Zohra Sehgal`s last rites held in capital

Zee Media Bureau/ Ritika Handoo

New Delhi: The legendary dancer-actress Zohra Sehgal breathed her last on Thursday night. The doyenne was 102-year-old and revered by all in the industry circles. Her last rites were performed here in New Delhi at Lodhi Road crematorium. The family members were present during the cremation proceedings.

It has been reported that Zohra was admitted to hospital after she complained of having a striking pain in her heart. The heartbeat was irregular and suffered a heart-attack on Thursday evening, leaving behind a vacuum in the world of cinema.

Former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit, Shabana Azmi, Javed Akhtar, theatre personality MK Raina and Prasar Bharti CEO Jawahar Sircar were among those who turned up to pay their last respect. Zohra's body was kept in an open area for sometime for her admirers before being taken for the final rites. Azmi remembered the actress for her vivacious personality.

The last rites were carried by her son Pawan in the presence of her daughter Kiran and grandchildren.

The legend that Zohra Sehgal was, she began her career as a dancer with veteran Uday Shankar. She even became a teacher at the Uday Shankar India Cultural Centre at Almora. Zohra found her better half, Kamleshwar Sehgal at this centre. Her association with IPTA (Indian People`s Theatre Association) got her into the limelight, as she even acted in IPTA-backed films.

Her stage presence would command thundering applause and even made her won several prestigious awards and recognition in the field of performing arts. She was awarded the Palme d`Or at the Cannes Film Festival and also was a recipient of the Padma Shri in 1998, Kalidas Samman in 2001, and in 2004, the Sangeet Natak Akademi. Zohra had many more laurels to her credit. India`s National Academy for Music, Dance and Drama presented her with its highest award, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship for lifetime achievement. She received the Padma Vibhushan, India`s second-highest civilian honor, in 2010.

The film industry has been hit by the big jolt of Zohra`s demise—a void which indeed is hard to fill in.

With Agency Inputs

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