Today’s Google Doodle celebrates ace actor, dancer, and choreographer, Zohra Sehgal and her film Neecha Nagar that was released at the Cannes Film Festival on this day in 1946. The film went on to become Indian cinema’s first international critical success and also received the festival’s highest honour — Palme d’Or prize. While the renowned actor started her career only at the age of 28, she became a force to be reckoned with as she continued to appear on the big screen for around six decades. For her contribution to the field, Zohra Sehgal received many accolades and awards including Padma Shri in 1998, and Padma Vibhushan in 2010.
Here are some lesser-known facts about the ace iconic actor.
Returned to present-day Mumbai after the Partition
Along with her husband Kameshwar Sehgal, Zohra first decided to live in Pakistan after the Partition. However, they soon felt disconnected and unwelcomed in Lahore, Pakistan, and thus, returned to Mumbai where she worked in late Prithviraj Kapoor’s theatre group as a stage artiste for 14 years.
Growing up as a tomboy
The actor, in various media interviews, described herself as a tomboy. She used to climb trees and participate in outdoor sports rather than playing with dolls.
Diagnosed with glaucoma
Zohra lost vision in her left eye at the age of one due to glaucoma. But she was soon treated in England and recovered.
Travelled to many countries
Zohra lost her mother at a tender age. But her mother wanted her to be a liberated woman and study at Queen Mary College, Lahore. But before going to college, Zohra along with her uncle, travelled across India, Europe and West Asia in a car. This was because she was fond of learning about various food, cultures and traditions.
As she grew up, she also travelled with Uday Shankar’s dance troupe to many countries including Egypt, Japan and the US. She eventually became a teacher herself.
She never refused any role
During an interview, she has been reported having said that even if she was offered a bad role, she would take it up and work on it.
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