Monday, March 4, 2013



Photograph Source :   Manu kashmiri .. (youngest son of Nawab kashmiri who lives in Mumbai.)

NAWAB KASHMIRI ....A Great Actor of Indian Cinema.

It is a well known fact that Artisans , shawl weavers Carpet weavers , unskilled labourers from Kashmir started moving to plains of the country  since 18th and 19th century   in  search of better employment avenues  and essentially  to save their lives from frequent droughts, cholera epidemics and poverty  in Kashmir   valley . Some were also sought by Nawabs to train  local artisans  . As per Dr B N Sharga   (a noted writer and scholar from lucknow  )  :

“ Groups of  Shias  came to Lucknow from Kashmir  at the invitation of Hakim Mehndi who was the Prime Minster in the court of Nawab of Oudh.. In Lucknow they started living in Maqbara Alia, a locality that still exist in the Golaganj ward of the old city. Some residents of Lucknow  believe that their forefathers came to the seat of Nawabs to preach Islam.
Another group of Kashmiri Muslims who moved to Lucknow during the period of Nawabs was that of Kashmiri Bhands – folk theatre performers. The first group of Bhands reached Lucknow in 1795 when Nawab Asif ud Daula (1775-1797) invited them to entertain his royal guests on the occasion of the marriage of his son Wazir Ali. They settled down in the localities Shahganj and Pir Bukhara (old Lucknow). The last performing Kashmiri Muslim Bhand in Lucknow was Jahangir. He lived in Shahganj. UP Sangeet Natak Academy was kind enough to provide him a regular stipend. He died a few years back. ”

Nawab kashmiri belonged to migrant kashmiri shias settled in Lucknow . He was a talented actor during the silent era and later during the sound track Era of Indian cinema.Dilip Kumar m Mukri ,Jayant , Johny walker can be called his contemporaries though he was senior to them.He had a spacious Bunglow in colaba Mumbai. He was the only son of Syed Mufti Azam kashmiri from Bara imam Bara Lucknow. He had three children .   Anwar kashmiri ( Deceased ) and the ebullient youngest Munawar kashmiri ( Manu ) were his sons apart from a daughter named Akhtar .Nawab was a cousin of Agha Jaani Kashmiri ( 1908-1998 ) noted screen writer of Indian cinema .

NAWAB's last movie was Naujawan(1951).This movie was directed by Mahesh kaul .The song " Thandi Havaayein Lehara ke Aayein" written by Sahir and set to music by SD Burman for this movie  , broke all records of popularity.


“ . Nawab kashmiri is dead .He was a king of his artistic world. No Wazir can tell you about the greatness of this king. Ask any labourer who has seen his films by buying ticket for four annas from hard earned money. These people can tell you the magic of Nawab’s acting skills .
I met this great artist in a Mumbai Studio through his close relative Khan Kashmiri . Khan also worked in Mumbai Film Industry .Nawab once listened to a story that I had written . Once the story reading session was over , I found Nawab's eyes moist. He wanted to know the name of the film company for which the story had been written by me . He wanted to perform the role of Badwaa himself should some producer make a film based on my story.
“No producer is ready to take this story .” I clarified to Nawab
“ Hell with these producers .” Nawab said

Nawab kashmiri was a kashmiri from Lucknow . He was a shia muslim .Helpful to kashmiris who came in his contact. Nawab had carved a niche for himself with his acting performance in “ Yahoodi ki Ladki ” . Rattan Bai was the heroine in this movie. Some other popular movies of this actor were Ziddi , Naujawan , Mukti , Devdas , Maya etc.. His co-stars were Praan , K l Sehgal and KK ( kuldeep kaur ). Nawab started his career from Theatre. He was a popular star with IMPERIAL THEATERICAL COMPANY and his plays namely ‘Khoobsoorat Balaa”, ‘Noor e Wattan “and “Baag e Iran ” were very popular . Seth sukh Lal karnani was owner of Alfred Theatre Bombay and Nawab was his salaried employee . later Nawab Joined New Theatres owned by B N Sircar.In fact sircar was a great fan of Nawab’s acting.

Nawab had two wives. One could not bear any child to him so he started ignoring her . He also secretly married another woman from royal family of Lucknow . When his first wife came to know about his second marriage ,she felt hurt . She did not say anything but one day in her depression , she poured kerosene over her body and burnt herself to death. 

I have my little grievance with Nawab kashmiri .I am a kashmiri . I love kashmiris but I donot like  those kashmiris who ill treat their wives if the  women can not bear them a child. I am also a great fan of acting skills of Nawab kashmiri . I consider him  a great artist but whenever I see him on screen , I can not help smelling kerosene  around. “

With  his   sarcastic writing  style, Manto has not spared any person  in  the  essays Published in  in the book "DASTAAVEIZ " and compiled by Balraj Menra and Sharad Datt. . Not even , Agha Hashr Kashmiri , Praan ,Ashok kumar, Nargis, Naseem Bano,  Neena Devi , Paro Devi, Rafiq Gazanavi Noor Jahaan, Sitara ,  D N Madhok , Kishore Sahu , KK ( Actress Kuldeep Kaur ) ,   Babu Rao Patel ( Editor Filmindia ) and so many other well known names from Hindi Cinema .

In this Book Dastaavez,  Quite often ,  Manto's  comments appear as  Mudslinging on Great Personalities  but then Manto is Manto .

 Manto’s writing apart , Nawab kashmiri shall always remain a  Great actor and a  legend  of Indian Cinema.  In his personal life , he Remained a devoted family man ; A loving  father  and affectionate   and a  caring  husband .

( Autar Mota )

Creative Commons LicenseCHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
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