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VOA Tribute to Late Bollywood Actress Draws Praise

Audiences in Pakistan and across the Indian subcontinent are praising a 55-minute Urdu language radio program produced by VOA’s Subhash Vohra and his colleagues, Razi Rizvi of the Urdu Service and Rashmi Shukla of VOA English TV.

The special, which pays tribute to the 100 year anniversary of the Indian film industry, profiles celebrated Bollywood Actress Nutan, who spoke with Vohra before her career was cut short by her untimely death in 1991.

At the time of the original interview Vohra had been working for the BBC, which granted him permission to use excerpts from the rare interview for the VOA program.

Listeners from India and Pakistan have written to VOA to praise the tribute. “I cried like a baby,” one listener wrote after hearing the program. Another said, “Hearing the songs of these and other films are precious memories of those times.”

In addition to excerpts from the interview with the Bollywood actress, who went by only one name, Vohra also included interviews with Nutan’s younger sister Tanuja and son Mohnish Bahl, who both had successful movie careers.

Vohra says the program was a labor of love. “I thought it was an opportunity to bring to the VOA audience memories of some of its well-known actors, actresses, singers and other artists. Their contributions are remembered by all generations in India, Pakistan and South Asians scattered around the world. They are nostalgic of those yesteryears,” Vohra says.

In 2012 Vohra and his colleagues produced another well received tribute about the late Bollywood singer and music legend Mohammad Rafi.

Vohra says he feels humbled that the programs have drawn praise from audiences in both India and Pakistan.