Home / More / Interviews / MEN minus MAKE-UP by Nadira

MEN minus MAKE-UP by Nadira



For most people, Nadira’s name conjures up the picture of a person wonderfully alive. The image is only partly true. She is much more… A shade of color, a gesture, the play of sunlight on the pavement can exhilarate her. She is an intelligent and voracious reader, has quite a keen sense of humor and is good at repartee. Making her debut a decade ago in Mehboob’s “Aan,” Nadira has had the opportunity of work­ing with almost all the heroes of the Indian film industry and, in light vein here, she records impressions about these famous men.

THIS is something personal. It is mine —my ideas, my views, my opinions of some of the finest men I have known in this short but full life.

I have seen, known and enjoyed every­thing that is worthwhile and today I am old enough and decisive enough to state:

[title size=”2″]Dilip Kumar

“HANDSOME”—that’s how I’ve always addressed him. A very, very difficult, fasti­dious perfectionist, an introvert who is perpe­tually unhappy and restless. There is an un­ending battle between his orthodox ideas and his acquired strength in compromising with this caricature of a world. He looks at life with a smile that can light up the darkest nights… but not those that are his!

[title size=”2″]Premnath

HERE is an innocent man. God-fearing, utterly humble and very hard working. I knew him first when he had reached terrific heights in stardom, and he was the same even then. He has no business dabbling in politics. He’s too straight for that sort of thing.

[title size=”2″]Balraj Sahni

CULTURE, refinement and education ooze from every pore of his skin. Every line on his face is like a permanent scar symbolizing the cruel slashes he has received during his varied life, of which he has not forgotten a single one.

[title size=”2”]Ashok Kumar

HOW can he ever get old? After having played lover to a bagful of women, he has final­ly landed up “loving life.” Every moment of this man’s existence is a pulsating experience which he absorbs with greed for more and more understanding of life. He is absolutely oblivious of the Unknown—but I will not be surprised if he becomes a saint in the final phase of his existence, and even then he’ll look too young for the role!

[title size=”2″]Raj Kapoor

THE name of this most lovable and magni­ficently obsessed being should actually be: “Motion Picture” (Making). He eats, drinks, sleeps, thinks, talks, breathes films and makes them, too. Never satisfied fully, his first and last love is films and he sees and does every­thing through this one medium. He is the most determined and single-track minded person I’ve ever known. For him the limit is: “Sitaron se aage jahan our bhi hai.”

[title size=”2″]Dev Anand

I HAVE always asked him why he has that amused, always knowing look on his face. He carries the kind of smile that is worn by a cynic who has learnt how to be humored by the idiocies of people and the farce the world presents.

[title size=”2″]Rajendra Kumar

HERE is a very genuine boy who has been challenged into stardom. If he ever learns the art of relaxing and developing a personality of his own—individual, independent and original —he will have triumphed over and achieved everything that’s worthwhile.

[title size=”2″]Jairaj

“MUSCLE MAN”—nothing is more import­ant on the screen than a biceps. I learnt tak­ing the light on one’s face from him. Once, when I was convincingly swearing fidelity to him (on the screen), I was distracted by the busy twitching of his biceps in the foreground. Jolly good chap and a real down-to-earth comrade.

[title size=”2″]Shammi Kapoor

WHEN you do anything, do it in a big way—and make sure there is a lot of noise, too! That’s his motto. Cannot be cheated, for he enjoys being made a fool of. I came close to this charming, everlasting friend when he was closest to himself: when he was about to marry Geeta. What I discovered about this man I would keep to myself, as it would seem in­credible to anyone else.

[title size=”2″]Raj Kumar

HE is so anxious to convince you about his own convictions that he leaves you dizzy with his outrageously difficult vocabulary. Very in­teresting, acutely sensitive and a thorough gentleman. But, absolute chaos. No man with a tear in his eye has moved me more.

[title size=”2”]Bharat Bhushan

POSSESSING unlimited grace and know­ledge, Bharat has no value for the material things of life. From whatever I have seen of him, I think he has acquired the enviable state of “Satori.”

[title size=”2″]Motilal

PAINFULLY correct. As stubborn and proud as a bronze monument, Moti is ours, loved and criticised by all. He can fight (and has fought) the angel of death with his will­power and self-respect. Take out some blood from any portion of his anatomy and you’ll think you’ve got some blue ink in your syringe.

[title size=”2″]Sunil Dutt

I DON’T know anything about the man. I know him very little, we hardly meet, and we never cross each other’s path (even on the wrong foot).

After having worked with an assort­ment of people like this, I have become a Bata shoe. Strong, lasting and eternal, with a fixed price of Rs. 3 and 90 nP. The moment I ask for Rs. 4, I lose the producer forever.  (This interview was conducted in 1962).

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Linkedin
  • Pinterest


  1. “After having worked with an assort­ment of people like this, I have become a Bata shoe. Strong, lasting and eternal, with a fixed price of Rs. 3 and 90 nP. The moment I ask for Rs. 4, I lose the producer forever.”

    Love this comment. It requires lots of courage and acerbity to talk like this …

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *