Whatta man!


I just love him.

An article by Ingrid Albuquerque in the October 1976 Stardust paints a picture of a modest and gentle man who loves his wife and kids, and is proud of all he has accomplished with his hard work in the fields of wrestling and films. Here are some excerpts:

“…in films, Dara Singh has been a success. He makes B-grade films under the banner of Dara Productions…and almost all of them have made money. He has done more than a dozen films with Mumtaz, of whom he says: ‘Friends we are still.’
   His heroines these days are mainly Yogita Bali, Padma Khanna and Komilla Wirk. When I asked him why he did not act with the big heroines like Hema, he said: ‘Miss Hema has so far not expressed agreement to work with me.’ I asked him if he had not so far asked her and he said no and he could not ask unless he was sure of her agreement.”

“I asked him to put on any casual clothes for the pictures and he said: ‘Modern pants I have none.’ The wife suggested he should put on the trouser of ‘woh purana suit.‘ So he went in and came out wearing what I presume was that old suit’s trouser.
   The children, all five of them, were very excited…And they kept instructing him—‘Pappa, look this side,’ ‘Pappa, smile.’ The wife (they’ve been married for 18 years and he obviously likes her. So do I) had a suggestion too: ‘Kyon ji, patloo seedhi kyon rakhhi hai?’…He took her advice promptly. I got the feeling he takes her advise on all issues.”

“I told the wife he was looking like a film star and she said: ‘Yes, yes, I want him to be that.’ She did not seem to be very happy with his being a wrestler. Though she attends most of his fights, she sits by the ringside with her eyes closed. She only opens them when she hears the crowd cheering. For when the crowd cheers, it means that Dara Singh has won again.”

So sweet he is!

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48 Comments to “Whatta man!”

  1. “Friends we are still”? “Modern pants I have none”? Dara Singh is Yoda!

  2. LOL I thought that too. He’s not that comfortable in English I guess! Soooo sweeeeeeeeeet he is.

  3. Oh a Dara Singh post! That absolutely made my day!

    You know his son Vindu (Vindoo) acts on occasion and I do enjoy Dara’s brother Randhawa (married to 1960s B movie actress Malika)whose films make Dara’s movies look like Gone with the Wind in comparison!

    You know, just last weekend I watched Dara Singh in a remake of THE CHAMP, titled RUSTOM: THE CHAMPION. And every now and then I will come across some obscure film title that Dara starred in that is not listed in IMDB, and I become intrigued.

    I keep asking Shemaroo to release his film TRIP TO MOON on DVD.

  4. Malika is Mumtaz’s sister, in fact :) So they are family, too….

    I depend on you, of course, to keep me posted when his films come out on DVD ;-)

  5. Love him I do.
    Sweet I think they are.

  6. Charming! But his English is not bad. I saw a fairly recent interview of his with Vir Sanghvi on Cover Story and he was quite fluent and very sweet :-) Here’s the link to it.


  7. I’ve never actually seen a Dara Singh starrer. Seen songs from them, of course (since 1980’s Doordarshan was fond of showing songs from really old and often obscure films), but never a film. Am thinking this situation needs remedying, fast!

  8. He looks so kind and gentle despite that huge bulk. And I just loved him as the old Dadaji in ‘Jab we met’.

    I remember going to his house, or part of his house which had been converted into a video editing suite, and being impressed by it’s all white interior.

  9. Didn’t his son marry Farah, Tabu’s sister?

    • Yes, Viddo did married Farah. They are divorced & he has married well again. Incidently, when Tabu entered the industry, she was known as Farah’s younger sister.

  10. Very sweet. I love the picture with his family.

  11. shweta: Ditto :)

    Suhan: I saw that interview when you sent the link to me a while ago, but I’m fed up with rajshri these days :) They keep spamming me with huge amounts of email despite me asking them to STOP. It is a sweet interview, and he does speak English a fair amount in it, although he didn’t seem very comfortable with it there to me either…but between him and Vir Sanghvi I was happy!

    dustedoff: Rustom-E-Hind (reviewed here somewhere) is a good one to start with. He’s very sweet in it, and Mumtaz is fab. Aaya Toofan with Helen is another fun one, although I think REH is a better movie.

    Banno: He does, and he is so LARGE. He had the best line in Jab We Met too :) I’m always happy to see him. The article I quoted above talks about his enormous house too—and he sounds like quite the savvy businessman, getting into production etc.

    harvey: I have no idea (which son?)!

    DG: He seems like quite the happy family guy.

  12. harvey: Wow, I hadn’t heard that before, but I looked into it and you’re right. Farah/Farha was once married to Dara’s son Vindoo, and they have a son together. Now he is married to a Russian woman, Dina Umarova, who apparently was already married to another man at the time. As Dara would say, “Turn of events interesting, that is.”

  13. Another fun Dara Singh movie is HUM SAB USTAD HAIN where Dara plays a naive country yokel who goes to the big city. Sort of a comedy role, and he does quite well, as I recall.

    Unfortunately the picture quality on the DVD is really, really bad.

  14. Wow, Sy, thanks for the update!
    I remember film journalists saying Vindaloo,w hen they were referring to him.
    There’s was a very ‘eventful’ marriage, what with news coming in all the time, how farah stroms in and out of the house and “slitting” her wrists at the drop of the pin.

    Now if I remember right his son Vindoo had curly hair and nobody in the pic above seems to have curly hair except the serious-looking girl standing behind


  15. Sy/harvey: Thanks for adding to my storehouse of utterly useless knowledge about Bollywood star relationships :-) There IS one kid missing in the family photo, maybe it’s Vindoo!

    Michael: Ooh, I need to see that!

  16. It seems everyone in the industry is related somehow… I might need to work on a Bollywood family tree one day! I’ll call it “Six Degrees of Amitabh Bachchan”. :-)

  17. Probably should start with the Kapoors and Mukherjees and Gangulys :-) They seem to be at the bottom of it all!

  18. Of course! Let’s start with the Kapoors and title it “Six Degrees of Shammi” I like the way that sounds!

  19. The pants, too tight they are. But cute, Dara Singh is! :-)

    A big YESS, to a filmi family tree – its all one big “happy” family!

  20. Dara is allowed to wear tight pants, especially from a purana suit! :-) It sounded like he didn’t have many “modern” (as opposed to Indian) clothes at all and it was quite distressing for the Stardust team.

  21. I wish I had more Indian clothes rather then “modern” clothes.

  22. Thanks! Fantastic post.

  23. I loves him. My dad actually remembers the time when he was the numero uno wrestler and people cared about that sort of thing instead of just cricket all the time. Dara was a huge star, not in the movie sense of it, but as a person – a celebrity. And Mumtaaz has always been very nice about him too: there’s a rather famous sounbite in which she says her first hero was Dara Singh and then her heroes all went downhill from there. lolz.

    And not only is Dara Yoda, but he was also Hanuman! He could fly! Lift mountains! Tore his chest apart to show the image of Ram! Beat that!

  24. Thank you for the recommendations! *Goes off to find Rustom-e-Hind*

  25. Bollywood Family Tree sounds great.
    I’ll subscribe to that

  26. Michael: They are so comfortable compared to our buttoned-up stuff.

    sitaji: Glad you enjoyed it :)

    Amrita: Look for the interview (Suhan posted a link above) with Vir Sanghvi, who is completely star-struck on meeting Dara b/c he watched him wrestle as a kid. It’s so cute!!!! And I’ll bet Yoda could fly and lift mountains too, LOL!

    dustedoff: Do let me know what you think!

    harvey: Me too, but I wouldn’t want to try and put it together!

  27. Adorable. Love the family picture.

    In other sardar related news… quite by chance I met the delectable Abhay Deol. Smart, very bright young man, all wrapped up in lassi and desi ghee muscles. I had to wipe the drool off my wrinkly chin!

  28. Oooh!!!! You lucky, lucky girl! When? How? Do tell!

  29. A post on Dara Singh ! Good, Good. He was a legend among Indians who lived in 1960s and 1970s.

  30. He’s a legend in my house too :)

  31. Have you seen Bhagat Dhanna Jatt? That’s a pretty good film.

  32. I’m assuming that Dara walks around, lovingly carrying his entire family under his arms whenever they need to go somewhere.

  33. So picturesque a scene you have described! *eyes well up with tears*

  34. Hi,

    I just stumbled on your blog while doing some research on Dara Singh and absolutely loved it! Do you know where i can get this issue of Star Dust from? Really want to read this interview with him, it sounds charming!

    • He is charming :) Be sure to check out Suhan’s link above if it still works (interview with Vir Sanghvi, a very cute man himself)…it was a pretty short (one page) interview and I posted the highlights above. It’s hard to find these old Stardusts, although you can occasionally on eBay (but often they are asking exhorbitant prices for them!). If you live in Mumbai or Pune you could go to the Film Archives at FTII, I believe they have all copies of these magazines there.

  35. Pride of our nation…the image of real Man…….an example of how a real Man should look like.

  36. really this man is too good!!!
    i was searching that who played hanumana’s role in ‘Ramayana” when i know that this is he i made him my callerid and wallpaper of my handsate.
    plz all readers vote for his son “VINDU” who is participent in “BIGBOSS-3″
    to send him votes type”VIN” and send to”56882″

  37. Thanks for this info about Dara Singh. In my childhood I watched Dara Singh’s movie ‘Hum Sub Ustad Hai’ where he acted with Kishore Kumar – I had thoroughly enjoyed the movie then .. just adore him!

  38. lovely picture, but there is one more photo of His family where Darasingh,s parents are also appeared in that photo, which i have seen some where in 70. if the same is shown again i,ll be the most delighted person. being fan of the great man Daraji, i have a good collection of his movies and songs(CD,s DVD,s). And also want to know about his son parduman(Shailendra acted in Aankhen, Bandish, Ganga tera pani amrit) and his brother Randhawa.

    • I don’t remember seeing a photo of his parents in the article :( Must have been a different issue or magazine….I don’t really know much about any of his sons etc. either (except Vindoo of course). Randhawa married Mumtaz’s sister Malika and they have a son trying to break into the industry as well.

  39. I was thinking this blog post would have been on Dharmendra. Maybe its on the way…..

  40. Ok I finally see why Dara Singh looks like Dharmendra or vice versa and Vindo like them too. Dara and Dharmendra are from the same small community. Maybe Dharmendra lookalikes grow on trees in those parts… which gives me an idea.

  41. Truly dara was the strongest man of that era and even at present. I love him

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