Begum Khurshid Mirza (Urdu: بیگم خورشید مرزا ), also known by her screen name as Renuka Devi (1918 – 1989), was a Pakistani television actress and a film actress in the pre-partition era.[1][2]

Begum Khurshid Mirza
بیگم خورشید مرزا
Khurshid Jehan

(1918-03-04)4 March 1918
Died8 February 1989(1989-02-08) (aged 70)
Other namesRenuka Devi
EducationAligarh Muslim University
  • Actress
  • Singer
Years active1937 - 1985
Akbar Mirza
(m. 1935; died 1971)
Parent(s)Waheed Jahan Begum (mother)
Sheikh Abdullah (father)
RelativesRashid Jahan (sister)
Hamida Saiduzzafar (sister-in-law)
Salman Haidar (nephew)
AwardsPride of Performance (1984)

Early life, family and education edit

Begum Khurshid Mirza was born as Khurshid Jehan on 4 March 1918 in Aligarh to Sheikh Abdullah and Waheed Jahan Begum, the founders of Women's College, Aligarh.[3] Her father was a practising lawyer and philanthropist who was keen to bring education and enlightenment to Muslim women. Her elder sister Rashid Jahan was a prominent Urdu language writer and one of the founding members of the Progressive Writers' Movement. Mirza married in 1935 to a police officer Akbar Mirza and migrated to Pakistan in the wake of the partition of India in 1947.[1][4] Mirza completed her education with a Master's degree in English in 1963.[5][6]

Film career edit

Khurshid Mirza was introduced to Indian cinema by Devika Rani of Bombay Talkies under the screen name Renuka Devi. In her interview given to Lutfullah Khan, Mirza recalled Rani named her after her deceased sister.[3]

She acted in Jeevan Prabhat (1937), Bhabhi (1938), Bhakti (1939), Bari Didi (1939) and Naya Sansar (1941), and performed as a leading lady in box-office hits Sahara (1943), Ghulami (1945) and Samrat Chandragupta (1945). She also sang for some of her movies.[6]

She announced her retirement from the film industry in February 1945.[6]

Films in India edit

Year Film Language
1937 Jeevan Prabhat Hindi / Urdu
1938 Bhabhi Hindi / Urdu
1939 Bhakti Hindi / Urdu
1939 Bari Didi Hindi / Urdu
1941 Naya Sansar Hindi / Urdu
1944 Sahara Hindi / Urdu
1945 Ghulami Hindi / Urdu
1945 Samrat Chandragupta Hindi / Urdu
1963 Nirjan Saikate Bengali

Films in Pakistan edit

Year Film Language
1972 Mohabbat Urdu

Television career edit

When Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV) began its broadcast transmission in 1964 and its TV drama serials started earning household fame, there was a need for professionals to train the young media crew.[1] It was a Haseena Moin's serial, entitled Kiran Kahani (1973), which rediscovered Khurshid Mirza as a senior actress. Her performance gained her rave reviews, even though she said in a later interview that it was slightly off-key. The next serial she worked in was Zair, Zabar, Pesh, also written by Haseena Moin. Her performance was regarded by many as one of the finest acting performances in that role, and this set the tone for the rest of her acting career.

She remained a character actress for PTV, Karachi television centre and had nearly a dozen of popular drama series to her credit, including Uncle Urfi (1972), Parchhaiyan (1976) and a special play Massi Sherbate written by Fatima Surayya Bajia. She retired in 1985, with her last performance coming in PTV drama series Ana (1984).[1]

PTV drama series edit

Literary and art works edit

Begum Khurshid Mirza penned her autobiography The Uprooted Sappling,[8] which appeared in the Pakistani monthly Herald as a nine-part serial, from August 1982 to April 1983. Later, the collection was compiled in 2005 as a book by her daughter, Lubna Kazim[5]

  • A Woman of Substance: The Memoirs Of Begum Khurshid Mirza (an autobiography, edited by Lubna Kazim. Delhi: Zubaan 2005)[1][6]

From 1960 onwards, she was involved in several literary activities, writing short stories for prestigious Urdu magazines Saqi published by Shahid Ahmad Dehlvi.[6] Later, she compiled all her short stories with the cover title Mehru ki Bachee.[6]

During her days in Quetta, Mirza ran the women's programme and wrote plays for Radio Pakistan.[5] She also composed religious verses under the pseudonym Shola and sermons for Milad meetings.

Social works edit

After migration to Pakistan, Khurshid Mirza worked for the All Pakistan Women's Association (APWA) as a volunteer helping destitute women.[1][9] When her husband was transferred to Quetta, she took charge of the APWA centre in a rural area called Ismail Killi.[1] She had also aired programmes on women's issues on radio.[1]

Awards and recognition edit

She got PTV Best Actress Award in the PTV play Afshan in 1982.[6]

  • In 2004, an event was arranged to pay tributes to Begum Khurshid Mirza in Lahore, where many Pakistani dignitaries gathered to recall her efforts for the tribal women during her stay in Quetta in the 1950s where she also used to hold events to raise funds for All Pakistan Women's Association (APWA).[9]

Death edit

After her retirement, Mirza moved to Lahore, where she died on 8 February 1989.[3] She was buried in Mian Mir graveyard.[3]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Breaking the mould: Bold & Beautiful: Begum Khurshid Mirza in her prime". The Telegraph (Indian newspaper). Calcutta, India. 8 May 2005. Archived from the original on 12 September 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  2. ^ "فلم، ریڈیو اور ٹی وی کی ممتاز اداکارہ بیگم خورشید مرزا کی برسی". ARY News. 29 September 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d Jaffiri, Aqeel Abbas. "'رینوکا دیوی: بیگم خورشید مرزا پاکستان ٹیلی ویژن کی 'اِکا بُوا". BBC News اردو. BBC. Retrieved 8 February 2022.
  4. ^ Slides of Begum Khurshid Mirza's bio-data on YouTube Uploaded 10 October 2010, Retrieved 24 December 2019
  5. ^ a b c Swapna, Majumdar. "Woman Extraordinaire". boloji. Retrieved 3 April 2005.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Woman Of Substance: The Memoirs Of Begum Khurshid Mirza on website Retrieved 24 December 2019
  7. ^ Uncle Urfi: A PTV Blockbuster All Things Pakistan website, Published 15 January 2011, Retrieved 24 December 2019
  8. ^ Aleaz, Bonita (2005). "A Transformation of a Begum". Economic and Political Weekly. 40 (51): 5397–5399. JSTOR 4417552. Retrieved 24 December 2019
  9. ^ a b LAHORE: A tribute to late artiste (Begum Khurshid Mirza) Dawn (newspaper), Published 26 March 2004, Retrieved 24 December 2019
  10. ^ "IFFI Best actress awards". 23 November 2019.

External links edit