Today is the birth anniversary of Balraj Sahni, the great Bollywood actor.He was born this day in 1913 in Rawalpindi. He was an M.A. in English Literature from Panjab University, Lahore He and his wife spent some time at Santiniketan where he taught English for some time. He also worked with Mahatma Gandhi in the year 1938 .After this, he had a four year stint with the BBC from 1939 to 1943, where he worked as a Hindi announcer.He was fond of acting and acted with many plays staged by IPTA. In fact his wife Damyanti also acted in plays and established herself as an actor even before he did.His acting career started with the 1946 movie Insaaf. The same year he worked in Dharti ke Lal, Door Chalen and Badnami.His wife made her debut in film Dharti Ke Lal and subsequently worked in 2-3 more films.Unfortunatey she died in the year 1947. He also worked in films,. Gudiya, Badnam, Rahi and others but real success and recognition came his way from the 1953 film Do Beegha Zameen.He went on to act in a number of films like Bhagyawan, Aakash, Naukari, Aulad, Seema, Garam Coat,Pardesi , Lal Batti,Kathputli, Soney ki Chiriya, Lajwanti, Ghar sansaaar, Chhoti Behan, Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere, Anuradha,Batwara, Kabuluwala, Anparh, haqiqat, Waqt, faraar, Aye Din Bahar Ke , Paraya Dhan, Humraaz, neel Kamal, Izzat, Talaash, Do Raaste, Ek Phool Do Mali,Pavitra Paapi, Ghar Ghar Ki Kahani, Hanste Zakhm , Garam Hawa, besides many others.
A highly talented and versatile actor , acting came naturally to him. In an acting career spanning more than a quarter of a century, he played memorable roles in a number of movies , most of which he carried alone on his shoulders. Who can forget Rehman, the Pathan of ‘Kabuliwala’ – the film based on Tagore’s short story of the same name , and also the dacoit- turned - gentleman of the film Paraya Dhan , in which he brings up the daughter of a victim as his own ! That all time great movie Waqt and the song -Aye Meri Zohra Zabeen, Tujhe Maloom Nahin- in which Achala Sachdev provides a perfect match to him in acting and expressions, is a treat to watch .His roles in Garam Hawa and Ek Phool Do Mali are both a landmark and a bench mark in acting. A gifted writer, he wrote his autobiography and also books in Hindi and Punjabi. Two of his books were his travelogues on Pakistan and Russia.In fact he won Soviet Land Award for ‘Meri Roos Yatra’
He was awarded Padma Shri in 1969.
He died on the Baisakhi day in 1973.
Our humble tributes to the legendary actor !