On the occasion of late Bollywood actor Balraj Sahni's 101st birth anniversary we bring you some of his memorable roles. He is best remembered for his roles in films like 'Do Bigha Zameen', Kabuliwaha' and 'Waqt', among others.
Balraj Sahni was always interested in acting, and started his acting career with the plays of the Indian People's Theatre Association. He started his film career in Mumbai with the film Insaaf (1946) but Bimal Roy's classic Do Bigha Zameen established him as an A league actor.
But it is quite surprising that such a great actor did not receive even a single award for his memorable roles.
Do Bigha Zamin (1953): The 1953 film directed by Bimal Roy had Balraj Sahni and Nirupa Roy in lead roles. The film, known for its socialist theme, was an important film in the early parallel cinema of India and is considered a trend setter. The film enjoyed a moderate commercial success but was the first Indian film to win an award at the Cannes Film Festival.
Garm Hawa (1973): The film starring Balraj Sahni dealt with the plight of a North Indian Muslim family, in the years post partition of India in 1947. Garm Hawa is one of the most poignant films ever made on India's partition.
His performance as the angst ridden but stoical Muslim man, who refuses to go to Pakistan during partition in the film, has often been called his best performance by critics.
Pardesi/The Journey Beyond Three Seas (1957): Also starring Nargis Dutt, the Indian-Soviet popular film was made in two versions – Hindi and Russian – and is based on the travelogues of Russian traveller Afanasy Nikitin, which is now considered a Russian literary monument.
The Soviet youth delegation which visited Bombay was given a reception at Mohan Studios in Bombay. In this picture: The delegation members with their hosts among whom can be spotted Nargis, Balraj Sahni, David, Bimal Roy, Salil Chaudhary and Sadhana Shivdasani, Vezirov (standing third from left) is the leader of delegation. (Express archive photo)
Kabuliwala (1961): Balraj Sahni won a zillion hearts with his portrayal of the beloved Kabuliwala in the film based on a story by same name written by Rabindranath Tagore.
Anpadh (1962): Balraj Sahni played a negative role in the film. He played Chaudhary Shambhunath, who considers the accumulation of wealth to be more important than education.
Waqt (1965): The legendary song 'Ae Meri Zohra Jabeen' from 'Waqt', immortalised Balraj Sahni for the younger generation, in which he appeared opposite Achala Sachdev.
Haqeeqat (1965) : The movie, which was based on the 1962 Sino-Indian War, had Balraj Sahini as the patriotic Major. The film won the National Film Award for Second Best Feature Film in 1965.
Ek Phool Do Mali (1969): The 1969 Bollywood film directed by Devendra Goel was at the third top spot at the box office in 1969. For his portrayal the humble widower, Balraj Sahni earned a Filmfare nomination as Best Supporting Actor.
Producer Director Devendra Goel, Balraj Sahni, Sadhana and Sanjay Khan on the set of Ek Phool Do Mali. (Express archive photo)