If a blithering and blubbering Nirupa Roy was the iconic Bollywood mother-figure for generations, then Zohra Sehgal is the iconic Grand Mother. But unlike a crying and sobbing Nirupa, Zohra always played the role of feisty old woman, the one who held the family together like glue, the one who would take nobody’s nonsense and the one who always had a naughty twinkle in her eye and was ready for mischief all the time.
Today, Zohra Sehgal completes her Hundredth Birth Centenary and from what we’re told (though we’ve never met her) the twinkle in her eye is brighter than ever and she’s just as raring to go as she’s always been. The lines on her face have only added character to her endearing visage while her inherent feisty nature has not dimmed even a bit.
Next year, Indian cinema completes a Century as well and Zohra Sehgal can officially be considered the Grand Old Lady of Indian Cinema. In fact, no other actor in Bollywood seems to have lived till a Hundred Years Old and this fabulous occasion is definitely one for the record books.
A tomboy as a young girl, to a dancer who learnt her art in Germany, to a theatre thespian, to a much loved actress on the sliver screen, to winning the Padma Bhushan in 2002 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2010, Zohra Sehgal’s cup of life has overflowed with numerous blessings in the form of a great work portfolio (films like Bend It Like Beckham, Bhaaji On the Beach and Mistress Of Spices) and a large family as well.
Here’s wishing Zohra Sehgal all the health and happiness on her birthday, from Team MissMalini.