Nargis’ daughter recalls actor wearing burkas to movie screenings
Namrata Dutt, daughter of the late Nargis Dutt, has revealed that once a crowd started gathering in Delhi’s underground market, Palika Bazaar, after learning that the veteran actor was there. In a new interview, Namrata also shared how Nargis would wear a burqa when she went to watch movies, but later took it off. Nargis died in 1981 of pancreatic cancer at Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai. (Also read | Lata Mangeshkar, Raj Kapoor, Nargis and Shashi Kapoor feature in rare old photo from Awara premiere, shared by Karisma Kapoor)
Nargis started her acting career with Tamanna (1942) and went on to star in Barsaat (1949), Shree 420 (1955), Mother India (1957), Adalat and Lajwanti (1958) and Raat Aur Din (1967) among many many other movies. . She married Sunil Dutt in 1958 and had three children – Sanjay Dutt, Priya Dutt and Namrata.
In an interview with Pinkvilla, Namrata said, “As a person, she was full of laughter and joy. She had no qualms about having pani puri (snack) from the roadside stand. She would go watch movies wearing a burqa and later kick it off saying, ‘Garmi lag rahi hai (I’m hot)!’ Her closest friends were not from industry, they were women who worked in Delhi, she insisted that we stay with them when we visited Delhi, I wanted to stay in a hotel because of the air conditioning facilities. But mom wanted us to adapt to all situations.”
Recalling one incident, Namrata said, “One day her friend said, ‘Fatty (Nargis’ original name was Fatema Rashid) let’s go shopping”. Palika Bazaar in Connaught Place had just launched. So he was walking around the mall, one of her friends got lost. She went to each shopkeeper asking, “Nargis ko kahin dekha (Have you seen Nargis anywhere)?” Soon the noise started It was rumored that Nargis was around. Crowds began to gather. Before a stampede could ensue, we all huddled in a car and drove away.
Namrata said Nargis’ best friend in “the industry was Aunt Shammi”, actor Nargis Rabadi. She recalled that the duo once ended up having the wrong marriage in Delhi. By the time they realized they were at the wrong event, the actors had greeted the bride and groom and presented them with bouquets. However, Namrata added that “at that time, people recognized her.”
On the 41st anniversary of Nargis’ death, her son, actor Sanjay Dutt, shared a collage of photos of his mother on Instagram. He captioned the post, “Not a single moment goes by that I don’t remember you. Mom, you were the foundation of my life and the strength of my soul. I wish my wife and children had met you for you to give them all your love and blessings. I miss you today and everyday!”
Nargis’ daughter, Priya Dutt, also shared a long note on Instagram. Sharing a photo, she wrote, “Her presence in my life and through my work is everywhere. Ma passed away on this day in 1981, I was 14 but she never left me. Her physical presence m missed but like you as you get older you realize it’s not just the physical and learn to connect with the soul His soul is in my life and in the work I am able to do through the Nargis Dutt Foundation, I’m living their dreams (mom and dad) and loving every moment. 41 years since mom left and the Nargis Dutt Foundation was born… Her memories and work will continue everywhere. #love.”