Govinda

Original Name: Govind Arun Ahuja
Screened Name: Govinda
Nick Name: Chi Chi
Commonly Known Name: Virar Ka Chokra
Date of Birth (Birthday): 21 December, 1958
Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius
Height: 5′ 8
Eye Color: Black
Hair Color: Black
Birth Place: Punjab
Marital Status: Married
Titles Won: Awards of the International Indian Film Academy – Joodi No.1, Zee Cine Awards (Best Comedian) – Haseena Maan Jayegi
Spouse: Sunita Ahuja
First Film: Mit Jayenge Mitane Wale

Dish/ Recipes: Laungi mirchi
Drink: Cow’s Milk
TV Show: Hum Paanch
Book: Hanuman Chalisa
Car: Mercedes Benz, Esteem, Zen

Govinda ( born Govind Arun Ahuja, on December 21, 1963) is a Filmfare award-winning Indian actor and politician currently serving as the 5th Member of Parliament for the Mumbai North Constituency of Maharashtra, India. He has appeared in over 120 Hindi language films, also known as Bollywood. As a young man, his acting and dancing skills gained him widespread attention among film viewers. He later gained worldwide fame as a Bollywood icon through comedy films such as Shola Aur Shabnam, Aankhen, Coolie No.1, Haseena Maan Jaayegi and Partner.

Govinda was nicknamed and referred to as “Chi Chi” (Punjabi: Little Finger) by his family, close associates and occasionally by the media.

Govinda is married to Sunita Ahuja. He is a member of the Indian National Congress Party and was elected in June 2004 in the 14th Lok Sabha elections defeating Ram Naik of the Bharatiya Janata Party. In June 1999, Govinda was voted as the 10th greatest star of stage or screen of the last thousand years by BBC News Online users.

His mother, Nirmala Devi, was a classical vocalist and actress who hailed from Banaras. His father, Arun Kumar Ahuja, an actor in the 1940s, was a Punjabi settled in Maharashtra. Arun was notable for acting in Mehboob Khan’s Aurat (1940). Arun and Nirmala first met during the making of the film Savera, in which they were cast opposite each other. They married in 1941. The only film Ahuja ever produced was a flop. Unable to bear the loss, his health failed. The family, living in a bungalow on Mumbai’s upmarket Carter Road, was forced to move to Virar — a far- flung semi-rural Mumbai suburb, where Govinda was born. The youngest of six children — his pet name Chi Chi means little finger in Punjabi, the language they speak at home — he grew up on a diet of movies. Since his father was unable to work, Nirmala Devi brought up the children through hard times.

Acting Career

He studied at Annasaheb Vartak College in Vasai, Maharashtra. He graduated in commerce, but failed to find a job. He was not considered for a steward’s position at the Taj Mahal hotel because his English wasn’t good enough. His father suggested films. Around this time, Govinda saw the film Saturday Night Fever and dance became his obsession. He practised for hours and circulated a promo of himself on a VHS cassette. Soon a fertiliser commercial came his way, followed by an Allwyn ad, finally his very first leading role in Tan Badan which was to be directed by his uncle Anand. He started shooting for his next film Love 86 in June 1985. By mid-July, he had signed 40 others.

His first film to be released Ilzaam (1986) was a box office success. He acted in a string of movies after that with mixed success. Most of the films he appeared in during the 1980s were in the action, romance or family drama genres. He was often paired opposite actress Neelam and together they appeared in hit films such as Love 86 (1986), Khudgarz (1987) and his brother Kirti Kumar’s directed Hatya (1988). He had success with family drama films such as Dariya Dil (1988), Jeete Hain Shaan Se (1988) and Hum (1991) as well as action films such as Marte Dam Tak (1987) and Jung Baaz (1989). He worked with David Dhawan for the first time in the 1989 action film Taaqatwar.

He then formed a successful collaboration with David Dhawan and went onto act in 17 movies directed by him most of which were comedy films. The most successful films during their collaboration included Shola Aur Shabnam (1992), Aankhen (1993), Raja Babu (1994), Coolie No. 1 (1995), Saajan Chale Sasural (1996), Hero No. 1 (1997), Deewana Mastana (1997), Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (1998), Haseena Maan Jaayegi (1999) and Jodi No. 1 (2001). Dhawan and other directors frequently cast him opposite actresses such as Karishma Kapoor and Raveena Tandon during the 1990s.

Govinda played the role of a villain for the first time in his career in Shikari (2000). Although the movie was not a commercial success, Govinda’s convincing portrayal of a sociopath murderer was critically acclaimed.

His box office draw suffered a setback in the early 2000s following a series of commercially unsuccessful films. His acting career was further affected when he contested and won the seat for Member of Parliament from Mumbai North in the 2004 parliamentary elections. He did not have any new film releases in 2004 and 2005 although some of his delayed films such as Khullam Khulla Pyaar Karen (2005) and his own home production Ssukh (2005) were released but were box office disasters.

Govinda made a comeback to films in late 2006 with the comedy film Bhagam Bhag alongside Akshay Kumar which was a success. His first 2007 release was the huge multi-starrer Salaam-e-Ishq: A Tribute To Love. Although a box office disappointment, Govinda was praised for his performance.

His second 2007 release was the David Dhawan directed romantic comedy Partner, which co-stars Salman Khan. The film grossed Rs.300 Million in India on its opening week, the second highest domestic opening week gross for an Indian film. His upcoming films for 2008 include Money Hai To Honey Hai.

Political career

In 2004, Govinda joined the Congress party, and was elected to the Lok Sabha, the lower House of Parliament from Mumbai with a thumping majority of beating the 5 time sitting MP by over 50000 votes. It is believed that the large and influential Gujarati Muslim community had a big role to play in canvassing support for him. Mumbai North is one of the most communally sensitive areas in Mumbai

In a run up to the polls, Govinda had announced that his agenda will be awaas (housing), prawaas (transportation), swasthya (health) and gyaan (education).

During the first ten months of his tenure as an Member of Parliament (MP), Govinda did not spend any money from his MP Local Area Development Fund of Rs. 20 million. He started utilizing his fund only when newspaper reports brought this to notice. According to the Thane district collectorate sources, Govinda committed Rs 7 to construct anganwadi, samaj mandirs and resolve drinking water problem of Vasai and Virar residents. However, work on these projects did not begin (as of August 2005), because administrative approval was being awaited. Govinda also took credit for 80% of the quadrupling of Borivli-Virar section on Western Railway (India).

During his tenure as an MP, Govinda embarrassed his party, Congress, by coming out in open to support actor Shakti Kapoor, who had been caught in an sting operation, asking for sexual favours from a television reporter posing as a Bollywood aspirant. He also opposed the ban on dance bars, which embarrassed the Congress-NCP led Democratic Front Government, which had proposed the ban.

As an MP, Govinda has been criticized for being inaccessible to the people of his constituency, especially during the terrible rains (beginning July 26, 2005) that left around 450 dead in Mumbai. After the rains, while speaking to a TV channel, Govinda claimed that he had got Rs 150 million sanctioned for his flood-hit constituency after speaking to Sonia Gandhi. However, his own party colleagues contested the claim. Mohan Adhikari, the president of Palghar Congress Unit went on record saying that “not a single paisa” had been received.

On Jan 20, 2008, he has decided to quit politics to concentrate on his fantastic acting career.

Personal Life

Govinda’s brother Kirti Kumar is an actor, producer and director. His sister Kaamini Khanna is a writer , music director, singer, anchor and founder of Beauty with Astrology. Govinda has five nephews and two nieces in the entertainment industry: actors Vinay Anand,Krushna Abhishek, Aryan, Arjun Singh, Ragini Khanna, Aarti Singh and director Janmendra Kumar Ahuja. Govinda’s brother-in-law Devendra Sharma has also acted in a few Hindi Films.

Govinda married Sunita Ahuja on 11 March 1987. The couple have two children,Narmada and Yashvardhan. Narmada is preparing herself for her acting debut in Bollywood.

Govinda initially wanted to marry actress Neelam with whom he had made many films but eventually gave up and married according to his mother’s choice. He had a narrow escape from death on January 5, 1994. While travelling to a studio for the shooting of ‘Khuddar (1994)’, the actor’s car hit another car, resulting in him sustaining injuries to his head. Though bleeding profusely, Govinda did not cancel the shooting. After visiting a doctor, he shot for the film till midnight.

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