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बीना राय के बेटे और सिनेविस्टाज़ कम्पनी के मालिक प्रेमकिशन, जो आज टेलीविजन कार्यक्रमों के बड़े निर्माताओं में गिने जाते हैं, बताते हैं, “रिटायरमेण्ट के बाद मम्मी मीडिया और प्रशंसकों समेत किसी भी अपरिचित व्यक्ति से मिलने से बचती रहीं। लेकिन साल 1992 में पापा (प्रेमनाथ) के गुज़रने के बाद से उन्होंने खुद को पूरी तरह से घर की चहारदीवारी में कैद कर लिया था”। बीना राय ने ज़िंदगी के आख़िरी बरस दक्षिण मुम्बई के मालाबार हिल स्थित मशहूर अनीता बिल्डिंग में अपने छोटे बेटे अभिनेता मोण्टी के परिवार के साथ रहकर गुज़ारे। उनका निधन 6 दिसम्बर 2009 को मुम्बई में हुआ।
Harish Raghuvanshi & Mr. Harmandir Singh ‘Hamraz’for their valuable suggestion, guidance and support.
S.M.M.Ausaja for providing movies’ posters.
Aksher Apoorva, Mr. Gajendra Khanna & Ms. Maitri Manthan for the English
translation of the write ups.
Manaswi Sharma for the technical support includingvideo
Beena Rai on YT Channel BHD
“Kahan Le Chale Ho Bata Do Musafir” - BeenaRai
-----Shishir Krishna Sharma
The 50’s decade is witness to the rise of talented actresses like Shyama, Nanda, Vyjayantimala, Nutan, Asha Parekh, Mala Sinha, Meena Kumari, Waheeda RehmanandAmeeta who started their career as heroine in this decade and went on to mesmerize scores of fans with their talent and beauty. One of these actresses to foray into filmdom was the beautiful Beena Rai who was launched with producer-directorKishore Sahu’s film ‘Kaali Ghata’ (1951). A career spanning 18 years, Beena Rai worked in merely 28 films and then sensing the turning tides of time she gracefully sidelined herself from the glamour of the film industry. And then for more than 4 decades she kept herself hidden from the media and her fans.
I wanted to interview Beena Rai for my column ‘Kya Bhooloon Kya Yaad karoon’ for the Weekly ‘Sahara Samay’. In the meantime I had gotten to know through actor Chandarshekharjiand actress Zahida, who lives in the same building as Beenaji and through many other prominent personalities of Hindi cinema that Beenaji doesn’t like to meet outsiders specially anyone from the media. But I didn’t give up. I even spoke to her twice over the phone. She came on the phone both times and spoke to me very courteously; however, both the times she politely declined my interview request. It was natural for me to be disappointed. And then after a few months things suddenly changed.
Around September 2005, Beena Rai’s son Premkishan’s company Cinevistaa started telecasting its T.V. serial ‘Kohinoor’ on Sahara One channel. We know Premkishanji as the hero of Rajshri Production’s hit film ‘Dulhan Wohi Jo Piya Man Bhaaye’. In the serial ‘Kohinoor’ I had played a very important role as the museum curator Ranjan Shrivastava. Premkishanji and I went on to become acquaintances and thereon we would meet often at Cinevistaa’s Kanjurmarg studio during the shoot of ‘Kohinoor’. Thereafter in 2008 – 2009 I associated with Cinevistaa once again when I got the opportunity to write the dialogues for their T.V. serial ‘Jaane Kya Baat Hui’ which was telecasted on Colors Channel.
One day during the shoot of ‘Kohinoor’ I expressed my desire of interviewing Beenaji to Premkishanji and he readily agreed to help me. He himself gave me all the information and answers to the questions that one asks during an interview. He also made my work very easy by providing the list of Beenaji’s films and her photographs. Now it was just a matter of simply waiting to meet Beenaji so that the write-up gets its stamp of authenticity. And one day out of the blue I got that opportunity.
I was pleasantly surprised to see Beenaji sitting on stage at the 47th AnnualGeneral Body Meeting of Cine & T.V. Artistes Association (CINTAA) on 20thNovember 2005. After many decades Beenaji was seen socializing with people on a public platform. Accompanying her was her younger son Monty. As soon as I got the opportunity, I went to meet Beenaji and introduced myself. She immediately recognized me as she had already seen me in the T.V.serial ‘Kohinoor’. All the CINTAA members present in the general body meeting were impatient to meet with her. Despite people’s eagerness to meet her, I managed to have 5 to 7 minutes of formal conversation which was enough to give the write-up a stamp of authenticity. That write-up was published on 12th January 2006 in Dainik Jagran.
Born on 13th July 1932 in Lucknow, Beena Rai’s father was an officer in railways. Everyone in their household was fond of watching films. Beenaji’s favorite heroine was Khursheed. In the year 1950, the times famous producer-directorand actorKishore Sahuwas looking for a fresh face for his film ‘Kaali Ghata’. So he gave an ad in the newspapers inviting fresh talent. Beenaji used to study in the 12th standard at that time. According to Premkishanji, beenaji came to Mumbai with her brother and met Kishore Sahu, she auditioned and was chosen for the main role for the film ‘Kaali Ghata’. This film was released in the year 1951. And it was Kishore Sahu who changed her real name Krishna Sareen to her screen name ‘Been Rai’.
The other two actresses selected for other important characters for the film ‘Kaali Ghata’ were Asha Mathur and Indira Panchal. Asha Mathur later on married producer-directorMohan Sehgal and Indira Panchal married into the illustrious industrialist Mahindra family. After the film ‘Kaali Ghata’, Filmistanstudio’s film ‘Anarkali’ (1953) broke previous success records. In this film Beena Rai’s male lead was Pradeep Kumar. ProducerBhagwan Dass Verma’s film ‘Aurat’ (1953) was Beena Rai’s first film with Premnath. Later on this screen duo did many films together. During Film ‘Aurat’s’ shooting they fell in love and they married each other before the release of the film in the year 1952.
During the meeting with Beena Rai at ‘CINTAA’s’General Body Meetingone could clearly feel her qualms, a byproduct of having stayed within the confines of herself. She had said, “I belong from a traditional Indian family. The sanskars installed by my parents have been deeply rooted in me. And this was the reason why in spite of being a successful actress I didn’t let the charm and glamour of this industry affect me. I have always stayed away from controversies. I completely understood the importance of a family life, hence I didn’t hesitate even a bit to accept Premnathji’s marriage proposal.”
Beena Rai continued to work in films even after her marriage. Even at that time people would have reservations about how successful a married actress’s career would be. But Beena Rai proved everyone’s doubts to be wrong as her career took flight in the true sense only after her marriage. She worked with well know actors of her era viz.AshokKumar, DilipKumar, Dev Anand, Bharat Bhushan, KishoreKumar, PradeepKumarand Shammi Kapoor in a total of 28 films like ‘Gauhar’, ‘Sholey’, ‘Meenar’, ‘Insaniyat’, ‘Madbhare Nain’, ‘Marine Drive’, ‘Sardar’, ‘Chandrakanta’, ‘Hamara Watan’, ‘Durgesh Nandini’, ‘Bandi’, ‘Hill Station’, ‘Mera Salaam’, ‘Talaash’, ‘Ghoonghat’, ‘Wallah Kya Baat Hai’, ‘Tajmahal’ and ‘Dadi Maa’. She was awarded a filmfare for the best actress for the 1960 film ‘Ghoonghat’.
After her marriage she produced films like ‘Shagoofa’ (1953), ‘Golkunda Ka Qaidi’ (1954) and ‘Samundar’ (1957) along with her husband under the banner of ‘P.N.Films’. The husband – wife duo also acted alongside each other in these films. Maybe financial constrains were a very important reason why Beenaji continued her acting career while fulfilling her household responsibilities. That’s why as soon as Premnathji’s career stabilized with the film ‘Teesri Manzil’ (1966), Beenaji immediately bid goodbye to films.
Made in 1968, the film ‘Apna Ghar Apni Kahani’ was Beena Rai’s last release after which she cut off all ties with the film industry and devoted herself completely to her family life. This film was initially named ‘Pyaas’. The music of the film was also released by the name of ‘Pyaas’. But during the screen release of the film, the title ‘Pyaas’ was changed to‘Apna Ghar Apni Kahani’.
Beena Rai’s son and Cinevistaascompanies’ owner Premkishan, who is a big name in the television industry today, tells us, “After retirement, mummy abstained from meeting anyone from the media or any of her fans along with any person unknown to her. But after papa’s demise (Premnath), she imprisoned herself completely within the confines of her home”. Beena Rai spent the last few years of her life with her younger son Monty, an actor, and his family in South Mumbai’s Malabar hill’s famous Anita building. She passed away on 6th December 2009 in Mumbai.
During my brief conversation with her at CINTAA’sGeneral Body Meeting she had said, “I always molded myself according to changing times. I was never very ambitious and readily accepted whatever life offered me. Today I spend a peaceful life along with my son and daughter in law & with my grandsons & daughters and now I have even become a great grandmother. I relentlessly kept myself hidden from my fans and media only because I find no point in reminiscing about the past and re-living days that are long gone. The peace one finds in living a simple life can’t be found anywhere else.”