The charismatic and vibrant diva of the fifties
The icon of Hindi cinema Nargis was a great person behind the screen. She gave her time to social work. Sunil Dutt, her husband, motivated her to fulfil her ambition to become a doctor. Later he realised that she wanted to go abroad to complete her studies, not to be a doctor, but to be a nurse in order to help needy people. In most of her social work she focused on helping handicapped children. She discovered that it was an interest that absorbed her husband as well. Together they bought a plot and built a home for the disabled children in Bandra. They also opened a school for blind children and opened a centre of education for spastics.
Nargis worked as a nurse in that education centre and looked after the spastic children. She was also involved in Bharat Scouts and Guides, war widows and Meena Kumari Memorial for the blind. This is the kind of social service that Nargis dedicated herself to. The transformations after marriage made her happy. She became what she wanted to be, a human being helping other human beings.
Fatima Rashid, who became known as Nargis, was born on 1st june 1929– (1981) in Calcutta, West Bengal. Her father Abdul Rashid was a man full of wealth. Rashid’s mother Jaddan Bai was a renowned classical singer of Indian cinema, her mother was compared to as the greatest artist during those times. Nargis was counted amongst the legend of Hindi cinema; she created history being a women and became an inspiration to many people.
She gave her first performance as an actress when she was just six years old in the 1935 movie, Talash-E-Haq. Her skills were highly appreciated by the film industry. It was because of her beauty that she was named Nargis, the narscissus flower, by the film industry.
She turned out to be the most outstanding actress in the film industry. She became the queen of the golden age of Hindi cinema through her tremendous work as heroine in ‘Barsaat’, ‘Andaz’, “Awara’, ‘Deedar’, ‘Shree 420’ and ‘Chori Chori’. Her crowning moment in movies was her portrayal of Radha as ‘Mother India’ in 1957. This movie was also nominated for the Best Foreign Film for the Oscar award and later won the Filmfare Best Actress Award. She had acted in more than 50 movies and played a wide range of roles. She also won the National Film Award for best actress and was the first actress to receive this award for her performance as a woman of split personality in ‘Raat Aur Din’ in 1966.
Nargis and Raj Kapoor became the most celebrated lead pair in the 1950s. They acted in 16 films together. She fell in love with her co-actor, Sunil Dutt, while shooting for ‘Mother India’ and they got married. Sunil Dutt was a struggling actor when he met Nargis. She was at the peak of her career, earning double the amount he was getting. But Nargis never flaunted her superiority. They remained a happy couple till her tragic death in 1980.
After her marriage to Sunil Dutt she gave up acting. She preferred to spend her life with family. Nargis had three children Namrata, Sanjay and Priya. Tragedy struck in 1979, as Nargis was detected with jaundice at first and later pancreatic cancer. She was taken to the finest hospital in New York. But it was of no avail. She wanted her family to build a foundation for cancer which will help those who cannot afford treatment.
She has been a legend to the film industry and won the hearts of many fans. The nation always will remember her for her dedicated work in the films and in the social sector.
© 2016 Sulabh Swachh Bharat. All Right Reserved