Sai Paranjpye

Born in Lucknow into an illustrious family associated with social reform movements, Sai Paranjpye was educated in Australia, where her grandfather was High Commissioner. She published a collection of fairy tales in Marathi when 8 years old. She became well known for her Marathi plays, as a playwright and stage director, especially her plays for children. She started directing for television during the 60s and worked as a producer for Doordarshan in the early 70s. She started with films during 1970s.

Selected Filmography:

Sparsh - 1979 - Hindi
(The Touch)

Sai Paranjpye's first full length feature film, Sparsh tells a love story set among the blind. The blind Anirudh Parmar runs a school for blind children and is particularly touchy about the notion that the children might be perceived as less than self-sufficient. Kavita, who takes up charitable causes after the death of her husband, becomes involved with the school and falls in love with Anirudh. They are to marry, but Anirudh cannot get rid of the suspicion that she is doing it out of pity.

Direction & Screenplay: Sai Paranjpye
Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi, Om Ouri, Mohan Gokhale
Cinematography: Virendra Saini
Music: Kanu Roy

Katha - 1982 - Hindi
(The Fable)

Katha, a satire adapted from the director's own play Sakkhe Shejari and inspired by the tale of the hare and the tortoise is set in a lower-middle-class tenement in Bombay. Rajaram is a slow but sure upwardly mobile clerk, who is in love with her neighbour Sandhya. The energetic Basu arrives and dazzles everyone with his go-getting charm. He rapidly acquires three girlfriends: Sandhya, Anuradha, Rajaram's boss's 2nd wife and Jojo, the boss's daughter. When things get too hot, Basu departs for new pastures and life settles down again in the tenement.

Direction & Screenplay: Sai Paranjpye
Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Farouque Shaikh, Deepti Naval, Mallika Sarabhi, Leela Mishra
Cinematography: Virendra Saini
Music: Rajkamal

Disha - 1990 - Hindi
(The Uprooted Ones)

Disha is a sentimental tale of migrant workers in Bombay, caught between urban displacement and a changing rural reality. Farm labourers Vasant and Soma move to Bombay following drought in their village. Soma becomes a millhand. Vasant, who has come mainly to pay off his marriage debts, returns to find his wife having an affir with her employer, the owner of a bidi factory. Soma also plans to go home, because his brother has finally dug a well which yields water.

Direction & Screenplay: Sai Paranjpye
Cast: Shabana Azmi, Nana Patekar, Raghuvir Yadav, Ompuri
Cinematography: Madhu Ambat
Music: Anand Modak


  • Sparsh (1979)
  • Chashme Buddoor (1981)
  • Katha (1982)
  • Disha (1990)
  • Chudiyan Papeeha (1993)
  • Saaz (1997)

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