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Sai Paranjpye

सई परांजपे
Sai Paranjpye
Born (1938-03-19) 19 March 1938 (age 77)
Lucknow, India
Occupation Director, Screenwriter
Spouse(s) Arun Joglekar (divorced)
Children Gautam Joglekar
Parent(s) Youra Sleptzoff
Shakuntala Paranjpye
Relatives R. P. Paranjpye (Grandfather)
Awards Padma Bhushan (2006)
National Film Award for Best Screenplay
National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi

Sai Parānjpye (Marathi: सई परांजपे) (born 19 March 1938) is a movie director and a screenwriter in India. She is the director of award-winning movies Sparsh, Katha, Chasme Buddoor, and Disha. She has written and directed many Marathi plays like Jaswandi, Sakkhe Shejari, Albel

The Government of India awarded Sai, the Padma Bhushan title in 2006 in recognition of her artistic talents.[1]

Early years

Sai Paranjpye was born on 19 March 1938 in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh to Russian Youra Sleptzoff and Shakuntala Paranjpye.[2] Sleptzoff was a Russian watercolor artist and a son of a Russian general. Shakuntala Paranjpye was an actor in Marathi and Hindi films, in the 1930s and 40s, including in V. Shantaram's Hindi social classic, Duniya Na Mane (1937), and later became a writer and a social worker, nominated to Rajya Sabha, Upper House of Indian Parliament and awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1991.[3]

Sai's parents divorced shortly after her birth. Her mother raised Sai in the household of her own father, Sir R. P. Paranjpye, who was a renowned mathematician and an educationist and who served in 1944-47 as India's High Commissioner in Australia. Sai thus grew up and received education many cities in India, including Pune, and a few years in Canberra, Australia.[4] As a child, she used to walk up to her uncle, Achyut Ranade, a noted filmmaker of the ’40s and ’50s, up Fergusson Hill in Pune, who would tell stories as if he were narrating a screenplay.[5] Sai took to writing early in her life: Her first book of fairy tales, Mulānchā Mewā (in Marathi), was published when she was eight.[6][7][8]

Paranjpye graduated from the National School of Drama (NSD), New Delhi in 1963.[9]


Paranjpye started her career in All India Radio (AIR) in Pune, Maharashtra, India as an announcer and soon got involved with AIR's Children's Program.

Over the years, Paranjpye has written and directed plays in Marathi, Hindi, and English for adults and children. She has written and directed six feature films, two children’s films, and five documentaries. She has written many book for children, and six of them have won national or state level awards.

Paranjpye worked for many years as a director or a producer with Doordarshan Television in Delhi. Her first made-for-TV movie, The Little Tea Shop (1972), won the Asian Broadcasting Union Award at Teheran,[10] Iran. Later that year, she was selected to produce the inaugural program of Bombay (Mumbai) Doordarshan.

In the 1970s, Sai twice served as the Chairperson of Children's Film Society of India (CFSI), which is a government of India organization with the objective of promoting and ensuring value-based entertainment for children.[11] She made four children's films for CFSI, including the award-winning Jādoo Kā Shankh (1974) and Sikandar (1976).[12]

Paranjpye's first feature film, Sparsh (The Touch), was released in 1980. It won five film awards, including the National Film Award. Sparsh was followed by the comedies, Chashme Buddoor (1981) and Kathā (1982). Kathā was a musical satire based on the folk tale of a tortoise and a rabbit.[13]

She next made TV serials, Ados Pados (1984) and Chhote Bade (1985). Paranjpye worked as director, writer and narrator for Marathi drama, Maza Khel mandu de. It was played on 27 September 1986 at Gadkari Rangayatan, Thane.[14]

Paranjpye's subsequent movies include Angoothā Chhāp (1988) about National Literacy Mission; Disha (1990) about the plight of immigrant workers; Papeeha (Forest Love Bird) (1993); Saaz (1997) (inspired by the lives of Indian playback singing sisters, Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle);[15] and Chakā Chak (2005), which was aimed at creating public awareness about environment issues.[6]

She also made the serial Hum Panchi Ek Chawl Ke, Partyana, Behnaa. Sridhar Rangayan assisted her in the film 'Papeeha' and in the serials 'Hum Panchi Ek Chawl Ke' and 'Partyana'

Sai directed several documentary movies, including those on Helping Hand (London), Talking Books, Capt. Laxmi, Warna Orchestra, and Pankaj Mullick. Sai's 1993 documentary, Choodiyan, on the anti-liquor agitation in a small Maharashtra village for the Films Division, received the National Film Award for Best Film on Social Issues.[10]

In 2001, Sai made a movie for children, Bhago Bhoot. At the first Indian International Women's Film Festival in Goa in 2005, a review of Sai's movies was held, and it featured her best movies.[16] She headed the jury in the feature film category of the 55th National Film Awards for 2007.[17]

In July 2009, Sai's documentary film Suee was released, emerging from the South Asia Region Development Marketplace (SAR DM), an initiative spearheaded by the World Bank.[10] Suee explores a number of areas in the lives of injecting drug users including treatment, care, peer and community support, rehabilitation and the workplace, and was produced in partnership with Mumbai based NGO Sankalp Rehabilitation Trust. The 29 minute film was aired on Doordarshan on World AIDS Day, 1 December 2009.[18][19]

Personal life

Sai was married to theater artist Arun Joglekar; they had a son, Gautam, and a daughter, Winnie. Sai and Arun separated after two years.[20] They remained friends until Arun's death in 1992. After their separation, Arun acted in Sai's Sparsh (1980) and Katha (1983).[21] Their son, Gautam Joglekar is a director of Marathi films(Pak Pak Pakaak, Jai Jai Maharashtra Maaza) and professional cameraman, and their daughter Winnie Paranjpe Joglekar is a homemaker. Winnie acted in many of Sai's movies, dramas and TV serials in the 1980s.[22] Winnie and her husband, Abhay, have two children: Abeer and Anshunee. Gautam starred as the male lead in Nana Patekar's directorial venture "Prahaar" with Madhuri Dixit playing the female lead.

Sai Paranjpye is a multimedia personality. She made her own way, making "entertainment" that obliterate and indelible line between mainstream and parallel cinema.[23]


National Film Awards
Filmfare Awards


  • Nana Phadnavis, India Book House Education Trust; Echo ed edition, 1971.
  • Rigmarole And Other Plays, Penguin Books India (Puffin). 2008. ISBN 0-14-333066-7.


  • The Little Tea Shop (TV 1972)
  • Jadu Ka Shankh (1974)
  • Begaar (1975)
  • Sikander (1976)
  • Dabcherry Milk Project (1976)
  • Captain Laxmi (1977)
  • Freedom From Fear (1978)
  • Sparsh (1980)
  • Chasme Buddoor (1981)
  • Books That Talk (1981)
  • Katha (1983)
  • Ados Pados (TV 1984)
  • Chote Bade (TV 1985)
  • Angootha Chhaap (1988)
  • Disha (1990)
  • Papeeha 1993)
  • Chooriyan (1993)
  • Saaz (1997)
  • Bhago Bhoot (2000)
  • Chaka Chak (2005)
  • Suee (2009)

Further reading

  • Profiles in Creativity; Upadhyay, Madhusoodhan Narasimhacharya, Namaste Exports Ltd., 1991 Part II, 53. ISBN 81-900349-0-1.[26]


  1. Padma Bhushan Awardees Ms. Sai Paranjpye, Arts, Maharashtra, 2006.
  2. Sai Paranjpye at ASHA[dead link]
  3. Shakuntala Profile History, names Pranajpye.
  4. Three Years In Australia Item: 13460, booksandcollectibles.
  5. Cinema with sense, The Hindu, 14 July 2008.
  6. 6.0 6.1 NIGHT OUT with Sai Paranjpye Indian Express, Pune Newsline, Tuesday, 7 June 2005.
  7. Thoraval, Yves (2000). The cinemas of India. Macmillan India. pp. 203–204. ISBN 0-333-93410-5. 
  8. Miss Chamko goes Chaka Chak, Indian Express, 30 May 2005.
  9. NSD Alumni National School of Drama (NSD) Annual Report 2005-2006.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Sai Paranjpye, Indian Filmmaker library, World Bank.
  11. Director’s Profile cmsvatavaran.
  12. Biography movies New York Times.
  13. Katha Review World Festival of Foreign Films.
  14. Paranjpye, Sai. Maza Khel mandu de. 
  15. Sai Paranjpye's latest film, Saaz, 14 May 1997.
  16. New Feature Film "Xapai" to be directed by Sai Paranjpye Goanet, 18 December 2005.
  17. National awards "free from lobbying": Paranjpye Press Trust of India, 2009.
  18. Injecting drug users take central role in anti-stigma film Accessed 22 January 2010
  19. "NCB drive against drug abuse gets rolling - DNA - English News & Features - Mumbai". 2009-06-29. Retrieved 2011-10-16. 
  20. Sai speak! The Times of India, 8 July 2002.
  21. Arun Joglekar at the Internet Movie Database
  22. Vinni Paranjpye Joglekar at the Internet Movie Database
  23. Directorate of Film Festival, January,1993. 
  24. National Film Awards (1979)
  25. "Best Dialogue Writer (Technical Awards)" lists winners of this award from 1958 through 1999, Indiatimes
  26. "Profiles in creativity". Retrieved 2011-10-16. 

External links

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