If Meena Kumari was the perfect face of Hindi cinema, Nargis personified all the hopes of modern India. She sailed through romantic comedies, especially in her films opposite Raj Kapoor, with her bobbed hair, bare shoulders, and songs in the rain . She was modern yet unassuming, a free woman but modest of presence, charming but also intense. She was a strange amalgam of the delicate and the strong, the romantic and the persevering .
On her death in May 1981, V.P. Sathe, co-scriptwriter of many of Abbas' scripts for Raj Kapoor, said that Nargis stood out among her peers because she brought to her love scenes the same intensity that other actresses gave to a tragic sequence. There is a scene in "Awara"( 1951) in which Raj Kapoor says ,"Agar kishti doob jayegi to ?"(If our boat sinks?), and Nargis replies , "Doob jaane do!" ( Let it). That phrase, according to Sathe, conveys the essence of her expressive intensity.