Vidya Sinha, Veteran Bollywood actress is dead at 71

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TIO, Mumbai: Veteran Bollywood actress Vidya Sinha passed away. She was famous for her roll in the Bassu Chatterjee film, ” Rajnigandha”,(1974). She was suffering from grom Lung and Heart ailment and was rushed to the hospital for breathing issues. Where she died.

Whenever someone asked me who did I think was the most beautiful heroines in Indian cinema, my answer was Vidya Sinha in Rajnigandha and Chotisi Baat.

It was a strange choice but always hit the bull’s eye. Many agreed with me and those who didn’t, never questioned my choice even though their answer was a Madhubala or a Madhuri Dixit.

Vidya Sinha might be dead, but her beauty will never be forgotten until people like me exist around the world.

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A fan mourns 😢...❤️

रजनीगंधा फूल तुम्हारे, महके यूँ ही जीवन में
यूँ ही महके प्रीत पिया की, मेरे अनुरागी मन में

Lata Mangeshkar is singing a Salil Choudhary composition, written by Yogesh and picturized on the amazing Vidya Sinha. Rarely will you find songs that are picturized so well and are appreciated across generations by both men and women? Rajnigandha is one such classic. It’s a rare gem.

I have always wondered as to how our male lyricists are able to so wonderfully describe the feelings of a woman for a man. Which is what makes this song exquisite. Its pure magic.

अधिकार ये जब से साजन का हर धड़कन पर माना मैंने
मैं जबसे उनके साथ बँधी, ये भेद तभी जाना मैंने
कितना सुख है बंधन में!

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In times when everyone is seeking freedom from everything around us, Yogesh wrote – “कितना सुख है बंधन में!” – four decades ago. Maybe we need to bring such ideas back into our conversations.

Salil Chaudhary is on a roll, and so is Lata. But that’s not the point I want to make here.

I do not know about women, but the reason why this song is a part of male consciousness for the past 40 years is that men can’t take their eyes off Vidya Sinha. To me, it is inexplicable how a woman could look so flawless and beautiful. In my list of the most beautiful leading ladies that have graced Bollywood, Vidya Sinha (from Rajnigandha) will be up there in top 3.

Here is a link to the song: https://youtu.be/opsIjJl1N74

I was a small kid when I went to watch Choti Si Baat and Rajnigandha in the theatres. And I clearly remember I just could not take my eyes off her. I fell in love with her. That she had traces of 2 teachers I used to love in school, added to her charm. I am sure every male in the audience fancied their chances with Vidya Sinha. If she could fall in love with Amol Palekar, then why not us? 

हर पल मेरी इन आँखों में बस रहते हैं सपने उनके
मन कहता है मैं रंगों की, एक प्यार भरी बदली बनके
बरसूँ उनके आँगन में!

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Vidya Sinha was 23 when Basu Chatterji saw her photograph in a print ad and decided to sign her for the film. Sinha had just won the Miss Bombay pageant and started modeling. The rest is history. Millions of Indian men will be forever indebted to Basuda for introducing Vidya Sinha in Rajnigandha. I am one of them

In Choti Si Baat, she looked even more confident and beautiful. She had almost no makeup and wore simple body-hugging nylon sarees. An otherwise quiet and shy girl, she is forced to assert her liking for a gutless Amol Palekar. And she does it with such ingenuity and elegance that it just puts a smile on my face every time I watch the movie. “Na Jaane Kyon…” is another classic by the same team of Yogesh, Salil Chaudhary, Lata, Basuda, and of course, Vidya Sinha.

Vidya Sinha later acted in movies where Bollywood’s commercial directors took over the reins of her career and made her act in horrible movies with gaudy makeup and garish clothes. We lost the allure of Vidya Sinha to them. So much so that I have little idea of her body of work post these 2 films in Bollywood. Bollywood wasted her.

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But that does not matter.

The Vidya Sinha of Rajnigandha & Choti Si Baat is like your school autograph book that has been locked in a small locker of an antique cupboard. That autograph book has many sweet memories which you don’t want to really talk about today. You don’t get to see the book often, but you know its curled itself up in one corner of that cupboard.

And then, one evening when you are alone in the house, and sipping a glass of wine, you take the book out and see those stories slowly gliding past you. Vidya Sinha is like that memory. She is like that bouquet of Rajnigandha. You just cannot forget the faint scent that emanated from it 40 years ago ❤️

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Copy Edited By Adam Rizvi

Ninad Vengurlekar

The writer Ninad Vengurlekar is Masters in Education Technology, from Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. He runs an EdTech start-up and is based out of Mumbai.

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