In the late nineteenth century, in the small village of Baliya in northern India, a thirteen year old Brahmin widow meets a Muslim sarangi player and lopes with him. Many years later, their daughter Jaddanbai moves to Bobay and becomes a star of the early talkies. It is also the home of Baby Rani, Jaddanbai’s daughter, who will set the screen ablaze as Nargis, the most accomplished actress of her time. He has given the lead role in a new film, RAILWAY PLARFORM, and is soon on his way to becoming Sunil Dutt, the film star. Then comes the moment that transforms both their lives : 1 March 1957, during the making of MOTHER INDIA, Nargis is trapped in a circle of flames and Sunil risks his life to sace her. Thet recuperate together, and fall in love. Nargis has been in a long but futile relationship with the mercurial Raj Kapoor, and in Sunil she finally finds an anchor. Their relationship is stormy and secretive to start with, but it survives every crisis to culminate in a quiet wedding on 111 march 1958. what follows are years of togetherness, including the joys of caring for their three children, Sanjay, Namrata and priya, but also days of pain and heartbreak :financial trouble, Nargis’s illness, Sanjay’s addiction to drugs. Based on the diaries and letters of Nargis, Sunil and Priya, as well as on conversations and interviews with family and friends, DARLINGJI as they often addressed each other is a probing yet affectionate biography of two extraordinary people. At the same time, traveling as it does from the nineteenth century to the present, the book tells the larger story of the evolution of Hindi cinema, and of a society and a nation in the process of change.
DARLINGJI : THE TRUE LOVE STORY OF NARGIS AND SUNIL DUTT reviews
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