Updated: September 24, 2021 9:02:06 am
Filmmaker Kalpana Lajmi made some searing films in her career, including the likes of Rudaali and Daman, but apart from her professional career, Kalpana was also always in the public eye for her personal life. Her unconventional relationship with music director and singer Bhupen Hazarika had caught many eyeballs. Recently, in an interview with Pinkvilla, Kalpana’s mother Lalitha Lajmi opened up about the late pair and Kalpana’s unfortunate demise.
“She (Kalpana) was 17 to his 45 (Bhupen Hazarika). At first, I didn’t know of her involvement with Bhupenda. She’d say she was going to the suburbs to meet her friends. As parents we’d given her all freedom. When I finally got to know of her relationship, Kalpana insisted they were just good friends. But she was constantly on the phone those days. Her father would complain about the huge bills. She would keep making calls to Kolkata and also send telegrams,” said Lalitha as she recounted how their relationship first began.
Lalitha Lajmi went on to add that when she discovered Kalpana had moved away permanently to Kolkata in order to live with Hazarika, she herself decided to go to the ‘city of joy’ and convince her to come back. “I left with Devdas (Kalpana’s brother) for Kolkata, to bring Kalpana back. I didn’t mind her living with him. What upset me was the age difference. She was only 19. Bhupenda was fit to be her father.”
Lalitha Lajmi also spoke about the friction in the duo’s bond and said, “He would often be invited to perform abroad. There he’d introduce her as ‘niece of Guru Dutt’, ‘daughter of so and so’ or his ‘manager’. Kalpana resented that. While she was open about their relationship, he didn’t acknowledge her.”
Remembering her daughter, Lalitha Lajmi spoke of the various battles Kalpana had to fight before she passed away. The director was diagnosed with a chronic UTI as well as kidney cancer. She also expressed gratitude to actors like Aamir Khan and Alia Bhatt for providing Kalpana with much-needed moral and financial support.
“Aamir Khan was the first person to offer help. He sent cheques directly into her account. Some other directors also contributed. Soni Razdan and Alia Bhatt paid for her dialysis till the very end. They were extremely close to Kalpana. In fact, Alia was born in front of her. I am deeply grateful to all those who helped,” Lalitha Lajmi concluded.
Kalpana Lajmi passed away on September 23, 2018 in Mumbai.
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