MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA DECEMBER 31, 2015 10.15 P.M.
On December 25th, 2015, when the world was celebrating Christmas, I read a news and suddenly all around me my world crumbled. I read that SADHANA ji bid adieu to this ephemeral world. My memories took me away from the metropolitan Mumbai of 2015 and ushered me into the dark, humid hall of Amarjyoti Talkies, Deoria. The year was 1965 and the film I went to watch was ” Waqt “, Yash Chopra directed 1st multi-starrer of India. Passing through the pan-strewn gate and boundary walls of Amarjyoti Talkies, I fought a valiant battle to get the ticket and entered the hall.
Film started and drama gripped the audience. As film progressed, SADHANA ji made entry and her entry was greeted with thunderous applause and whistles. In the film she lip-synced famous Asha Bhosle songs like ;
कौन आया कि निगाहों में चमक जाग उठी ……………………..
चेहरे पे ख़ुशी छा जाती है , आँखों में सुरूर आ जाता है ………………………
हम जब सिमट के आपकी बाँहों में आ गए …………………..
Her fringe hairstyle, tight Choodidar & Kurta and enchanting smile threw a spell over my adolescent mind. I still vividly remember my first screen encounter with SADHANA ji .
As Christmas 2015 night progressed, I remembered her other famous songs. Even after so many years, they are still mint fresh in my memory. They are ;
ओ सजना , बरखा बहार आयी – परख
अभी न जाओ छोड़कर , कि दिल अभी भरा नहीं – हम दोनों
याद में तेरी जाग – जाग के हम , रात भर करवटें बदलते हैं – मेरे महबूब
नैना बरसे रिमझिम-रिमझिम – वो कौन थी?
आजा आई बहार दिल है बेक़रार , ओ मेरे राजकुमार, तेरे बिन रहा न जाये – राजकुमार
अजी रूठ कर अब कहाँ जाइयेगा – आरज़ू
बेदर्दी बालमा तुझको मेरा मन याद करता है – आरज़ू
तू जहाँ जहाँ चलेगा , मेरा साया साथ होगा – मेरा साया
कौन आया कि निगाहों में चमक जाग उठी – वक़्त
चेहरे पे ख़ुशी छा जाती है , आँखों में सुरूर आ जाता है – वक़्त
हम जब सिमट के आपकी बाँहों में आ गए – वक़्त
Death has snatched her away from me and my memories. But her spell will live with me forever. On the last day of 2015, as the world is busy celebrating advent of 2016, I am sitting in my study in Mumbai and writing this obituary and paying homage to one of the most beautiful actor of my time.
September 2, 1941 – December 25, 2015
Born in 1941, SADHANA ji migrated to India from Karachi during the post-partition riots. Her dad was influenced by cinema. In fact he had named his daughter Sadhana after the famous actress Sadhana Bose. [ Sadhona Bose was an Indian actress and a dancer. She acted in movies like Meenakshi, where she played the lead. A contemporary of Uday Shankar, in the 1930s she staged a number of ballets in Kolkata, including Bhookh on Bengal famine which was a pioneering work in presenting contemporary themes on stage. ]
Sadhana Shivdasani, better known mononymously as Sadhana, was one of the top actresses in the 1960s and the early-1970s. In 1955 she started her career and played a chorus girl in the song “Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh Mud Mud Ke” in Raj Kapoor‘s Shree 420.
When she was 15 years old, she was approached by some producers who had seen her act in a college play. They cast her in India’s first Sindhi language film titled Abaana (1958), where she played the role of Sheila Ramani‘s younger sister. Her remuneration was INR 1.00 , yes, One rupee only.
A photograph of her publicizing the film appeared in a movie magazine Screen. It was then that Sashadhar Mukherjee, one of Hindi cinema’s producer, noticed her. She joined Mukherjee’s acting school along with her debutant co-star and S. Mukherjee’s son Joy Mukherjee . R. K. Nayyar, who had previously worked as assistant director on few films, directed this film. He also created her trademark look, called Sadhana cut, inspired from British actress Audrey Hepburn. The Filmalaya Production banner thus introduced Joy, Sadhana and her iconic hairstyle in their 1960 romantic film Love in Simla. The film was a hit at the box office and was listed in the top 10 films of 1960. Sadhana played the role of a simple, bespectacled girl who is transformed by her grandmother into a beautiful woman and encouraged to pursue the hero. In the film, Sadhana wins a beauty contest and is awarded a three-year film contract with Filmalaya, which was the case in real life too.
She, in a career spanning 39 years, appeared in 33 famous and hit films. These filma are ; Shree 420 [ 1955 ] , Abana [ 1958 ] , Love in Simla [ 1960 ] , Parakh [ 1960 ] , Hum Dono [ 1961 ] , Prem Patra [ 1962 ] , Man-Mauji [ 1962 ] , Ek Musafir Ek Hasina [ 1962 ] , Asli-Naqli [ 1962 ] , Mere Mehboob [ 1963 ] , Woh Kaun Thi? [ 1964 ] , Rajkumar [ 1964 ] , Picnic [ 1964 ] , Dulha Dulhan [ 1964 ] , Waqt [ 1965 ] , Arzoo [ 1965 ] , Mera Saaya [ 1966 ] , Gaban [ 1966 ] , Budtameez [ 1966 ] , Anita [ 1967 ] , Sachaai [ 1969 ] , Intaquam [ 1969 ] , Ek Phool Do Mali [ 1969 ] , Ishq Par Zor Nahin [ 1970 ] , Aap Aye Bahaar Ayee [ 1971 ] , Dil Daulat Duniya [ 1972 ] , Geeta Mera Naam [ 1972 ] , Hum Sab Chor Hain [ 1973 ] , Chhote Sarkar [ 1974 ] , Vandana [ 1974 ] , Amaanat [ 1977 ] , Mehfil [ 1981 ] & Ulfat Ki Nayee Manzeelein [ 1994 ]
Picnic [ 1964 ] was not released and Mehfil [ 1981 ] & Ulfat Ki Nayee Manzeelein [ 1994 ] got delayed releases.
In 1966, she married R K Nayyar, director of her first film Love in Simla . SADHANA ji had health issues due to her thyroid, and after the release of Anita [ 1967 ] , she got treated in Boston. After returning from the USA, she starred in the successful movies like ; Sachaai [ 1969 ], Intaquam (1969), Ek Phool Do Mali (1969), Aap Aye Bahaar Ayee (1971), Dil Daulat Duniya (1972) and Geeta Mera Naam (1974).
In Intaquam she played the role of a revengeful woman, who allures the son of her own boss who cheated her to be put behind the bars for a crime she did not commit.
After release of Geeta Mera Naam [ 1972 ] , her career virtually ended. Though she did 6 more films like; Hum Sab Chor Hain [ 1973 ] , Chhote Sarkar [ 1974 ] , Vandana [ 1974 ] , Amaanat [ 1977 ] , Mehfil [ 1981 ] & Ulfat Ki Nayee Manzeelein [ 1994 ] but due to her failing health the charishma was missing.
During her last days, she had a beautiful relationship with 3 heroines of yesteryear. She had company of Nanda ji, Waheeda Rehman ji and Helen ji. I am a fan of all the 4 above mentioned Divas of Hindi film industry. It is sad that 2 are now gone. And the remaining 2 are old and feeble. When I saw the below posted photograph, I remembered a song of Waheeda ji’s film ” काग़ज़ के फूल ” .
वक़्त ने किया , क्या हसीं सितम , हम रहे न हम , तुम रहे न तुम ,
बेक़रार दिल इस तरह मिले , जिस तरह कभी हम जुदा न थे ,
हम भी खो गए , तुम भी खो गए , राह पर इसी , चल के दो क़दम ,
वक़्त ने किया , क्या हसीं सितम ……………….
But this is life…………… It marches ahead………………… With our dear ones………………… and even without our dear ones…………………
It will only stop when our own journey is completed.
So let it be.
Good bye Sadhana ji ! We shall surely meet in another world. Praying for your eternal peace and salvation !!
[ Name of films, few facts of Sadhana ji’s life and information about Sadhona Bose’s life and career has been taken from Wikipedia and is quoted in this blog. I express profound gratitude. ]
On behalf of all the students & staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Merchandise, I pay my homage to the departed soul.
MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA
Filed under: Obituary Tagged: | Aap Aye Bahaar Ayee, Abaana, Abana, Acting Institute, Acting Trainer, Amaanat, Amarjyoti Talkies Deoria, Anita, Arzoo, Asha Bhosle, Asli-Naqli, Audrey Hepburn, अजी रूठ कर अब कहाँ जाइयेगा, अभी न जाओ छोड़कर कि दिल अभी भरा नहीं, आजा आई बहार दिल है बेक़रार ओ मेरे राजकुमार तेरे बिन रहा न जाये, आरज़ू, ओ सजना बरखा बहार आयी, काग़ज़ के फूल, कौन आया कि निगाहों में चमक जाग उठी, चेहरे पे ख़ुशी छा जाती है आँखों में सुरूर आ जाता है, जिस तरह कभी हम जुदा न थे, तू जहाँ जहाँ चलेगा मेरा साया साथ होगा, नैना बरसे रिमझिम-रिमझिम, परख, बेदर्दी बालमा तुझको मेरा मन याद करता है, बेक़रार दिल इस तरह मिले, मेरा साया, मेरे महबूब, याद में तेरी जाग - जाग के हम रात भर करवटें बदलते हैं, राजकुमार, राह पर इसी चल के दो क़दम, वो कौन थी?, वक़्त, वक़्त ने किया क्या हसीं सितम, हम जब सिमट के आपकी बाँहों में आ गए, हम दोनों, हम भी खो गए तुम भी खो गए, हम रहे न हम तुम रहे न तुम, Budtameez, Chhote Sarkar, Deoria, Diction Trainer, Dil Daulat Duniya, Dulha Dulhan, Ek Musafir Ek Hasina, Ek Phool Do Mali, Feroz Khan, Film, Filmalaya School of Acting, Filmalaya Studio, Filmfare Award for Best Actress, Gaban, Geeta Mera Naam, Helen, Hindi Teacher, Hum Dono, Hum Sab Chor Hain, India, Intaquam, Ishq Par Zor Nahin, Joy Mukherjee, Kalpana, Kamal Nayan Chaturvedi, Karachi, Love In Simla, Maharashtra, Man-Mauji, Mehfil, Mera Saaya, Mere Mehboob, Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh Mud Mud Ke, Mumbai, MUMBAI - MAHARASHTRA - INDIA, Nanda, Obituary, Parakh, Picnic, Prem Patra, R. K. Nayyar, Raj Kapoor, Raj Khosla, Rajkumar, S. Mukherjee, Sachaai, Sadhana, Sadhana Bose, Sadhana Cut, Sadhana Shivdasani, Sadhona Bose, Sashadhar Mukherjee, Screen, Sheila Ramani, Shree 420, Sindh, Sindhi Language film, Sunil Dutt, Uday Shankar, Uday Shankar's Troupe, Ulfat Ki Nayee Manzeelein, Vandana, Vidur, VIDUR Acting Institute, Vidur Chaturvedi, VIDUR Club, VIDUR Editing Studio, VIDUR Merchandise, Vidur on Twitter, Vidur's Blog, Waheeda Rehman, Waqt, Woh Kaun Thi?, Yash Chopra