Happy birthday Emraan Hashmi: Did you know his grandmom was a big film star in 1950s?

During the shoot of his film Chehre in 2019, when Emraan Hashmi shot his first scene with co-star Amitabh Bachchan, he realised that the veteran actor and he had an old connection – his grandmother, actor Purnima Das Varma. In the 1973 film Zanjeer, his grandmother played a small role as Amitabh’s mother.

When Emraan made his film acting debut with Footpath (2003), few knew how strong his roots were in Bollywood. It was known that he was related to Mahesh Bhatt but exactly how was not clear.

On his birthday today, here’s a deep dive into his background. Emraan’s paternal grandmother was Purnima. Born Meherbano Mohammad Ali, she took the screen name Purnima at the start of her career. She went on to star in a number of hit films of the era including Patanga (1949), Jogan (1950), Sagai (1951), Badal (1951), Jaal (1952) and Aurat (1953).

As Amitabh Bachchan’s mother in Zanjeer.
Purnima was a popular face in the 1940s and 1950s.
Purnima was a popular face in the 1940s and 1950s.

Purnima married journalist Syed Shauqat Hashmi with whom she had a son, Anwar Hashmi (Emraan’s father). In 1947, he migrated to Pakistan, while she chose to stay back. In 1954, she married a second time, this time to well known filmmaker Bhagwan Das Varma. Incidentally, Purnima is the younger sister of Mahesh Bhatt’s mother, Shirin Mohammad Ali. The Ali sisters too reportedly had a mixed legacy. According to a report in IMDB, Purnima’s father’s name was Ram Sheshadri Ayangar, who worked as an accountant at well known director Manmohan Desai’s distributor father Kiku Bhai Desai’s office. Purnima’s mother hailed from Muslim family of Lucknow. Emraan is, hence, the nephew of Mahesh Bhatt.

Purnima and Mahesh Bhatt's sister Shirin were sisters.
Purnima and Mahesh Bhatt’s sister Shirin were sisters.

Also read: Ankita Lokhande shares casting couch experiences: ‘He was a big actor’

Emraan is also related to director Mohit Suri. The Malang director is also Mahesh Bhatt’s nephew. Mohit’s mother is the youngest sister of Mahesh. So while Emraan is the son of Mahesh’s first cousin, Mohit is his own nephew. That makes Alia Bhatt, Pooja Bhatt, Emraan and Mohit cousins!

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