Veteran actor Mala Sinha was recently awarded the Lifetime Achievement award at the 63rd Filmfare Awards but the actor was certainly not happy about that.
She felt that the recognition came too late and said that she has no faith in awards. Recalling the earlier days of acting in the industry, she said that it upsets her that despite so many nominations she never won an award. According to Hindustan Times, she said, “Do you know, I’ve never won a Filmfare Award before this? During my heydays, I was nominated several times. In fact, I’d be nominated almost every year during the 1960s. But for reasons unknown to me, the award always went to some other actress.”
In the year 1965, she was nominated for two very contrasting roles for the movies Jahan Ara and Himalay Ki God Mein. She recalled, “The then-editor of Filmfare BK Karanjia told me to come for the function as I was the most likely winner for either of my performances. I excitedly got up in the morning to put together my clothes and accessories. But when it came to getting the award in the evening, it went to Vyjayanthimalaji for Sangam.”
“Another time, another year again, I was told by Karanjia saab that I was likely to be awarded for Bahurani. But the award went to Meenaji (Meena Kumari) for Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam,” she added.
Mala expresses her disappointment over the awards, saying that she had lost faith in awards long ago. She is upset that the awards never appreciated her performances. “It was always like that. My best performances in films like Dharmputra, Dhool Ka Phool (where I played an unwed mother), Gumrah, Bahurani and Jahan Ara were never recognised. For Guru Dutt’s Pyaasa, my difficult role of a girl who sacrifices love for financial security in her marriage was ignored as a ‘negative’ character. My reward came many years later when Mahesh Bhatt saab praised me in Pyaasa for conveying so many emotions through my eyes,” she said.
Talking about numerous award functions these days, she said, “Nowadays, there are at least 10 to 12 awards functions. They mean nothing. Even when awards meant something, they were manipulated. My Baba (father) always told me, I should be happy with the recognition and fame that I get. I never wooed the awards or asked journalists to write about me. I never knew how to do my own promotion. Maybe that’s why I got left behind.”
However, Mala is happy with the fact that at least her work in the industry got praised with the Lifetime Achievement Award. “Der aaye durust aaye (better late than never). I wanted to say this in my thank you speech for the Filmfare Award for lifetime achievement which I finally got after actors and actresses who came much after me, got it. I have been working since 1957. Actresses who came long after me were given the Lifetime Achievement award much before me. Thankfully, they thought of me while I am still alive. And I’m grateful to have got it. But I still wonder why I was never recognised for my best performances. Was I not as good as my contemporaries?”