Yesteryear actress Nanda, known to break innumerable hearts with her tragic roles, died of a massive heart attack on Tuesday morning. She was 75.
"That's no way to go," says her buddy Asha Parekh. Known to be an incurable recluse, Nanda spent the last two decades completely away from the limelight.
"The only time I'd see her was when she would show up at Salim Khan's private screenings with her gal pals Waheeda Rehman, Asha Parekh, Helen and Sadhana. She was so beautiful and serene till the end," says Punam Sinha on hearing of her demise.
Nanda was the daughter of the popular Maharashtrian actor Master Vinayak, hence, acting came naturally to her. She worked in many movies as a child artist. She also worked with Mala Sinha and Rajender Kumar in Dhool Ka Phool in 1959. But it was LV Prasad's Choti Bahen in 1959, where she played the title role, that turned her into an overnight star. Along with playing serious roles, she was also seen in glamorous avatar in In Jab Jab Phool Khile, Ittefaq and Naya Nasha.
Her friends were few. No one knows how she lived or what she did with her free time. Her last screen appearance was as Padmini Kolhapure's mother in Prem Rog in 1983. In 1992, Nanda discovered belated love when she fell in love with filmmaker Manmohan Desai. However, her joy was short-lived as Desai plunged to his death from the terrace of his home. No one knew what happened. Not even Nanda. Close friends say she was shattered by his death, after which the actress went into a shell. Nanda reminded the poise and grace which marked the golden years of Hindi cinema.