Saturday Fare

A FLASHBACK (ICONIC ACTRESS)

Mala Sinha

Pyasa, a cinematic milestone in Indian cinema still has stood the test of time and continues to remain a classic. The exuberant brilliance of the movie is undoubtedly because of the flawless skills of the beautiful and talented Mala Sinha. One of the highest paid actress for almost a decade (1958-1960) Mala Sinha has had a glorious career in the Hindi Cinemas, climbing the ladders to the top position and fiercely holding on to it for a spectacular span of three decades from 1950s to 70s. This immensely talented former Bollywood beauty has worked for Hindi, Bengali and Nepali films. Her journey with the creative industry began as a child artist in Bengali films: “Jai Vaishno Devi”, “Shri Krishan Leela”, “Jog Biyog” & Dhooli”. The world was gifted with such a talent by noted Bengali director Ardhendu Bose who recognising her talent in a school play gave her her first cinematic break in the Bengali film “Roshanara” (in 1952) after obtaining her father’s permission.

She has had a long series of successful hits opposite Pradeep Kumar such as “Fashion” (in 1957), “Detective” (1958) and “Duniya Na Mane” (in 1959). This leading lady was born into a family of Nepali origin in Kolkata as Alda, but due to incessant teasing and being called ‘Dalda’ (a brand of refine oil) she at first changed her name to Baby Nazma and later to Mala Sinha.Sinha married Nepali actor Chidambar Prasad Lohani of Kumain Brahmin ethnicity in 1966. They met on the sets of the Nepali film “Maitighar”, the same year.

Critics have called her performances in “Bahurani” (in1963), “Gumrah”, “Gehra Daag”, “Apne Huye Paraye”, “Nayi Roshni” and “Jahan” are the best in her career. This noted actor was also a singer in All India Radio. Over the years she has acclaimed many accolades and won many awards, the most notable of which is Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Awards: Phalke Icon Cine Artiste Award (2013).

She has also won the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award (2018) and has been felicitated by the government of Nepal. She wrapped up her journey in the industry with the movie Zidd(1994) where she played the role of ‘daadimaa’.