In Praise of Molls

Premi kisi se darte nahin
Premiyon se khud hi darte hain log

(Lovers fear noone, its people who are afraid of lovers)
—-Suraksha (Monica Bedi)

Especially if the lovers answer to the name of Abu and Monica.

I have always been fascinated by molls. I would like to make a distinction here between molls and vamps—molls are the villain’s girlfriend(s) while the vamp is simply an evil lady. A vamp can be the evil saas or the jilted lover and somehow I never had the hots for Lalita Pawar.

Molls however are a different kettle of fish. They are slinky, wear revealing clothes, condone the villain’s evilness, sometimes even help him, dance sensuously and most importantly do not demand exclusive attention from her man, leaving him free to enjoy the company of multiple molls.

In that sense, the ideal of the moll negates all the characteristics of the saccharine “good” girl—the one whom you can take home to mother. Which is precisely what makes her so exciting.

In this context, who can forget the great Ajit the “Loin” who sampled the simultaneous charms of Mona and Sona, with the active approval of both?Or the anonymous ladies in bikinis who would massage Danny as he lay on his pool chair clad in desi speedos ? Or for that matter Raveena Tandon’s smokin hot dance in “Aks” and sensual scenes with Manoj Vajpai (yuck)—the only bright spots in a cataclysm of a movie.

This explains my fascination with the only real life moll I have been privileged to see–Monica Bedi. Yes I know Mandakini became “maili” Big D “ke paap dhote dhote” but she was not really a moll in the classical sense of the term—in that she was not an active partner in the Company. Not interesting. And besides anyone who sings a song : ” I am sorry handsome there is no vacancy” takes herself out of the equation.

So that brings me back to the Bedi. I first saw her in the Saif-Sunil Shetty starrer “Suraksha” which enjoyed moderate fame because of two typical Anu-Malik songs:

“Kaali aankhon wali dekho dil yeh dharke,
Dil yeh dharke dharak dharak kar
Dil yeh bole
Man dole”

“O mere sanaam
O mere sanaam
Jal gayee duniya ek huye hum
Ek nahin, do nahin suraksha karo mere saathon janam”

Then came the breakout movie of Monica Bedi —“Khilona” where she played an innocent lass torn between the true love of her life, Ayub Khan and the villainous Aditya Pancholi, a mafia don who only wanted her as a “khilona”. Rather than the plot, I shall always remember this movie as the setting for the most marvelous song—

“Panditji panditji,
Panditji mera haath dekhkar
Baat karo mere haal ki
Abh tak saajan mila nahin
Jo huyee main solah saal ki”
What a beautiful expression of the insecurities of a 16 year old…waah bhai wah.

The producer of the movie was one Mukesh Duggal whose claim to faim besides making Sunil Shetty wear a tshirt with the word “Soda” on it and go “Hai huku” in the movie ” Gopi Kishan”, was that he had close mafia ties. In an eerie resemblance to the movie “Khilona”, Monica Bedi became the “especial friend” of this Duggal character.

A few forgettable movies followed—“Jeeyo Shaan Se” where she had a miniscule role and only one song in a badminton get-up and another one in “Janam Samjha Karo”.

Then Mukesh Duggal goes down in a hail of bullets . Unlike most other heroines of her ilk (Madhoo for example), Monica Bedi does not then join Mithunda’s alternative movie world in Ootie. She simply vanishes. Not many notice. I do.

It is reported much later that she then became Abu Salem’s “wife” and business partner—brokering deals with Bollywood and basically acting as his “man” on the inside. In sharp contrast to the air-headed bimbette-caught-in-the-headlights roles she essayed in movies, Monica Bedi was reputed to be an extremely smart, business savvy woman who provided the brains behind Salem’s muscle operations.

But Ms Bedi’s true calling was greasepaint. She suddenly came out of her hibernation and onto the marquee of two big budget movies—Jodi No 1 and Pyar Ishq aur Mohabbat. Rajiv Rai, the director of Pyar Ishq aur Mohabbat was attacked by the Salem gang and making Monica Bedi a heroine was a peace offering.

We all know the rest. The flight to Portugal. The arrest. Her tearful appeal to the President for clemency. Her telling the courts that she was afraid to go back to the barbarian country of India where she would be tortured and horrifying indignities heaped upon her (like making her watch her own movies in a loop). She even claimed to have converted to Christianity in order to please the Portugese.

But like all her movies, it didnt work. She is back now in India charming anyone and everyone pretending to have been a pawn in Abu Salem’s big game. But we know better, dont we !

The only jarring tone was when she after her arrest and seperation from Mr Abu, in Hindi filmi wifely fashion, kept asking all and sundry if her husband was all right.

Come on, that’s totally out of character for a moll. She should just smile and move onto the next thing.

But then again, concepts like “staying in character” may be alien to her.

After all, acting was never one of her strengths.

27 thoughts on “In Praise of Molls

  1. You mentioned Mandakini, Monica bedi. But how come you did not mention Nagma’s name?

    If Ms Bedi got another chance I am sure she would have moved “onto the next thing”. But now it seems by the time she gets out of the prison no “next thing” would be interested in her.

  2. @yourfan: 1. To protect Dada.

    2. The real reason is that it seems it was all a case of mistaken identity–the Nagma mentioned was not THE Nagma but another shady South Indian starlet with whom Big D was carrying on.

  3. Making her watch her movies in a loop will surely make her cough up a lot of classified info! Is the CBI listening?

  4. i like the some part of the concept of the moll 🙂

    i like that kind … raveena in aks, or some others … cant remember the names.

    still stuck at work and its 8:30. almost. dhhhhuuuurrrr!!!

  5. never knew the difference between ‘moll’ and ‘vamp’. in that sense, how many proper vamps have we had in bollywood? hardly! baki-gulo shob moll chhilo? where do you get such filmi definition of terms from?

  6. The sad part is that there’s an extremely high chance that this moll/vamp will walk away unscathed. As I type, Tarannum Shaikh is out in the open, due to lack of evidence. And I personally feel Abu bhai will also be ‘tapkofied’ before any trail shail takes place.

  7. HOW you have even heard of these songs really beats me. Most entertaining I must say. Monica Bedi will probably get away scot free you know, and THEN move on to the next big thing.

  8. You do have a movie knowledge I say, and u had’nt missed even Monica Bedi starrers. on my post on beauty and less- good looking hooking uo together, somebody commented that my ideas on beauty and ugly and stuff were from external sources. Could be true but, but dada I say Aishwarya is definitely more beautiful than Monica…

    And yaar Bhojo Horimana don’t serve drinks nor do 6 Ballygunge. Pretty hard to find a good place where you could drink and eat good old bong food, but I am looking forward to it.

  9. During the entire “Abu Salem is eating matter pulao” episode, I have been fascinated my his Moll who is right now buying Apples and Bananas at the Hyderabad Jail she is sadly incarcerated in. I think Molls desrve better than Apples and Bananas.
    But ToI did a great story on D’s Mandy and how she is today a bastion of the Free Tibet movement in Mumbai.
    PS : I happen to know a poor girl whose parents named her – Molshree, thus subjecting her to a life of ‘Moll’ jokes. Poor thing!

  10. hats off for just remembering that dialogue from whatshername bedi in whatsthatmovie.

  11. A truly entertaining write up. Humara salem…I mean salam qabool kijiye…

  12. @A fool on the hill: I hope they are.

    @Prerona: Exactly what parts of the moll stereotype appealed to you?

    @Mandy: I dont need to get definitions as long as I can manufacture them. (Plus I dont think the International Standards Organization have gotten into the vamp-moll thing yet).

    Vamps are independent women who are bad not as a support cast to the male but by themselves. All Lalita Pawar roles, a few by Bindoo——that makes for a lot of vamps.

    @Soham: No I dont think Abu bhai will meet his maker so soon. There are compatriots like Babloo Srivastava who are safe behind bars not to speak of Gawli who contests elections.

    @Ron: Lots of faltoo time on my hands I guess.

    @Anthony: I am sure Bhojohori serves lassi or something ! Jab main chota baccha tha, I tried always to catch all the B grade movies—there is always fun in camp.

    @K: Really parents should think twice before naming their kids…

    @Scribbler: Thank you…thats actually the antara of the song “Suraksha” from the movie “Suraksha”

    @Sam: Qubul….

  13. this type attitude is being reason why INDIAN MAN is getting so little ‘it’. i am thinking ‘great’ type indian person will be at least understanding the travails and loyalty of married subcontinent women people, but clearly it is not being case. see, this reason is whi women staying away from you laughing types and slinking on ammo-types’ arms. horrible disrespect, i say! i am organising woman’s group against this discrimination and unrespectful post right now! beware, horrible person! (that means YOU!)

  14. Dekho main daar gaya…..main kaap raha hoon.

    Sanjay Dutt in Kaante.

  15. Rimi, lol! Way to go girl 😉

    These men are being to bold and free these days. Writing and talking sinful, badbad things and having disrespectful views at women! its is thoroughly outrageous.

    ok. sorry. GB, highly controvesrial prosnyo! aar kothay hawa hoye geli, mr india?

  16. Guess I have thing for people who have the %$**£ to stick out from the ordinary and accepted. Also, they look like real people, who know what they want, will go for it AND accept the price. They are projected as intelligent, beautiful, loving, essentially good women, damned only bcz they refuse to fit in with the lack of personal desires prescribed for good traditional womenhood. was going to say indian, but have found its universial.

  17. Bah, tumi toh many cools, how do you remember those songs? I remember the ‘suraksha’ song, and ‘hai huku’ lol, ki gaan ki gaan.

  18. it’s kinda sad… small town girl makes it big, but wants it bigger…

    wonder what its like leading such a life?

    loved this quotation…

    Premi kisi se darte nahin
    Premiyon se khud hi darte hain log

    (Lovers fear noone, its people who are afraid of lovers)
    —-Suraksha (Monica Bedi)

  19. Hilarious post as usual, GB.
    On a side note, check out Shobhaa(?) De’s highly sympathetic article about the moll in this week’s Week. Pukeable!

  20. You are absolutely the tops! 🙂 clap clap clap!


  21. great write up, loved it to bits.

  22. Well u missed out on one of Monica’s well run movies..Tirchi Topiwaale..

  23. hahaha me no english 😉

  24. y all this rubbish is written abut women in general…..too bad………….wake up guys…………work hard………….study well..atleat get pass marks………. n try to earn atleast 1000 a month….instead of critisising molls n women.

  25. is shady south indian actres is meenaksgi,i heared she was also with d company

  26. Pingback: ativan
  27. Dear Monika,
    mai aap ka dukh to samaj sakte hu per kuch kar nahe sakte per aap aase he apne kaam mai mast raho bahut jhel liya aane duniya ke baatoo ko koi gal ne yaar galtiya to insaan to he ta hondiya hai i always wish u aaallll the best and a good future and also wanted to meet u but i just miss that chance to chat with u on line maine aap k bare mai bahut kuch suna hai aacha bhi or bahut bura bhi per ye to vahe samaj sakta hai na jis per beete ho doojaya da ke hai o ta bus hes den ge
    hope when you fell free with your work u reply me me for the same coz i realyy wanted to talk to u

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