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Saturday, Dec 14, 2019

Jalandhar girl Madhurjeet Sarghi plays Manto’s elder sister

Other films she has done with Siddiqui are Firaaq and Summer 2007.

punjab Updated: Sep 23, 2018 09:41 IST
Nirupama Dutt
Nirupama Dutt
Hindustan Times
Madhurjeet Sarghi
Madhurjeet Sarghi(HT Photo)
         

Nasira Iqbal, the forgotten elder sister of Urdu writer Saadat Hasan Manto (1912-55), is rarely mentioned but for passing references in some literary work. However, the caring sibling of Manto is brought alive in the film by none other than a Jalandhar girl, Madhurjeet Sarghi, in a small role that the actor cherishes.

“The role is small and there is just one scene in which the sister and brother, played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui, meet by the grave of their mother. In other scenes of Lahore, I’m just present in the background. But for me, this is one of the most cherished roles of my career,” says Sarghi.

This biographical period film, directed by Nandita Das, which opened in city cinemas on Friday is attracting readers and admirers of the late writer who chronicled Partition in his stories like no historian could, as well as the young who want to know about the divide of 1947.

For Sarghi, the role came by sheer chance. “I had worked with Nandita in Firaaq but no offer came my way for Manto. One day, I lamented to a friend that I would have liked to be in the film and she asked me to get in touch with casting director Honey Trehan.”

Madhurjeet Sarghi in a still from the movie
Madhurjeet Sarghi in a still from the movie

Within a couple of days, Nandita called her and briefed her about the role and gave her a scene to read and there Sarghi was playing the fond older sister.

The elder daughter of Harjit Singh, filmmaker, and academic-writer Tejinder Kaur, Sarghi acted on stage and in telefilms while in Jalandhar. However, after marrying her childhood sweetheart, Anurag Singh, of Jatt and Juliet fame, Sarghi got a wider canvas in Mumbai. She acted in several tele-serials, including Na Aana Is Des Laado and Radha Ki Betiya Kuch Kar Dikhayengi. She also gave her voice to actors of Hindi and Punjabi films and took some time to take care of her child.

Other films she has done with Siddiqui are Firaaq and Summer 2007. She is an admirer of his acting skills and how he brings alive each character that he plays. Of late she has been doing theatre in Mumbai with the Jashn-e-Qalam group doing solo performances of Mohan Rakesh’s Uski Roti and Rajinder Singh Bedi’s Lambi Ladki.

So here comes another actor among stars.