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How actor Sunder did not get the credit he deserved


On the prolific actor’s 25th death anniversary today (5 March), a look at his overlooked performances in these famous films.

Sunder in Seema (1955)

Sonal Pandya

A versatile supporting actor, Sunder could be found in most Hindi films of the 1950s to the 1970s. Most often than not, he was the comic relief. He also acted in Punjabi films and lent his voice as a playback singers for the films Zid (1945), Chandni Chowk (1954) and Mastana (1954) among others. We pick three performances in which his character had a central role to play in the features he was starring in.

1. Seema (1955)

For Amiya Chakrabarty’s Seema (1955), Sunder is Murlidhar, the right-hand man of Balraj Sahni’s Ashok, who runs an orphanage and remand home for young women. When the difficult Gauri (Nutan) is taken in, ‘Babuji’ (Sahni) works hard to ensure the angry young woman gets a fair second chance at life. When Ashok falls ill and grows weak, he insists that Seema marry Murlidhar even though the two have grown close. In a nice scene, Murlidhar argues with his mentor and reminds him why he’s wrong.

2. Howrah Bridge (1958)

In Shakti Samanta’s noir thriller set in Kolkata, Sunder played Bhiku, who reveals to Om Prakash’s character Shyam that he had witnessed the recent murder on Howrah Bridge. In the lively number, 'Main Jaan Gayi Tujhe Saiyan', sung by Mohammed Rafi and Shamshad Begum and composed by OP Nayyar, Bhiku romances his fiancée Chhamia (Kammo) as he dreams of getting the reward money.

3. Solva Saal (1958)

Sunder is a key supporting player in Raj Khosla’s Solva Saal (1958) with Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman. He played Gogi, Anand’s photographer buddy who plays the mouth organ in the song ‘Hai Apna Dil To Awara’ sung by Hemant Kumar and composed by SD Burman. SD Burman’s son, RD, played the mouth organ for the song. Sunder’s Gogi’s help both Anand and Rehman find the errant Shyam and get back a missing necklace.