KALPANA Lajmi, India’s Iconic Lady Film Director, Passes Away

NOTED  Film maker and  Screenwriter Kalpana Lajmi, who passed away on Sunday in a Mumbai Hospital after a prolonged fight against  kidney-related illness ,  was consigned  to flames  later during  the day  in the metropolis in the presence  of  several  Bollywood  personalities .She was 64 ,She  was closely  associated with  India’s cultural  icon Dr Bhupen Hazarika of Assam for about four decades. Lajmi was an independent filmmaker working more on realistic, low-budget films, which are known in India as parallel cinema. She had debuted as an assistant director under the veteran film director Shyam Benegal who was also her kin. Her films were mostly woman-oriented. She was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2017. The director was famous for her Rudaali, Daman, which is about martial violence, and other movies. Movie buffs say she was not prolific filmmaker. Her films carry messages which have a high recall value. Rudaali in particular is noteworthy as it featured a stellar performance by Dimple Kapadia and is still remembered for its songs and music by   Bhupen Hazarika. Kapadia had won National Film Award as the best actress and Lajmi won accolade as a movie maker.  Dr Hazarika’s soundtrack and the song Dil Hoom Hoom Kare, sung by Lata Mangeshkar, are still popular. Raveena Tandon, it may be recalled, won national film award for her sterling performance in Daman which was distributed by the Government of India. Shabana Azmi, Soni Razdan and veteran director Shyam Benegal paid their last respects. In her death, India has lost of a talented woman director. She was toying with a the proposal for making a biopic on Dr Bhupen Hazarika. She was his eyes and years for  several  years. Veteran director Shyam Benegal and Guru Dutta are   her relatives. Guru Dutt’s maternal grandmother and Shyam’s paternal grandmothers were sisters. Shyam Benegal and actress Shabana Azmi were also present at the funeral. Kalpana Lajmi was admitted to Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital on Tuesday due to kidney related ailments, the filmmaker’s spokesperson Parul Chawla said .She was daughter of well-known painter Lalitha Lajmi and niece of Guru Dutt .She directed six critically acclaimed films Ek Pal (1986), Rudaali (1993), Darmiyaan (1997), Daman (2001), Kyun (2003)  and  Chingaari released in 2006  with  Sushmita  Sen in the lead role was her  last  movie.A documentary titled D.G. Movie Pioneer based on Bengali filmmaker Dhiren Ganguly was also her noteworthy creation . Hazarika composed music in all the films.She also .episodes of Dawn, a serial on the freedom movement of India. Cultural icon Bhupen Hazarika always felt that he and Kalpana Lajmi should celebrate their love story as it was special and unique given the conservative construct of society, the filmmaker wrote in her memoir.  Hazarika predeceased her in 2011. Hazarika predeceased her in 2011.She was 17 when she met 45—year-old Bhupen Hazarika. Their friendship sparked several rumours and gossips.

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