Nagma (Nandita Morarji) Famous Indian Actress
1974 - Present

Nagma: Basic Facts

Born Nandita Arvind Morarji in 1974, Nagma is a well-known Bollywood actress. She has acted in over 100 films in 10 different languages — quite an accomplishment! But how did she start out? Here are some basic facts:

  • Born: 25 December 1974 (a Christmas baby)
  • Father: Arvind Pratapsinh Morarji (deceased), a Hindu whose ancestors were royalty in Jaisalmer; family ties in the textile, pharmaceutical, and agricultural industries. He remarried and fathered two sons, Dhanraj and Yuvraj, following his divorce from Nagma’s mother.
  • Mother: Shama (Seema) Kazi, a Muslim from a Maharashtran freedom fighter family. She remarried after Nagma’s birth and had three more children: Radhika, Jyothika, and Suraj.
  • Languages: Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Kannada, Malayalam, Bhojpuri, Bengali, and Punjabi — 10 languages in all, all of which she’s done films in
  • Religion: Her father was Hindu, her mother Muslim, and she was educated at a Christian convent school. She was raised in a fairly secular household, taught to respect all religions and exposed to many different religions and styles of worship. She converted to Christianity and was baptised in January 2007. Her family has reportedly been very accepting, although she admits some family members initially viewed her conversion more as a fad she’d get over.
  • Hobbies: Giving spiritual talks, playing badminton and volleyball, swimming, and horseback riding
  • Relationship Status: Single. Several years back, she had a relationship with former captain of the cricket national team Sourav Chandidas Ganguly, who’s married to dancer Dona Ganguly, but she doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to get married or get serious, and says now it’s important to her that her spouse would also have a strong Christian faith.

Queen of the South: Her Acting Career

In 1989, she debuted in the Bollywood Hindi film Baaghi: A Rebel for Love, opposite leading man Salman Khan. She went on to star in a huge number of other films — more than 100 total — with big Bollywood names like Amitabh Bachchan, Karisma Kapoor, Shah Rukh Khan, and Sanjay Dutt.

Because of her desire to see “the real India” and experience its many different faces, she traveled extensively, learning an additional eight languages along the way. This opened many doors for her, both personally and in terms of career, and she starred in many regional films using those languages.

She reports a few of her favorite films as being Suhaag with Akshay Kumar; Kaadalan, a Tamil film with Prabhudeva; and Chathurangam, a film in Malayalam starring Mohanlal. 

Since her conversion to Christianity, Nagma has slowed down life a little and devoted more time to Bible study, less to film making. 

Random Facts About Her Homeplace, Mumbai

  • Mumbai is the largest city in India (second largest metropolitan area), with a city population of around 18.4 million.
  • Mumbai is a major center of commerce, finance, and entertain, churning out more than 200 Bollywood Hindi films per year (and then there are the Marathi-language films…).
  • It was originally built on an archipelago of seven islands: Bombay Island, Old Woman’s Island (Little Colaba), Colaba, Parel, Mazagaon, Worli, and Parel. Land reclamation projects joined islands into a larger landmass in the 19th century.
  • Widely known as Bombay, Marathi nationalists succeeded in pushing through the official name change to Mumbai in an effort to get rid of remnants of British rule.
  • The sex ratio is around 848 females:1000 males. This can only partially be explained by the larger number of men gravitating to the area for jobs.
  • Although Mumbai is one of India’s most prosperous cities, it also houses the second-largest slum in Asia, called Dharva. Dharva slum has a population of over 800,000 living in abject poverty. However, in 2006 DNA-India reported Maharashtra’s slums as also being the most educated in India, with literacy rates of 69%.
  • Mumbai is the site of a ton of beautiful temples — too many to name them all here, but the Babulnath Temple is one. It’s also home to the lovely Mount Mary Church, where Nagma went to school as a girl.
  • The Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum is there, which showcases Gandhi’s personal struggles and fight for freedom in the very building where he once lived.

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