100 Years of Lalita Pawar – Hindi Cinema’s Unforgettable Doyenne


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           MAY 15, 2016           08.00 P.M.

 

LALITA PAWAR [ 18 April 1916 - 24 February 1998 ]

LALITA PAWAR [ 18 April 1916 – 24 February 1998 ]

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.

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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.

With Dilip Kumar in DAAG

With Dilip Kumar in DAAG

 

Poster of Anari

With Raj Kapoor & Nutan in Anari

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 with Ashok Kumar

Lalita Pawar with Ashok Kumar

Lalita Pawar with Pran

Lalita Pawar with Pran

Lalita Pawar with Dev Anand

Lalita Pawar with Dev Anand

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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 ]

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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.

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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 ] .

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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.

Poster of Silent Film "The Lord of the Jungle"

Poster of Silent Film “The Lord of the Jungle”

Poster of "Himmat-e-Marda" [ 1935 ]

Poster of “Himmat-e-Marda” [ 1935 ]

Lalita Pawar in a Silent Film

Lalita Pawar in a Silent Film

Lalita Pawar in a Silent Film of 1940

Lalita Pawar in a Silent Film of 1940

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.

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Lalita Pawar & Bhagwan Dada

Lalita Pawar & Bhagwan Dada

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.

 

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[ List of Lalita Pawar’s released films,  dates and other information is taken from Wikipedia. I , on behalf of VIDUR Acting Institute ,  express gratitude. ]

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Dulari Ji Is Gone; Unwept, Unheard , Unsung !


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           MAY 09 , 2013           06.45 P.M.
Dulari In Her Twilight Years

Dulari In Her Twilight Years

On Monday morning I was shocked to read the news of death of Dulari , a veteran yesteryear Hindi film actor . It is so heart-wrenching that she died in January 2013 and the news came in May 2013 , in Monday’s Times of India . If a popular actor dies and the news comes out a full four months later , it shows the callousness of our film industry . How come no one tried to contact her ? How come no one ever called her to say hi ? How come no one inquired about her health and well-being ? I must admit , our film industry is full of cussed , cruel and selfish people .
Today as I am writing this blog , I suddenly remember these lines , which was filmed on her in ” Devdas ” , a Bimal Roy classic .
साजन की हो गयी गोरी ………
अब घर  का आँगन बिदेस लागे  रे  , नैहर का जीवन कलेस लागे  रे …..

साजन की हो गयी गोरी ………

She left this ephemeral , painful world for her eternal journey . She joined her lover , the God , and became one with him .

A Young Dulari

A Young Dulari

Hindi cinema had many famous and powerful mother figures . Durga Khote , Lalita Pawar , Leela Chitnis , Kamini Kaushal , Achala Sachdev and Sulochna are some of the most famous mothers of Hindi cinema . In recent history Nirupa Roy became an ultimate mother figure . Dulari, though not as famous as her other illustrious peers , was also a popular mother figure of Hindi films .

Dulari - The Poorman's Mother

Dulari – The Poorman’s Mother

She started as a heroine in a couple of films . Immortal hits like  ” Aana Meri Jaan Meri Jaan , Sunday Ke Sunday ”  and ” Jawaani Ki Rail Chali Jaaye Re “ , both from ” Shehnai ” [ 1947 ] were filmed on her .

Dulari

I first noticed her in Bimal Roy’s ” Devdas “ [ 1955 ] . Two songs , written by Sahir Ludhianvi and tuned by Sachin Dev Burman , were filmed on her . ” Aan Milo Aan Milo Shyam Sanware ” and ” Sajan Ki Ho Gayi Gori “ are connoisseurs delight even today .  She played a Vaishnavi Saint with Nana Palsikar as her screen companion . A young Paro , played by Baby Naaz , was sitting on a branch of a mango tree and was remembering Devdas , while Nana Palsikar sang the song and danced . Dulari was just sitting calmly and singing the female version sung by Geeta Dutt . Her calm and serene face remained in my memory . In the same film , years later , when Paro grew older [ played by etherial Suchitra Sen ] , she was again sitting and remembering Devdas . Again same Vaishnav saints came and started singing . Now the song was ” Sajan Ki Ho Gayi Gori ” . I am unable to forget these scenes , these two songs , melancholic face of Paro , played by Baby Naaz and Suchitra Sen respectively and of course Nana Palsikar and Dulari .

Then , years later I watched ” Padosan ” [ 1968 ] and ” Gopi ” [ 1973 ] . In both the films she played the maternal aunt of lead actors ; Sunil Dutt and Dilip Kumar . Memory of her earlier starrers ” Shehnai ” [ 1947 ] , and ” Devdas ” [ 1955 ] once again became fresh in my mind . It is not that I have seen only above mentioned 4 films . I have seen innumerable films of her . But these 4 remain in my memory .

Dulari as Mother Figure

Dulari as Mother Figure

A Kanyakubj Brahman from the Awadh region of Uttar Pradesh , she was born and brought up in Maharashtra . She spent her childhood in Nagpur , where she was born on 18th April 1928. Her name was Ambika but she was nick-named Rajdulari and later on only Dulari remained and the world knew her as Dulari .

Dulari ji’s first film was ‘Bombay Talkies’s’ famous movie ” Jhoola ”  [ 1941 ] with Ashok Kumar . Later on she played Jairaj’s younger sister in a Bombay Talkies film Hamari Baat’ . She was also seen as the second lead in  ‘Amar Pictures’ film ‘Adaab Arz’ where her leading man was the famous singer Mukesh . Both the films were made in 1944 .
shayar

Later on she played small roles in films like ” Ghar ” [ 1945 ] , ” Kulkalank ”  [ 1945 ] , ‘Ahinsa’, ‘Black Market’, ‘Namak’, ‘Pati Sewa’, ‘Rangeen Kahani’ [ all 1947 ] . But Dulari got her real due with ‘Filmistan’s super hit film ” Shehnai ” [ 1947 ] . She played Rehana’s elder sister in the movie and her leading man was Mehmood’s father Mumtaz Ali . As I mentioned earlier two immortal songs were picturized on her in this film . ” Aana Meri Jaan Meri Jaan , Sunday Ke Sunday ”  and ” Jawaani Ki Rail Chali Jaaye Re “ .

After ” Shehnai “ she did films like ” Gunsundari ” , ” Mitti Ke Khilone ” , ” Naav’ ” [ all 1948 ] , ” Nanad Bhaujai ” , ” Shayar ”  [ both 1949 ] , ” Apni Chhaya ” , ” Man Ka Meet ”  [ both 1950 ] , ” Albela ”  [ 1951 ], ” Anjaam ” , ” Bhoole Bhatke ” and ” Veer Arjun ”  [ all 1952 ] .
Paapi
Dulari was seen in an important role in the movie ” Paapi ” [ 1953 ] . In this Ranjeet Movietone film Raj Kapoor played his career’s only double role. Nargis and Dulari played his two heroines .  After it she worked in Jeewan Jyoti ” [ 1953 ] , ” Devdas ”  [ 1955 ] , ” Zindagi Ke Mele ”  [ 1956 ] , ” Ek Gaon Ki Kahani ” , ” Johny Walker ” ,  ” Paying Guest ”  [ all 1957 ] ,  ” Kavi Kalidas ”  and ” Santaan ” [ 1959 ] .
Devdas (1955 film)

Devdas (1955 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

JPKSHH

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Padosan

After 1959 , after two years hiatus , she started her second innings from 1961 and for the next 35 years, Dulari played many big and small roles in almost 135 films like ‘Jab Pyar Kisi Se Hota Hai’, ‘Mujhe Jeene Do’, ‘Apne Hue Paraye’, ‘Aap Aaye bahaar Aai’, ‘Aaye Din Bahaar Ke’, Anupama’, ‘Teesri Kasam’, ‘Padosan’, ‘Aradhna’, ‘Aaya Sawan Jhoom Ke’, ‘Chiraagh’, ‘Inteqaam’, ‘Aan Milo Sajna’, ‘Heer Ranjha’, ‘Johny Mera Naam’, ‘Caravan’, ‘Laal Patthar’, ‘Beimaan’, ‘Seeta Aur Geeta’, ‘Raja Rani’, ‘Ameer Gareeb’, ‘Haath Ki Safai’, ‘Deewar’, ‘Do Jasoos’, ‘Aahuti’, ‘Ganga Ki Saugandh’, ‘Biwi O Biwi’, ‘Naseeb’, ‘Prem Rog’, ‘Agar Tum Na Hote and ‘Dharmadhikari’. And then one day she quietly retired from the world of movies.

Later on she did only two films . ” Surya ” [ 1989 ] and ” Ziddi ” [ 1997 ] . Ziddi directed by Guddu Dhanoa is her last film . Thus from ” Jhoola ”  [ 1941 ] to ” Ziddi ” [ 1997 ] , her career span was 56 years .

After a career spanning 56 years and after 171 hindi, 35 Gujarati, 3 Marathi and 1 Rajasthani film , she left Mumbai and went to live with her daughter in Indore . She also acted in a ‘Shri Adhikari Brothers’ serial called ‘Waqt Ki Raftaar’ .

During her final years Dulari ji was suffering from Alzheimer and was admitted to ICU in a hospital in PUNE in the last week of December ’12 where at the age of 85 she breathed her last on 18th January 2013 around 10 a.m. She was cremated on 19th January 2013 in the noon in Pune.

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Few links of songs filmed on Dulari :
1 – aana meri jaan sunday ke sunday /shehnai/1947
2 – jawani ki rail chali jaaye/shehnai/1947
3 – aan milo aan milo shyam sanware/devdas/1955
4 – sajan ki ho gai gori/devdas/1955
5 – madhav bin saara brij soona/sautela bhai/1962
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I offer my condolences on behalf myself and on behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , which is known as Vidur’s Kreating Charakters . May God give eternal peace to Dulari Ji and strength to her daughter and other near and dear ones to bear this loss .

I can visualize a frail ,  85-year-old , lonely lady suffering from Alzheimer , sitting without a friend or companion in an old age home with blank eyes and waiting for some elusive loving one . Long windy nights of winter , dull and dusty days of summer and wet , pouring and dreary evenings of  rainy season must have come and gone  without any trace of succour . It is painful , very painful . Finally , only death could relieve her from her pain .

साजन की हो गयी गोरी ………
अब घर  का आँगन बिदेस लागे  रे  , नैहर का जीवन कलेस लागे  रे …..

साजन की हो गयी गोरी ………

Rest in peace Dulari ji ! A tearful farewell from an ardent fan . I am happy that you left this cruel , selfish , cussed world . May , in next life , you get everything that you have ever desired for you .

[ While writing this blog , I have taken few facts and materials from the article ” Aan Milo Aan Milo Shyam Sanware’-Dulari ” , written by Shri Shishir Krishna Sharma for his ‘Sahara Samay’ column ‘kya bhooloon kya yaad karoon’ . I am indebted . ]

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60 Years of Film ” Daag ”


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           DECEMBER 09 , 2012           09.30 P.M.

Dilip Kumar’s Daag ” , which got him his first Filmfare Best Actor Award , was the 4th biggest grosser of 1952 . After ” Aan “ , it was the second hit of Dilip Kumar in 1952 . Dilip Kumar played an alcoholic youth , who is driven by self – destruction .

Daag (1952 film)

Daag (1952 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

” Daag “ is totally different from other three hits of 1952 . ” Aan “ , ” Baiju Bawra ” and ” Jaal “ are the other three hits . This Dilip Kumar , Nimmi , Lalita Pawar and Usha Kiran starrer was produced and directed by Amiya Chakrabarty , who incidentally directed Dilip Kumar’s debut film ” Jwar Bhata ” [ 1944 ] . Kanhaiyalal and  Leela Mishra played another important roles . If my memory is not failing me , Ram Mohan played Dilip Kumar’s friend and perhaps ” Daag “ is his debut film .

Shankar – Jaikishan gave music for the film and its one song ” Ae Mere Dil Kahin Aur Chal , Gham Ki Duniya Se Dil Bhar Gaya ………………………… “ is still popular and hummed by general public and connoisseurs alike . It was written by Shailendra and it has many versions . Sad and playful versions were sung by Talat Mehmood and one version was sung by Lata Mangeshkar . ” Preet Ye Kaisi Bol Ri Duniya ………………………. “ sung by Lata Mangeshkar was another smash hit .

According to my memory , 2 other movies were made after ” Daag ” , using the same name . ” Daag – A Poem Of Love “ was produced and directed by Yash Chopra in 1973 . It was the first movie of Yash Raj Films . Another movie ” Daag : The Fire “ was directed by Raj Kanwar in 1999 .

As an acting trainer , its my job to make my students aware of these iconic films and I do it regularly in my acting class in Mumbai and through my blogs .

In future I resolve to make it a regular feature in Vidur’s Kreating Charakters  , my acting school in Mumbai .

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