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Nanda – Profile, Interview & Filmography

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Real Name – Nanda Kumari

Profession – Actress (Heroine, Side Heroine, Character Actress, Child Artiste)

Most Active/Years – Late 1940s to Early 1980s

Nationality – Indian

Religion – Hindu

Ethnicity – Marathi

Date of Birth – 8th January, 1939

Date of Death – 25th March, 2014

Debut FilmMandir (1948)

Last FilmMazdoor (1983)

Significant others in the Film Industry – Master Vinayak (Father, Producer-Director)

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Interview

Daughter of producer, director and actor, Master Vinayak (Vinayak Damodar Karnataki), Nanda was the third born in the family comprising of seven brothers and sisters. “Sometimes I used to wonder why, in a family as big as mine, I was the favorite child of my parents. My father and mother (Sushila) were, to me, like a god and a goddess. My father used to relate stories of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Capt. Laxmi, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru etc. My parents were instrumental in imparting high moral and cultur­al values in all of us. This is the time when the young girl dreamt of becoming another Capt. Laxmi.”

When Nanda was 5 years old, one day her father came up to her and said, “You have to work in my film.” The young girl was taken aback and for a moment saw her dreams of becoming a second Capt. Larmi being shat­tered. “He tried his best to cajole me in agreeing but I put my foot down and said “Nothing doing”. Later my moth­er pacified me into giving in, saying, “Your father loves you and that is why he chose you to star in in his film. Later when Nanda gave her nod, to her surprise, she was told that she would have to play a boy in the film. “I wondered why did he have to choose me when my father could have taken any of my brothers to play a role? After much explanation I agreed to do the film and that was Mandir (1948). While making the film my father expired. After his death, Dinkar Patil completed the film. Having tasted filmdom, Baby Nanda decided to do films besides attending the school. First she did Jaggu (1952) as a child artiste in which Shyama was playig the heroine. In 1954 she did Jagadguru Shankaracharya. In the same year she did Angaray directed by K.B. Lal that starred Nargis and Nasir Khan and had a good supporting cast that included Vanmala, Jagirdar, Jeevan among others. ‘Then she did Dinkar Patil’s Kuldaivat followed by Shevgacha Shenga produced by Sadashiv Row Kavi and directed by Shantaram Athavle.

Once there was a wedding at V Shantaram’s place. “He called up my elder sister Meena and requested her to also get me for the marriage but with a saree on. I did the same and in the middle of the party, Shantaram came up to us and promptly told Meena. “She is the heroine of my next film.” But when Meena said that I looked too young to be a heroine of a film, Shantaram shot back saying, “The story of my film involving a brother and a sister demands a young girl and I am sure Nanda will fit the role perfectly.” The film was Toofan Aur Diya (1956) and this was the first Hindi film of Baby Nanda’s career as the leading lady. “After that there was no looking back and I decided not to pur­sue with my studies any more. And the girl Baby Nanda became Nanda.” As I changed tracks, offers started pouring in but I started getting sister-roles. On these lines I got Bhabhi and Dulhan (1957), Agra Road, Pehli Raat and Chhoti Bahen (1959) and Kala Bazar (1960), After Chhoti Bahen became a very big hit, people started signing me as a heroine. I started getting good offers and my first few films were Hum Dono (with Dev Anand in 1961), Char Diwari (with Shashi Kapoor in 1961), Aaj our Kal and Usne Kaha Tha (both with Sunil Dutt in 1963). Soon big banners started approaching me with good offers. “I excelled in doing emotional roles. It was said in filmy cir­cles that it was first Meena Kumari and then me who excelled in doing emotional type of roles,” avers Nanda

Men Who Mattered – Dev Anand

In Kala Bazar, Nanda played sister to the then one of the three ‘mus­keeters’ Dev Anand. Devsaab was impressed a lot of my performance and started treating her like family. “One day he came upto me and said, “Nanda, one day I will play your hero. A year later Devsaab came tosign me as a heroine for his Hum Dono in which I played seedhi sadhi wife. The role, the film and the music were well- received. One day at a party, he came up and said, ” Now you will have to play a modern girl in my film and incidentally the film was Teen Deviyan. I saw that Devsaab was a man of words. Later I found out that he was constantly gauging my talent. I have a lot of gratitude towards him,” she asserts.

Men Who Mattered – Dilip Kumar

As a child, Nanda used to watch Dilip Kumar films like Kohinoor, Devdas etc and rave about him. “The first time I met Dilipsaab was at Bharat Bhushan’s party. I was a little shy and was afraid to go and meet him. As the party went on, at one time we came face to face with each other. As our eyes met, he said, “You are Master Vinayak’s daughter. I wish you all the best.” I found him to be well-mannered, well-behaved and very courteous and till today, he hasn’t changed a bit. Both he and Sairaji take lot of care of me. In fact they are the ones whom I found besides me when I was in the midst of bad times.”

Men Who Mattered – Raj Kapoor

Raj Kapoor knew Master Vinayak very well through his previous association. Rajji was making Boot Polish. It so happened that he was auditioning a lot of child artistes for the film, among whom besides Baby Naaz and Baby Tabbasum, I was also present. After the screen test, he called me over, spoke high about my father and then lamented, “Sorry, I can’t take you in the film because in no way do you look like a beggar.”

“When I was at the twilight of my film career, I met Rajji at Yash Johar’s party at my best friend Waheeda Rehman’s house. He asked me why I was not doing any films. On my giving an excuse he immediately asked me whether I would work in his film. I thought he was joking and in the same vein said ‘Yes’. To my surprise on the second or third day after that, I got a call from Rajji. “According to me, you would fit the role of Chhoti Bahu in my film; would you do it” he asked. “Not before I read the script.” I answered. The next day I found Jainendra Jain with the script in my house. After going through the script I guessed that there were three scenes where I could score in and I did Prem Rog opposite Kulbhushan Kharbanda.

Among her co-stars Nanda treats Sunil Dutt and Rajendra Kumar as the people who played a vital role in her career. All the rest including Shashi Kapoor, Dharmendra and Manoj Kumar- all newcomers were good to her. “I have also worked with Rajesh Khanna, Jeetendra, Sanjay Khan and Sanjeev Kumar. But by the time I played my last role as a heroine I sensed a change of attitude in everybody and that is when I decided to leave films,” sighs Nanda. In her life Nanda had few friends but the ones she had continue to be so and close. Among her best friends are Waheeda Rehman, Helen, Shammi, Asha Parekh, Sadhana besides Saira Banu. “All of us friends meet at regular intervals but it is only Sairaji’s house that I visit.”

Men Who Mattered – Manmohan Desai

For Nanda, romance didn’t come when it was needed the most; and when it came, a stroke of bad luck never allowed her to make the most of it. Her affair with Manmohan Desai was short-lived as within two years after their engagement on June 18, 1992, Desai expired. “This phase was the shortest and the sweetest phase of my life. In this period I came to know what is love, in fact I learnt the reason to live. Though Manji and I never worked together, we fell in love with each other. “You are like a goddess and am very fortunate to have you in my life,” he had said, recalls Nanda adding, “We were supposed to get married. That was the time when my mother contracted Cancer and I being deeply attached to my mother was constantly besides her. Manji said, ‘I will not marry you now. If I do so, your love will get divided between your mother and me and that is what I don’t want,’ he had stressed. Nanda’s mother expired in 1993 while in the following year she lost Manji.

Filmography

Filmographies might not be 100% accurate or complete because of various reasons including artistes with similar names

TitleYearCountryProducerDirector
Mandir1948IndiaBhoomradi ProductionWinayak, Dinkar Patil
Jaggu1952IndiaJ. S. PicturesJagdish Sethi
Angaray1954IndiaAkash ChitraK. B. Lal
Jagadguru Shankaracharya1955IndiaCelestial PicturesS. Fatehlal
Toofan Aur Diya1956IndiaRajkamalPrabhat Kumar
Agra Road1957IndiaNagina FilmsRavindra Dave
Bandi1957IndiaShree Raj PicturesSatyen Bose
Bhabhi1957IndiaA. V. M. ProductionKrishnan, Panju
Laxmi1957IndiaChitra BharatiG. P. Pawar
Ram Laxman1957IndiaHarihar ChitraMohan Vyas
Sakshi Gopal1957IndiaRatnadeep PicturesBalchandra Shukla, Ramnik Vaidya
Dulhan1958IndiaPushpa PicturesV. M. Vyas
Barkha1959IndiaA. V. M. ProductionKrishnan, Panju
Chhoti Bahen1959IndiaPrasad ProductionL. V. Prasad
Dhool Ka Phool1959IndiaB. R. FilmsYash Chopra
Naya Sansar1959IndiaShri Krishna FilmsNanabhai Bhatt
Pahli Raat1959IndiaPushpa PicturesP. L. Santoshi
Qaidi No.9111959IndiaSuper PicturesAspi Irani
Zara Bach Ke1959IndiaRafiq ArabiN. A. Ansari
Aanchal1960IndiaPanchdeep ChitraVasant Joglekar
Apna Ghar1960IndiaKaizer FilmsRam Pahwa
Chand Mere Aja1960IndiaMurli ManoharRam Daryani
Jo Huwa So Bhool Ja1960IndiaBansi & CompanyYashwant Pethkar
Kala Bazar1960IndiaNavketan International FilmsVijay Anand
Kanoon1960IndiaB. R. FilmsB. R. Chopra
Usne Kaha Tha1960IndiaBimal Roy ProductionsMoni Bhattacharya
Amar Rahe Yeh Pyar1961IndiaR. P. FilmsPrabhu Dayal
Char Dewari1961IndiaChhaya DhwaniKrishan Chopra
Hum Dono1961IndiaDev AnandAmar Jeet
Aashiq1962IndiaReuben Dubey ProductionHrishikesh Mukherjee
Mehandi Lagi Mere Haath1962IndiaLime LightSuraj Prakash
Aaj Aur Kal1963IndiaPanchdeep ChitraVasant Joglekar
Nartaki1963IndiaFilm BharatiNitin Bose
Kaise Kahoon1964IndiaVrindavan PicturesAtma Ram
Mera Qasoor Kya Hai1964IndiaBahar FilmsKrishnan, Panju
Akashdeep1965IndiaRangamPhani Majumdar
Bedaag1965IndiaAnoop SharmaR. Bhattacharya
Gumnaam1965IndiaPrithvi PicturesRaja Nawathe
Jab Jab Phool Khilen1965IndiaLime LightSuraj Prakash
Mohabbat Isko Kahete Hain1965IndiaUnited TechniciansAkhtar Mirza
Teen Deviyan1965IndiaNalandaAmar Jeet
Neend Hamari Khwab Tumhare1966IndiaMovie MonumentShiv Sahni
Pati Patni1966IndiaMumtaz FilmsS. A. Akbar
Parivar1967IndiaK. P. K. MoviesK. P. Kashyap
Abhilasha1968IndiaR. D. ProductionAmit Bose
Juari1968IndiaLotus ProductionSuraj Prakash
Badi Didi1969IndiaArchana FilmsNarendra Suri
Beti1969IndiaK. P. S. FilmsHarmesh Malhotra
Dharti Kahe Pukar Ke1969IndiaViashali FilmsDulal Guha
Ittefaq1969IndiaB. R. FilmsYash Chopra
Raja Saheb1969IndiaLime LightSuraj Prakash
Rootha Na Karo1970IndiaBishwanath Prasad, ShahabadiSunder Dar
The Train1970IndiaRamesh BehlRaveekant Nagaich
Adhikar1971IndiaNoorS. M. Sagar
Ummeed1971IndiaRajan FilmsNitin Bose
Woh Din Yaad Karo1971IndiaK. Amarnath ProductionsK. Amarnath
Joroo Ka Ghulam1972IndiaUnited FoursA. Bhim Singh
Shor1972IndiaManoj KumarManoj Kumar
Chhalia1973IndiaSudeshraj GuptaMukul Dutt
Naya Nasha1973IndiaC. V. K. ShastryHari Dutt
Jhurm Aur Sazaa1974IndiaN. A. AnsariN. A. Ansari
Prayaschit1979IndiaAnoop SharmaKamal Mazumdar
Ahista Ahista1981IndiaSibte Hasan RizviEsmayeel Shroff
Prem Rog1982IndiaK. R. Films Pvt. Ltd.Raj Kapoor
Mazdoor1983IndiaB. R. FilmsRavi Chopra
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