Sunday, November 20, 2011

DEVIKA RANI

Devika Rani was one of the earlier heroines of Bollywood and also she was one of the Partner  and founder of the eminent Cinema Production House, Bombay Talkies.
Devika Rani Choudhari was a wealthy Bengali Brahmin girl born at Visakhapattanam on 30 March 1908 and her father Col.M.N.Choudhari  was the  first Indian Surgeon General of Madras Presidency. Her mother was Leela Choudhary.Her Grandmother was the daughter of Rabindra Nath Tagore's eldest sister.She possessed her abilities and courage by birth and was bold enough to go to England alone to study Architecture and some other Diploma courses of her interest.Thus she joined Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and  involved in theater and cinema production along with Architecture and textile designing.Devika married Himanshu  Rai who was a brilliant young film producer   with acting skills and business ideas in the year 1929.They produced a film 'Karma' in which Himanshu was the hero and Devika as the heroine which  received grand reception in London and other European cities. It was the first Hindi  film with sound.In that film a 4 minute long Kissing scene of Devika and Himanshu was included which was not suited for Indian culture which received much criticism.Devika Rani was invited to act in inaugural episode of first ever BBC TV serial and she got chance to make first broadcast of BBC short wave Hindi service.
Himanshu Rai with Devika Rani  and their associates found Bombay Talkies Film Production House at Malad in Bombay.They produced several hit films of those times.Her acting talents was excellent. She is termed as the first 'Dream Girl' of Indian Cinema.In 1936  a lab assistant in the Production house by name
'Kumudlal Ganguly' was requested by Himanshu  to act opposite Devika Rani for their film 'Jeevan Naiyya' because the proposed hero Nijam-Ul-Hussain was ill.Thus a new star aroused on the Bollywood horizon
 none other than the famous  wonderful actor  'Ashok Kumar'.
Another film made in the same year again with Ashok Kumar as hero and Devika Rani as heroine 'Achchut Kanya' drew so much attention, appreciation and criticism from the society.A Brahmin Boy loving an untouchable low cast girl was the theme of that film which helped to change the society a lot and induced healthy positive way of thinking.
Untimely death happened to Himanshu in 1940 which caused several problems to Devika Rani's life.Her assistants left Bombay and she was in full control of Bombay Talkies and she was termed as 'Dragon Lady' in that situation with so many responsibilities for her.
During those time that she brought to the   arc  light actor 'Dilip Kumar' and actress 'Madhubala' through Bombay Talkies.
In 1945 she married a Russian Painter, who was settled in India  and left the movies and Bombay also.She stayed with her husband in an estate at  Bangalore.She died on March 8  in 1994. She was  presented 'Padma Shri' by the President of India in 1958.She was given the first Dada Saheb Phalke Award for her life time contributions to Indian Cinema
in 1970.
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