Dev Anand

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In Kala Bazar, Nanda played sister to the then one of the three ‘mus­keeters’ Dev Anand. Devsaab was impressed a lot of my performance and started treating her like family. “One day he came upto me and said, “Nanda, one day I will play your hero. A year later Devsaab came tosign me as a heroine for his Hum Dono in which I played seedhi sadhi wife. The role, the film and the music were well- received. One day at a party, he came up and said, ” Now you will have to play a modern girl in my film and incidentally the film was Teen Deviyan. I saw that Devsaab was a man of words. Later I found out that he was constantly gauging my talent. I have a lot of gratitude towards him,” she asserts.

Dilip Kumar

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As a child, Nanda used to watch Dilip Kumar films like Kohinoor, Devdas etc and rave about him. “The first time I met Dilipsaab was at Bharat Bhushan’s party. I was a little shy and was afraid to go and meet him. As the party went on, at one time we came face to face with each other. As our eyes met, he said, “You are Master Vinayak’s daughter. I wish you all the best.” I found him to be well-mannered, well-behaved and very courteous and till today, he hasn’t changed a bit. Both he and Sairaji take lot of care of me. In fact they are the ones whom I found besides me when I was in the midst of bad times.”

Raj Kapoor

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Raj Kapoor knew Master Vinayak very well through his previous association. Rajji was making Boot Polish. It so happened that he was auditioning a lot of child artistes for the film, among whom besides Baby Naaz and Baby Tabbasum, I was also present. After the screen test, he called me over, spoke high about my father and then lamented, “Sorry, I can’t take you in the film because in no way do you look like a beggar.”

“When I was at the twilight of my film career, I met Rajji at Yash Johar’s party at my best friend Waheeda Rehman’s house. He asked me why I was not doing any films. On my giving an excuse he immediately asked me whether I would work in his film. I thought he was joking and in the same vein said ‘Yes’. To my surprise on the second or third day after that, I got a call from Rajji. “According to me, you would fit the role of Chhoti Bahu in my film; would you do it” he asked. “Not before I read the script.” I answered. The next day I found Jainendra Jain with the script in my house. After going through the script I guessed that there were three scenes where I could score in and I did Prem Rog opposite Kulbhushan Kharbanda.

Among her co-stars Nanda treats Sunil Dutt and Rajendra Kumar as the people who played a vital role in her career. All the rest including Shashi Kapoor, Dharmendra and Manoj Kumar- all newcomers were good to her. “I have also worked with Rajesh Khanna, Jeetendra, Sanjay Khan and Sanjeev Kumar. But by the time I played my last role as a heroine I sensed a change of attitude in everybody and that is when I decided to leave films,” sighs Nanda. In her life Nanda had few friends but the ones she had continue to be so and close. Among her best friends are Waheeda Rehman, Helen, Shammi, Asha Parekh, Sadhana besides Saira Banu. “All of us friends meet at regular intervals but it is only Sairaji’s house that I visit.”