Today marks the 87th birth anniversary of Nadira, the very famous actress of Hindi cinema during 50’s and 60’s.
The “Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh” actress Nadira reigned supreme in the 1950s and 1960s and was one of the busiest actresses of her time. She played princesses and vamps, and was supposedly the first Hindi film star to be chauffeured around in a Rolls-Royce.
A Baghdadi Jew hailing from Nagpada in south Mumbai, Nadira was introduced to the film industry by Sardar Begum, wife of film director Mehboob Khan, in the film Aan (1952). She starred in Aan opposite Dilip Kumar, the reigning heart-throb of the times. Nadira rose to cinematic prominence with her role as a Rajput princess in Aan.
She is best remembered for her performance in films such as Shree 420 (1955), Pakeezah (1972) and Julie (1975), which won her Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award.
Her role as the seductive temptress Maya in Raj Kapoor’s classic Shree 420 where she wooed Kapoor with the evergreen club-dance number “Mud Mud Ke Na Dekh” is etched in the minds of millions of Hindi cinema lovers.
The song “Ajeeb Dastaan Hai Yeh” picturised on the trio of Nadira, Raaj Kumar and Meena Kumari in Dil Apna Preet Parayi continues to be popular even now.
Nadira was a woman so much ahead of her time — in fact, she was a woman for all time — beautiful, bold, truthful. What today’s woman strives to be, Nadira was 50 years ago.