During the 1950s, Begum Para was one of the most daring and glamorous actresses in Bollywood. Not only was she great, but she was an outstanding actress who acted, among others, in films such as Neel Kamal (1947), Jharna (1948), and Kar Bhala (1956). Also at that time, her beauty was unprecedented and she would make men kneel on their knees. Her style and fervor made her an iconic symbol of style and also gave her a cult image for that time.
Although it’s not a big deal today to shoot a bold photoshoot, it was when we went back in the 1950s. In that age, when hot scenes or wearing any revealing clothes were not even known to actresses, Begum Para shocked everyone. In 1951, she took part in a glamorous photoshoot for Life Magazine and that changed many conservative Indians’ mindsets.
In addition to her bold pictures and photoshoots, we’ll even tell you a little bit about her. Bollywood was her family, to begin with, like LITERALLY!
Begum Para was married to Dilip Kumar’s brother, Nasir Khan. Her niece, Rukhsana Sultana, is the mother of Amrita Singh, who is the ex-wife of Saif Ali Khan and also the niece of Khushwant Singh.
She despised tobacco but loved whiskey. This is ironic because she could be seen puffing away in her famous photoshoot. Have a look at the swag and fag!
Begum Para was well ahead of her time and well known for pictures showing her boldness and her cleavage.
I used to keep a glass of whisky proudly, unlike other actresses who mixed colas of whisky and pretended they were teetotallers,” she said once.”
Nargis, Geeta Bali, Nadira, Shyama, and Nilofer were close friends with Para. On a variety of occasions, these top actresses used to hang out together.
She made sure to send the Life Magazine photoshoot some breathtaking and sultry poses and wore a white sari and puffed cigarettes.
She became regarded as the first Bollywood bomb and pin-up girl after this magazine shoot.
This photoshoot was done by James Burke, a famous photographer of that time. He was responsible for the glamour queen’s intimate, bold and sensuous photos.
Also for today’s criteria, these 1951 photos are rather bold!
In 1956, her last film appearance as a leading actress was in Kar Bhala.
But the iconic actress returned to the big screen one last time as Sonam Kapoor’s grandmother in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Saawariya in 2007.
Alas, we leave you with some pictures of the most audacious photoshoot in India in the 1950s, and we wish every woman was as audacious, yet as beautiful as she was: