Sunday, March 6, 2016

Heroines of Indian Cinema, India

For today's theme on women for Sunday Stamps, I decided to showcase these not so famous ones from India...and for this I chose this cover with a set of commemorative stamps showing legendary heroines of the Indian Cinema...I must admit that the number of Indian/Hindi films is really scarce and this part of the world cinema has been somewhat neglected from my side - I should really do something to change this (and I am not talking here about those Indian soap-operas they used to show here on TV, I am talking about about real great movies here).

First we have Devika Rani, born in 1908 - an actress in Indian films who was active during the 1930s and 1940s. She was widely acknowledged as the first lady of Indian cinema and had a successful film career that spanned 10 years whose persona and roles in films were often considered socially unconventional. Her awards include the Padmashri (1958), Dadasaheb Phalke Award (1970) and the Soviet Land Nehru Award (1990). She died in 1994.

The middle stamp shows Leela Naidu - born in 1940, died in 2009 (and she had died on my birthday! =/)
She starred in a small number of Hindi and English films, including Yeh Raaste Hain Pyaar Ke (1963), based on the real-life Nanavati case, and The Householder, Merchant Ivory Productions' first film. She was Femina Miss India in 1954, and was featured in the Vogue along with Maharani Gayatri Devi in the list of 'World's Ten Most Beautiful Women', a list she was continuously listed from the 1950s to the 1960s in prominent fashion magazines worldwide. She is remembered for her stunning classical beauty and subtle acting style.

The third stamp in the first row shows Kommareddy Savitri (1934 - 1981) - she was an Indian film actress, director and producer. She appeared in Telugu as well as Tamil, Kannada and Hindi language films. In 1960, she received the Rashtrapati Award for her performance in the Telugu film Chivaraku Migiledi.

The bottom row starts with Kanan Devi (1916 - 1992) - an Indian actress and singer. She was among the early singing stars of Indian cinema, and is credited popularly as the first star of Bengali cinema. Her singing style, usually in rapid tempo, was used instrumentally in some of the biggest hits of New Theatres, Kolkata.

The middle stamp shows Meena Kumari (1932 - 1972 - oh, now she had died young....but there seems to be a reason for that) - she was an Indian film actress and poet. She is regarded as one of the most prominent actresses to have appeared on the screens of Hindi Cinema.
During a career spanning 30 years from her childhood to her death, she starred in more than ninety films, many of which have achieved classic and cult status today. She is regarded as one of the geatest Hindi movie actresses of all time.
Kumari gained a reputation for playing grief-stricken and tragic roles, and her performances have been praised and reminisced throughout the years. Like one of her best-known roles, Chhoti Bahu, in Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962), Kumari became addicted to alcohol. Her life and prosperous career were marred by heavy drinking, troubled relationships, an ensuing deteriorating health, and her death from liver cirrhosis in 1972. Kumari is often cited by media and literary sources as "The Tragedy Queen", both for her frequent portrayal of sorrowful and dramatic roles in her films and her real-life story.

The last stamp shows Nutan Behl (1936 - 1991) - an Indian actress who had appeared n more than 70 Hindi films in a career spanning over four decades. Regarded as one of the finest female actors in the history of Hindi cinema, Nutan was noted for playing unconventional parts, and her performances often received praise and accolades.
She holds the record of five wins of the Best Actress Award at Filmfare, which was held only by her for over 30 years until it was matched by her niece Kajol in 2011; on the overall she is the most-awarded actress in the female acting categories at Filmfare, with six awards alongside Jaya Bachchan. In 1974, she was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India.

n.B: Filmfare is one of the oldest film events in India an is presented annually by The Times Group to honour both artistic and technical excellence of professionals in the Hindi language film industry of India.

this set was issued on 13 February 2011.

Thanks a bunch to dear Sauj for sending it to me!

For more women beauties and accomplishments check today's edition of Sunday Stamps.


  1. Nice to look at these beautiful women and know their story. I love Hindi films when they break into the song and dance.

  2. I would never have come up with a film theme like this. Beautiful women and so tragically short lives.

  3. I think Indian (Bollywood) films are becoming popular in the western world, too. The Indian film classic Mother India has been on Dutch television a few years ago, and I know there have been issued many movies since then, and also every now and then Indian movies are scheduled in some Dutch theaters (that is, in filmhouse/independent movies theaters, alas not in the big-selling cinemas yet).

    Great to see all of these beautiful stamps. Thank you for sharing (and spreading the knowledge on these movies!)!

  4. I'm afraid I hadn't heard any of these names so far...

  5. For awhile, one of our television stations would show Bollywood movies on Saturdays. They were often silly, but good entertainment!