Filmmaker Kalpana Lajmi dies at 64

Mumbai: Filmmaker and screenwriter Kalpana Lajmi, noted for films like “Rudaali”, “Darmiyaan” and “Daman”, died here on Sunday following a multiple organ failure, said her spokesperson. She was 64. “Extremely sorry to inform you that Kalpana Lajmi passed away this morning at 4.30 a.m.,” the filmmaker’s spokesperson Parul Chawla told IANS.

Lajmi breathed her last at a hospital here, where she was admitted in the intensive care unit since Tuesday due to kidney-related issues, the spokesperson added. The cremation will take place at 12.30 p.m. at the Oshiwara crematorium. Lajmi had been undergoing dialysis for a couple of years, and true to her indomitable spirit, had said in an interview last year: “My kidneys have failed, but I haven’t.”

She debuted as a feature film director with “Ek Pal”. Her last directorial was “Chingaari”, based on the novel “The Prostitute and the Postman” by the late Bhupen Hazarika, her long-time companion. Her memoir “Bhupen Hazarika: As I Knew Him” was launched earlier this month.

The filmmaker is survived by her brother and mother, painter Lalita Lajmi. Known for fearless filmmaking with women in strong roles, Lajmi’s 1993 Dimple Kapadia-starrer “Rudaali” was even chosen as India’s official entry to the 66th Academy Awards.

Actress Raveena Tandon, who played the lead role as a battered wife in “Daman”, mourned Lajmi’s demise. “You will be missed Kalpanaji. Was not your time to go… But may your heart now be at peace. Those days while shooting ‘Daman’ will be a treasured memory. Om Shanti.”

Actor Viveck Vaswani was shattered at the news of the death of his friend and colleague. Filmmaker Hansal Mehta, who had worked with Lajmi as an editor when she made “Darmiyaan”, wrote: “Will always remember her with fondness and respect for being a fearless woman and a powerhouse of a person in a male dominated industry. Rest in Peace dear Kalpana.”

Actress Soni Razdan said: “Our dear beloved friend Kalpana Lajmi has gone to a better place. RIP my darling Kalpana. I shall miss you so terribly.”

Actress Huma Qureshi said she was “deeply saddened” by the news.

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