Colonel Vembu Shankar, SC, an Indian Army veteran and an avid autograph collector for over 30 years, has analysed the autograph scene from the 1971 Hindi film Guddi, in which Jaya Bachchan played a schoolgirl who has a crush on actor Dharmendra, who plays himself.
In the scene, Guddi, played by Jaya, visits Dharmendra on the sets of a film, along with her classmates. The classmates take his autographs while Guddi waits for her turn.
As soon as her classmates leave, Guddi approaches Dharmendra and presents him with a unique piece of memorabilia, the film booklet of his 1966 movie Anupama. Dharmendra is impressed and Guddi strikes up a conversation with her celebrity idol.
Dharmendra asks for her name and signs the autograph for her ‘With Love’. He dates the autograph 6 July, 1970. Director Hrishikesh Mukherjee filmed the scene much like how a similar real life situation would unfold.
Col Shankar also spoke about his success in getting autographs of celebrities whenever he presented them with unique items to be signed, like custom caricatures, match tickets, first day covers, front pages of newspapers, special photographs etc. Autographs with a personal message and a date are indeed valuable.
Col Shankar has sourced the rare booklet of the 1966 film Anupama, which was used as a prop in Guddi, and plans to meet Dharmendra to get him to autograph this unique booklet with the message, “To Kusum, with love,” and date it as 6 June 2020. He also plans to present it to Jaya Bachchan, whom he hopes will cherish this unique piece of film memorabilia.
Due to the Covid -19 lockdown, Col Shankar’s plans may get a postponed but they will help rekindle fond memories for Dharmendra and Jaya.
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