Seema Deo: A Legendary Icon of Marathi and Hindi passes away

Seema Deo the icon of Marathi and Hindi cinema passes away.

Seema Deo, a luminous presence who graced the screens of both Marathi and Hindi cinema for over six decades, bid her final farewell at her Bandra abode on Thursday. Aged 81, she succumbed to the burdens of age-related afflictions that had quietly accompanied her. With a portfolio of more than 80 films, Seema Deo’s legacy resides within her exceptional performances and heartfelt portrayals.

Among the treasures of her filmography are titles like ‘Jagachya Pathivar’, ‘Juna Te Sona’, ‘Anand’, ‘Bhabhi Ki Chudiyan’, ‘Kora Kagaz’, ‘Apradh’, ‘Janaki’, ‘Bezubaan’, ‘Koshish’, ‘Sansar’, and ‘Yehi Hai Zindagi.’ Born as Nalini Saraf, her endearing disposition and radiant smile often typecast her as the gentle sister, the devoted daughter-in-law, the nurturing mother, or the affectionate aunt. Notably, she also embodied the role of a hostel warden in ‘Bezubaan’.

In the tapestry of her cinematic journey, the film ‘Bhabhi Ki Chudiyan’ (1961), crafted by producer-director Sadashiv J Row Kavi, finds Seema Deo paired with Shailesh Kumar, encapsulating the essence of youthful love. Her cinematic pursuits intertwined with her reality, as her off-screen partner Ramesh Deo, an actor of renown himself, departed in February 2022.

The threads of their romance are woven into the anecdotes shared by Ramesh Deo in a television interview. The tale of proposing marriage atop a bullock cart during a shoot epitomized their unique bond. Ramesh Deo’s recollection takes us to a time when their love was a secret guarded from Seema’s vigilant mother. A daring move during a bullock cart scene brought forth a declaration of love that would bind them for a lifetime. The reel-to-real connection found expression in 20 movies, including cherished titles like ‘Anand’, ‘Kora Kagaz’, ‘Jagachya Pathivar’, ‘Vardakshina’, and the Marathi gem ‘Molkarin’.

Among their shared cinematic narratives, the scene from ‘Anand’ where Rajesh Khanna harmonizes with ‘Maine tere liye hi saat rang ke sapne chune’ resonates as a testament to their enchanting rapport. Even in the filmic cosmos, where roles shift and characters transform, Seema Deo found herself playing Ramesh Deo’s sister in ‘Saraswatichandra’.

The culmination of their artistic voyage arrived in the form of the Raaja Paranjape Lifetime Achievement Award, an accolade bestowed upon the couple in Pune in 2014. Seema’s life journey persists through her two sons, actor Ajinkya Deo and the multifaceted adman-director Abhinay Deo.

In her last years, Seema Deo encountered the bewildering labyrinth of Alzheimer’s, a harrowing descent into the realm where memories fade and coherence wanes. Her son Abhinay shared that her departure, occurring between 8:30 and 9:00 am at her Bandra sanctuary, was an embrace of the tranquility of old age. Her spirit, once so vibrant, had gradually dimmed as dementia paved the way for Alzheimer’s, a battle that spanned over three years.

In the annals of cinema, Seema Deo remains an enduring star, her performances etching a profound mark in the hearts of her audience. As the final curtain falls on her mortal chapter, the legacy of her artistry and her indomitable spirit persist as a luminous tribute to the world she illuminated.

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