A Light Snuffed
The ill-fated actress, Divya Bharti’s journey began on the 25th of February, in 1974 and ended tragically on the 5th of April, 1993 in circumstances that are still murky.
Divya was born to Om Prakash Bharti and Meeta Bharti in Tapri. She did her schooling in the Maneckji Cooper High School in Mumbai, but became a school dropout at the age of 14 years when she was in the 9th grade, as she was offered the chance of becoming an actress. She had already been dabbling in modeling during this time and had taken part in a few fashion shows.
Happy Young Days
Though Divya left school for the film Gunahon Ka Devta, she was ultimately dropped from the project and it only when actor Govinda’s brother Kirti Kumar, who was a director, spotted her that her acting career started.
Divya got a chance to act in the Telugu film Bobbili Raja opposite Daggubati Venkatesh which became a huge success at the box office. This romantic comedy, which was a remake of the super hit Hollywood movie Romancing the Stone, was the perfect debut vehicle for Divya where she played the role of a rich and pampered daughter of a minister. The film showcased her freshness and charm wonderfully.
Song “Saat Samundar”
Bollywood followed soon thereafter, when hot shot producer-director Rajiv Rai took her for his multi- starrer film Vishwatma in 1992 opposite Sunny Deol. This action thriller movie was a huge success at the box-office and Divya was noticed in the film and especially in her hit song “Saat Samundar.”
During the early 1990s, Divya was slowly emerging to become a major star in the efficiently run and money rich Telugu film industry; she was the second only to Vijayshanti, the female Amitabh Bachchan of Telugu cinema. Her major Telugu hits include Rowdy Alludu opposite super star Chiranjeevi and Assembly Rowdy opposite another big star, Mohan Babu.
Sridevi of Telugu Films
People started calling her the Sridevi of Telugu Films, not only because of similar looks – beautiful, baby faced with huge eyes and voluptuous bodies, but also because of their success and acting talents.
Dil Ka Kya Kasoor
In Bollwood, immediately after the successful opening of Vishwatma, Divya’s next film Dil Ka Kya Kasoor with unknown male lead Prithvi, suffered a poor opening at movie theaters, yet Divya’s name was included as one of the best actresses by reputed magazines.
Shola Aur Shabnam
Divya managed to justify the faith of the people when her next outing in the David Dhawan directed film Shola Aur Shabnam was released in 1992. The film turned not only Govinda, the male lead and Divya into major stars; it also changed the fortune of its director, David Dhawan. This romantic comedy was a huge box office success.
Divya, in her tragically cut short career managed to get a wide range of roles that did not typecast her into being a just a glamorous accessory or side arm. She also has been lucky for many a debutant actor and director, be it Venkatesh, David Dhawan or Shahrukh Khan. At a young age, she dared to take on a challenging role in the Raj Kanwar directed film Deewana, where she played the role of a subdued and grief stricken widow and also played the role of an outgoing chirpy young girl. Her brilliant performance in the film fetched her the Filmfare Best Female Debut Award. This romantic film had Shahrukh Khan, Rishi Kapoor and Divya in a romantic triangle created by an accident. This film turned out to be the biggest hit of 1992 and thrust Shahrukh into the limelight.
Divya’s lucky streak in Bollywood continued with the Sunil Shetty starrer testosterone filled film Balwaan which was a commercial success and established Sunil Shetty as an action star. Despite the slant of the film, Divya was noticed and appreciated.
Jaan Se Pyaara
The film Jaan Se Pyaara had Divya playing the romantic lead opposite male lead Govinda. This movie too, did well at the box office.
Dil Aashna Hai
Divya’s next release in the very same year was the Hema Malini directed film Dil Aashna Hai. The movie centred on Divya’s search for her real mother and though the film didn’t find too many takers, her sensitive performance was appreciated by all those who saw the film.
With Sajid Nadiadwala
1992 was a turbulent year for Divya, because she was not only working hard in the Telugu and Hindi film industry and was becoming a star to reckon with, she also married film Sajid Nadiadwala after a two year romantic relationship, in a quickie marriage.
Death Of a Star
Death Of a Star
Movie lovers were saddened and shocked at the news of Divya’s death on the fateful night of April in 1993. According to reports, she fell to her death from her Versova apartment in Mumbai that was on the fifth floor. There were rumours galore including conspiracy theories, D-gang involvement, drugs, but the police closed its investigations in 1998 without giving any clarity regarding the circumstances of her mysterious death.
Two days later she was cremated as a Hindu, following Hindu traditions and thus ended the life and times of a beautiful, young and shining star who had so much promise and so much to live for. The world lost a person who had enriched so many lives through her performances in films and touched their hearts and minds in so many ways.
Divya’s films that were released posthumously include the film Rang, with Kamal Sadanah and Shatranj with Jackie Shroff as her male lead.