A famous surname can take you places, the cream of the Bollywood pie isn’t one among them. Sonam Kapoor recently boasted about her position of privilege, attributing her ‘high birth’ to her good Karma and was immediately put in her place by swarms of netizens.
That there is no alternative karma to precautious hard work and extreme talent; and that success rests solely on one’s own dexterity is corroborated by the failure of these celebrities inheriting influential surnames.
Daughter to a noted director and a famed actress, Tanisha was Kajol’s younger sibling too. But, a debut with the slasher movie Sssshhh... only did an average business at the box-office. She was given a “re-launch” with Neal 'n' Nikki, which showcased her newly achieved perfect stats more than her acting chops. After a series of mediocre releases, a Bigg Boss season, and the controversial romance springing from it, Tanisha now spends time by posing in designer outfits for Instagram.
Mithun Chakraborty and Yogeeta Bali’s son, Mahaakshay Chakraborty was introduced as Mimoh Chakraborty. The lad debuted in 2008 with the movie Jimmy, and surprisingly managed a nomination for Best Male debut in Filmfare awards. He has worked in five failed Hindi movies, before becoming obscure. Minoh tried his luck in the Bengali film industry as well, but even Tollywood rejected him after the initial hype.
Jitendra had earned quite the success in his time. Ekta Kapoor has established herself as the queen of soap opera. And then, in 2001, the younger one hit the big screen with Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hai opposite Kareena Kapoor. The movie fared well at the box office but failed to land him a concrete ground in the industry. Tusshar has not starred as the lead in any movie, let alone a successful one, for over a decade now. These days we get to see him playing mute characters, as a brother to his erstwhile leading lady.
Rather unfairly, his performances were always measured against his megastar father and it worked against his interest every time. A dream debut 20 years ago didn’t help him reach any heights in an industry his father once dominated. Despite the absence of any mention-worthy success, Abhishek registers as an eminent member of that ‘Elite Club’ of Bollywood which is believed to call the shots. Strange!
Dev Anand launched his son Suniel Anand with his home production, Anand aur Anand in 1984. With two more 80s typical his adventure in acting was wrapped up in less than two years. After a prolonged and futile wait, he ventured out in the area of movie direction. He directed two films that released in 2001 and attracted no footfall.
The Main Hoon Na actor couldn’t replicate his father or uncle’s journey. His Bollywood stint, unfortunately, was a sad recall of cousin Fardeen Khan’s failures, perhaps, even worse. Barring his 2003 maiden film, Chura Liyaa Hai Tumne, the star-kid has never starred as the solo actor in any movie and has not a single hit to his credit. He was last seen in 2015 in Sharafat.
The kingpins that dictate every star’s fate in the industry, couldn’t transform the utter failure of one of their own into success, and that is the irony of life. Having relegated into a meme material for the net-savvy generation, Uday had sent out a couple of cryptic tweets that made netizens worry about his mental health. These days, he leads a quiet life and maintains a low profile.
Puru Raaj Kumar
Though a dream launch in a Karisma Kapoor movie was easy to bag, proving himself as a promising actor turned out to be a challenge for Rajkumar’s son, Puru Raaj Kumar. Almost thrown out of the audience’’s memory, Puru was compelled to settle for negative and supporting roles for years’ but even those opportunities have dried out these days. He was last seen playing an Inspector in Ajay Devgn’s Action Jackson.
After a series of middling performances, Esha saw her first breakthrough in Dhoom, but it remained to be the only blockbuster she has her name on the credits. Esha tried, but she failed to grab the right movies where her prowess could be employed to the fulled. Happily married and a mother of two, Esha hasn’t walked out of the industry totally, but her presence isn’t making a difference either. Cakewalk, her 2019 short film of 27 minutes was a pleasant watch.
The utter contrast in the career-graphs of Sohail Khan and Salman Khan is mind-boggling. Repeated rejection by cine-goers has limited his tryst with the camera to movies produced by Salman Khan. When he is not judging laughter challenges on TV, he experiments with other aspects of film making also.
Certainly not one who has left a legacy on the silver screen, Twinkle Khanna is otherwise a wise lady who realised that her gift lied in avenues outside Bollywood. After the traumatising Mela and International Khiladi, she called pack-up on Bollywood for good. She keeps herself relevant through her opinionated writings and self-deprecating humour on social media, and books inspired by her own experiences in life.
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