The incident was recorded in writer TS George’s book The Life and Times of Nargis.
While trying to save Nargis from the fire, Sunil Dutt was seriously injured.
Do you remember the 1957 film Mother India? The Mehboob Khan-directorial, starring the beautiful actress Nargis, broke all records at the box office then. Known to be one of the few feminist films made during that era, the social-drama took us through the heart-wrenching tale of a mother and her struggles in a patriarchal society. The film bagged accolades for powerful performances by Nargis and Suni Dutt, and its soul-stirring songs. Mother India also served as a testament to one of Bollywood’s greatest love stories, which is still etched in the annals of history.
Needless to mention that Nargis and Sunil Dutt’s love blossomed from the sets of Mother India itself. It started after Sunil Dutt saved Nargis from a perilous fire outbreak. Here’s what happened.
While the film’s shooting was taking place in Gujarat’s Surat city, an accident happened during the filming of a fire sequence. A pile of haystacks was kept on a field, which was to be set on fire, and Nargis had to run through it. Things didn’t go as planned. When Nargis started running between the burning haystacks, the wind changed its direction abruptly, trapping her inside the burning flames.
Sunil Dutt, who was soon to appear in the same sequence with Nargis, witnessed the incident and rushed to help her risking his own life. He jumped into the raging fire, carried Nargis in his arms, and brought her out to safety. The incident was recorded in writer TS George’s book The Life and Times of Nargis. While trying to save Nargis from the fire, Sunil Dutt was grievously injured. He suffered serious burns and Nargis also sustained minor burn injuries.
A collection of Nargis’ diary that was compiled together in writer Kishwer Desai’s book, Darlingji – the True Love Story of Nargis and Sunil Dutt, Nargis had penned that Sunil was given injections to relieve the pain. He would constantly ask the doctors whether Nargis was in good health.
Nargis soon resorted to taking care of Sunil, which made her slowly fall in love with him. At one point, Nargis did not want to be away from him even for a minute. “These were the most beautiful days of my life,” she had recounted in her diary.
In 1958, Nargis got married to Sunil Dutt, breaking her 9-year-long relationship with Raj Kapoor, who was already married at that time. Their love story was short-lived though, as Nargis died of pancreatic cancer in 1981. She was 52. In 2005, Sunil Dutt also passed away at 75, after suffering from a heart attack. Nargis and Sunil Dutt have three kids – Sanjay Dutt, Priya Dutt, and Namrata Dutt.