Naam Tha Kanhaiyalal : Hemaa Singh Honors Indian Cinema Legend in a Stirring Documentary
Hemaa Singh, the daughter of this legendary actor, has embarked on a noble mission to keep her father's memory alive. Through her unwavering dedication and passion, she has produced a documentary film titled 'Naam Tha Kanhaiyalal', a testament to her father's extraordinary life and contributions to Indian cinema.
Mumbai : In the realm of Indian cinema, Pandit Kanhaiyalal Chaturvedi stands as a towering figure, an artist whose versatility and talent have left an indelible mark on the industry. His portrayal of Sukhilala in Mehboob Khan’s magnum opus, Mother India, remains etched in the hearts of generations, earning him the moniker ‘Sukhilala’ for his impeccable performance.
Hemaa Singh, the daughter of this legendary actor, has embarked on a noble mission to keep her father’s memory alive. Through her unwavering dedication and passion, she has produced a documentary film titled ‘Naam Tha Kanhaiyalal’, a testament to her father’s extraordinary life and contributions to Indian cinema.
The documentary made its successful debut on MX Player and later premiered on Jio Cinema on November 12th, 2023, captivating audiences with its insightful narrative about the illustrious actor.
Hemaa Singh, took the reins of preserving her father’s memory through her artistic prowess. The documentary, crafted with meticulous care, is a tribute to his life and contributions to the film industry. Penned and directed by Pawan Kumar, the film draws upon the reminiscences of Kanhaiyalalji’s colleagues and co-stars.
The galaxy of esteemed actors and personalities featured in ‘Naam Tha Kanhaiyalal’ includes Amitabh Bachchan, Govinda, Naseeruddin Shah, Anupam Kher, Pankaj Tripathi, Boman Irani, Johnny Lever, Kanwarjeet Paintal, Birbal, Boney Kapoor, and the writer duo Salim Khan—father of Bollywood Superstar Salman Khan–and Javed Akhtar. Additionally, Priyanka Singh, Hemaa Singh’s daughter, contributed as the Creative Producer, while the digital marketing was led by the distinguished photographer Ashvin Borad based in Surat.
Beyond the documentary, Hemaa Singh has taken further strides to honor her father’s memory. She established the Abhinay Ratna Pandit Kanhaiyalal Memorial Trust, an organization dedicated to women’s empowerment, a cause close to her heart. Currently, she is engrossed in penning her father’s biography, which aims to highlight not only his acting prowess but also various facets of his life.
In reflecting on the documentary’s journey, Hemaa Singh expressed gratitude to Ashvin Borad, acknowledging his instrumental role in elevating Kanhaiyalalji’s presence on international platforms like IMDb and Wikipedia. She also credited Atul P. Patel, the Vice President of Indian Motion Pictures Producers’ Association (IMPPA), for his guidance on industry norms.
Ashvin Borad, reflecting on his passion for cinema, lamented the missed opportunity of working with Kanhaiyalalji, emphasizing the indelible connection between humans and the enchanting world of films. “The interaction between people and cinema has always been curiously interesting. Cinema is the constant source of enjoyment. My job is to construct life’s fantasies from tele lens to super wide, and to capture still pictures in film.As a craftsman, I understand the anguish of an artist. I regret not being able to work together with Kanhaiyalal ji” said Borad
Pandit Kanhaiyalal Chaturvedi’s legacy, born on December 15, 1910, in Banaras, spans a versatile career. Renowned for his role as Sukhilala in ‘Mother India’, his brilliance extended across diverse characters in films like ‘Dharti Kahe Pukar Ke’, ‘Dushman’, ‘Satyam Shivam Sundaram’, ‘Meri Surat,Teri Aankhen’.
Despite his remarkable contributions to Indian cinema, the absence of government honors like the Padma Award and Dadasaheb Phalke Award remains a poignant point. Hemaa Singh, speaking on this, advocates for her father’s posthumous recognition, asserting that his genuine reward lies in the enduring love of his fans.
Pandit Kanhaiyalal Chaturvedi bid adieu to the mortal world on August 14, 1982, leaving behind an unparalleled legacy in Indian cinema. His absence from the roster of honored artists by the government is a void felt deeply by many, yet his impact and unforgettable performances endure, etched in the hearts of cinephiles.
The documentary ‘Naam Tha Kanhaiyalal’ stands not only as a tribute but as a testament to the timeless artistry and impact of Pandit Kanhaiyalal Chaturvedi, a name that reverberates through the annals of Indian cinematic history.