Veteran actor Daisy Irani, who has often tickled the funnybone of movie buffs with her perfect comic timing, recently made a stark revelation about her childhood. The Naya Daur actor opened up about being sexually assaulted at the age of six while she was filming for Hum Panchhi Ek Dal Ke (1957). Daisy, the maternal aunt of Farhan Akhtar and Zoya Akhtar, is remembered for her roles as a child artist in the movies like Bandish, Dhool Ka Phool and Ek Hi Raasta. The last she made an appearance on the silver screen was in Shah Rukh Khan starrer Happy New Year. She played Boman Irani’s mother in the movie.
Narrating the incident of sexual exploitation almost after 60 years in a tell-all interview to Mumbai Mirror, Daisy said, “The man who did this was supposed to be my guardian. He accompanied me to a film shoot (Hum Panchhi Ek Dal Ke) in Madras. One night in the hotel room he violated me, hit me with a belt and warned me that he would kill me if I ever told anyone about what had happened.”
Adding further to it she said, “That man is dead and gone. His name was Nazar, he was related to the famous singer Zohrabai Ambalewaali. Obviously, he had contacts in the film industry. My mother was hell-bent on making me a star. I made my debut in the Marathi movie, Baby. So Uncle Nazar had accompanied me to the shoot of Hum Panchhi Ek Dal Ke in Madras. I can recall the incident only in flashes, but I do remember the killing pain, and the visual of him belting me. The next morning, I was back at the studio as if nothing had happened. For years, I couldn’t dare to tell my mother about what he had done.” When asked about the impact the incident had on her during her growing up days, Daisy recalled, “All I can say is as I grew up, I started flirting outrageously, I would tease and taunt men. I did not even understand what I was doing. I became badtameez (without manners). With time, my mother did get to know about the Madras incident but what could be done really?”
Recalling another incident of her younger days, Daisy said, “When I was 15 or so, my mother made me wear a sari, padded me up with a new-fangled sponge, and left me alone with producer Mallikchand Kochar, who was planning a film called Mere Huzoor then, at his office located somewhere between Maratha Mandir cinema and the Tardeo circle. It was all quite hilarious… He joined me on the sofa, and started touching me… I knew what was on his mind. I took out the sponge things and handed them to him. He was furious. Now why did I do that? Because, I’ve always seen the funnier side of things.”
Daisy also tried her luck in the small screen industry and was loved in the cult TV show Dekh Bhai Dekh. She also acted in her other nephew Sajid Khan’s film Housefull in 2010 and was also a part of Farah Khan’s acting debut Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi.
Asked if she was apprehensive about everyone knowing her life story now, she told Mumbai Mirror, “My three children, my sisters…everyone knows what happened. The truth never killed anyone. If I’ve spoken up after years and years and if the result sounds sensational in print, no problem. There could be a flurry of ‘phone calls. I just won’t answer them. Simple.”