12 January 2013

Devika Rani


A Woman much ahead of her times. She was the great-grandniece of Rabindranath Tagore. A beautiful actress and a bold figure of her era.

She married Himanshu Rai, one of the pioneers of the Indian Film Industry. Together they starred in the 1933 film "Karma" which was described as the 'first Indian Talkie with English dialogue which had set all London talking'. The film became controversial because of the four-minute long kissing scene. 

Around 1936, Devika Rani was having an extra-marital affair with actor Nazam-ul-Hassan. In true filmi style, they eloped. However her husband managed to get her back. The actor was sacked and Ashok Kumar, then an unknown laboratory assistant, was chosen for the lead role. The pathbreaking film "Achhut Kannya" happened.

After Himanshu Rai's death, she fought for the control of her husband's studio, Bombay Talkies, and married the Russian painter Svetoslav Roerich, and lived with him in Bangalore till her death in 1994...


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