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Mumbai, India
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Mumbai, India

Nadira Babbar is a well-known Indian actor and director who is most known for founding the theater group ‘Ekjute.’ The Sangeet Natak Akademi Award has been given to Nadira for her contribution to theatre. Her role of ‘Mrs. Bakshi,’ the mother of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in the film ‘Bride and Prejudice,’ is her greatest claim to fame. Her work in the films ‘Jai Ho,’ ‘Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities,’ and ‘Ghayal Once Again’ received acclaim from both audiences and reviewers. At the same time, through her theater performances, ‘Ekjute,’ she has led from the front in staging more than sixty plays. Nadira is a graduate of New Delhi’s National School of Drama. Kiron Kher, Satish Kaushik, Farooque Sheikh, Raj Babbar, Salman Khan, and Anupam Kher have all shared cinematic space as well as the theater stage with her. At NSD, she met Raj Babbar, an actor and theater personality with whom she established a romantic relationship that led to their marriage.

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A Professional Life of Nadira Babbar

Nadira Babbar has always had a passion for the performing arts. Razia Sajjad Zaheer and Syed Sajjad Zaheer, who were prominent members of the ‘Indian Peoples’ Theater Association’ (IPTA) and the ‘Progressive Writers’ Association,’ instilled in her a passion for theater.

She enrolled in the National School of Drama (NSD) in 1968 and received a ‘Diploma in Direction’ from her instructor, Ibrahim Alkazi, in 1971.

Nadira got a scholarship to the East German government after winning a gold medal at NSG. She worked in the ‘Berliner Ensemble,’ a theater company created by Bertolt Brecht and his wife Helene Weigel in Berlin. She also received a scholarship from the ‘National Theater of Weimer’ to continue her theater study.

She collaborated with well-known theatrical directors like Peter Brooks, Henry Harvard, Wolfgang Heinz, Fritz Benevitz, and Ursula Kchimskye during her training in East Germany. In 1973, Nadira returned to India and began teaching theater at Sardar Patel Vidyalaya. She continued to work in theaters in New Delhi till 1988, when she relocated to Mumbai.

Nadira founded ‘Ekjute’ in New Delhi in 1981 and produced its first play, ‘Yahudi Ki Ladki,’ in the same year, giving the Parsi theatrical genre a boost. Since its beginning, ‘Ekjute,’ which has presented over 15000 events and introduced great actors to cinema, television, and theater, has upped the benchmark for Hindi theater. Many notable playwrights’ works have been performed by this theater ensemble, including Eugene O’Neal, John Osborne, Albert Camus, Agha Kashmiri, Badal Sircar, and Habib Tanvir.

Over the course of its existence, Nadira’s theatrical group, Ekjute, has collaborated closely with a number of prominent figures in the visual and performing arts, including M.F. Hussein, Pandita Uma Dogra, and Guru Sri C.Gopalakrishnan. M.F. Hussain was responsible for some of Ekjute’s anniversary celebration logos. ‘Othello,’ ‘Cross Purpose,’ ‘Desire Under the Elms,’ ‘Tughlaq,’ ‘Jasma Odhan,’Sandhya Chhaya,’ and ‘Begum Jaan’ are just a few of the plays in which she has appeared.

She directed the Doordarshan teleserial ‘Titliyaan,’ and produced the Doordarshan teleserials ‘Maharaja Ranjit Singh,’ ‘Bulbul Baug,’ and ‘Maeen Delhi Hoon.’ She appeared in the telefilms “Us Basti Mein” and “Niyaydheesh,” as well as the serial “Take it Easy-Sab Chalta Hai.” She has also directed and acted in over 50 radio shows and plays.

She has appeared in a number of feature films, including ‘Bride and Prejudice,’ ‘Meenaxi: Tale of Three Cities,’ and ‘Ghayal 2’ in 2016. She has also written lines for the films ‘Ab Aayega Maza’ and ‘Samundar,’ and directed ‘Kaash Aap Hamare Hote’ and ‘Karmayoddha.’ She also penned the narrative for ‘Saleem Langde Pe Mat Ro.’

Nadira has served on the boards and panels of a number of prominent organizations dedicated to the promotion of performing arts and artists, including the NFDC, the HRD Ministry, NSD, and the Sangeet Natak Akademi, to name a few. She has also received numerous honors, including the Mahila Shiromani Award, the Kala Samman Award, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, and the Ghalib Academy Award.

Her Personal Experiences

Syed Sajjad Zaheer and Razia Sajjad Zaheer gave birth to Nadira Zaheer Babbar on January 20, 1948, in Mumbai, India. Her mother was an Urdu writer and her father was a revolutionary leader. Najma Ali Baquer and Naseem Bhatia are her older sisters, while Noor Sajjad Zaheer is her younger sister.

Raj Babbar, an Indian cinema actor, married Nadira Babbar in 1975. Arya Babbar, the couple’s son, is a promising actress, and Juhi Babbar, the couple’s daughter, is a fashion designer.

Estimated Net Worth

Nadira has a net worth of $3 million and $5 million. The majority of Nadira’s revenue came from her Yeezy sneakers. While she had overstated the size of her business throughout the years, the money she made from it was real–enough to make her one of the richest celebrities of all time. Her primary source of income is as a successful actress.