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Govinda: Dancing with David

3rd Sep 2011

1. Govinda (Govind Arun Ahuja) was born on 21 December 1963.

2. Govinda's father, Arun Kumar Ahuja, was born in pre-partition Gujranwala, Punjab on January 26, 1917. Veteran producer Mehboob Khan brought him to Mumbai in 1937 and cast him in Ek Hi Raasta as the lead actor. Govinda's mother Nazeem, who was a Muslim, had converted to Hinduism and adopted the name Nirmala Devi. Arun and Nirmala first met during the shooting of the film Savera in which they were cast opposite each other. They married in 1941.

3. The only film Ahuja ever produced was a flop. Unable to bear the loss, his health failed. The family which lived in a bungalow on Mumbai's upmarket Carter Road, moved to Virar, a suburb, where Govinda was born.

4. The youngest of six children, his pet name Chi Chi means little finger in Punjabi, the language they speak at home.

5. He studied at Annasahb 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.

6. Around that time, Govinda saw the film Disco Dancer and became passionate about dance. He practiced for hours and circulated a promo of himself on a VHS cassette. Soon, he was featured in a fertilizer commercial, followed by an Allwyn ad. Finally, he got his first leading role in Tan-Badan, which was to be directed by his uncle Anand.

7. Anand's wife's sister Sunita fell in love with Govinda during the mahurat of Tan Badan. They got married on 11 March, 1987. Their marriage was a closely guarded secret for four years. They have two children, Narmada and Yashvardhan.

8. He started shooting for his next film Love 86 in June 1985. By mid-July, he had signed 40 others. His first released film Ilzaam (1986) was a box office success.

9. He worked with David Dhawan for the first time in the 1989 action film Taaqatwar.

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