Real Name – Kumud Chhugani
Profession – Actress
Active Years – 1960s – 1970s
Nationality – Indian
Religion – Hindu
Ethnicity – Sindhi
Date of Birth –
Date of Death –
Debut Film – Poonam Ki Raat (1965)
Last Film – Perhaps Aaj Ka Mahatma (1976)
Significant others in the Film Industry –
Miscellaneous Info – An Honors graduate and a Kathak dancer, Kumud was introduced and had her break in Kishore Sahu’s Poonam Ki Raat (1965). Sahu had signed her exclusively for three years and Kumud was obliged to refuse several good offers soon after the film’s release. That affected her film career and with the contract over, she had to start afresh and was seen in films like Laadla, Vaasna, and Shart. Other notable films to her include Moojrim, Tangewala and Bandhe Haath. She also appeared in incomplete Shabash Gangaram.
It is a great moment for a girl brought up in respectable family surroundings when she has to decide if she should step into the glamor world of filmdom. To become a star is no doubt an irresistible temptation. But what a problem it poses for one to take this decision!
Kumud Chhugani, sweet-faced and talented young collegian of St. Xavier College, had to face such a dilemma when she was barely 18 years old. Just after her brilliant dance performances in Jai Hind College, Bombay, she was accosted by no less a person than the veteran producer-director Kishore Sahu with an offer of the heroine’s role in his next picture on a platter. Young and inexperienced as she was, Kumud had to wage a big battle before she could take the decision.
Could she throw away such an opportunity? Do not chances like this come to one in a million? But then, was she fit to take up the assignment? Could she take up a film career? Would her parents agree? Her father, a director in an agricultural research institute in Patna, was forthright in turning down the idea of her joining films. His reply was a positive ‘no’! But her mother was not so stubborn. She was half-hearted in her disapproval. This encouraged the young, cherubic-faced and alluringly beautiful Kumud Chhugani to take the decision.
She took the great leap.
She was, no doubt, fortunate to get a break in films in a big way. At the very outset, she was signed to play the lead role in Poonam Ki Raat under the direction of the great Kishore Sahu. The film unfortunately did not click and Kumud Chhugani’s performance in this film did not make a good impression on the cine-goers. It was a mystery-thriller.
Fate had not been kind to her even later. She got tied up for a number of years with Kishore Sahu’s productions by a contract. After nearly three years of blackout Kumud Chhugani’s stature blazened out suddenly when she was signed for a big role, a significant one at that, in Laadla, the Hindi remake of the Tamil film that proved a tremendous success and won a national award too. But Laadla failed again and with that Kumud Chhugani became a back number, even though her performance in Laadla was remarkable.
However, she was not without assignments either. While she burned to do tragedy roles, she was pressed with glamor roles in film after film. She strongly believed that pathetic roles would push her stock up. Her childhood memories were particularly sad and so she felt that she would shine better in pathetic or sentimental type of roles.
Pictures like Holi Aaye Re, Vasana and Mujrim which followed, all passed off without revealing the histrionic capabilities in this artiste.
Kumud Chhugani was no doubt a talented actress possessing a highly photogenic face and had a charm that was fascinating and features that were arresting. She was also a talented dancer in Bharat and Kathak styles.
If in spite of possessing all these rich attributes, Kumud Chhugani failed to make a really big impact on the audience, it was something unpredictable. Call it luck or fate, whatever you like, but one thing was sure, that Kumud was right set on achieving her goal. In Resham ki Dori, Hamara Adhikar and Bandhe Haath, she played a wide range of parts that showed her histrionics (Contributed by Sudarshan Talwar).
Filmographies might not be 100% accurate or complete because of various reasons including artistes with similar names