Junior Mehmood Exclusive: ‘I am not even equal to Mehmood Saab’s shoe, if he had not given me his name, what would I have existed’

Actor Junior Mehmood had such stardom in Hindi cinema in the 60s and 70s that he used to travel on the sets of the film in the most expensive car of those days, the Impala. At that time only a dozen people had this car in the whole of Mumbai. Father used to work in Railways whose monthly salary was 320 rupees and Junior Mehmood then used to charge 3000 rupees a day. Junior Mehmood worked in about 265 films in that period with almost all the stars except Raj Kapoor. Junior Mehmood is his screen name and was given to him by veteran actor and comedian Mehmood. In an exclusive conversation with ‘Amar Ujala’, Junior Mehmood narrated interesting stories related to his life. Let’s enjoy these stories on his birthday today, in his own words…

Real name Mohammad Naeem Sayyed

Before knowing how I got my name Junior Mehmood, it is important to know from where I started. I was born and brought up in a very simple family. I was born on 15 November 1956 in Wadala Railway Colony, Mumbai. My father Masood Ahmed Siddiqui used to work as an engine driver in the railways. And he named me Mohammad Naeem Sayyed. I am the third among six siblings. Two of my brothers have passed away. Now we are two brothers and two sisters.

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elder brother fulfilled his first dream

It is rare for a person living in Mumbai not to be in love with cinema. I started with my elder brother’s hobby. Elder brother Mohammad Bilal used to do still photography in films. He was also an amazing mimicry artist and was very fond of acting. When he used to come from shooting, he used to talk about all the actors. After listening to their words, I used to think that when will I get a chance to meet these stars. And, one day I asked my elder brother to take me to see the shooting sometime. Then one day luck was kind and that day also came.

Got five rupees for the first film

I went to the shooting with my brother and started watching the shooting silently. The shooting of the film ‘Kitna Nazuk Hai Dil’ was going on in which comedian Johnny Walker was there. During the shooting, the child artist of the film was repeatedly forgetting his lines. ‘Amaan, itni si line nahi bol raha aur gaya acting karne’ came out of my mouth. The director of the film heard and challenged me to do the same thing. I repeated the dialogue and the shot was okay in one take. People clapped and I got five rupees. I was eight then and five rupees was a huge amount in those days.

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Invitation to visit Mahmood Sahab’s house

After getting my first break, I started working as a junior artist. I didn’t feel like studying. That’s when I got a chance to play Mehmood Sahab’s brother-in-law in Ratan Bhattacharya’s film ‘Suhagrat’. During the shooting of that film, I mingled a lot with Mehmood Sahab. It was Jinni’s daughter Mehmood’s first birthday and he invited all the people working in the film but didn’t say anything to me. I asked myself that everyone is being invited and why not me. He laughed and said, ‘You also come.’

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