Bollywood filmmaker Kalpana Lajmi’s funeral took place in Oshiwara Mumbai today. Several celebrities such as Shabana Azmi, Shyam Benegal, Soni Razdan, Nandita Das and others were seen paying their last respects to the ‘fearless director’. Kalpana Lajmi, niece of the legendary Guru Dutt and acclaimed for making women-oriented films like "Rudaali", "Ek Pal, "Daman" and "Chingaari", died in Mumbai on Sunday following a multiple organ failure, said her spokesperson. 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.
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
Her feature film debut came 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.
Lajmi had also penned a book, "Bhupen Hazarika: As I Knew Him", on Hazarika. It was launched on September 8 by Benegal and Lajmi's mother, painter Lalita Lajmi.
The filmmaker, who was hospitalised at that time too, could not attend the event as her doctors had refused to allow her a long commute.