Ismail Merchant was an Indian Director and Producer whose full name was Ismail Noormuhammad Abdul Rahman born in Mumbai. He was the son of a textile dealer named Noormohamed Haji Abdul Rehman who was the leader of the Muslim League, and he didn’t go to Pakistan during the partition. He learned languages like Gujarati, Urdu from his family and Arabic and English at his school. At the young age of nine years, he delivered a speech based on the partition which won hearts of millions of people. Because of connections his family had in the society, he became friends with a then Bollywood actress Nimmi, who became his motivation to rise to stardom in the world of Theatres. He joined St. Xavier’ s College, Mumbai.
At the age of 22 years, he went to the United States for his further studies to pursue MBA. He started working as a messenger to the United Nations and where he met many Indian delegates those who helped him funding his film projects. His first movie, a short film, in which he was a producer was The Creation of Woman released in 1960 was a big hit and was also screened at Cannes Film Festival and nominated for Academy Awards. Ismail Merchant met
who was born in California during the screening of latter’s movie called The Sword and The Flute in 1959 as it was depicting Indian culture. They met and came close in a very less span of time and then formed a film production company named Merchant Ivory Productions.
People say theirs was a lifelong partnership and romance whose duration ended after Merchant’s death in 2005. Their partnership is mentioned in the Guinness Book of World Record for the longest partnership in cinema’s. Merchant also directed some television shows and the films like Mahatma and Mad Boy. He first directed film which had in it was based on a novel written by
won the National award from Govt of India for Best production and design and Shashi Kapoor also made it to Best Lead Actor.
Other than cinemas he was very much interested in cooking and he wrote many recipe books some of which are Ismail Merchant's Florence; Ismail Merchant's Indian Cuisine; Ismail Merchant's Passionate Meals and Ismail Merchant's Paris: Filming and Feasting in France. Some of his best movies were like – Maurice, Mr. and Mrs.Bridge, Roseland, The Europeans, A Room With a View, Heights. He also gave many precious quotes to this world which are found on various websites relating to Humour, Love, Sadness, Culture, etc. He got awarded with one of India’ s biggest honors Padma Bhushan, and he also received International Centre in
’ s Award of Excellence. He died in 2005 after surgery for abdominal ulcers in Westminster and was buried Marine Lines, Mumbai.