Divya Solgamawrote on Aug 11 2008 7:11PM
Nimmi was born at Agra in 1933, daughter of the famous singer Wahidan, Nimmi’s Birth name was Nawab Banoo Nimmi. She had already been to Bombay as a little girl with her mother and remembered her mother knowing both the Mehboob and the Kardar families very well. Tragedy struck when Nimmi was only nine years old. Her mother died and she was sent to live with her grandmother at Abbotabad. Her father continÂ¬ued to reside at Meerut as a military contractor. Came 1947 and Partition and the mass migration brought Nimmi and her grandmother to Bombay.
Since Nimmi's family knew Mehboob Khan, the legendary maker invited the young girl to watch the proceedings of 'Andaz' at Central Studios, to understand how films were made. On the sets of 'Andaz', Nimmi met Raj Kapoor, who later offered to give her a break in his next film, 'Barsaat' opposite Premnath.
Barsaat' (1949) made movie history. And its phenomenal success made Nimmi go on a rapid-fire signing spree. 'Jalte Deep', 'Buzdil', 'Raj Mukut', 'Deedar', 'Bedardi', 'Wafa', 'Banwra', 'Badi Bahu', 'Sazaa', 'Dard-E-Dil', 'Kacche Dhaage', 'Alif Laila', 'Sabz Bagh' and others followed in rapid succession. She also proÂ¬duced the popular film 'Danka' under her own banner, in which she gave a striking performance. Her performance in Nitin Bose's 'Deedar' and Amiya Chakraborty's 'Daag', both opposite Dilip Kumar and in Sargam Pictures' 'Kasturi' were hailed by both fans as well as critics. Even in a complex role in 'Buzdil', she was outÂ¬standing. Her other films included 'Aabshar', 'Aandhiyaan', 'Wafa' and Mehboob's 'Amar' where co-starred with both Madhubala and Dilip Kumar. She played her double role in Sohrab Modi's 'Kundan' remarkably well and her other assignments included 'SociÂ¬ety', 'Basant Bahar', 'Shikari', 'Bhai Bhai' and 'Jayshree'. When her career was riding high, Nimmi got married to S. Ali Reza, the veteran screen-writer of Mehboob's greatest films, notably 'Andaz' and 'Amar'. The last film in which Nimmi faced the camera before reÂ¬tirement was K. Asif's 'Love And God' which began with Guru Dutt as its leading man and, after Guru's death, it was Sanjeev Kumar she worked with. She was a singer in the film Bedardi (1951) in which she also acted. She never continued singing and recorded songs for this film only
Nimmi fell in love with screen writer S. Ali Raza, who wrote the dialogues for her films Barsaat, Aan and Amar married him and settled down in Mumbai. S. Ali Raza died on November 1, 2007 of heart failure at the age of 85. Nimmi lives in quiet retirement now, but unlike Bina Rai and Nalini Jaywant, her one-time contemporaries, she doesn't lead an isolated life.