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Friday, Nov 22, 2019

Amol Palekar remembers Vidya Sinha: ‘Our friendship began with Rajnigandha, stayed unchanged for 45 years’

Amol Palekar remembers his frequent co-star and friend of 45 years, Vidya Sinha. She passed away in Mumbai on August 15 due to lung and heart disorder.

bollywood Updated: Aug 16, 2019 10:54 IST
Anjali Shetty
Anjali Shetty
RIP Vidya Sinha: Amol Palekar remembers his co-star and friend.
RIP Vidya Sinha: Amol Palekar remembers his co-star and friend.

Vidya Sinha, a leading Hindi film actor from the 1970s, died in Mumbai on Thursday. She was 71. Actor-director Amol Palekar, Sinha’s friend and co-star in several films, remembers her:

Vidya was a wonderful person, always full of life. She was very genuine, a quality which reflected in her captivating smile. We knew each other for several decades, through which her warmth remained unchanged.

We met just before the shooting of Rajnigandha (1974). Basuda [Basu Chatterjee, director] had asked me to practice (what we today know as workshops) with her before the shoot. I came from a theatre background and she was fairly new, so he wanted me to help her be comfortable in front of the camera. We got along really well when I was shooting for my part in Delhi. We would hang out even after the shoot, during which a lovely friendship evolved. We were in touch even when I stopped acting.


We met each other and interacted regularly. When I used to go to Mumbai, we used to have lunch together. Or when she was in Pune, she used to visit us. I remember she stayed in Pune for a brief period and used to visit us often during that time.

She was an absolutely wonderful person on the sets too. Even back then, our chemistry, a term used for equation between actors today, was great on and off screen. Shooting for a film with her was a wholesome experience, full of fun and enjoyment.

Also read: From Janeman Janeman to Rajnigandha Phool Tumhare, 5 songs to remember Vidya Sinha by

We could chat about so many things. In fact, we never spoke about films. We spoke about our lives, our problems and everything else. She would talk at length to Sandhya [Gokhale, Palekar’s wife].

For my 70th birthday (2015), Sandhya had organised a party, where all my leading ladies, school friends and others were invited. Vidya made sure she attended it. It was an emotional moment.

She also visited my painting exhibition recently held in Mumbai. I gifted her a portrait too. Another memorable occasion is when all my leading ladies, including Vidya, and I met for lunch. It was a wonderful afternoon and from there we went to visit Basu da. It was a big surprise for him. Today, when I remember Vidya, all these memories come back.

All I want to say is I will miss her.