Nargis’ daughter recalls how actor would wear burqas to movie screenings

Namrata Dutt, daughter of late Nargis Dutt, has revealed how once a crowd started gathering in Delhi’s underground market Palika Bazaar after getting to know that the veteran actor was present there. In a new interview, Namrata also spoke about how Nargis would wear a burqa when she went to watch movies but later took it off. Nargis died in 1981 of pancreatic cancer in Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital. (Also Read | Lata Mangeshkar, Raj Kapoor, Nargis, Shashi Kapoor feature in rare old pic from Awara premiere, shared by Karisma Kapoor)

Nargis began her acting career with Tamanna (1942) and went on to feature in Barsaat (1949), Shree 420 (1955), Mother India (1957), Adalat and Lajwanti (1958) and Raat Aur Din (1967) among many others films. 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 stall. She’d go to watch films wearing a burqa and later fling it off saying, ‘Garmi lag rahi hai (I’m feeling hot)!’ Her closest friends were not from the industry. They were working women in Delhi. She would insist 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 adjust to every situation.”

Recalling an incident, Namrata said, “One day her friend said, ‘Fatty (Nargis’ original name was Fatema Rashid) let’s go shopping’. Palika Bazaar at Connaught Place had just been launched. While doing the rounds of the shopping centre, one of her friends got lost. She went to every shopkeeper asking, ‘Nargis ko kahin dekha (Did you see Nargis anywhere)?’ Soon, the buzz went around that Nargis was around. Crowds started gathering. Before a stampede could ensue, we all huddled in a car and zipped away.”

Namrata said that Nargis’ best friend from the ‘industry was Shammi aunty’, actor Nargis Rabadi. She recalled that once the duo ended up going to the wrong wedding in Delhi. By the time they realised that they were at the wrong event, the actors had greeted the bride and groom and presented them with bouquets. However, Namrata added that ‘by that time, people had recognised her’.

On Nargis’ 41st death anniversary, her son, actor Sanjay Dutt shared a picture collage of his mother on Instagram. He captioned the post, “Not a single moment goes by when I don’t remember you. Ma, you were the basis of my life and the strength of my soul. I wish my wife and kids would have met you for you to give them all your love and blessings. I miss you today and every day!”

Nargis’ daughter Priya Dutt also shared a long note on Instagram. Sharing a picture, she wrote, “Her presence in my life and through my work is everywhere. Ma passed away on this day in 1981, I was 14 years old but she never left my side. I have missed her physical presence but as you grow older you realise there is more than just the physical and learn to connect with the soul. Her soul is in my life and in the work I am able to do through The Nargis Dutt foundation, I am living their (mom and Dad) dreams and loving every moment of it. 41 years since mom left and The Nargis Dutt Foundation was Born…… Her memories and her work will carry on Everywhere. #love.”

Leave a Comment