1. Raagini – Raagini was one of the most charming film actresses of the 1940s who silently passed away in poverty on February 27th, 2007, in Lahore, Pakistan. She was popularly known in film circles as Aahoo Chasham Raagini, for her beautiful doe like eyes.
Film-maker Roop Kishori’s Dullah Bhatti was her maiden movie. M.D. Kunwar was the hero opposite her in the film. A rich man, Kunwar soon became a die-hard fan of Raagni. As part owner of Anarkali Bazaar, it is a well-known fact that when Raagni went to shop at Anarkali, he used to lay Rs. 100 bills under her feet. Some of the actress’s early movies which won acclaim were Sehti Murad, Himmat, Nishani, Mera Mahi and Ravi Paar. Poonji was also a box-office hit.
In 1945, Raagni left for then Bombay to work with film icon A.R. Kardar. Naik Parveen by S.M. Yousaf is one of her most famous movies from those days. Her other famous films include Naila, Mundri, Patan, Shireen Farhad Lado, Sarhad and Shah Jehan. She was the first film heroine to charge Rs. 100,000 for Shah Jahan in which she played Mumtaz Mehal. The film also holds the honor of featuring Salma Agha’s mother, Nasreen, in the role of a kaneez (servant girl).
There can be no doubt about the fact that Raagni’s captivating eyes were her biggest claim to fame. On the poster of Sehti Murad put on display at Lahore’s Bhaati Gate, her eyes were blindfolded with the caption underneath: ‘What will happen when these eyes are revealed?’
Raagni got married for the first time in the early ’40s and had two children, a daughter, Saira, and a son, Abid. In 1947, she returned to Pakistan and got married a second time, this time to film-maker S. Gul and produced the film, Beqarar with her husband. Some of the well known films she did in Pakistan are Mundri, Akeli, Nazrana, Naukar, Baydari, Kundan and Zanjeer. She also successfully performed a number of character roles in films such as Husn-o-Ishq, Gumnam, Ghulam, Anarkali, Duniya Na Maane, Mirza Jat and Aab-i-Hayat.
2. Raagini – Ragini was a South Indian danseuse and actress. She was the youngest of the famed Travancore Sisters; Lalitha, Padmini and Ragini. She started her acting career in the 1950s, and acted in many films made in Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu. Like her sister Padmini, she was an excellent dancer. She was married to Madhavan Thampi. The couple had two daughters, Lakshmi and Priya. Ragini died of breast cancer on 30th December, 1976.
Her famous Hindi films include Payal (1957), Qaidi (1957), Amardeep (1958), Mujrim (1958) and Kalpana (1960).
Other than sharing the same screen name, both Raaginis had very little in common. One was from North, other was from South. Raagini 1 was known for her beauty and doe like eyes, while Raagini 2 was called ‘ugly duckling’ by Shashi Kapoor. Raagini 2 was an excellent dancer like her sister Padmini, while Raagini 1 was a non dancer. In fact, in one of her interviews, Raagini 1 mentioned that she didn’t like dancing and the fact that she can’t dance along with increasing waist line led to her downfall and being cast in side/supportive roles.