Nafisa Ali was born to photographer, Ahmed Ali, son of S. Wajid Ali and brother of Zaib-un-Nissa Hamidullah. Her mother's name is Philomena Torresan, who is now settled in Australia. She went to Sr. Cambridge from La Martinere Girls, Calcutta. She has also studied Vedanta taught by Swami Chinmayananda, who started the center Chinmaya Mission of World Understanding. Her husband is the renowned Polo player and Arjuna awardee, retired Col R.S. Sodhi. After marriage she chose to be a wife and take care of her three children: daughters Armana, Pia and son Ajit Sodhi. After a break of 18 years she returned to the film industry.
Nafisa Ali has accomplishments in several fields. She was the national swimming champion from 1972-1974. She won the Miss India title in 1976 and was runner-up at the Miss International contest in 1977. Ali was also a jockey at the Calcutta Gymkhana in 1979.
She has acted in several Bollywood films, the notable ones being Junoon (1979) with Shashi Kapoor and Major Saab with Amitabh Bachchan (1998), Bewafaa (2005) and the most recent being Life In A... Metro with Dharmendra in 2007. She has also acted in a Malayalam film called Big B (2007) with Mammootty. She is associated with Action India, an organisation working to spread AIDS awareness.
Nafisa Ali contested the 2004 Lok Sabha elections unsuccessfully from South Kolkata. In September 2005, she was appointed the chairperson of the Children's Film Society of India (CFSI). On 5 April 2009, it was declared that she will contest the Lok Sabha elections Lucknow on a Samajwadi Party ticket. Earlier, Sanjay Dutt was slated to contest from Lucknow on a Samajwadi Party ticket, but the Supreme Court barred him on the basis of his conviction. She rejoined Congress party in November 2009 and apologized to Sonia Gandhi for contesting on SP ticket.
She is married to Col. R. S. Sodhi, a polo player who has won the Arjuna Award. He is presently a real-estate developer.
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