It has emerged that Anant Vardhan, the group president for corporate communications and corporate affairs for Yash Birla's conglomerate, who was arrested for possession of cocaine recently, was an aspiring actor before the corporate world beckoned him. He had shot for Anand Mahendru's film Mritunjay in 2009.
Anant Vardhan produced in a court for the ongoing trial. Pic/Shadab Khan
When contacted, the filmmaker didn't deny this. "Yes, he worked on a film with me but the film got shelved after one schedule and that was that. Soon after, we lost touch," he said, adding that he doesn't know much about Vardhan's background. Sources say that Vardhan was into bodybuilding and apparently got in touch with industrialist Yash Birla through a social networking site.
A member of the unit that worked on Mahendru's film said that Mrityunjay being an action film, it had a generous dose of martial arts sequences. "The first schedule of the film was shot on a huge set constructed in Film City and stunt directors from Hollywood had been flown down for the shoot. But after the film was shelved, everyone moved on," said the unit member.
It was later that Vardhan was spotted with Yash Birla at the latter's parties. Another source, an actor who used to work with Vardhan in an Oshiwara gym, chimed in that the latter was a model who came from Delhi in pursuit of a career in films. "Anant would tell us about his Bollywood dreams and how his career was going to take off soon. He was friends with a music tycoon's nephew and he stayed at this friend's residence for a couple of years. The two are believed to have been heavily into drug abuse," he added. Arrested by NCB last week, Vardhan will remain in custody till January 16.