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Mala Sinha: “The Awards Don’t Mean Anything”, Veteran  Actress Lashes  Out At Popular Awards



The legendary-in-her-own-right actress Mala Sinha who has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement award at  the Filmfare awards  2018,  is not  overjoyed at  the  belated recognition.

“Do you know,I’ve never won  a Filmfare award before this? During my heydays I was nominated several times.In fact I’d be nominated almost every year during  the  1960s. But for reasons unknown to me  the award always went to some other actress. I remember  in 1965 I was nominated for two very contrasting roles in Jahan Ara and Himalay Ki GodeMein. The then-editor  of  Filmfare  B K Karanjia told me to come for  the  function as  I was  the most likely winner for either of my performance. I  excitedly got up in  the morning to put together my clothes and  accessories.  But when  it came to getting the award in the evening, it went to Vyjanthimalaji for Sangam…Another time, another year again, I was told byKaranjia Saab that I was likely to be  awarded for Bahurani. But the award went to Meenajifor Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam.”

 Malaji says it’s not as though she has  lost faith in  the awards  in recent times. “It was always like that. My  best performances in films  like Dharmputra, Dhool Ka Phool(where I played an unwed mother), Gumrah , Bahurani  and Jahan Ara were never recognized. For Guru Dutt’s Pyaasa my difficult role of a  girl who sacrifices  love for financial security in her marriage was ignored as a  ‘negative’ character. My reward came many  years later whenMahesh Bhatt Saab praised  me in Pyaasa  for conveying  so many emotions  through my eyes.”

 The actress feels she has always been given a raw deal in the hall of recognition says she feels no regret  for having failed to get awards during her career. “Nowadays there are at least 10-12 awards  functions.  They mean nothing.Even when  awards meant something  they  were manipulated .My Baba(father) always told me  I should be  happy with the recognition and fame that I get. I  never wooed the awards  or asked journalists  to  write about me. I never knew how to do my own promotion. Maybe that’s why I got left behind.”

  Not that Malaji is not happy about being recognized for her work. “Der aaye durustaaye(better late than never…I wanted to say this in my thankyou speech for  the  Filmfareaward for lifetime achievement which  I  finally got after  actors and actresses who came much after me  , got it. I have been working since  1957. Actresses who came  long after me were given the Lifetime achievement award much before me. Thankfully they thought of  me  while I am  still alive. And I’m grateful to have  got it.But I still wonder why I was  never recognized for  my best performances.Was I not as good as my contemporaries?”

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