HindustanTimes.com Infotainment Matrimonial Photos HT Cricket HT Tabloid Shopping

Wednesday, Dec 18, 2002: Pulp reporters have always pulled all stops "to give the public what it wants".

Thursday, Dec 19, 2002:
Juicy details on Protima Bedi's naked run. With exciting pics.

Nanavati on trial
People & events in the tumultous life of Commander Kawas Nanavati.
Photo Feature
Crimes of passion. When love left behind pages stained with blood.
Tomorrow: Dec 21, 2002

In 1978, Surya magazine editor Maneka Gandhi shocked the nation by publishing the photos of Defence Minister Jagjivan Ram's son making love to a Delhi University student.

The nine self-timed photos, which Suresh Ram, 40, took as he copulated with Sushma Choudhry, were snatched from his car and passed on, among others, to journalists including Gandhi and National Herald Editor Kushwant Singh. Singh, who was also helping Gandhi in editing the magazine, thought the photos were explicit.

Recently he recalled: "If the Kamasutra has 64 poses, that one certainly had 10."

Gandhi, however, felt that she could make a political killing for her mother-in-law, Indira Gandhi, by publishing them.

So, at the risk of running into obscenity and privacy laws, the photos were put up for printing with orders to the staff to show all but the most objectionable parts. "We had to use a lot of tape," Singh remembered.

HTTabloid » DareBareIndians » Inspired  
Heady days of the trial
Lipstick kissed notes were thrown at Nanavati as he left the court. Passions soared at the trial.
Was nanavati fated to kill?
Was the murder in his stars or was it an act of free will? Nanavati's horoscope tells a story.
Nanavati was given a life term. But just 3 years in jail & he was set free. Ram Jethmalani was the brains behind.
Defence vs Prosecution
Among the memorable legal wrangles where bigwigs matched wits, the case saw an end to jury trials in India.
Lonely hearts club
"Attention is aphrodisiac for a lonely lady & that was what Prem gave to win over Sylvia.

My mother seemed more critical of Sylvia than I was. My father never discussed this case with me. Honestly, I saw my mother's response as defence machanism. I suspected that in a similar situation my mother too would have been led astray.
Mohan Deep, journalist & biographer of filmstars

Submit your views
Inspired by Nanavati

Vijaya Sharma

The Nanavati murder case was the original crime of passion. A love triangle, a betrayal by a friend, a handsome commander, his stunningly beautiful wife and a high society playboy. And then a murder with no witnesses…

It was just the right masala to set creative minds afire in Bollywood and in the world of books.

Soon enough in 1963 when Nanavati was still serving a sentence, came a film directed by RK Nayyar. It was a suspense thriller with Sunil Dutt, Leela Naidu and Rehman in the lead.

Among books and magazines, the extremely popular tabloid of the day, Blitz by Russy Karanjia, a Parsi, campaigned vigorously for Commander Kawas Nanavati.

Then, in 1972 came a book in Hindi, Nanavati ka Mukadama followed by a salacious article on the case by a journalist Mohan Deep. Mohan Deep later established himself as something of a scandolographer when he penned biographies of Madhubala (Madhubala), Meena Kumari (Simply Scandalous) and Rekha (Eurekha) in almost the same gossipy, sensationalist tone as the Nanavati story.

Fifty years later, the case continues to haunt memories and has resulted in a corking good book, The Death of Mr Love, by London-based celebrated ad maker and writer Indra Sinha. (Mr Love is the English translation of Prem Ahuja's first name).

The book, spanning three decades (1950-90) weaves enticingly the Nanavati case, and you are bewildered in the dark alleys where myth and murder, fact and fiction merge". The story moves between England and Bombay, between Maya, Bhalu and Phoebe and Sybil to uncover an unpunished crime. "Because behind the uproar and sensation of the Nanavati trial hid another monstrous crime which remains undiscovered, its perpetrator unpunished… and Indra Sinha writes "that murder of forty years ago … its threats are still alive, running unbroken into the future…"

But let's come back to the 1963 film. The film was "Yeh Raaste hain Pyar ke".

The film closely followed the real life drama. The physical attributes of Commander Nanavati, Sylvia and Prem Ahuja were kept in mind while choosing the lead actors for the movie. The six feet tall, handsome, well-built, immaculately clad Nanavati with the manners of a gentleman was essayed by Sunil Dutt.

Petite and pretty Leela Naidu was the beautiful Sylvia. The posters showed Leela Naidu complete in a Western attire (Sylvia was a British lady) with a coiffure to match.


© Hindustan Times Ltd. 2002.
Reproduction in any form is prohibited without prior permission
To send your feedback, via web click here or email feedback@hindustantimes.com
For Online Advertisement Queries, mail to salil@hindustantimes.com