The shocking report of eminent photo-journalist and Antara Mali's father Jagdish roaming disoriented and dishevelled on the streets of Mumbai has sent shockwaves across the film industry. However, people close to him are now planning to take legal action against model Mink Brar for spreading wrong information.
Filmmaker Ashoke Pandit, a close friend of the Malis, says he is shocked at the length people go to gain publicity. Mink had apparently witnessed Jagdish wandering aimlessly on the streets in a semi-nude condition.
"This is so wrong! We're shocked at the lengths people go to just to get publicity. What is Mink Brar talking about? Jaggu (Jagdish) is not a crazed-out wanderer on the streets. We don't know what she saw, or rather didn't see. All we know is someone somewhere misinformed the press," said Pandit.
The filmmaker said Jagdish is mentally and physically fine.
"He suffers from the normal ailments at that age. So what? That doesn't make him a nutcase wandering on the streets. Jaggu is a dear and close friend. I meet him regularly. And would we his friends and family allow him to wander on the streets if he was really unwell?" said Pandit.
"Jaggu is in shorts most of the time. He lives an austere life. He hasn't touched a drop of alcohol for the past 15 years," he added.
Pandit said Jagdish's well-wishers are sending a legal notice to Mink.
"What she has done is wrong. It is very unfair to Jaggu and his daughter Antara. She is a good daughter. She takes good care of her father. We are taking legal action against Ms.Brar for serving up misinformation to the media for her own interests," said Pandit.
"You can't do this to someone who defined glam-journalism in the 1970s just because he is no longer in demand," he added.
Meanwhile, reactions over the news have poured in from all quarters.
Veteran actress Raakhee Gulzar, who now lives in her posh farm outside Mumbai said, "It is disturbing to hear something like this. In our country there is no social-security system to ensure such things don't happen."
Raveena Tandon, who looks after her parents while running her own household, thinks such sordid situations can be avoided.
"It can happen to anyone from any walk of life. Everyone gets old. Everyone needs a support system. Friends can only provide moral support. It's the family that needs to look after its senior members," she said.