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Emraan Hashmi's grandmother could act

The Azhar actor is not the only star in his family.

Sonal Pandya

Actor Emraan Hashmi is the first to admit that he stumbled into the acting at the beginning. After assisting Vikram Bhatt, he was nudged into acting by his uncle Mahesh Bhatt. But it turns out that acting is in his genes, handed down from his grandmother. His father's mother Purnima began her career as an actor in the late 1940s and continued working until the 1980s.

Purnima Das Verma, née Meherbhano Mohammad Ali on 2 March 1934, was the younger sister of Shirin Mohammad Ali. Shirin acted in a handful of films like Bambai Ki Sethani (1935) and Khwab Ki Duniya (1937) and later married filmmaker Nanabhai Bhatt. Purnima naturally followed her elder sister into films; her early film roles included I.P. Tiwari's Manager (1947) and Kidar Sharma's Thes (1949) opposite Bharat Bhushan and Shashikala.

Her other hit films were Patanga (1949), in which a couple of memorable songs composed by C. Ramachandra were picturised on her, and Panna (1956) where she played a brave young girl who takes up the fight for her kingdom when the king is kidnapped. Purnima had a pivotal part in the Prem Nath-Bina Rai starrer Aurat (1953) where she played the second lead. In 1954, she married filmmaker Bhagwan Das Verma, her second marriage. Her first husband, a journalist, had already moved to Pakistan during the Partition. Her son from her first marriage, Anwar Hashmi, is Emraan's father.

Although she gave up acting after marriage, she returned with Chamak Chandni (1957) because of money problems. Interestingly, she originally owned the bungalow which houses the famed Ketnav Theatre, but had to sell it due to dire financial straits. Through the 1960s to the 1980s, she was relegated to character actor roles of the second lead. Director Mahesh Bhatt, Purnima's nephew, cast her in a few of his home productions, Naya Daur (1978), Arth (1982) and Naam (1986) where she played the grandmother of Sanjay Dutt and Kumar Gaurav. Purnima suffered from Alzheimer's during the last few years of her life and she passed away on 14 August 2013.

Emraan Hashmi

Her grandson, Emraan Hashmi, struggled initially when he joined films. Today, he is a successful actor with several commercial film franchises under his belt, as well as critical acclaim through films like The Dirty Picture (2011) and Shanghai (2012). The 'serial kisser' tag with which he was once associated has gradually faded away. Hashmi appeared in Academy Award-winner Danis Tanovic's Tigers which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2014. For his last film, Azhar (2016), Hashmi played the former captain of the Indian cricket team, Mohammed Azharuddin.