Thursday, January 30, 2014

Balraj Sahani was a great actor.

Balraj Sahani was a great actor. If the Bollywood films of 1950s and 1960s are seen, it will be known that it was dominated by Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar. While Raj Kapoor gave blockbusters like Awaara, Shree 420, Anari, Sangam and other films, Dilip Kumar gave blockbusters like Madhumati, Mughal-I –Azam, Ganga Jumna, Ram Aur Shyam and other films. Balraj Sahani acted in realistic films and maintained and same class in his films in that era. He was not considered to be romantic actor. But his character acting created life in classic films. He was brilliant in the film Do Bigha Zameen in 1953, where he played the character of a farmer who had sold the land and came to the city of Kolkata. He displayed the hardship of a rickshaw-puller in Kolkata. In Seema he played an important role of moulding the character of Nutan, who faced many hardhips in life. He was sublime in Hemen Gupta’s film Kabuliwala. It was written by Rabindranath Tagore. Bimal Roy produced the film. It was released in 1961. He was brilliant in the film Bhabhi released in 1957. He showed the sacrifice of an elder brother of a middle-class family. His wife Pandari Bai sacrificed her life for the wellbeing of the family. He was brilliant in the film Bhabhi Ki Chudiya opposite Meena Kumari. There also both Balraj Sahani and Meena Kumari showed the sacrifice for middle-class family. He played the character of an honest doctor in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s film Anuradha in 1960. He could not do justice to the singing talent of his wife Leela Naidu in the film. But she also never left her. The film received National Award for best film. Balraj Sahani had acted opposite all the best actresses of silver screen including Vaijayantimala in Katputli, Nargis in Lajwanti, Meena Kumari in Satta Bazaar, Nutan in Seema, to name a few. Whenever he played any character, he kept his mark. He had acting experience of working in Indian People’s Theatre, (IPTA). It never looked that he was acting. His performances were very realistic. There were no mannerisms. He also gave lips in landmark songs of Bollywood films. Some of the brilliant songs included “kahan ja rahe ho’ sung by Mohammad Rafi in the film Seema, “aye mere zohrazabi” sung by Manna Dey in the film Waqt, “aye mere pyare watan” sung by Manna Dey in the film Kabuliwala, to name a few. His films and works should be preserved and restored.

No comments: