Tuesday, February 16, 2016



Prem Nath and Bina Rai ( Krishna Sarin) at the reception of Shammi Kapoor's marriage ..1955.

                                                  ( Prem Nath in Bobby )     
                                                                      ( Prem Nath )
                                                          ( Bina Rai )

                                  ( Prem Nath , Bina Rai and their   son Prem Kishen )

                                                   ( Prem Nath )

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Avtar krishen Mota

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Some amongst us must be remembering Jack Braganza of ‘ Bobbby ’ or the friendly  and brave Pathan of Manoj Kumar’s ‘ Shor ‘ or Ranjit of ‘ Johny Mera Naam ‘ . Every film in which he acted , Prem Nath created an everlasting impression on the  minds of his audience. I still remember him in songs like ‘Na Mangoon Sona Chaandi ( Bobby )’ , ‘Jeevan Chalne Ka Naam ( Shor )’ and ‘Husan Ke Lakhon Rang ( Johny Mera naam )’ . Be it a song sequence or the role of a dreaded villain or the  sensitive portrayal of human compassion , his directors found him leaving his distinct and individual stamp everywhere . He acted in more than 150 films in various roles , all impressive and bearing his style and acting elegance. Some films wherein he played key roles could be listed as Teesri Manzil, Amir Gareeb , Karaz , Kalicharan, Badal, Dharmatma , Krodhi, Lok Parlok, Magroor, Amrapali, Mahua, Rustom Sohrab, Bahoron Ke Sapne, Roti Kapda Aur Makaan, Beimaan , Desh-Premi , Shalimaar, Loafer, Jaani Dushman and Sat Sri Akaal ( Punjabi ). As an actor , he was so vile and a character so versatile, that one would feel like strangling him or hugging him as his role might be but never could he be ignored in any role. That was actor Prem Nath.

Prem Nath was born in Peshawar  in 1926. His father, Kartar Nath Malhotra, was a senior police officer and a close relative of  Prithviraj Kapoor. The family link between the Malhotras and the Kapoors turned stronger in 1946, when Prithviraj  Kapoor’s son Raj Kapoor married Krishna , Prem Nath’s elder sister .Prem Nath's another sister Uma is married to actor Prem Chopra .Prem Nath ‘s brother ,Rajendra Nath also acted in many films. Rajendra Nath was equally versatile and he had jovial tricks up his sleeve that could make you smile every time he was on the screen.


When Prem Nath started his career in films , he was a dashing young man, slim, smart and handsome. He was liked in films like Sagai, Aan ,Buzdil, Naujawan, Barsaat, Saqi, Dard-e-Dil, where he appeared as  hero opposite top-ranking heroines of those days. The first movie in which he was paired with Bina Rai was Aurat (1953), a Bollywood version of the tragic Biblical tale of Samson and Delilah. Aurat, however, was not a box-office sensation, but in this film Premnath fell head over heels in love with Bina Rai. They married and soon set up their own production unit, known as P.N. Films.

The first offering of this concern was Shagufa (1954) with Premnath and Bina Rai in the lead. But their first independent venture flopped at the box office. Neither Bina Rai’s elfin charm nor Premnath’s sensitive portrayal could save Shagufa . Shagufa was followed by Prisoner of Golconda, Samunder and Watan , all the films met the same fate at the box office. The Premnath-Bina Rai pairing never clicked on the screen thereafter .

Apart from films, Prem Nath also acted in an American TV serial Maya. Maya was also shot in Mumbai and Kashmir. This TV serial was shot in 1967 and it had Indian Actor Sajjid Khan as well. Sajjid Khan had also come to Hari Parbat location for his shoot.Prem Nath had a prominent role in this TV serial .

And Prem Krishen who formed the well known Cinevista Productions  ( that has produced about 70 commercially successful TV serials including the popular TV serial ‘Gul Gulshan Gulfaam’) is none but actor Prem Nath's son.

Trinetra Bajpai and Anshula Bajpai's book "Dilip Kumar: Peerless Icon Inspiring Generations" (publisher: Bloomsbury) reads :-

“ It so happened that Madhubala started seeing Prem Nath, with whom she was working in the film "Badal". Their romance, however, ended when Prem Nath came to know that Madhubala was interested in Dilip Kumar as well. Dilip Kumar and Prem Nath were good friends since the time they worked in "Aan". When Prem Nath came to know that his friend Dilip was seriously involved with Madhubala and that she was drawn to him as well , he withdrew from the relationship.”

There are many unknown facets of Prem Nath’s personal life. He wrote novels in Hindi and English. He was deeply spiritual . Once dissatisfied with the turn his career was taking, Prem Nath travelled to the Kailash Mansarovar . In 1957, he made a documentary on his travels, Kailash Darshan. He was a good singer and had acquired impressive knowledge of Indian classical music .

He earned Filmfare nominations as Best Supporting Actor for: Shor (1972), Bobby (1973), Amir Garib (1974), and Roti Kapda Aur Makaan (1974). He died of a massive heart attack in 1992 when he was 66.

So long so much on Prem Nath.

(Avtar Mota)

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