In the 1960s and 1970s, Sonia Sahni was a well-known actress in Bollywood. She graced the silver screen from 1965 to 1999, experiencing both highs and lows in her life. Her debut film, ‘Johar-Mehmood in Goa’ in 1965, where she played the role of Rita, made her a sensation in the film industry.
Sonia Sahni’s real life mirrored the drama of her reel life during her 34 years in Bollywood. Despite the challenges, she captured the audience’s hearts from her very first film. In the 1973 movie ‘Bobby’, Sonia portrayed the character of Mrs. Sushma Nath, Rishi Kapoor’s mother.
Media reports suggest that Sonia’s family originally followed the Sikh faith, but post-Partition, they embraced Christianity. Born as Usha Sahni, Sonia changed her name upon entering the film industry. Originally from Pakistan, her father hailed from Lahore and her mother from Peshawar. The family relocated to Kashmir, India, after Partition.
During Sonia’s early days in the film industry, romantic scenes between actors were discreetly portrayed with flowers. However, in her debut film, Sonia broke norms by featuring in a kissing scene with IS Johar, earning her the nickname “kissing girl.”
Sonia’s last appearance was in the 1999 film ‘Phool Aur Aag.’ During the peak of her career, Sonia fell in love with Shiva Palitana, the prince of the renowned Palitana princely state from the British Raj era, also known as Shivendra Singh Goyal. Reports suggest that Sonia defied her family to marry Shiv, who was already married with a child.
Unfortunately, Shiv’s death in 1990 marked a turbulent phase in Sonia’s life. After his demise, she faced hostility from Shiv’s family, leading her to dedicate her time to a school for mentally challenged children, as revealed in an interview.