(Last Updated on : 20/08/2014)
Dina Pathak was a very talented actress of both film and theatre. She was born in the town of Amreli, near Bhavnagar in 1923. She graduated from the University of Bombay, then studied acting and dance under Rasiklal Parikh and Shanti Bardhan respectively. Dina Pathak was a founder member of the Bombay branch of the Indian People's Theatre Association
or IPTA. In the 1940s, she became a symbol of revolutionary attitudes and activities in Gujarati theatre
. She performed the lead in plays like Parikh's Mena Gurjari or 'Mena of Gujarat', Saratchandra Chatterjee's Vijaya and Biraj bahu or 'Biraj the Bride', and Ibsen's Doll's House under Jaishankar Sundari in Natmandal, Ahmedabad. Sundari introduced the imaginary folk heroine of Rangli, the female counterpart of Ranglo in Bhavai
, solely for her in Mena Gurjari in 1953. This was her best-known role.
She taught the 'new' theatre in Natmandal along with Parikh and Jashwant Thaker, brought the form of Beijing Opera for experimental performances, actively promoted Bhavai, and herself directed original Gujarati drama. Moving back to Bombay, she won awards as a character actress in alternative Hindi films such as Basu Chatterjee's Sara akash i.e. 'The Whole Sky' in 1969. In this film she played the mother while Saeed Mirza's Mohan Joshi hazir ho! Or 'Summons for Mohan Joshi' in 1984 she acted the wife. She worked in Children's theatre as well as with cultural organizations like Loknatya and Navnatya. She also acted on stage in Hindi and English.
Her sister, Shanta Gandhi was also trained as a dancer and was a founder member of IPTA
. Shanta Gandhi performed in many dance-dramas along with Dina. She joined the National School of Drama
as a teacher in 1960. In NSD she directed Bhasa's Madhyamavyayoga in 1966, most memorably resurrected Bhavai in Jasma Odan in 1968, and applied Nautanki
in Amar Singh Rathor. Dina Pathak has two daughters Supriya Pathak
and Ratna Pathak. Supriya Pathak is married to Pankaj Kapoor
while Ratna Pathak is married to prominent star Naseeruddin Shah
. All of them are actively connected to the theatre and entertainment media. This respected artist Dina Pathak died in 2002.