Saturday, February 6, 2010
The Sunil Dutt-Nargis union is still spoken of as one of Bollywood’s most successful marriages, even after both have passed away. The 1957 classic Mother India brought them together though they played mother and son in the film. After Sunil saved Nargis during an on-the-set fire, their relationship got serious. And in 1958, the two tied the knot after Mother India had been declared a huge success.
By the end of the 1950s, Nargis had been awarded the Padma Shri and reached the acme of her career. She settled down to raising a family (that’s the infant Sanjubaba with the couple) while Sunil’s career steamed ahead. Except for her home production, Raat Aur Din, Nargis never returned to films, plunging into social work instead.
When she was stricken by cancer, an obsessed Sunil embarked on a protracted fight against the dreaded disease. Nargis passed away in 1981, but their love story survived in her husband’s heart till his own death, a quarter of a century later.