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Mala Sinha

Mala Sinha

Information On Mala Sinha
Name:Mala Sinha
Debut Film:Badshah
Mala Sinha's Profile

Mala Sinha, Bollywood actress,singer and dancer. She was one of the top screen beauties of the 'Classic' 1950s period and the Mod 60s. With her very modern facial features she transitioned with great success from the glamor of the 50s golden era to the 'studied artificiality' of the 60s pop era. Her character always had to be the crux of the story.

Mala Sinha

Today, her unforgettable performances (Pyaasa, Phir Subah Hogi, Gumraah), have been relegated to the shade, while her weakness for over-the-top, mawkish melodrama is remembered. Born a Nepali Christian, the young Mala was a chinky-eyed girl with curly hair and average height. "I was not as good-looking as Madhubala, all I had going for me was talent," she remembers. With time, she fine-tuned her looks, inspiring Mahesh Bhatt to comment, "She exuded sensuality in Pyaasa." When colour seeped into films, she made the audience sit up, revealing a surprisingly slim new look in films like Aankhen, where she swayed memorably in a figure-hugging, strappy gown to Gairon pe karam apnon pe sitam.

While most of her contemporaries looked old-maidish once they entered the dreaded mid 30s, Mala looked chic in chiffon saris and butterfly blouses in Maryada, where she matched Rajesh Khanna's mannerisms with captivating coquetry in the impish Chupke se dil de de. Was her role as good as the superstar's? Well, she had a double role and romanced both Rajesh and Raaj Kumar in the film. Mala began rather humbly in the early 1950s in Bengali films like Roshanara. Soon, she shifted to Mumbai. She made a not-so-princely entry with Badshah (1954).

A lead in Kishore Sahu's Hamlet followed. During Kidar Sharma's Rangeen Raatein (1956), hero Shammi Kapoor's girlfriend, the vivacious Geeta Bali took an unsure Mala Sinha and groomed her. The spotlight first shone on her in Guru Dutt's Pyaasa (1957). Mala's character had negative shades as she played an ambitious woman who betrays her impoverished poet lover (Guru Dutt) for a millionaire publisher (Rehman). Yet Mala won the audience. Her trump card was her ability to emote with her pain-heavy eyes despite being mute about her remorse. Mala soon made the grade from promising newcomer to star when she signed three films with a biggie like Raj Kapoor: Parvarish (1958), Phir Subah Hogi (1958) and Main Nashe Mein Hoon (1959).

Mala Sinha Based on Fyodor Dostoyevski's Crime And Punishment, the stark Phir Subah Hogi showcases Mala in a performance that's eye-openingly subtle. In latter years, however, Mala Sinha sacrificed subtlety for melodrama but she had no regrets --- it paid her rich dividends. In 1959, Mala had, on one hand the merry Dev Anand musical Love Marriage; while at the other end of the spectrum was her role in B R Chopra's Dhool Ka Phool. In Yash Chopra's debut directorial venture, Dhool Ka Phool, Mala Sinha again had a dark-shaded role of a woman who abandons her illegitimate child.

A trio of hits in 1962 --- Anpadh, Hariyali Aur Raasta and Dil Tera Deewana --- preceded her career best, B R Chopra's Gumraah (1963). She essayed the a woman forced by circumstances to marry her sister's widower (Ashok Kumar), but is tormented by the presence of her ex-lover (Sunil Dutt). Mala made her character's dilemma over whether to succumb to an extramarital affair seem identifiable and human. Mala next had a huge hit as a village belle in Himalaya Ki God Mein (1965), though her performance seems contrived today. Strong, women-oriented roles were known as her forte. Guru Dutt cast Mala in an author-backed role (as a working woman pinning her hopes on a hopeless romance), in his production, Baharen Phir Bhi Aayegi. When he passed away, the film was reshot with Dharmendra in the lead.

nterestingly, Mala Sinha did three films each with three of the biggest banners of her times: B R Chopra's Dhool Ka Phool, Dharamputra and Gumraah; Vijay Bhatt's Hariyali Aur Raasta, Himalaya Ki God Mein and Holi Aayee Re and Ramanand Sagar's Aankhen, Geet and Lalkaar. But since playing the central role was a major motivating factor for Mala Sinha, she also worked in several films with upcoming stars like Dharmendra (Anpadh), Manoj Kumar (Hariyali), Sanjay Khan (Dillagi) and Amitabh Bachchan (Sanjog), besides doing 10 films with Biswajeet. She is said to have refused a fill-the-bill role in Ram Aur Shyam opposite a stalwart like Dilip Kumar.

Mala Sinha To Mala's credit, she could shoulder hits like Anpadh, Aasra and Do Kaliyan, on her own slender shoulders. Even after she married Nepali actor C P Lohani (with whom she had done the Nepalese film, Maiti Ghar) in 1968, she had a huge success playing a Japanese girl in Aankhen. But after Mala gave birth to daughter Pratibha, her career began to wane. Subsequently, she paired with Rajesh Khanna in Maryada and won accolades for her moving performance as Sanjeev Kumar's grey-haired wife in Zindagi. She did do some character roles. But after Khel in 1992, has stayed away from the arc lights.

Mala Sinha's marriage was a long-distance affair --- she lived in Mumbai, her husband in Kathmandu --- but it has lasted 34 years. Though Mala evinced as much interest in her daughter Pratibha's career as her father did in her career, she was unable to achieve the same success for her daughter. Today, Mala, who is heavily into religion, lives in a multi-storeyed bungalow at Bandra. The sprawling bungalow a testimony to the huge stardom that was once hers.

Awards Won:
  • 1957 Pyaasa
  • 1958 Phir Subah Hogi
  • 1959 Dhool Ka Phool
  • 1962 Hariyali Aur Raasta
  • 1963 Gumraah
  • 1963 Bahurani
  • 1965 Himalaya Ki God Mein
  • 1966 Aasra
  • 1968 Do Kaliyan
  • 1968 Aankhen


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