From a life changing accident to her sister becoming her 'sautan', here is everything about 'Ramayan's Manthara', Lalita Pawar's life!
By Shreya Sharma
Lalita Pawar was born on April 18, 1916, in a silk business family. Earlier, her name was Amba Laxman Rao, which was later changed to Lalita. She was always fascinated with acting.
A director was impressed by her screen presence, and ended up casting her in his next film. She was only 9 and her first film was 'Raja Harishchandra'.
In 1942, during the shooting of her film, 'Jung-E-Azadi', for a sequence, her co-star, Bhagwan Dada had to slap her and things had fallen off the place then, changing her life forever.
Unfortunately, the actor had slapped Lalita so hard that her ear had started bleeding as a nerve near her eye had burst. She was rushed to the hospital and wrong treatment had worsen her case.
The right side of Lalita's body was paralysed and she had gone through the treatment for almost 3 years. Her career as a leading lady had come to an abrupt end as her left eye was permanently damaged.
At the mere age of 25, Lalita had taken every opportunity after her accident and treatment, and had started acting as a supporting character, making a strong comeback.
During her second innings of acting, Lalita was offered the roles of a strict mother-in-law and of the likes, thus creating a villainous image of her.
While she was dejected playing mother to the actors of her age, she had also called her accident a blessing as it had allowed her to play various kind of roles.
Her villanious 'avatar' and performing character roles to perfection had led her to the role of 'Manthara' in Ramanand Sagar’s 'Ramayan', and it is still a benchmark character.
While she had started getting a grip on her profession, her personal life was slipping out of her hands. She had faced betrayal in her personal life by her younger sister.
In the mid-1930s, Lalita had tied the knot with filmmaker, Ganpatrao Pawar. She had also worked in his films. Later, she had got to know about his extra-marital affair.
Lalita's husband was having an affair with her younger sister. This had ended their married life. Later, she got married to another filmmaker, Raj Kumar Gupta, and together they have a son, Jai Pawar.
In a 1998 interview, she had talked about her second marriage, and had said, "My husband has always been a romantic person. Our togetherness hasn’t changed him a bit.”
After her second marriage, she was diagnosed with mouth cancer and had shifted to Pune. She had believed that she was suffering because of the negative characters, she had portrayed.
On February 24, 1998, Lalita had breathed her last at her Pune bungalow. She was alone. Her son had called her and when no one had picked, he had rushed. She had breathed her last 3 days before.