Mumbai: Critically-acclaimed director-writer Kalpana Lajmi was cremated Sunday in the presence of family, friends and loved ones. Lajmi, who was suffering from chronic kidney disease and liver failure, passed away Sunday morning. She was 64. Her younger brother, Dev Lajmi performed the last rites at Oshiwara Crematorium amidst a gathering of close friends and family members, including mother Lalita Lajmi.
From the Hindi film industry, actors Shabana Azmi, Soni Razdan and director Shyam Benegal, who is also Lajmi’s uncle, paid their last respects to the filmmaker. Razdan, who was among the first ones to arrive, got emotional when the pyre was lit. A wreath was sent by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to pay respects to Lajmi.
Lajmi debuted as an assistant director under renowned film director Shyam Benegal, who was also her uncle. She went on to work as an assistant costume designer in Benegal’s “Bhumika: The Role” (1977), starring Smita Patil, Amol Palekar and Naseeruddin Shah, among others.
Lajmi made her directorial debut with the documentary, “D.G. Movie Pioneer” in 1978. Known for making fiery films with women at the core of her stories, her filmography boasts of movies like “Ek Pal”, “Rudaali”, “Daman”, “Darmiyaan” and “Chingaari” (2006), her last directorial.
“Rudaali” (1993) featuring Dimple Kapadia in the lead was India’s official entry for Best Foreign Language film at the 66th Academy Awards. It also went on to win three National Film Awards, including Best Actress for Kapadia, Best Art Direction for Samir Chanda and Best Costume Design for Simple Kapadia.