Sunday, October 25, 2015




Another Kashmiri  who rose to popularity as character artist in Hindi cinema was Rajan Haksar. He belonged to a Kashmiri Pandit family from Gwalior . This Haksar family was originally from Tankipora in Srinagar city before they moved to Gwalior and  sought employment in the Darbaar of  Scindias  during Pathan rule in Kashmir. Ajit Naran Haksar, former  chairman ITC was also from the Haksar family of Gwalior. Sir Kailas Narain Haksar (Political Minister HH Scindia, Gwalior) was the States’ representative at First Round Table Conference held in London 1930-31. 

Rajan started his career  in Mumbai  prior to 1947. And in Mumbai,  another  philanthropist and a fellow Kashmiri actor Chander Mohan  Wattal , came to his  help.  He helped  him  with work and settlement .

Rajan Haksar married    Manorama , another actress  ( real name  Erin Isaac Daniel ) who was half Irish and a christian . Manorama was a leading actress in Lahore's film Industry  , where, at  the time of partition , she  was  earning  about ten thousand rupees per month   . After the partition  riots broke out in Lahore , she ran  for safety to Mumbai .  In Mumbai, actor Chander Mohan Wattal came to her help .
Through Chander Mohan Wattal, she got introduced to Rajan Haksar . They fell in love and married . Manorama statred doing character roles while Rajan remained busy with  various  film offers that came his way.

In an interview, Manorama has said this:-

. " In Bombay   , I was miserable,  and one day , I almost  decided  to return to Lahore  But Chander Mohan  Ji told me to hang on. Thank God, if I'd caught the train that day, I'd have been finished. Not a single passenger on that train survived. Everyone was massacred."

Starting from Do Bhai in 1947, Rajan Haksar worked in about 204 films in various roles , last being Aakhari  Sangarsh ( 1999). His prominent roles were  Raghu Rai ( In Mangal Pandey  1983 ), Madan ( Meri Awaaz Suno 1981) , Thakur Bhanwar Singh ( Pran Jaaye Par Vachan Na Jaaye  1974), Thakur Vijay Bahadur Singh ( Kasam Suhaag Ki  1989 ),Kishan J.J.'s employer ( Don 1978 ), Dr Sharma ( Banarasi Babu 1973) , Jagannath 'Jaggu' Khanna ( Sambandh 1982), Randhir Singh ( Gora Aur Kala 1972), Police Inspector ( Pandit Aur  Pathan 1977 ), Shyam Sunder  ( Satyakaam 1969 ), Inspector Sawant  ( Sharat 1969 ), Young Baijnath ( Baiju Bawaara  1952 ) and Motilal ( Mahal  1969 ). He also did memorable roles in Junglee (1961 ), Merti Jung ( 1985), Sharaabi ( 1984), Choron Ki Baraat ( 1980), Jaanwar ( 1983), Arjun Pandit ( 1976) and  Bindiya Aur Bandook ( 1983).

Rajan also  shifted to production and  co produced three films  Resham Ki Dori (1974) , (1969) Pyar Ka Sapna (1969)  and  Adhi Raat Ke Baad (1965) .

Though Rajan and Manorama lived happily for about 2 decades  but trouble erupted in their married life and they parted company .

About her married life,  Manorama  has said this:-

  "I did try hard to make our marriage work for ten years. But it was no go. We did remain friends till he passed away ." 

Their only daughter Rita Haksar also acted in films . She played lead role as actress opposite   Sanjeev Kumar in 'Suraj Aur Chanda' . She married an engineer and moved to Dubai  permanently.

Manorama died in 2008 while Rajan died earlier. They worked together in about 15 films.Even after divorce, they kept meeting to  ensure adequate care and attention of their daughter Rita.

Manorama’s  last movie was Deepa Mehta's Water (2005) where she enthralled Hollywood critics with her role.

( Avtar Mota)

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