Nandita Morarji (Narmatha Sadhana) better known as Nagma is a somewhat controversial Indian actress, known primarily for her work in Bollywood and Kollywood. At her peak in the 1990s, she dominated Tamil cinema. Born of a Muslim mother and a Hindu father on Christmas Day, she began her acting career in Bollywood and acted in a few movies but shifted south where she met with greater success before returning to Mumbai. Although sometimes listed in film credits as Naghma, she should not to be confused with an earlier actress who went by the same stage name – that mistake is made in her listing on the Internet Movie Database website. Fluent in Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, and English, Nagma is notable for having acted in a broad range of India’s languages: Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Bengali, Bhojpuri, Punjabi, and now Marathi.
Nagma’s biological father was Sri Arvind Pratapsinh Morarji, the late textile magnate. Her mother is Seema Sadhana, who married Morarji in 1972, separating only “a few years later,” as The Telegraph (Calcutta) reported in 2006 when Nagma made the information public.
I was born on Christmas to a Muslim mother and a Hindu father. I went to a convent school from childhood. I was exposed to Christianity from a young age. I went to Mount Mary Convent School in Bandra, Mumbai. There, Mass was a routine feature. I always thought I am very special to God because I was born on Dec 25th – perhaps because the world celebrated the day.
Even though I was not a believer then, I still enjoyed a constant companionship and relationship with Jesus Christ but never really mentioned this as it would have seemed odd then.
A bit later in life, I came across a book called ‘Conversations with God.’ That confirmed to me that the power that was speaking to me all along was God Himself. Now when I look back, I feel that God’s hand was strongly upon me all along even though I hadn’t realized it then.
As God is just and fair, He has given us a free will to decide and make our choices whether good or bad because of His mercy and compassion.
There was a time in my life when things were going on really well. Yet, there was this big vacuum. There was no all-encompassing peace though life was busy and my job competitive. It went on like this for several years. After 15 years of my career, I started feeling the futility of it all and began asking myself questions like ‘Why am I here?’, ‘What’s God’s plan for me in my life?’ and ‘What’s the purpose of my existence?’ I asked myself these questions when I was doing really well in life just like how King David felt even when he had everything going his way.
Since I was spiritually inclined I read a lot of books in that genre. I also started practicing meditation. I was teaching Art of Living for nearly 12 years. But Jesus continued to intrigue me. Since one of my aunties was a Christian, I kept urging her to tell me more about Christ. In the year 2000, in one such discussion, I said my salvation prayer.
Nagma opened up about her faith and mission in her life for the first time to the media in an exclusive interview with The Christian Messenger … in 2006, I became ill. I had a viral fever that the doctors weren’t able to diagnose. I had high temperature and was hospitalized. That’s when a Punjabi guy in my fraternity who was married to a Christian woman visited me and gave a CD. It contained a sermon titled ‘Freedom From Fear’ by Brother Johnson, an evangelist in Goa. For the next six months I kept listening to the CD. Like the Bible says: ‘Faith comes from hearing and hearing by the Word of God.’ After six months, I told myself: ‘Now, I want to read the Word.’ I began with the New Testament. I told God: ‘I am going to read your Word. Help me and be my teacher.
While reading the New Testament, I realized the importance of baptism and also of joining a church. Therefore, I immediately joined Pastor Shekhar Kalyanpur’s New Life Fellowship in Juhu, Mumbai. I took baptism on Jan 4. Since 2007 was a year of rest I decided to take a break from films and continued my Bible study fervently.