Hema Malini is looking to create history in the holy town
She is many summers removed from her ‘Dream Girl’ days but for the star-starved residents of Mathura, Hema Malini could not have come a day too soon. She is not entirely comfortable in her new avatar – this is the first time Hema Malini is contesting the Lok Sabha polls though she has been a campaigner for the BJP in the past. Not quite in sync yet with her constituency, Hema Malini traverses across Mathura in an Audi, the car also giving her a make-shift stage whenever she stops by to wave at the crowd. She stays inside the car, stands on the rear seat, waves to people around her and ducks back in.
It is still early days yet so she is not ready with the blueprint for the constituency’s development. She does, however, talk in generalities about improving the quality of the Yamuna water, making it fit for drinking, cleaning up the holy river and the like.
The sacred township does not have proper roads at many places, something which she is able to glide over in her luxury car. Laloo once promised to turn Bihar’s road’s like Hema Malini’s cheeks. He failed. Now it is Hema’s turn to show what she can do in an election fought on the plank of development. She does, however, remember the place’s history and tries to connect with as Krishna’s devotee. From playing Radha in dance recitals to essaying Meera in Gulzar’s film, Hema has a strong connect with Mathura and Vrindavan. The oldies in this Jat stronghold relate to her less as a politician but more as Dharmendra bahu. Stuck in a time warp they still believe that she is the Basanti, who won the heart of their Veeru.
Unlike Jayaprada, she chooses to dress in splendid saris and mouths platitudes about Narendra Modi being the only leader who can solve the problems of the nation. The masses cannot have enough of her, even if she comes down for a few seconds only. They stand patiently, waiting for one glimpse of the star. As for her poll prospects, it is early days yet. She is locked in a contest with Jayant Choudhary, Ajit Singh’s son and sitting MP.
In a way it is a battle between two generations. “She is our star campaigner. Recently she was in Nagpur. Now she is scheduled to address a rally in Modinagar. Mathura will go to polls on April 24. She still has time on her hand,” says one of her poll campaigners. How much is she able to transcend her screen image and mix with the people might just decide her fate on the D-Day.