Balraj Sahni, born on 1st May 1913 was the one of the most most famous actors who ruled Indian Cinema over more than a couple of decades. He was born gifted with the flair for acting, in a Punjabi family of Khokran origin in the Bhera region, presently in Pakistan. After completing Masters Degree in English Literature from the Lahore Government College, Balraj Sahni joined his first job with his wife Damayanti in Shantiniketan as an English and Hindi teacher. Sahni spent the second phase of his professional life as a correspondent for BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) in London from 1938 to 1943.
Though he spent the earlier part of his life in Shantiniketan and London, Sahni always aspired to work on stage. Being an out and out actor, Balraj Sahni first showed his talents as an actor in the film Dharti Ke Lal in 1946. Being a committed actor he improved his work trying to adopt new ideas and applying them in presentation of his talents. Soon after several successes in films like Door Chalen (1946), Sahni was chosen for one of the greatest works of his life in the classic film Do Bigha Zameen by Bimal Roy.
In this film his talent for acting was recognized by the general populace and he took the film to new heights that earned international recognition at the Cannes Film Festival.
Balraj Sahni emerged as one of the leading heroes in Indian cinema after the first international success in Do Bigha Zameen. The most fascinating thing about Balraj Sahni is, the great actor was always open to new ideas even after he earned an authoritarian place in cinema. After his another great success in Kabuliwala, the cinematic version of Rabindranath Tagore`s famous short story, Sahni kept on showing his talent for acting working opposite to the then famous female casts like Meena Kumari, Vaijayantimala, Nutan and Nargis. His films came in succession and all were box office hits. He soon emerged from the status of an actor to that of a filmmaker with brilliant successes, one after the other.
Filmmaker Balraj Sahni is remembered even today for the glorious picturization of the song: Aaye Meri Zohra Jabben in the movie Waqt, one of the greatest hits of 20th Century cinema. Sahni showed great talents as a playwright and in his later years he joined hands with Guru Dutt in making some of the greatest movies of all times, like: Baazi, starring Dev Anand. Sahni also made a lot of Punjabi films in his late years and wrote a series of leftist minded IPTA (Indian People`s Theater Association) plays. This greatest actor and filmmaker Balraj Sahni who changed the course of Indian cinema was given the Padmasree Award for his massive contribution for the betterment of the society. The Life of Balraj Sahni, one of the greatest filmmakers in Bollywood ended on 13th April 1973 with a massive heart attack.
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