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Nargis is regarded as one of India’s most talented actors. She stood out among her peers because of her talent, beauty, and grace. She was equally at home playing an elderly mother (Mother India) and a spoiled city brat (Andaz, 1949). She went on to star in a number of films with Raj Kapoor, and many of them are considered Hindi cinema classics. Her personal life, on the other hand, was constantly in disarray. Raj and she had a long relationship that didn’t work out.
Raj and Nargis’ love story, like their films, would be remembered for years to come in Hindi cinema. Sunil Dutt, however, was her true love in life. Here’s a fresh look at their romance and marriage on the occasion of her 92nd birthday.
Sunil Dutt entered Nargis’ life in 1957, and she was so broken that she considered suicide, according to Kishwer Desai’s book Darlingji- the True Love Story of Nargis and Sunil Dutt. Nargis had reached her breaking point, trapped between a futile relationship and a family that didn’t understand her. Sunil saved Nargis by entering the burning sets of Mother India. When they were both recovering from injuries, their love blossomed. Sunil was the one who had been hurt the most. Nargis had fallen in love with Sunil while caring for him.
Sunil Dutt was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for his role as his wife Nargis’ son in Mother India.
Nargis believed she would have been dead by March 8 if Sunil had not entered her life, according to Kishwer’s book, which was pieced together from Nargis’ personal diaries. “Maybe I would have died before March 8th if it hadn’t been for him. Because I was the only one who knew how I was feeling. I felt compelled to live after hearing him say, ‘I want you to live.’ “Start from the beginning,” Nargis wrote in her personal diary after the accident, according to Kishwer.
Nargis was attracted to Sunil because he was the first man to do something for her in a long time. She’d always been the one to go above and beyond for her family and Raj. “As she sat by his bedside, she realised how impressed she had been by his courage in rescuing her from the fire,” Kishwer writes. Someone hadn’t done anything for her in a long time. Whether it was for her family or Raj, she was the one who always went above and beyond….”
Nargis realised after nine years of dating Raj that he would not leave his family for her. Her own family regarded her as nothing more than a “cash cow.” Sunil was the first person who treated her like a “normal human being,” allowing her to open up about her past.
“She said she was ‘shameless’ in discussing every detail of her life, and she was unconcerned because she knew ‘that his shoulders were always there for me to cry on – and I also knew that his garments would absorb my tears rather than scatter them for people to make fun of me,” according to her diary,” the book says.
Raj entered her life when she was 19 and ready for a relationship, according to Kishwer. Someone else would have been her first boyfriend if it hadn’t been Raj.”
Sunil had a difficult time falling in love with Nargis because she was a huge star while he was still trying to break into the Hindi film industry. Second, she had a difficult time resolving her relationship with Raj. Worse, the gossip columns of the day didn’t help him deal with his fears.
Nargis was a screen goddess and a huge star during the filming of Mother India. Sunil received only a tenth to a twelveth of what she did. “Sunil was a victim of the film industry’s callousness…. He was both a source of envy and scorn, according to the author, who drew heavily from the Dutt family’s diaries and letters.
“And then there was the niggling issue of Raj: Nargis was not an easy woman to love, she came with too much baggage, and at times he couldn’t cope,” she continues.
“Unlike Raj’s flirtatiousness, Sunil’s shy and gentle style was like a balm to her. She was spending time with a man who treated her as if she were a normal human being, which was unusual,” writes Kishwer.
At the age of 51, Nargis died of pancreatic cancer. Sanjay Dutt, Priya Dutt, and Namrata Dutt were her children with Sunil.