It's a privilege to share dais with ‘Amma', says Gursharan Kaur releasing a book on legendary actress
“She made a dramatic entry at a function, we had organised to celebrate her getting Padma Shri in 1998, coming on a motorbike. But she insisted that the person who drove the bike should have muscles … usko khoob saara muscle hona chahiye. So we got a tall and handsome model to drive the bike,” recounted veteran theatre actor Dolly Thakore, describing the cheerfulness, the zest for life, wit and charm of the grand old lady of Indian theatre Zohra Segal, who turned 100 on Friday.
Ms. Thakore's anecdotes provoked laughter and applause in the packed hall as well as from Ms. Segal herself at the release of a book, “Zohra Segal — Fatty” penned by her daughter and veteran Odissi dancer Kiran Segal.
“The book provides a glimpse into the life of Zohra as a woman, an artist and a mother,” said Gursharan Kaur, wife of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while releasing the book. She said sharing the dais with Ms. Segal, whom she affectionately referred to as “Amma,” and releasing a book on her were a matter of great privilege for her.
Talking about the book, Ms. Kiran Segal said initially when the publishers approached her, she was “not interested at all.” Also, when people asked her how it felt to be the daughter of a legend, she did not know what to say because “a mother is a mother.” “It's probably because ghar ki murgi daal baraabar,” she jokingly added.
“It's a spontaneous outburst of a daughter about her mother,” said Ms. Kiran Segal, adding she had adopted a tongue-in-cheek tone at some places in the book.
Theatre personality M.K. Raina spoke about his association, since his SAHMAT days, with Ms. Segal, who is also best remembered for her roles in Bhaji on the Beach (1992), Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Bend It Like Beckham (2002), Dil Se (1998) and Cheeni Kum (2007).
Mr. Raina gifted a very special picture depicting Ms. Segal blessing another theatre legend, Habib Tanvir, on his 88 birthday.
Bollywood greets Segal
Bollywood took to Twitter to wish the grand old lady of Indian Cinema a very happy birthday.
“Zohra Segal the legendary actress turns 100 today [Friday]. She is the symbol of Indian Cinema completing 100 years. Happy Birthday grand lady,” tweeted actor Anupam Kher.
Shabana Azmi said: “Zohra Aapa you are an inspiration to all of us. Saalgirah Mubarak aur behad ehtram ke saath salaam aapki zindadili ko (A very Happy Birthday and I salute your zest for life).”
Author Salman Rushdie tweeted: “The eminent Indian actress Zohra Segal is 100 years young! Congrats to my Zohra Khala! Much love from New York.”
Filmmaker Karan Johar posted on the micro-blogging site: “Zohra Segal turns 100 today; just one word to describe the grand young lady, wow!”
Actress Dia Mirza said: “100th Birthday of the Grand Lady of Indian theatre and cinema Zohra Segal! What a journey!!! And what a Lady! Salute Happy Birthday Zohraji.”
“Happy 100th birthday to Zohra, many more to come!” wrote Tusshar Kapoor.
Vivek Oberoi tweeted, “Happy birthday to the wonderful actress whose smile & grace has lit our screens for over 60 years, Zohra Segal celebrating her 100th birthday today!”