Friday, 30 March 2018


- Manoj Kulkarni

Coloured portrait of first beautiful star of Indian cinema..Devika Rani!

Today is 110th Birth Anniversary of most beautiful first lady of our Indian Cinema..Devika Rani!
Producer-Director & Actor Himanshu Rai and pretty Devika Rani!

London based Bengali girl Devika Rani Choudhary met producer-director Himanshu Rai in 1928...and assisted him in art direction for his silent film 'Thrown of Dice' (1929). Then they married & went to Germany where she learnt filmmaking in 'UFA Studio'! There she influenced by actress Marlene Dietrich!
Revolutionary kiss scene of Devika Rani-Himanshu Rai in 'Karma' (1933).

In 1933 Himanshu Rai made Devika Rani heroine of his first talkie 'Karma' which received critical acclaim! Then in 1934 they formed 'Bombay Talkies' & produced films..with Devika Rani in the lead role! She starred with Najm-Ul-Hassan in it's first film 'Jawani ki Hawa' (1935) which was shot on train! They developed on-screen and off-screen love too!
Devika Rani & Najm-Ul-Hassan in film 'Jawani ki Hawa' (1935).

After that Ashok Kumar came as her hero in it's film 'Jeevan Naiya' (1936)..And same year they did social issue based film 'Achut Kanya' in which Devika Rani portrayed the title role and Ashok Kumar played Brahmin boy. Film raised voice against Untouchability sensitively! They sung "Main ban ki chidiiyani.." and their pair became hit!
Devika Rani & Ashok Kumar in ''Achut Kanya's
song "Main ban ki chidiyan.." which they sung!

Then 'Bombay Talkies' produced woman centric films with Devika Rani in main lead like..'Jeevan Prabhat' (1937). In 'Nirmala' (1938) she was childless woman and in 'Vachan' (1938) she was Rajput princess! In 'Durga' (1939) she was orphaned girl & Ashok Kumar was village doctor..who loved each other!
Devika Rani and Russian painter Svetoslav Roerich!

After the death of Himanshu Rai she took over the studio alongwith Shashadhar Mukherjee! In 1941 they produced film 'Anjaan' in which she also acted with Ashok Kumar. Then her last screen appearance was in 'Hamari Baat' (1943). 

After that Devika Rani married Russian painter Svetoslav Roerich in 1945. Latter she made documentaries on wild life!

Our Government of India honoured Devika Rani with 'Padmashree' and in 1969 she became the first recipient of 'Dadasaheb Phalke Award'! In 1990 Soviet Russia honoured her with 'Soviet Nehru Award'!
Devika Rani relaxing at her old age! (She died in 1994!)

In beauty & acting style Devika Rani compared with that time Hollywood queen Greta Garbo and named as 'Indian Garbo'!!

Tribute to this first Queen of our Indian Cinema!!!

- Manoj Kulkarni
['Chitrasrushti', Pune, India]

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