||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification, as it includes attribution to IMDb. (August 2009)|
|Birth name||Sulakshana Pratap Narain Pandit|
|Also known as||Sulakshna Pandit|
|Born||12 July 1954
|Genres||Playback singing, performing artist|
|Years active||Singing: 1967–1996
Sulakshana Pratap Narain Pandit is a Filmfare Award winning playback singer and actor. Her brothers are the composing duo Jatin Lalit and her younger sister is Vijeta Pandit who achieved fame with her debut movie Love Story. Her uncle is the accomplished classical vocalist Pandit Jasraj.
Sulakshana's career as heroine spanned the 1970s and early '80s. As a leading lady she worked with Jeetendra, Sanjeev Kumar, Shammi Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan, Rajesh Khanna, Vinod Khanna, Rishi Kapoor, Raj Babbar and Rakesh Roshan. Her acting career began with the suspense thriller Uljhan in 1975 opposite Sanjeev Kumar.
In Anil Ganguly's Sankoch (1976) which was based on the novel Parineeta she portrayed Lolita. Some of her popular hit films are Uljhan, Hera Pheri, Apnapan, Sankoch, Khandaan, Raaz, Thief of Baghdad, Chehre Pe Chehra, Dharam Kanta and Waqt Ki Deewar.
Sulakshana had a singing career alongside her acting one. She began her as a child singer singing the popular song "Saat Samundar Paar se" with Lata Mangeshkar in the 1967 film Taqdeer. Thereafter, she recorded with famed musicians like Hemant Kumar and Kishore Kumar. She sang in Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Oriya and Gujarati. Some of her popular songs are listed in the Filmography section below.
In 1980 she released an album titled Jazbaat (HMV), wherein she rendered ghazals.
She sang duets with accomplished singers like Lata Mangeshkar, Mohd. Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Shailender Singh, Yesudas, Mahendra Kapoor and Udit Narayan. She sang under music directors like Shankar Jaikishan, Laxmikant Pyarelal, Kalyanji Anandji, Kanu Roy, Bappi Lahiri, Usha Khanna, Rajesh Roshan, Khayyam, Rajkamal and several others.
In 1986 Sulakshana was one of the singers to perform at the Royal Albert Hall in London to celebrate the "Festival of Indian Music" Concert along with acclaimed Music Directors Laxmikant Pyarelal and singers Manhar, Shabbir Kumar, Nitin Mukesh and Anuradha Paudwal.
Her voice was last heard in an alaap in the song "Saagar kinare bhi do dil" from the movie "Khamoshi the musical"(1996) which was composed by her brothers Jatin and Lalit.
Sulakshana comes from a musical family originating from Pili Mandori Village in Hissar (now Fatehabad) district of Haryana state. Pandit Jasraj is her uncle. She started singing at the age of nine. Her elder brother Mandheer Pandit (who was earlier a music composer in the 1980s with Jatin Pandit, better known as Mandheer - Jatin) was her constant companion in Mumbai; they performed and sang on stage until Sulakshana became a leading playback singer through many of their live concerts with legends like Kishore Kumar and Mohammad Rafi.
She has three brothers (Mandheer, Jatin and Lalit Pandit) and three sisters (Maya, Sandhya and Vijeta Pandit). Her father Pratap Narain Pandit was an accomplished classical vocalist. Her nephew Yash Pandit is an Indian television actor. Nieces Shradha Pandit and Shweta Pandit are playback singers.
Sulakshana has never been married. Actor Sanjeev Kumar turned down her marriage proposal, because he never got over his heartbreak after actress Hema Malini rejected him to marry her frequent co-star Dharmendra.
She fell on hard times when she stopped getting work. In 2002, she was living in an apartment with no furniture and that required serious repairs. She was forced to put it up for sale. It remained on the market for several months, until her former leading man Jeetendra came to her rescue by convincing his brother-in-law to purchase the flat. From the proceeds of the sale, she was able to pay off her debts and purchase three apartments. Her sister Vijeta Pandit and brother-in-law, music composer Aadesh Shrivastava, sold her house; now she lives with them. Aadesh has indicated that he was composing a devotional album for Sulakshana, but he has failed to do anything yet. She broke her hip bone when she fell in the bathroom. Even after four surgeries, she still can't walk properly. She confines herself to a room in her sister's house and has a full-time domestic help looking after her.
|1971||Door Ka Raahi||"Beqarar-e-dil Tu Gaaye Ja"||Kishore Kumar|
|1975||Chalte Chalte||"Sapnon Ka Raja Koi"||Shailender Singh|
|Uljhan||"Aaj Pyare Pyare Se Lagte"||Kishore Kumar|
|Sankalp||"Tu Hi Saagar Hai Tu Hi Kinara"|
|1976||Sankoch||"Bandhi Re Kahe Preet"|
|1977||Apnapan||"Somwar Ko Hum Mile"||Kishore Kumar|
|1978||Ek Baap Chhe Bete||"Ghadi Milan Ki Aayee...Aayee Tu Chutti Lekar"||Mohammed Rafi|
|1979||Griha Pravesh||"Boliye Surili Boliyaan"|
|1980||Thodisi Bewafaii||"Mausam Mausam Lovely Mausam"||Anwar Hussain|
|1980||Sparsh||"Khaali Pyala Chhalka"|
|1981||Ahistaa Ahistaa||"Mana Teri Nazar"|
|1981||Saajan Ki Saheli||"Jiske Liye Sab Ko Chhoda"||Mohammed Rafi|
|1976||Bundal Baaz||Nisha Sharma|
|1978||Bandie||Rajkumari Radha Sujan Singh|
|1981||Chehre Pe Chehra||Diana|
|1988||Do Waqt Ki Roti||Ganga|
- Filmfare Best Female Playback Award in 1975 for the song "Tu Hi Saagar Hai Tu Hi Kinara" in Sankalp (1975).
- Miyan Tansen Award in 1975 for the song "Tu Hi Saagar Hai Tu Hi Kinara" in Sankalp.
- Nominated as Filmfare Best Female Playback Award for rendering the classical "Bandhi Re Kahe Preet" in Sankoch (1976)
- What ever happened to... Sulakshana Pandit, Filmfare - August 2002
- Mid-Day - Mumbai News, Mumbai City News: Share & get involved with news from Mumbai as it happens
- Sulakshana Pandit’s riches-to-rags story
- Quality Matters