Anu Aggarwal, the Aashiqui girl who entered the world of showbiz with a bang turns 50 on January 11. The actress made her Bollywood debut opposite the winner of Bigg Boss 1, Rahul Roy with Aashiqui in 1990. As she turns a year older today, let's take a look at her journey from being a Bollywood sensation to a tantric sex guru.
(Left/Pic: Anu Aggarwal's Twitter account). This is how the actress looks now (Right/Pic: Yogen Shah)
Anu Aggarwal left behind Paris, and her art dealer-restaurateur boyfriend, Laurent, to act in Mahesh Bhatt’s love story, Aashiqui (1990).
Anu Aggarwal was born on 11 January 1969 in New Delhi and was raised in Chennai. The actress was also a gold medalist in sociology at Delhi University. After a brief stint in modelling and VJing, and post her appearance in the Doordarshan serial Isi Bahane in 1988, she made her Bollywood debut with the musical blockbuster Aashiqui, following which she was much in demand. Anu Aggarwal also featured in a few TV commercials in the early 1990s. Most notable was an ad for a flavoured condom in 1991.
Aashiqui is a Hindi musical romance film and was directed by Mahesh Bhatt, starring Rahul Roy, Anu Aggarwal and Deepak Tijori in pivotal roles. During the release, it received positive reviews and emerged as an all-time blockbuster.
The film was known for its music, by composer duo Nadeem–Shravan (Nadeem Akhtar Saifi and Shravan Kumar Rathod), who also established their careers along with that of singer Kumar Sanu and music label T-Series. The soundtrack album has been rated the fourth best ever by Planet Bollywood on their "100 Greatest Bollywood Soundtracks."
All the songs in the film became equally popular, namely Jaane Jigar Jaaneman, Main Duniya Bhula Doonga, Ek Sanam Chahiye, Nazar Ke Saamne Jigar Ke, Tu Meri Zindagi, Dil Ka Aalam, Ab Tere Bin, Dheere Dheere Se and Mera Dil Tere Liye. Here's a look at the team behind the film which is now considered a classic...
Post Aashiqui's success, the actress received a lot of movies, which included Ghazab Tamasha, King Uncle, Khalnaaikaa, Thirunda Thirunda, Janam Kundali and Return Of Jewel Thief. All of a sudden, the actress took a sabbatical from the world of showbiz and vanished in the thin air.
In 1994, Anu Aggarwal starred in the erotic film The Cloud Door in which she played a princess. There were reports that Anu Aggarwal posed nude in The Cloud Door. The short Indo-German drama film was directed by acclaimed Indian director Mani Kaul and featuring Hindu erotic literary themes.
The film was produced by the German producer Regina Ziegler. The Cloud Door was featured along with other short films such as Susan Seidelman's The Dutch Master and Ken Russell's The Insatiable Mrs Kirsch, as a part of Ziegler Films' compilation of short erotic films called Erotic Tales.
Anu Aggarwal's career received a major boost from Aashiqui, but, the actress couldn't sustain her popularity and quickly faded away. Ever since Anu met with a near-fatal accident in 1999, and post her 29-day-coma, the actress didn't make a comeback in Hindi Cinema.
The 1996 film 'Return of Jewel Thief' was Anu Aggarwal's last movie, and post the release, the actress vanished from the spotlight. Her accident was the last update about her life, until a few years ago when she disclosed about her yoga and tantric sex. She also wrote a book about her ordeal following the accident, in 2015, and has made a few public appearances since then.
Post whatever she has dealt with, Anu Aggarwal doesn't meet for any interviews. The actress' time is reserved for teaching Mumbai's slum kids AnuFun Yoga, a healing module she developed after years of experimenting with Vipassana, Craniosacral therapy and Tantra across ashrams in Uttarakhand and Kutch.
Anu Aggarwal suffered broken bones, brain damage and a palsy-ridden body following the accident. A 12-inch metal plate was inserted to hold Anu Aggarwal's fractured humerus together, the doctor apparently decided it could be removed only after her recovery.
However, Anu Aggarwal's mini-surgery turned into a nightmare when the doctor snapped her radial nerve, leaving her right hand paralysed.
Following the surgery, Anu Aggarwal sent the surgeon a Dutch plate as a gift to ease his guilt for botching the procedure.
Anu Aggarwal revealed the pain she endured during her recovery period in an exclusive interview to mid-day. She said, "When I closed my eyes there was no thumb. I had no first finger. No second finger. No third finger. No fourth finger. No tiny smallest finger."
Anu Aggarwal further said, "And I had no nails. I did not have a palm. I did not feel the skin on top of my palm. I had no skin even above the palm."
"My wrist was decapitated. I had no hand and no lower arm. I had no elbow. I had no upper arm," Anu Aggarwal added.
Anu Aggarwal said that she learnt to use the fork with her left hand after her right hand was paralysed.
Three years of determination and therapy allowed Anu Aggarwal to get back on her feet.
But what has helped her get a new lease on life you ask? Anu Aggarwal has credited yoga and tantric sex.
In 2015, Anu Aggarwal released her book, 'Anusual: Memoir of a Girl Who Came Back from the Dead', which chronicles her recovery process post the accident.
In the book, Anu Aggarwal also reveals why she disappeared from the spotlight and unravels the mystery surrounding her life.
Anu Aggarwal's book talks in detail about her sexual and spiritual experiences.
In her book, Anu Aggarwal also lists her lovers with the matter-of-factness of a supermarket bill.
An Anglo-American jazz musician; a Giorgio Armani supermodel; a cool-headed Wall Street financier; an Australian-Jewish landowner; a venture capitalist and sax player from Texas; a German lingerie-maker; a loaded Nigerian 'who preferred the most natural sexual acts to be performed with both of us standing up straight', said Anu Aggarwal.
Anu Aggarwal revealed how she learnt to orgasm with plain breathing thanks to tantric sex.
Anu Aggarwal said that this out-of-body experience hits her often, (possibly why, in several sections of the book, she refers to herself in the third person), especially in the time after the near-fatal accident.
When Anu Aggarwal released her book, 'Aashiqui' director Mahesh Bhatt praised her effort in sharing her interesting life story and its travails with courage.
"I really salute the audacity and spirit of Anu... it's very brave of you to put all that you've been through into a book and really walk away from it all. I think what you're doing today is extremely gratifying," said Mahesh Bhatt at the time of Anu Aggarwal's book launch.
Now, Anu Aggarwal's time is reserved for teaching Mumbai's slum kids AnuFun Yoga, a healing module she developed after years of experimenting with Vipassana, Craniosacral therapy and Tantra across ashrams in Uttarakhand and Kutch. She teaches it for free.
We wish the 'bindaas' 1990s girl a very happy birthday!
Anu Aggarwal, the actress who became a sensation in the '90s after Bollywood debut 'Aashiqui', survived a car crash, battled coma and learnt tantric sex to improve her life. On her birthday, here's a look at the woman's inspiring story. (Pictures courtesy: Anu Aggarwal's Twitter account and mid-day archives)
DISCLAIMER: mid-day and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.