Published On: Sep 23, 2018
Critically-acclaimed filmmaker Kalpana Lajmi, well known for her ‘Rudaali’ and ‘Chingaari’ breathed her last in Mumbai’s Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani hospital. She was 64 and was suffering from chronic kidney disease and liver failure. The writer-director was cremated in the presence of family, friends and loved ones at the Oshiwara crematorium in Mumbai. Various personalities from the Hindi film industry paid their respect to the artiste. Lajmi was a celebrated woman who made unconventional choices. Being the niece of Guru Dutt, her entrance in Hindi cinema was perfectly poised. She made her debut direction with 'Ek Pal' which featured Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah and Farooq Shaikh. The film explored female desire and marital dysfunction. When Lajmi was 17, she began collaborating with Bhupen Hazarika who later became her partner. Bhupen was 28, but the age difference didn’t bother her. She once talked about it in an interview and said that ‘Bhupen was young in mind.’ Lajmi saw slightly better days in her career with her second film 'Rudaali', which was based on a short story by Mahasweta Devi. 'Rudaali' explored themes such as gender discrimination, caste and class. With a majestic soundtrack by Hazarika, Lajmi's 'Rudaali’ became one of her most acclaimed films. Kalpana Lajmi’s career started taking a back seat when her husband was plagued with illness. Before her death, she only hoped to make one biopic on him.