Lalitha, Padmini ,and Ragini; the threesome were known as the Travancore sisters.
Born and raised in Thiruvananthapuram(Trivandrum) in what was then the princely state of Travancore (now the Indian state of Kerala), they were the daughters of Thankappan Pillai and Saraswathi Amma.
They learnt bharathanatyam from Great Vazhuvoor Ramaiah pillai. Padmini and her sisters were disciples of the noted Indian dancer Guru Gopinath . They learnt Kerala natanam style of dancing from him. The noted film director, P. Subrahmaniam, noticed their talents while presenting 'Parijatha Pushpapaharanam 'in Trivandrum
Lalitha was the eldest and Ragini the yougest. Padmini gained the maximum success and has acted in more than 250 films
In 1957, Lalitha got married and quit films to settle down in Trivandrum
marriedto Dr Ramachandran, a US-based physician, in 1961 Padmini retired, though temporarily, from films and focused on married life and refining her classical dance. She settled in the United States and in 1977 opened her classical dance school in New Jersey, The 'Padmini School of Fine Arts'. Her school is today one of the largest Indian Classical Dance institutions in America.
Padmini died from a heart attack in the Chennai Apollo Hospital on September 24, 2006. Lalitha and Ragini expired before padmini due to various healh problems
PADMINI AS A FILM ACTRESS
In a interview to shobha warrior padmini said:-The Travancore sisters' initiation into films happened accidentally when an uncle of theirs invited renowned dancer Uday Shankar for dinner during one of their visits to Mumbai. Uday Shankar called the sisters to Madras to act in a film based on dance which he was planning to make.
That is how at the age of 14, Padmini became an actress. Her first Tamil film, 'Manamagal', was a big hit and Padmini became hit in Tamil. While her sisters concentrated only on Malayalam films, Padmini was more active in Tamil. But she remembered one Malayalam film Adhyapika (Teacher) in which she played the teacher. The movie was completed in just 13 days in Trivandrum and got a National Award for that film."
She adds, "We sisters had a lovely time in those days because we were in the same profession. We used to act in films, and dance on stage. We formed a troupe called Dancers of India."
The members of the dance troupe included not only the three sisters but their cousins, Sukumari and Ambika, both well known actresses in Malayalam. (In fact, Sukumari acts in films[സുകുമാരി (6 October 1940 – 26 March 2013]
Dance was their passion, not films. What they performed in films -- the snake charmers, Krishna Leela, the story of Radha-Krishna, etc -- were picked up from stage. And, they would travel all around the world with their troupe. In one of their famous dance dramas, Ramayana , Padmini played Sita and her younger sister Ragini, Rama. The eldest Lalitha was Ravana and Sukumari and Ambika danced as Hanuman and Bharatan respectively. "Being the tallest, Ragini always performed the male characters. And, as I was the shortest, I was the female lead all the time."
"I used to play characters who were crying most of the time. Ragini was good at comedy roles and Lalitha in vampish roles."
She then compared the 1940s, when the sisters shone in films, and the 1990s. "There is not much of a difference between then and now. Of course, technically, films have improved a lot. Those days, we used to concentrate only on one film at a time. We used to read the full script and discuss it with the director who was the most important person. And, most of the directors in those days were studio owners and they themselves were the producers."
Though her voice was husky, she used to dub herself in all her films. "I used to act in Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi films. And there was no dubbing for me in any of the languages. For that, you have to put in a lot of effort. I believe that no dubbing artiste can do full justice to what you do on screen. I don't know why today's actresses let their voce be dubbed. Lack of time? Lazy to learn the lines? We used to work three shifts but when we were doing the make-up, the dialogue writer would read the lines to us. That was how we used to learn the lines."
She also told me about how make-up changed when films changed to colour from black and white. "My first colour film was 'Valli' in Tamil. Make-up was completely different in colour. In black and white, we would apply dark make-up with shades but in colour, it was pinkish and plain."
It was in 1952 that Padmini entered the Hindi film industry with a dance in 'Kalpana.' But her full length role was in 'Mr Sampath' (the film was based on a book written by R K Narayan) opposite Moti Lal. Mr Sampath was first made in Tamil with Pushpavalli (Rekha's mother) doing the role Padmini did in Hindi.
After Nargis left RK Studios, Padmini was the first actress to join it. The sisters knew Nargis and Raj Kapoor from 1953 onwards. It was at a cricket match between the film stars of Bombay and Madras that they met Nargis. While Padmini scored the highest for Madras, Nargis did so for Bombay. From that day onwards, both became good friends.
When Nargis and Raj Kapoor came to shoot 'Chori Chori' in Madras, Padmini's mother gave them a house to stay in, close to where the sisters lived. So they used to meet everyday. Nargis used to visit Padmini's shooting and she would go and see Nargis on the sets. But more than Padmini, her younger sister Ragini was closer to Nargis.
In 1957, Lalitha got married and quit films to settle down in Trivandrum. In 1961, Padmini got married to Dr Ramachandran. In 1970, they migrated to the United States.
When I met Padmini in 1996, both Lalitha and Ragini were no more. "I miss them a lot," Padmini had said. "Once when Lalitha came to the United States, I made her dance on stage after 23 long years. We performed together in Chicago. When Ragini came, we performed on stage together. Those were unforgettable moments."
In 1992, when their niece, actress Shobhana, visited Padmini, they performed the dance-drama 'Valli Thirumanam'. Shobhana was Valli and Padmini, Lord Muruga.
the last film of the late G Aravindan, Vaasthuhara (Mohanlal and Shobhana played the lead) in which Padmini had essayed a small role. was curious to know how she ended up acting in an Aravindan film. "My son had gone to meet Aravindan. Aravindan asked him whether I would act in his Vaasthuhara. I accepted the role only because I wanted to work with him as I had heard a lot about him. He would barely talk on the sets. If he wanted to tell us something, he would come near us and tell us in a very low voice. He never interfered in our acting. We were given full freedom. Some directors make such a lot of fuss. But Aravindan was very different and I enjoyed the experience."
Among all the actors she had acted with, Sivaji Ganesan and Raj Kapoor were her favourites. She said work was very systematic and disciplined in the South while everything started late in Mumbai. "Sivaji would even reach the location an hour early. That was the kind of discipline he followed," she said.
"I attribute my success and happiness to God. Without God, there is nothing."But fame does not seem to have affected her.
"It all depends on an individual's nature," she replies. "We were brought up in a disciplined way by our mother. There was a "lakshman rekha" we had to obey. Mother came to a strange place (Madras) from Travancore, made us all stars and got us married too ... all arranged marriages and into the best of families.
Was he supportive and understanding? "It was a very happy marriage," she says. "I miss my husband very much. He passed away on September 16, 1981. He was a true lover of the arts and could sing very well. My husband would sit in the first row during my dance recitals and was my best critic
Malayalam: രാഗിണി) was a South Indian danseuse and actress. She was the youngest of the famed Travancore Sisters -- Lalitha, Padmini, and Ragini. With sister Padmini, she started her acting career in mid 1950s and acted in movies of different Indian languages including Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu. The era of dance in the Hindi cinema is considered to be begun with the entrance of Ragini and other South Indian actresses.
Some films of Ragini
Veera Pandya Katta Bomman (T)
Naag Rani (H)
Othenante Makan (M)
Ara Nazhika Neram (M)
Lanka Dahanam (M)
Jai Jagat Janani (H)
Mr X (H)
Nayaru Pidicha Pulival (M)
Ayi phir se Bahar(H)
Puthiya Akasam Puthiya Bhoomi(M)
Aadhi raat ke Baad(H)
Thurakkatha Vathil (M)
Panchavan Cadu (M)
Some Hindi Films of Padmini
Mera Naam Joker
Hum Hai lajawab
Jis Desh Mem Ganga Behti Hai
Pyar Kiya hai pyar karenge
Hum Intezar Karenge
Yeh ishq nahi Aasan
Rahi badal gayi
Ladke Bap se Badhke
Chanda aur Bijali
Dard ke Ristha
Some of Padmini's Tamil Films
Veera Pandya Katta Bomman
Nan Vanagum Deivam
Poove poo chooda vaa
Enkalukkum kalam varum
Some Malayalam Films of Padmini
Ponnu Vilayum Bhoomi
Kumara Sambhavam http://youtu.be/rM7QHo1Ujhk
Ezham Kadalinakkare;List of Malayalam Songs from the movie Ezham Kadalinakkare
List of all Malayalam Movie Songs produced till date.Snehaseema
do nigahen teri ashamujrim
Tu Hai Mera Prem Devata
man mora baawra rafiraagini
eh To Kaho Kaun Ho Tum Mukesh
Lata Mangeshkar - 'O Natkhat nanhi laadli' in B.Nagi Reddi's 'Nanha Farishta'
Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai - Hum Bhi Hain Tum Bhi Ho
Pardesi (57) - Naa Dir Dim
Classical based dance from Raagini
Is Jahan Ka Pyar Jhoota
O.P. NAYYAR's "Sun Sun Madras ki Chori.." from MUJRIM
Laagi Apni Nazariya Katar
Yeh Duniya Rail Niraali
mere man ka bawra panchhi...Lata-tribute to DQ Padmini
LATA ,MUKESH - BEGAANI SHADI MEIN - JIS DESH MEIN GANGA BEHTI HAI 1960
Premathin Naattukaariyaanu - Puthiya Akasam Puthiya Bhoomi ( 1962 )
Thaamara Thumbi Vaa - Puthiya Akasam Puthiya Bhoomi ( 1962 )
Periyare Periyare - Bharya ( 1962 )
Omanakayyil Olivila Kombumayi - Bharya ( 1962
Devadaru pootha naaloru
ragini and ambika Dance From Ummini
Manassinullil Mayakkamkollum - Thurakkaatha Vaathil1970
Nalikerathinte Nattilenikkoru - Evergreen Malayalam Song
Eeswaran orikkal - Lankadahanam ( 1971
Nakshathra Rajyathe - Lankadahanam ( 1971 )
Swarga Nandini - Lankadahanam ( 1971
Thiruvabharanam Charthi Vidarnnu
- Unniyaarcha - K Raghavan - P Bhaskaran -1961 - P Leela Chorus.
- Video from Unniyarcha 1961 & Audio from Aromalunni 1972. A strange
- Vellottu valayittu kammalittu Old Malayalam Film Song
- Mangalam Kunnile ... Old Malayalam Film Song
Songs from Othenante Makan (1970)
- Guruvayoor ambala nadayil ... Old Malayalam Film Song
- Kadalee Vanangal Old Malayalam Film Song
- Yamini Yamini Old Malayalam Film Song Film: Othenante
- onnanam kulakkadavil Old Malayalam Film Song
Thaamara Thumbi Vaa - Puthiya Akasam Puthiya Bhoomi ( 1962 )
mere man ka bawra panchhi...Lata-tribute to DQ Padmini
Manamagal - Nalla Penmani
in her only appearance in the movie, is the ‘Male’, while plays the leader of the agitators.The rich male(RAGINI) questions their objectives and vision and their methods to reach their goal
RAGINI DRESSED AS A MALE ACTOR
Padmini died of a heart attack at the Chennai Apollo Hospital on 24 September 2006.
- Certificate of merit for Veerapandiya Kattabomman in Afro-Asian film festival in 1960
- Best actress award from Film Fans Association in 1954, 1959, 1961 and 1966.
- 1958 - Kalaimamani award from the Government of Tamil Nadu
- 1957 - The "Best Classical Dancer Award" from Moscow Youth Festival
- 1966 - Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress for Kaajal