Tragic tale of a Dream Lady

Today while reading some note from a book, my curiosity was diverted towards someone in 60’s bollywood names. I searched for further information but there was nothing much available. Whatever I got is really a tragic tale of a beautiful lady who was certainly a wonderful personality in her time. Her name was Vimi.

She dared to marry a son of industrialist against wishes of her parents. She was not an actress when she got married. Because of her fascinating personality, she got struck in the eyes of music director Ravi in some party in Calcutta. With the initiative of Ravi, she along with her husband Shiv Agrawal was invited to Bombay, where Ravi introduced her to film maker B.R. Chopra who launched her in lead role in film ‘Humraj’. Movie proved a success and she became a star.

Her enchanting beauty was so amazing and magical that famous lyrist Sahir was impressed to write famous song ‘Kisi pathar ki murat se, mohabbat ka irrada hai, praschit ki tamana hai, ibadat ka irrada hai..’ She did few more successful movies after Humraj. Patanga(1970), Vachpan(1974), Aabroo (1968), Kahin aar kahi paar (1971) are other movies of Vimmi. Although she became star with her first movie, but she is said to have been more concerned with how she looked and what she wore than her acting.

It was not all good in her life. As she decided to move to Bombay to become actress, this decision was not acceptable to her in laws family and they disowned her for this step. Good and bad things were moving along in the life of this dream lady. Her relation with her husband was not running smooth. He uses to interfere in her career which was not liked by producers. Financial problems further added to make relation tougher. Ultimately they got separated and her husband returned back to his family.

She was left alone and fate was not on her side. She started living with Jolly, a dubious film maker. She was not having any work. In such miserable situation she found solace in alcohol. She was not having any money. Alcohol, particularly cheap alcohol killed her ultimately in the year 1977.

Here I want to share the relevancy of book that I was reading, which attracted me toward life of this awesome lady. Book titled ‘Tears of the mystic Rose’ written by Swami Rajneesh is sort of life sketch of writer. Rajneesh is disciple of ‘Osho Rajneesh’ and son of same bollywood actress Vimmi and her industrialist husband Shiv Agrawal. There are few references in his book where he is narrating his childhood memories. In book he has admitted his disliking towards his father due to his arrogant nature whereas he described his mother as beautiful, kind, humble, sensitive, radiant and full of compassion towards all those who met her. He further writes that she was from very simple and honest family. Her parents were simple school teachers. He also narrates the days when matter of separation was in process. As he was always supporting his mother, his father did not like him. One instance when he was on winter vacations from his boarding school in Darjling, he saw his father having alcohol and making sexual advances with film actresses every night. One such night there was a fight between them and son left the house and never returned back.

As book described, ‘One morning in November 1977 I woke up to see the newspapers announced the untimely death of my mother and under mysterious circumstances. No one was with her at the hospital at the time of her death and as my father and that side of the family were prevented from seeing her due to a court order. Her body was taken for cremation unfortunately with none of us present such a tragic story…that a famous movie star was cremated with very few people present for the last rites.’

Nothing much is available on this lady who was gifted with ultimate beauty and worst fate. Her end was really painful. She died broken hearted and penniless. Few friend and well wishers arranged her cremation.

Source References: Wikipedia, Tears of the Mystic Rose

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Comments 52 comments

Stigma31 profile image

Stigma31 5 years ago from Kingston, ON

Interesting, I never heard of her....good up!

Bhanu.Jas profile image

Bhanu.Jas 5 years ago from Australia

Thats why its well said parents can only give birth but destiny,fate is written by god.Very painful story.But very well written.


shanaya profile image

shanaya 5 years ago from Living in my Own Dreams:)

Dear Jaspal Sir! Very nice HUB you have written with a very SAD ending. I just loved the BEAUTIFUL ACTRESS.




Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 5 years ago from India / Australia Author

@Stigma. Heartedly thanks for appreciation.

Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 5 years ago from India / Australia Author

@ Bhawana. While reading one book, I got reference of this lady named Vimmi and ultimately writer of that book, I found as her own son. Things touched me, so wrote my expressions.

Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 5 years ago from India / Australia Author

@ Shanaya. Sad ending, certainly I never wished but tragedy of life has no mercy. We all can wish it never happen again. Your comments are always touching so always welcomed.

earthbound1974 profile image

earthbound1974 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

She is/was very beautiful indeed! With much respect for this thespian, thanks for featuring her life. Although it ended with a sad note. Is it karma, isn't it?

Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 5 years ago from India / Australia Author

@earthbound. Certainly she was amazing beauty but life or fate has it's own logics. We can say it Karma. Thanks for your comment.

POOJA.... 5 years ago

Jaspal,, u knw hw to potrait someone's emotions tht well... I lv ur writings...

Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 5 years ago from India / Australia Author

@Pooja. Thanks for appreciation.

apeksha profile image

apeksha 5 years ago from India.

Very heart touching writeup.

Destiny swings life and happenings all the time.

More we wonder more we can think about the people's faith or unfaith towards it.

shampa sadhya profile image

shampa sadhya 5 years ago from NEW DELHI, INDIA

Though I've heard about her but did not know the details you mentioned. It is written very nicely. Your hub definitely makes one sad but who can challenge fate?

Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 5 years ago from India / Australia Author

@Shampa Sadhya Hi! Thanks for commenting on my hub. I greatly appreciate your thoughts.

Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 5 years ago from India / Australia Author

@Apeksha. Thanks for your VALUEABLE comments. Jaspal

Lene Lynn profile image

Lene Lynn 5 years ago from Glendale, AZ

I didn't realize Rajneesh's Mom was an actress. I have heard of him for several years, but not her. Interesting story. Thanks for following me, by the way! I am following you now, too.

Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 5 years ago from India / Australia Author

@Lene Lynn. Thanks for adding your VALUABLE comments. Yes Rajneesh Swami is one of disciples of OSHO Rajneesh. Recently i read his book 'Tears of the Mystic Rose' from where I got the reference of her mother, who was actress and her name was VIMI. She was beautiful but her fate was not. I have added few links of film songs filmed on Vimi. Thanks for following me.

sweetie1 profile image

sweetie1 5 years ago from India

Hi jaspal , thanks for writing about the life of this forgotten star. She was really very beautiful and one of the most beautiful girl of bollywood. Had she been in today's time she would be a big hit as most heroines only try to see how they look and what they are wearing

Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 5 years ago from India / Australia Author

I read it somewhere, "You were a stranger to sorrow: therefore fate has cursed you".These line tell the whole tale of this dream lady. No doubt she was blessed with divine beauty, but her fate was not that favorable. Thanks for reading and dropping comment full of concern.

sankari.nayagam profile image

sankari.nayagam 5 years ago

Haven't heard much about the actress, but felt really sorry for her after reading your hub! But the industry is so,it is one that can take you to the top of the world and also can push you down from there the next moment!

Agnes Penn profile image

Agnes Penn 5 years ago from Nicholson, Pennsylvania, USA

Great hub. You have become instrumental in introducing Vimmi to me. Truly beautiful and tender loving, as her son describes, she will be remembered now due to your hub and, within my faith we believe in praying for the dead, I will now add her to my list of favorite people.

Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 5 years ago from India / Australia Author

@Agnes Penn. Thanks for such a lovely and valuable comments. Your words suggest that your heart loving and full of concern. She was certainly one of most beautiful actresses of her era. I tried to gather more information to even on net nothing is much available. Once again thanks for add your views.

jijo john 5 years ago

hay, jaspal. thank u for Ur story. it helped me to have a clear idea of the story. i was also in the same way, u searched - i have read the story - the tears of a mystic rose...i was in search for Vimi and shiv agarwal.the search ended in your blog. ok. have a nice day

Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 5 years ago from India / Australia Author

@Jijo John. I am happy that your got here what you was searching. Thanks for adding your comments.

bollywoodeewana 5 years ago

Thanks for this little contribution on the quite mysterious Vimmi, i'll add your link to my post

Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 5 years ago from India / Australia Author

@Bollywood Deewana. Thanks for your words.

upal19 profile image

upal19 5 years ago from Dhaka

Thanks for introducing Vimmi. I'm a bollywood fan specially a fan of KK and Hema of old Hindi films. Vimmi was unknown to me. Now I must look into her career. Thanks for sharing.

Ebey Soman profile image

Ebey Soman 5 years ago from USA

I think she sang the Made in India songs when I was a young lad in India. Great to see this article here. Thanks and Good writing.

allwriter profile image

allwriter 5 years ago

Most of our life is determined by past karma. Though Vimi was beautiful the extracts of past karma may have resulted in such a tragic end of her life.

May be she'll get a good and happy life after her sorrowful Vimi's role in this world.

God bless her.

FDave 5 years ago

Jaspal ji,

Thanks for sharing information on Vimmi, though I had seen her first movie Hamraaz about 2/3rd many decades ago on Door Darshan, I was always intruiged by her beautiful face and subsequently lack of information on internet about her life after fading away...

Some of the references on internet descrbe her as Stone faced beauty who did not know how to act etc. But, they all miss the human face of her, as narrated by his son.

She met a tragic end where there was not enough money for her cremation and few people attended her funeral. Bad karma... perhaps... but that was only one aspect of the story...

We have countless actors like Motilal, Master Bhagwan and manymore who were once very successful, but then faded and passed awayannonymously... May her soule rest in piece.

aravindb1982 profile image

aravindb1982 5 years ago from Puttaparthi, India

A movie star whose life itself became a movie - sad that it was a tragedy. This article set me thinking about life in general......How life itself becomes a movie.......Well, maybe I'll write a hub about that. Thank you for triggering my thoughts.

chandkichandini 5 years ago

she was great....

tarsem lal 5 years ago

Jaspal ji, i was an engineer at Vimmi's in-law factory named "GDPA" in jalandhar in 1977, Vimmi,s son used to hang out in the factory, i often saw him personally there almost everyday and i have not seen his father there.I never knew the tragdic fate of Vimmi, my heart goes out to her and her kids.

abhishek 5 years ago

sad story. thanx for sharing.

Suvir .... 5 years ago

She was found in Municipal Hospital as a ''Lawaris''.Founded By Pramod Navalkar (a Famous Writer & Politician )then it become news, before it no one know where was she

Neil Chawla 5 years ago

Movie in her life could be hit too these days.. Here are more details:

by Roshmila Mukherjee

Slim, swathed in chiffon and cloaked in an air of mystery, she caught B.R.Chopra’s eye. He couldn’t look away.

He requested his host, music director Ravi, to introduce him to the beautiful woman rightaway. Close-up, she was even more bewitching. They chatted the rest of the evening; Vimi was aware that the famous producer- director was studying her every expression. Another woman would have been frazzled but she was used to men lavishing attention. “That’s why I dress tastefully… to make myself as attractive as possible,” she would laugh coquettishly. She knew Choprasaab was sizing her up for a role.

Looking into those flashing eyes, Chopra knew she was the heroine he’d been searching for. He needed a new face for Humraaz—someone exotic and enigmatic. He didn’t even know where Vimi had come from. He cornered his host again, “Is she interested in acting?” Ravi wasn’t sure.

After all, it’s unusual for a bahu from a conservative Calcut­ta family to nurture starry dreams. But Ravi remembered that during a dinner at the Grand Hotel some months ago, Vimi and her husband, Shiv Agarwal, hadn’t been averse to the idea that she should give a movie career a go.

“It was a small, select gathering, I was soon singing a few of my favorite numbers,” remi­nisces Ravi. “Then someone men­tioned that Vimi could also sing; we persuaded her to recite a

poem. Her diction and delivery were surprisingly chaste. And lookswise, she was a stunner. I wondered aloud why she didn’t join films. She laughed off the idea, wondering who’d give her the big break. I invited her to Bom­bay and promised to have a word with Choprasaab.”

In Bombay, Ravi invited her to his son’s birthday party so he could show her off. When Chopra left without a word, she wasn’t disheartened. She played it cool.

Music director Usha Khanna, who was a childhood friend of Vimi’s brother, egged her on to face the camera. Usha even drag­ged her to Filmalaya studio where they bumped into S.Muk­herji. The movie moghul had looked her up and down and asked bluntly, “So what’s wrong with working in films?” And Vimi had replied airily, “Nothing… it’s just that temperamentally, I’m not cut out to be an actress.”

The day after the party, however, Ravi approached her with Chopra’s offer. She asked for time to think. Later, she recal­led in an interview, “When Ravi left, I asked myself the question, ‘Why not?’ During the next three weeks, I must have repeated the question to myself over a thou­sand times. I didn’t have one good reason to say no. But I still needed some moral support to say yes. And that support wasn’t forthcoming from my family.”

Despite the family’s disappro­val, she eventually gave in to Chopra’s offer. A screen-test was arranged. He got her a new war­drobe, special make-up and hired a suite at the Taj Mahal Hotel. For six days, Vimi preened and pouted for the camera. She was very photogenic. One look at the stills and Chopra had discovered the heroine for Hum­raaz (1967).

Her orthodox Punjabi parents were outraged. Although born and brought up in Bombay, Vimi had been a sheltered child. Western dresses, lipstick and even talcum powder were taboo. But it had always been a chore to curb her exuberance. As a little girl, she couldn’t sit still for a minute, she’d be dashing around the house at breakneck speed. Once, she ran headlong into the bathroom tap. The head injury led to several visits to the doctor.

But she was running wild. again. She slipped and broke her jaw. On another occasion, she gave herself a new hair-cut; the scissor-happy girl messed up her long silken tresses, and was soundly thrashed by her mother.

“I was so busy running that I learnt to walk only when I grew up,” Vimi had joked. By then she had already worked for 10 years at the All-India Radio, besides picking up a degree in psycholo­gy from Bombay’s Sophia Colle­ge. Soon after, she met Shiv Agarwal, a businessman from Calcutta. Short, stocky and swarthy, Agarwal belonged to the reputed Amirchand Pyarelal family. He was bowled over by this Dresden china doll, it wasn’t long before they took the marria­ge vows.

Vimi came from a middle- class family while the Agarwals were millionaires with a business in stainless steel. Vimi settled down to a cushy life in Calcutta… she was happily married with two children when she met Ravi at the party and her life was never the same again.

Her parents disowned her when she signed Humraaz. Her in-laws gave some money to the couple and broke off all ties. Vimi was hurt by their callousness but refused to be stymied. “I am hel­pless,” she sighed. “I can’t retrace my steps. Acting has become a way of life for me. If others are unhappy, there’s nothing I can do about it. One can’t keep everyone happy.”

Her first day on the sets was a fiasco. Although she had done radio plays ever since she was eight, she had had no formal trai­ning in acting. There were the occasional concerts in school and college; she had also repre­sented her college at the All-India Youth Festival but facing a movie camera was another kind of discipline.

That all eyes were focused on her didn’t make it any easier. “I was not nervous,” she stated then. “But the high-pitched voi­ces unnerved me. I can’t stand people fighting or talking at the top of their voices.”

She adapted to the ambience of the studios. Looking beautiful for the camera was easy. Vimi always had a flair for high- fashion. And at 112 pounds, she didn’t have to diet or exercise. Moreover, she was extraordinari­ly photogenic. All that she lacked was acting talent. “She couldn’t even keep her eyes closed without the lids fluttering,’ remembers Chopra exaspera­tedly. “When she couldn’t get it right despite several retakes, I asked her to shut her eyes, then to open them slowly and I’d take a reverse shot.”

Since there were two seasoned actors in Humraaz—Sunil Dutt and Raaj Kumar—Vimi had to make an attempt to match skills with them. And she was ready to put in long hours on the sets. Chopra roped in veteran actor Manmohan Krishna to help him out with his protégé. “Three days before we had to pic­turise a scene, we’d put her through the grind of rehearsals and more rehearsals. By the time, she had to give the shot she was word-perfect, thanks to all the coaching,” explains Chopra.

Once word spread that she was working with one of the most prestigious banners in town, offers started pouring in. But a clause in her contract prevented Vimi from signing any outside productions till Humraaz was complete. “I hadn’t realized how much this had disturbed Vimi and her husband till the last sche­dule,” recalls Chopra. “We were flying out to Darjeeling for a fortnight, I informed Vimi who was in Calcutta about the details of the outdoor schedule. On the day of my departure I got a telegram from her, stating that as far as she was concerned her work in the film was over and so she wouldn’t accompany my unit anywhere.”

Shocked, Chopra air-dashed to Calcutta and headed straight for her bungalow. After much wheeling-dealing, the Agarwals consented to go to Darjeeling, provided Chopra released her from the contract. “Once I agreed, the outdoor went off without a hitch,” remembers Chopra.

Humraaz was a super-hit. At the silver jubilee celebrations, Chopra watched his glamorous heroine sign autographs by the dozen. A star, as they say, was born. Producers queued up. On the other hand, B.R.Chopra had no intention of repeating her in his next project though he had a two-film contract with her. “At a time when she had hiked up her price to Rs 3 lakhs, I could have insisted that she act for me for as little as Rs 50,000. But I wasn’t interested in working with her again,” he says bluntly.

For a while, Vimi was the toast of movie town. She caught the eye of many heroes, including the dashing Shashi Kapoor who was tired of co-starring with heroines years older than him. When producer Tejnath Zar approached him for Vachan, he insisted that Vimi should be pai­red with him. “However, Vimi wasn’t very keen on Shashi,” Zar remembers.

ASKhan 5 years ago

Very sad and painful end of a natural beauty. she had something to take attention of everyone to her side, may god give peace to the beautiful soul.

Very well written and investigated story, author done a brillient job.

saurabh 5 years ago

oh god why u done this with her

ashish mittar 5 years ago

she is very beautiful lady.she loooks like pari...natural beauty..

Nirmal 4 years ago

One of the most beautiful lady of her time. It is pity that film producer B.R. Chopra who made millions from the movie did not care to help her , just a week before her death when she went to beg him for help. Film industry is most ruthless and so was her husband. She did not deserve the tragic fate.

rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Jaspal, nice write up on vimmi the actress who faced desertion and financial hardships in her last days. Good write up.

Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 4 years ago from India / Australia Author

Dear Rajan. Thanks for adding your valuable comments.

cashmere profile image

cashmere 4 years ago from India

Informative hub. I had no idea that Osho's mother was Vimmi. Both have celebrity status in such different fields.

Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 4 years ago from India / Australia Author

Dear Cashmere. I doubt you are thinking about Osho Rajneesh, a popular spiritual personality. Osho that i refereed in this writing is different personality. He is disciple of Osho and now running his commune in pune. He also call himself Osho. Thanks for your valuable comments.

rahul0324 profile image

rahul0324 4 years ago from Gurgaon, India

Nice hub Sir! tragic the demise of this beautiful young actress! I didn't know that! I have seen Humraaz and it is one of my favorite movies... and there is no doubt that this starlet Vimmi had a hard time in her last days...

A lot depends on the choices we make,.. maybe despite her good nature and humble attitude... she made some wrong choices... trusted some wrong people... and ended up sadly...:(

Nice hub sir!

Vinodkpillai profile image

Vinodkpillai 4 years ago from Hyderabad, India

This is an interesting story. Nice hub. Thanks!!

Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 4 years ago from India / Australia Author

Dear Rahul, Thanks for adding your valuable comments. She was certainly an amazing beauty that sparked for a while in the sky and every body praised saying, 'Woh...' and suddenly darkness of destiny covered everything. Catching your words, I can say 'wrong choices' are not in your hands. Steps once taken, passes through time and the TIME make them 'Right or Wrong steps'. This is nothing but DESTINY.

Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 4 years ago from India / Australia Author

Thanks Vinodkpillai.

VS 4 years ago




Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 4 years ago from India / Australia Author

Dear VS. Although your message is written in Hindi and many here can't understand its meaning. But I want to add here that you are one of best admirer of Vimmi. Thanks for your comments. Jaspal

Nadra 2 years ago

patthar ki murat thi is liye khas thi lady thi raj kumar kehtay hai humraaz mai...... mai yaha hon dil darjleeng mai hai or baat aaj tak sach hai darjleeng ka zikar ho or vimi yaad ati hai wo khobsoorat wadiya or ieak pari waha rehti hai hamare liye wo aaj bi waha hai or koi heroin ko ye khitab nahi mil sakta

Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 2 years ago from India / Australia Author

Thanks Nadra: You valuable comments has really added more value. Thanks

mamta sinha 6 months ago

Vimmi ke dono bachche aajkal kahan hain aur kya kar rahehain?uske pati shiv agrawal zinda hain ki nahi?detail me mujhe inke baare me news chahiye.

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