Friday, 12 July 2019

Aligarh Wali-Begum Para: A Legendary Bold Actress of Hindi Cinema.

Aligarh Muslim University Aligarh is not only a seat of higher learning and education, it has created a galaxy of stars, who glittered in every field of life. A bright star of that galaxy was Begum Para (1926–2008) was one of Bollywood's most bold actresses during the 1950s.

She was considered a glamour girl of Hindi Cinema, to such an extent, that Life magazine had a special session with her devoted to her fine sensuous photographs.
Her active Years in Hindi Films were 1944–1956. She returned to films after 50 years for last role in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Saawariya (2007) as Sonam Kapoor's grandmother. She died in her sleep at the age of 81.

Begum Para carved an image of her own with beguyling shimmying her riding crops, Westernized clothing, and seductive shimmying to music. Films like Ustad Pedro (1951) made her one of the earliest pin-up girls of Hindi cinema.
She was offered to play Nigar Sultana’s role 'Bahar' in Mughal-e-Azam (1960). However, she refused to play the role because she considered it against her image.

In one of her interviews, she had said, "I have millions of memories from those days. I didn't smoke as I never liked it. But, I did drink even when it was considered taboo. I used to hold a glass of whisky openly, unlike other actresses who mixed whisky in colas and pretended that they were teetotalers."
No one will disagree that here was a woman who lived life on her own terms and brought sunshine into the lives of millions of her fans, including those American GIs in Korea who would stick her picture on the cover of Life in their bunkers.
Begum Para’s connection with Aligarh

Begum Para was born as Para Haq in Jehlum (Pakistan). Her family was from Aligarh. Her father, Mian Ehsanul-Haq, was a judge. Later he joined judicial service of the princely state of Bikaner, where he became chief justice of its highest court. He was a fine cricketer too of his time.

She was educated at the Aligarh Muslim University. Her elder brother Masrurul Haq, had gone off to Bombay in the late 1930s to become an actor.

There he had met and fell in love with the Bengali actress Protima Dasgupta, and married her. Protima Dasgupta, was born in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, in 1922.

 Whenever she visited them in Bombay, she was quite taken up with the glitzy world of her sister-in-law. She used to accompany her on many occasions and get-togethers. 

People would get quite impressed with her looks and offer her a lot of roles. One such offer came from Sashadhar Mukherjee and Devika Rani. Her father consented to her wishes reluctantly, and requested her to never work in Lahore.

The Grand Family Relatives Background of Begum Para

She married actor Nasir Khan, the younger brother of Bollywood actor Dilip Kumar.They had three children, including the actor Ayub Khan. Her husband Nasir Khan died in 1974. Following her husband's death, she briefly migrated to Pakistan in 1975. Two years later, she relocated back to India.
Begum Para’s older sister Zarina’s daughter Rukhsana Sultana is the mother of the Indian Actress Amrita Singh. Rukhsana Sultana married Shavinder Singh, the younger brother of the novelist Khushwant Singh, and the son of Sir Sobha Singh of Lahore. 

Amrita Singh, who is Saif Ali Khan's ex-wife, is also Khushwant Singh's niece. After marrying Kareena Kapoor, Saif now has family roots on both sides, as Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor shared a close familial relationship.

The End

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