Article Hindi

Photojournalist Pradeep Chandra reveals Sanjeev Kumar's unusual sleeping arrangement 

On Sanjeev Kumar’s 79th birth anniversary, Pradeep Chandra shares his memories of the actor, best known for his work in Khilona (1970), Koshish (1973) and Sholay (1975).

Sonal Pandya

Photojournalist Pradeep Chandra, who has authored several books on Hindi cinema, including ones on stars like Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan, has shot many yesteryear actors and famous personalities through his camera.

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In a telephonic conversation with, Pradeep Chandra talked about the late actor Sanjeev Kumar, whom he got to know early on in his career as a photographer. He remembers that the actor had a very good sense of humour.

He recalled one such amusing incident when he had asked Sanjeev Kumar about his plans for the evening, “[Sanjeev Kumar] looked at me and then ran his hand over his face and said, “I’m thinking of getting a shave.”

It was easier for journalists and photographers to access the stars in the late 1960s, Chandra remembered. “In those days, you didn’t have to struggle to enter somebody’s house. You went to his flat, rang the bell and entered,” he says.

He divulges another interesting anecdote that reveals a peculiar fact about the actor. Not many people know that Sanjeev Kumar had an unusual setup in his home. “Inside his drawing room, he had made a jhopdi [hut]. It was inside the dark room and had a small window with a glass and that was his bedroom. When producers used to go to his house or whoever had to meet him, they used to sit in his drawing room and they could see him sleeping in the jhopdi. He used to open his eyes and see through the glass how many people are seated and then indicate with his hand that he is sleeping for five more minutes. Then he used to go back to sleep,” Chandra shared.

The National Award-winning actor, who was born on 9 July 1938, passed away at age 47 from a massive heart attack on 6 November 1985.