Nadira Babbar (Urdu: نادرہ ببّر, Hindi:
नादिरा बब्बर; born 20 January 1948) is an Indian
theatre actress, director and an actress in
Hindi cinema, who is the
Sangeet Natak Akademi Award
Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2001. A leading name in
Indian theatre, Nadira founded a Mumbai-based theatre group called
Ekjute, a known name in
Hindi theatre in 1981.
Nadira Babbar was most recently seen as the mother to
Aishwarya Rai in
Gurinder Chadha's film
Bride and Prejudice
Bride and Prejudice (2004), and M. F. Hussain's
Meenaxi: A Tale of Three Cities (2004). She was also portrayed as the
Salman Khan in Sohail Khan's Jai Ho and as the mother of Raj
Bansal (main villain) in Sunny Deol's recently released movie named
Ghayal Once Again.
1 Early life
3 Personal life
4 See also
6 External links
Nadira Zaheer was born on 20 January 1948 to communist leader Syed
Sajjad Zaheer and Urdu writer Razia Sajjad Zaheer, Nadira is third
amongst four sisters, Najma Ali Baquer, Naseem Bhatia and Noor Sajjad
Zaheer. Her parents were actively associated with the Progressive
Writers' Association, and the IPTA, giving her an upbringing strongly
rooted in culture and theatre.
She graduated from
National School of Drama
National School of Drama (NSD), New Delhi in
1971. Nadira was a Gold Medallist at NSD and went to Germany on a
scholarship, and later got a chance to work with renowned directors
like Grotovisky and Peter Brooks.
She started her theatre group in Ekjute (Together) in 1981 in
Delhi, which came out with its first production
Yahudi Ki Ladki in
1981, which revived the
Parsi theatre style, and is considered one of
its finest. The group has also been performing the Bhavai-based
musical, Jasma Odhan, written by
Shanta Gandhi for several years
now. Nadira moved to Mumbai in 1988, and reestablished her theatre
Over the last 30 years, Ekjute has given Indian theatre over sixty
plays including Sandhya Chhaya, Look Back in Anger, Ballabpur Ki Roop
Katha, Baat Laat Ki Halaat Ki, Bharam Ke Bhoot,
Shabash Anarkali and
Begum Jaan; apart from directing plays written by herself: Dayashankar
Ki Diary (1997), Sakku Bai (1999), Suman Aur Sana and Ji Jaisi Aapki
Marzi. It has worked with actors like Raj Babbar, Satish Kaushik
and Kirron Kher.
In 1990, Ekjute started the 'Ekjute Young People's Theatre Group',
which has given productions like Aao Picnic Challen and Azdak Ka
Insaaf. The groups celebrated 30 years of its foundation in 2011,
with a week-long theatre festival, 30 Years Caravan 2011, at Prithvi
Theatres, Mumbai which began on 14 April 2011. Her recent
release is a Salman Khan-starrer
Hindi movie Jai Ho (2014).
In 2016, She featured in Sunny Deol's Ghayal Once Again. 
It was at NSD that she met her husband, actor, politician Raj Babbar.
They have a son, Arya Babbar, an actor in
Hindi cinema, and a daughter
Juhi Babbar, a fashion designer by profession who also acts and
designs costumes for Nadira's plays.
Theatre in India
^ a b c d "Three decades of drama". Mint (newspaper). 14 April
^ NSD Graduates Archived 18 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
Nadira Babbar at indiatimes
^ "Indian theatre at the crossroads". The Tribune. 25 June 2000.
^ "Stagecraft". The Times of India. 10 July 2003.
^ Mission to stage The Tribune, Chandigarh, 26 June 2005.
^ "Magazine: Mumbai", The Hindu, 2003-05-11, retrieved 2010-07-12,
Snippet: ... Prithvi hosts two performances of Nadeera Babbar's
"Shabash Anarkali" ...
^ "Turning thirty".
Hindustan Times Mumbai. 14 April 2011. Archived
from the original on 25 January 2013.
^ "Nadira Babbar's theatre group celebrates 30th anniversary". DNA
(newspaper). 14 April 2011.
Nadira Babbar on IMDb
Official website of 'Ekjute'
Sandhya Chhaya in Pakistan