Younger sisters fail to blossom in Bollywood

New Delhi, Jan 6 (IANS) They had a launch pad in their elder sisters who are stars in Bollywood. But actresses like Amrita Arora, Shamita Shetty and Tanisha Mukherjee have failed to come out of the glittering shadow of their siblings despite seeking to carve out their own destiny.

Although they claim to have avoided sibling rivalry, comparisons have been inevitable.

Ever since Amrita stepped into Bollywood in 2002 with "Kitne Door Kitne Paas" opposite Fardeen Khan, parallels have been drawn with her elder sibling Malaika Arora Khan. And every time, she has fallen short of matching the latter in terms of sensuality, looks, physique, dancing ability as well as her overall on screen persona.

But Amrita says this has not affected their relationship.

"I am extremely close to Malaika and the bond we share is unexplainable. We depend on each other and feel happy for each other's success. I just can't do without her. We are always there to help and motivate each other. Like success, we share our failures as well," she has often said.

Ditto is the case for Shamita, whose sister Shilpa Shetty's popularity skyrocketed after she won the British reality show "Celebrity Big Brother" in 2007.

Though Shamita made her debut with a role in Aditya Chopra's big-budget film "Mohabbatein" in 2000, she has failed to deliver a single hit in her career spanning seven years. However, her acting skills were noticed when she essayed the role of a police officer in "Zeher" opposite Emraan Hashmi.

Lookwise and fitness-wise also, Shilpa's sharp features, slender frame, slim waist and overall attitude have always overshadowed Shamita. Shilpa and Shamita had once shared screen space in Deepak Tijori's thriller "Fareb", but they did not play sisters in it.

"Though I'd love to be my sister's sister on screen, I think it would be slightly awkward to play real-life roles. It's far more challenging to come together and play against one another as rivals in love, as we did in 'Fareb'," Shilpa had said.

Now Shilpa is planning to re-launch Shamita under her newly launched banner S2 Productions.

Another example is that of Kajol and Tanisha. Although Kajol is not doing too many films, she is still one of the most sought after actresses in Bollwood. Tanisha, however, was seen as a disappointment with her debut in "Sssshhh" opposite Dino Morea.

She continued to give flops with "Popcorn Khao! Mast Ho Jao", "Tango Charlie" and "Neal N Nikki". Tanisha grabbed media attention with her loud role in "Neal N Nikki" and her unrestrained show of cleavage in the movie which was made under the prestigious banner of Yash Raj Films. But even that failed to catapult her into the big league.

Incidentally, Kajol's mother and yesteryear actress Tanuja had been overshadowed by her elder sister Nutan's popularity and success. While Nutan, who died in 1991, won six Filmfare awards in her over four-decade-long career, Tanuja could only make it to the nominations.

Some lesser known siblings also share similar stories such as Shilpa and Namrata Shirodkar, and Padmini and Tejaswini Kolhapure. The same applies to an extent to Farah and Tabu, though in this case the younger sister has been more successful.

While Farah was a mainstream popular actress and featured in hits like "Baap Numbri Beta Dus Numbri", "Rakhwala" and "Ghar Ghar Ki Kahani", Tabu carved a niche for herself through parallel cinema with films like "Maachis", "Astitva", "Chandni Bar", "Maqbool", "The Namesake" and "Cheeni Kum".

In a way, Karisma and Kareena Kapoor have been exceptions to the rule. Unlike others, Kareena has successfully carried forward her elder sisters' legacy in Bollywood.

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