MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA MAY 15, 2016 08.00 P.M.
On April 18, 2016, Lalita Pawar would have been 100 years old, had she been alive. There were not much coverage in the media. I read just one article in DNA. That’s it.
Present day media Mughals don’t know her importance. In a career spanning 68 years, she did 700 plus films. She was the only one in Indian film industry, who could play a scheming mother-in-law and a golden-hearted matriarch with equal finesse. She was always portrayed prominently in the posters of her films, though she was not playing the lead. Apart from Lalita Pawar, Ashok Kumar was the only other character artiste, who used to appear prominently in the poster of his films.
Apart from her, there were only 3 other Hindi film actors, who worked more than 6 decades. They, apart from Lalita Pawar, are Dev Anand, Pran and evergreen Ashok Kumar. Only these 4 Hindi Film Artists worked till the last breath of their lives.
LALITA PAWAR : 68 Working Years – 700 Films
” Raja Harishchandra “ [ 1928 ] to ” Bhai ” [ 1997 ]
DEV ANAND : 65 Working Years – 113 Films
” Hum Ek Hain “ [ 1946 ] to ” Chargesheet ” [ 2011 ]
PRAN : 63 Working Years – 350 Films
” Yamla Jat “ [ 1940 ] to ” Kiska Dosh “ [ 2003 ]
ASHOK KUMAR : 61 Working Years – 301 films .
” Jeevan Naiya ” [ 1936 ] to ” Aankhon Me Tum Ho ” [ 1997 ]
Among all the 4 history making stars, Lalita Pawar was the senior most. Pran was junior to her by 12 years. And the indomitable Dev Anand was her junior by 18 years. Even grand old man of Hindi cinema, the evergreen Ashok Kumar, was her junior by 8 years. Coincidently their last films came in the same year, 1997. Lalita Pawar’s ” Bhai ” [ 1997 ] & Ashok Kumar’s ” Aankhon Me Tum Ho ” [ 1997 ] were their last film. Two immortal legends ended their glorious film journey in the same year.
My first association with her started somewhere in mid 60s. I don’t remember the film correctly, but either it was ” Sampoorna Ramayan ” or ” Jis Desh Me Ganga Bahti Hai “. Later on I saw several films of her and became an ardent admirer.
I am giving list of some of her unforgettable films, which I have seen and fail to forget even today.
Ram Shastri [ 1944 ] , Dahej [ 1950 ] , Daag [ 1952 ] , Parchhain [ 1952 ] , Shri 420 [ 1955 ] , Mr & Mrs 55 [ 1955 ] , Nau Do Gyarah [ 1957 ] , Anari [ 1959 ] , Sujata [ 1959 ] , Hum Dono [ 1961 ] , Sampoorna Ramayana [ 1961 ] , Professor [ 1962 ] , Sehra [ 1963 ] , Grahasti [ 1963 ] , Ghar Basake Dekho [ 1963 ] , Khandan [ 1966 ] , Boond Jo Ban Gayee Moti [ 1967 ] , Aabroo [ 1968 ] , Anand [ 1970 ] , Pushpanjali [ 1970 ] , Gopi [ 1970 ] , Doosri Sita [ 1974 ] , Tapasya [ 1976 ] , Aaina [ 1977 ] , Yaarana [ 1080 ] , Kali Ghata [ 1980 ] , Phir Wohi Raat [ 1980 ] , Sau Din Saas Ke [ 1980 ] , Naseeb [ 1981 ] , Bhai [ 1997 ] .
It is pertinent to note that apart from Ram Shastri [ 1944 ] , where she played heroine, she played character roles in all above mentioned films. But no film connoisseur can ever forget her. Who can forget GANGAMAI of Shri 420 [ 1955 ] or Mrs. D’Sa of Anari [ 1959 ] , both with Raj Kapoor?
Amba Laxman Rao Shagun from Yeola, Nashik made her debut in 1929 with ” Raja Harishchandra “. At the age of 16, she co-produced and acted in a silent film ” Kailash ” [ 1932 ]. She played a triple role in that film. A triple role in a silent film !! It was 44 years before DILIP KUMAR’s ” Bairaag ” [ 1976 ] & 51 years before AMITABH BACHCHAN’s ” Mahaan ” [ 1983 ]. Both these legends played triple role much later in their respective careers and when they were very mature. DILIP KUMAR made debut in 1944 and played triple role in 1976. That is 32 years after his debut. AMITABH BACHCHAN made debut in 1969 and played triple role in 1983. That is 19 years after his debut. But LALITA PAWAR played triple role in the beginning of her career. 3 years after her debut and that too in a silent film.
1942 was an epoch-making year in Lalita Pawar’s career. As a part of the scene in a film ” Jung-E-Azadi ” , Bhagwan Dada of ” Albela ” fame was to slap her. Being a new-comer, he accidentally slapped her hard. It resulted in facial paralysis and a vein of her left eye got burst. This incident left her with a defective left eye. But the treatment took 3 years. She lost many lead roles and after her treatment was over, she switched to character roles. The defective left eye, which ended her acting career in lead roles, helped her play cruel, wicked and cussed characters with aplomb.
Lalita Pawar has left us. She no longer exist. But she is still present in the form of her films where she played several unforgettable characters. I offer my tribute and regards to the unforgettable doyenne of Hindi cinema.
[ List of Lalita Pawar’s released films, dates and other information is taken from Wikipedia. I , on behalf of VIDUR Acting Institute , express gratitude. ]
MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA
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