It was IPTA or the people's theatre that the legendary actor Balraj Sahani started his career with. This theatre had many communists in it and soon he mingled with them. Then his debut film 'Dharti Ke Laal' based on Bengal famine happened and got appreciated very much. But as far as Balraj Sahani was concerned, though he played a poverty-stricken peasant, not much happened in his acting front.
He had to go back to his theatre and as the fire against communists spread, he was arrested in 1951. But Balraj Sahani was allowed to shoot for his film 'Hulchul', escorted by policemen. Fortunately, much before the shooting was over he was released and was free to complete the rest of the movie peacefully.
For Balraj Sahani, the real moment of recognition came with 'Hum Log' in 1951 where he played an unemployed youth. In 1953, he was signed by Bimal Roy for 'Do Bigha Zameen' and played the role of a harassed farmer most convincingly. One remarkable thing about Balraj Sahani was that he believed in putting the characters he played into practice. For his role in 'Do Bigha Zameen' he was required to pull a rickshaw. Balraj Sahani in fact practiced pulling a rickshaw for 15 days in the busy streets of Calcutta before shooting started. Much in the same way, for his movie 'Kabuliwala', Balraj Sahani lived with some Kabuliwalas in Mumbai and imitated their mannerisms. This kind of dedication and passion for acting is missing in today's actors who believe in taking everything for granted. He did some more films like 'Garam Coat', 'Seema' and 'Anuradha'. Balraj Sahani shifted to character roles like in 'Ek Phool Do Mali' starring Sanjay Khan and Sadhana. He also did some multi-starrer movies like 'Waqt'. But it was in 1973 that he reached the zenith of his career with 'Garam Hawa'. It came at the right time because soon after he expired and we lost a gem of an actor. In 'Garam Hawa' he was portrayed as a patriarch of a Muslim family living in a country ripped apart by communal riots and partition. Balraj Sahani had much to offer in this role and is still remembered for his breath-taking performance.
It would be wrong to say that he concentrated only in such movies. He has done equally good commercial movies where he got to pair with Nargis, Meena Kumari and Nutan. Balraj Sahani was a complete actor and it becomes very difficult to categorise him.
Date of Birth : -
Place of Birth : -
Balraj Sahni Profile
Balraj Sahni Filmography
Balraj Sahni Related News
5 September 2018, 1:48 pm IST