Humanists I Met
Humanist, Producer of Stunt Pictures
The wall Posters of J.B.H.Wadia’s Nadia (1908-1986) became prevalent when I was studying for Inter (1954) in Guntur
That was a big attraction.
Though the movie ‘Hunterwali’ was released in 1935 and ‘Miss Frontier Mail’ in 1936, in the cities of Andhra they were screened twenty years later only.
Nadia’s picture was exhibited primarily in the wall posters. Posters showing her holding a hunter, wearing black sunglasses and tight pants attracted youngsters. Heroin Nadia rides on a horse racing beside a train, suddenly jumps off the horse onto the train, beats the villain, hops back onto the horse and rides away.
All those were thrilling scenes which make the audience jump in their seats not letting them sit.
It was all a success. Plenty of money flowed in.
Hindi Stunt movies came 30 years earlier Vithalacharya’s Stunt movies. Nadia’s movies made students and youth go into frenzy those days.
By 1943 Nadia acted as a
romantic tragedy heroin in the movie ‘Mauje’.She was
a foreigner. Yet, she acted as the first Indian heroin to act in stunt movies.
Later she settled in
J.B.H.Wadia’s role was pivotal in all this. His studios by
name ‘Movie Tones’ were in
I met her, Nadia, around 1970 through Wadia. She stopped working in movies by then.
Around 1970 I got acquainted with J.B.Homi Wadia. He was a student of M.N.Roy. That brought us both together. Wadia, who played a pivotal role in ‘Radical Humanist Movement’ as a follower and close companion to M.N.Roy, called himself ‘Royist’.
He wrote a small book with a nice title - ‘The Man’ about
his attachment with
He collected rare photos of M.N.Roy.
Casa Da Vinci was the name of Wadia’s
Having relations with Wadia as M.N.Roy’s admirer/fan, I invited him to
Hyderabad Central University Office
used to be in Abids Centre.
Once, when Wadia came to
Wadia mentioned a plan for a documentary about
However, I could meet Wadia
which I never imagined during my Inter days as I watched Nadia’s
movies and I got close too. Corresponding with him, meeting him whenever he was
His son’s wish to produce a documentary on
Since Wadia was a Humanist, other than stunts and thrills he did not allow superstitions in his movies.
At last a documentary on M.N.Roy
was filmed in the
Wadia was close with V.B.Karnik, V.M.Tarkunde, G.D.Parekh, Indumathi, G.R.Dalvi, and A.B.Shaw.
I was introduced to Wadia around 1970 as earlier mentioned. By that time Nadia stopped acting in movies. But my desire since the student days, to see her and talk to her if possible, had been fulfilled.
Her original name was Mary Anne Evan. Nadia
was the name taken in
Mary Anne Evans came to
About 1930, Wadia eyed, invited her and moulded her as heroin. She bid good-bye to the cine field from 1970 with the movie ‘Ek Nanni Munni Ladaki’. She settled well in a Parsi family. She was soft spoken. She died in 1996.
J.B.H.Wadia was an extraordinary film maker, director and Humanist.
He was M.N.Roy’s student. He
used to boast as Royist..He
worked in ‘Radical Democratic Party’ established by
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