Yesteryear actress Nadira was hospitalised in Mumbai’s Bhatia Hospital, five days ago, following a mild stroke.

One is surprised to find that little attention has been paid to Nadira, the actress of Bagdadi Jewish origin who was immortalised in the song “mud mud ke na dekh” in the movie Shree 420, certainly the most powerful of Raj Kapoor’s early cinema that bore the mark of not only Raj Kapoor, but many others among them Khawaja Ahmad Abbas.

The song is picturised tantalizingly on Nadira as the hero (Raj Kappor) struggles to decide between Maya (Nadira) and Vidya (Nargis), between the bourgeios (“Maya”) and the plebian (“Vidya”). His choice falls on Maya. Few moments in Indian cinema have been as poignant and stark as this particular song.

It stuck me that she is 74, that means that she must have been little over 25 when she acted in that movie.

One wishes Nadira a speedy recovery and a long life.

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