Veteran actor Manoj Kumar, who worked with yesteryear actor Nanda in three films, says his film Shor was made without a hitch thanks to Nanda. In his own words, the actor recounts the association.
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I was one of the privileged ones to have worked with her in three films - Bedaag (1965), Gumnaam (1965) and Shor (1972). While working with her in Bedaag, I was a junior to her but she never made me feel that way. She was so friendly that there was no inferiority complex (in me). During Gumnaam, the producer NN Sippy and director Raja Nawathe asked me to direct certain scenes due to certain reasons, and though she was a senior artiste,she followed all my instructions without any hesitation.
Shor was our third collaboration and it went off smoothly because of her. Sharmilaji (Tagore) had promised to do the film but at the eleventh hour, for reasons better known to her, she backed out. My wife suggested that I ask Nanda. I called her and even went to her house. To my surprise without thinking twice, she agreed to do the film. She put a condition that she won't charge a single penny. I tried my level best to compensate her but she refused. She was an angel to me.
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She was a great fighter in her personal life. She lost her sister and perhaps was all alone. I was glad to know that she was quite friendly with a group of our colleagues that included Sadhana, Waheedaji, Helenji and others. Once a month,they would go out for dinner and meet regularly for other events. I felt happy to know that they were all enjoying life. Nanda was not interested in being seen in public.
In fact, we kept tabs on each other via our common doctor Ramesh Shukla. Whenever he used to come home for my check-ups, I would ask about her and convey my regards through him. In return, I used to get her regards too. I could not meet her personally for a long time but I feel that wasn't important as she is always in my thoughts.