Sulakshana Pandit

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Sulakshana Pandit

Sulakshana Pandit biography, Biography of Sulakshana Pandit, career, films, awards

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    Lopita Majumdar
    Lopita Majumdarwrote on 11 Aug 2008

    Sulakshana was born on 10th July in a musical family. Her father was a classical musician and her uncle is Pandit Jasraj, recipient of the Padma Shree Award. The composer duos Jatin-Lalit are her brothers and her sister is Vijayata Pandit, an actress/singer in her own right. Vijayata in turn is married to composer, Aadesh Srivastav. The eldest of all the siblings, Sulakshana became the bread-winner for the entire family after her father died.

    She began her career in Bollywood as a playback singer in 1967. Since then she has sung in over 21 movies. Her first break as an actress came in 1975 in the film Uljhan where she starred opposite Sanjeev Kumar. Pandit was usually confined to playing the ideal Indian heroine who could do no wrong and romance the hero according to his convenience. She very seldom got a chance to display her acting ability. She did play an author backed role in Anil Ganguly's version of Parineeta which was named Sankoch (1976) where she got the opportunity to portray Lolita which was earlier played by Meena Kumari in 1954. She belonged to the bracket of mid-level heroines of the 1970s alongside Leena Chandavarkar, Moushmi Chatterjee, Ranjeeta Kaur, and Vidya Sinha. Some of her popular hit films are Hera Pheri, Apnapan, Sankoch, Khandaan, Raaz, Thief of Baghdad, Chehre Pe Chehra and Waqt Ki Deewar. Some of Pandit’s more popular songs are 'Bekare Dil Tu Gaaye Ja' (Door Ka Rahi); 'Bandhi Re Kahey Preet, Piya Ke Sang, Anjaane Mein (Sankoch); "Mausam Mausam Lovely Mausam, Kasak Anjaani, Madhyam Madhyam' (Thodisi Bewafai); and the award-winning 'Tu Hi Sagar Hai Tu Hi Kinara, Dundta Hai Tu Kiska Sahara' from the 1975 flick 'Sankalp'. She has to her credit, duets with accomplished singers like Lata Mangeshkar, Mohd. Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Shailender Singh and Udit Narayan After a moderately successful career in the seventies, Pandit fell into hard times when she insisted on singing and acting simultaneously, and thus got limited offers. Her last film as a playback singer was Razia Sultan in 1983 and the last as an actress was Do Waqt ki Roti in 1988. Pandit fell into hard times when she stopped getting work. She was living in an apartment with no furniture and that required serious repairs. She was forced to put it up for sale, and it remained on the market for several months, until her former leading man Jeetendra came to her rescue by convincing his brother-in-law to purchase the flat. From the proceeds of the sale, she was able to pay off her debts and purchase three apartments. Her sister Vijeta Pandit and brother-in-law, music composer Aadesh Shrivastava took her in and are helping her get back on her feet. Aadesh has indicated that he may compose a devotional album exclusively for Sulakshana.

    Sulakshana wanted to marry actor Sanjeev Kumar, but he never took her seriously as he was still besotted by Hema Malini, who rejected him to marry her frequent co-star Dharmendra. Sulakshana had recorded a song "Mujhe pyar mein khat" for the film Hera Pheri(1975)which was rejected by the music company and re-recorded by Asha Bhosle. However she got selected as the leading lady for the same film which also starred Amitabh Bachchan and Vinod Khanna. Incidentally the song "Mujhe pyar mein" was picturised on Sulakshana on-screen. Sulakshana won the Filmfare Best Female Playback Award in 1975 for the song "Tu hi saagar hai tu hi kinara" in Sankalp (1975).