off screen she is a happy-go-lucky girl with a ready smile. But while shooting for Tum Milo Toh Sahi Vidya Malavade was almost bawling when confronted by belligerent co-stars.
It happened during a schedule at Kamal Amrohi Studio. Malavade and Anjana Sukhani came to the director Kabir Sadanand requesting permission to attend an event at Hotel Grand Hyatt. “We’ll be back in an hour,” they promised.
With Nana Patekar, Dimple Kapadia and Suneil Shetty around too, Sadanand knew that even without the two girls he could continue shooting. So he let them off with strict instructions to return in 60 minutes.
Given that it was the monsoon season and the rains had rutted the roads with potholes and choked with traffic, Sadanand didn’t expect his ladies to keep to their deadline. Having regularly checked with the their chauffer, he knew exactly when they reached the five-star venue, when the event started and when they drove away.
After a couple of hours, the duo returned with sheepish smiles and, almost immediately, were confronted by an angry Patekar. Shouting at them for
keeping him waiting, he threatened to walk out.
It turned into a war of the roses when Kapadia took up for the girls insisted that they couldn’t be taken to task just because they were a little late. “Why does it have to always be the way the men want it? We are not props,” she argued heatedly.
Shetty tried to butt in as mediator but his “peace” pleas fell on deaf ears. “Anjana, realising that things were getting out-of-hand, slunk away quietly but Vidya stood her ground, her eyes welling up with tears.
“She actually started crying and we all burst out laughing,” narrates Sadanand. “It took a few minutes to convince her that we were not mad with her and even longer to get her to believe that it was a prank that not Anna (Suneil) but Nana had plotted.”
Buzz is that Patekar had recommended Narayani Shastri’s name for Malavade’s role but Sadanand dismisses the rumour insisting that it was Shastri with whom he had worked on TV before, who after hearing the story suggested Patekar’s name. “Having worked with him in the Marathi film Pak Pak Pakak, she felt he suited the role best,” he flashbacks.
Soon after, Sadanand called Patekar and narrated his idea to him. That night when he returned to Mumbai, Patekar called back Sadanand to say “Mujhe nahin pata tumhari kya aukaat hai par tumhara sochh sahi hai (I don’t know your abilities as a director but I like your thought). I’ll do your film. Two years of work on the script had paid off.”