Friday, July 12, 2024

Tragic life of Rekha's mother Pushpavali: Married at the age of 14, then became a heroine, when married Gemini Ganesan cheated, she yearned for every penny.


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Today in Unheard Stories, the story is about Rekha's mother Pushpavali, who was herself a South actress. Pushpavali was a famous star of Tamil and Telugu cinema but her life was full of tragedy. To run the household, he started working in films at a young age.

In the film 'Miss Malini' released in 1947, Pushpavali appeared on screen as a heroine for the first time and dominated. During the shooting of this film, he met South actor Gemini Ganesan.

Pushpavali and Gemini Ganesan's on-screen chemistry turned into romance in real life. Despite many difficulties, both of them did not break their relationship and Pushpavali became the mother of two children. Bollywood actress Rekha is the elder daughter of Gemini Ganesan and Pushpavali.

Despite the birth of two children, Gemini never gave Pushpavali the status of his wife and left her to her own devices. Pushpavali raised her children single-handedly and did not hesitate in getting 14 year old Rekha to work in films whenever needed.

Let's take a look at the tragic life story of Pushpavali…

Pushpavalli was born on 3 January 1926 in Pentapadu village, Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh. His real name was Kandala Venkata Pushpavali Tayaramma. He started in films as a child artist. Pushpavali played the childhood character of Sita in the film 'Sampoorna Ramayanam' at the age of 10. This film was released on August 8, 1936.

Pushpavali was given a fee of Rs 300 for working only for three days in this film, which was quite high for those times.

After this, he did small roles as a child artist in many films. Pushpavali's parents were poor, so they started making their daughter work at an early age. Whatever Pushpavali earned as a child artist was used to meet the expenses of the entire family.

This was the reason why Pushpavali could never go to school because most of her time was spent on film sets.

Pushpavali worked in many films from the 30s to the 50s.

Pushpavali worked in many films from the 30s to the 50s.

Got married at the age of 14

Pushpavali's childhood had not yet ended when she was married at the age of 14. In 1940, she was married to a lawyer named I.V. Rangachari. Despite marriage, Pushpavali did not stop working in films.

At the age of 16, he started playing supporting roles in the 1942 Telugu film 'Bala Nagamma'. Pushpavali's husband and in-laws had strong objections to her working in films.

Because of this, there started a rift in the relationship between Pushpavali and her husband Rangchari. After marriage, Pushpavali became the mother of two children. He and Rangachari's marriage broke up in 1946. Both started living separately but did not take divorce.

Pushpavali did not let the turmoil in her personal life affect her work. Till 1946, Pushpavali continued to struggle in films by playing small roles but her luck ran out in 1947. She made her debut as a heroine in 1947 through the film 'Miss Malini'.

His hero in this film was Gemini Ganesan whose first film was. The film did not do well at the box-office but the romantic chemistry of Gemini and Pushpavali was greatly appreciated.

Gemini and Pushpavali were seen working together again in the 1948 film 'Chakradhari'. In this film, Pushpavali was in the lead role while Gemini Ganesan was given a very small role. After this film the game changed and Ganesan became a big star.

At the same time, only supporting roles started being offered to Pushpavali. This happened because all the films in which she worked as a heroine started flopping. He worked with Ganesan in a few more films. While working together in films, the closeness between Pushpavali and Gemini Ganesan grew. Both started liking each other.

Despite being married and the mother of two children, Pushpavali fell madly in love with Gemini. Gemini also got married and had an affair with Pushpavali. Gemini's first marriage took place at a young age to a girl named Alamelu.

Despite falling in love with Pushpavali, Gemini did not leave his wife. While in a relationship with Gemini, Pushpavali became pregnant and gave birth to a daughter. This was Bhanurekha Ganesan i.e. Rekha. Shortly after the birth of their first daughter, Pushpavali again became the mother of Gemini's child. In this way they had two daughters. Pushpavali wanted Gemini to marry her and settle down and adopt her children but this did not happen.

Pushpavali with Gemini's second wife Savitri.

Pushpavali with Gemini's second wife Savitri.

Gemini Ganesan turned away

Gemini gave everything to Pushpavali, but could not give his name. This was the reason that when Rekha was born, she was called the illegitimate daughter of Gemini and Pushpavali. As a result, Rekha's childhood passed without father's love. Rekha was schooled in a convent school in Madras, the same school where Gemini Ganesan and his first wife's children studied. Gemini would go to pick up his children every day, but he would ignore Rekha.

Meanwhile, Gemini's affair started with co-star Savitri. Both of them also got married secretly. Due to Gemini turning away like this, the Pushpavali broke. He broke all his relations with Gemini. The responsibilities of the family fell on his shoulders.

It became difficult for Pushpavali to raise her two children and two daughters from her first marriage alone. Pushpavali again started struggling in films, although she did not get anything except small roles but she had no other option. Pushpavali spent most of her time on the sets, so she left her daughters Rekha and Radha with her mother to look after them.

Rekha helped in running the house

The downfall in Pushpavali's films had a huge impact on her family life. Raising both daughters was becoming increasingly difficult for them day by day. When Pushpavali became dependent on every penny, she put her daughter Rekha in films at an early age. On the insistence of her mother, Rekha started working in films at the age of 14. Although she did not want to enter this field, but family compulsion pulled her.

Rekha in childhood with mother Pushpavali.

Rekha in childhood with mother Pushpavali.

Pushpavali got married for the second time

While working in films, Pushpavali met Madras cinematographer K. Caused by light. Of. Prakash and Pushpavali gradually started getting closer and as a result they got married. After marriage, Pushpavali changed her name to K.Pushpavali.

After marriage, she became the mother of two more daughters. In this way he gave birth to 6 children from 2 marriages and one affair. Two of these children, Babaji and Rama, were the children of IV Rangachari and Pushpavali. Rekha and Radha were the children of Gemini Ganesan and Pushpavali while Seshu and Dhanalakshmi were born to Pushpavali after her marriage to K.Prakash.

Also worked in three Hindi films

Apart from Tamil and Telugu films, Pushpavali also worked in three Hindi films. These included Madhubala's 'Bahut Din Hue', Ashok Kumar's film 'Grihasthi' and the film Sansar. Pushpavali was seen in small roles in all three films.

The 1969 Telugu film 'Bangaru Panjaram' proved to be Pushpavali's last film. After this he left the film industry and did not work in any film.

Rekha considered her mother a goddess

Praising her mother Pushpavali, Rekha had said in an interview, 'Mother was my mentor, looking at her I felt as if she was a goddess. He taught me to live life with love and gentleness. She always told me not to let your eyes lose their sparkle.

Rekha had also told in the interview what mantras her mother had given her to live life. Rekha said, 'He always taught me to emphasize on originality. Do whatever your heart desires. Not what others impose on you.

Also read these unheard stories of films and stars-

Vijayashree, Marilyn Monroe of Malayalam cinema: Recording continued even after she took off her clothes during shooting, committed suicide when the scene was included in the film

Actress Vijayashree is said to be the most beautiful actress of Malayalam cinema. According to Malayali film historians, Vijayashree was so beautiful that fans used to come to the theaters to watch her, not just the movies. She was compared to Hollywood pin-up girls Rita Hayworth. Also, even today, 50 years after her death, she is called the Marilyn Monroe of Malayalam cinema. Read the full story…

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