scorecardGoogle Doodle celebrates Zohra Sehgal — Everyone's favourite dadi, an Indian royal and Doctor Who star
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Google Doodle celebrates Zohra Sehgal — Everyone's favourite dadi, an Indian royal and Doctor Who star

Google Doodle celebrates Zohra Sehgal — Everyone's favourite dadi, an Indian royal and Doctor Who star
LifeThelife2 min read

  • Google Doodle is celebrating the Indian bollywood icon Zohra Sehgal today for her shattering the glass ceiling of Indian cinema back in 1946.
  • The movie was Indian cinema’s first film to gain international acclaim.
  • Sehgal also acted opposite the first Doctor Who, William Hartnell.
Most millennials remember Zohra Sehgal as their favourite on-screen dadi in films like Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Dil Se, and Veer Zaara.

But before she was the grandmother that we all know and love, Sehgal already had a long series of wins under her belt. This includes a brief stint in the original BBC series Doctor Who and acting in the first Indian movie — Neecha Nagarthat was met with international acclaim.

Google Doodle today is celebrating Sahibzaadi Begum Zohra Mumtazullah Khan for shattering the glass ceiling of Indian cinema back in 1946.

Sehgal’s was cast in Chetan Anand’s Neecha Nagar and the movie made it onto the screens at the Cannes Film Festival. It was Indian cinema’s first international critical success.


Zohra Sehgal travelled the world before settling in India
Sehgal was born in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur. And her official title is actually Sahibzaadi Begum Zohra Mumtazullah Khan — a Rohilla Pathan of the Rampur nobility.

In her early 20s, Sehgal left for Germany to study ballet, after which she travelled the world with legendary icon Uday Shankar for a decade.


In 1945, she returned to India to join the Prithvi Theatre and moved across the country with the troupe for shows. It was during this time that she signed onto Neecha Nagar.

A little over a decade later, Sehgal moved to New Delhi as the newly appointed director of the Natya Academy.

Acting with the very first Doctor Who
Her stint at the academy was a short one, from 1959 to 1962, when she moved to London, and we saw her on the international stage across the first Doctor Who, William Hartnell.

She posed as Sheyrah in season two of the series in the episode arc called The Crusade. She also had a small role in the 1964 story Marco Polo.

She only returned to India in the 1990s, where she continued to act and went on to win the Padma Shri in 1998 and the Padma Bhushan in 2002.

Sehgal was 102 when she passed in 2014.

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