Skip to main content

Best known for her role in Guru Duttâs Aar Paar yesteryearsâ actress Shyama passed away at 82


via filmfares http://ift.tt/2zCcZlr
Shyama, born Khurshid Akhtar, began her jaunt in Hindi cinema as a nine-year-old. She became one of the chorus singers in the qawwali Aahen na bhari in the Noorjehan starrer Zeenat (1945). “I had gone with my friends to watch Noorjehan shoot for a film in Dadar. The director Shaukat Hussain (Noorjehan’s husband) asked us, ‘Does anyone of you want to work?’ I put my hand up and said, ‘Main karoongi (I will)’.” She continues, “My parents were not well off. Yet, Abba didn’t want me to work in films. I said, ‘What’s the harm?’ I was always interested in acting. During the lunch break in school, I’d stand on the table and dance. Later I even learnt singing and dance. I watched every film,” recalls Shyama who became one of the busiest actors of her times, playing lead, second lead and vamp roles in around 147 films.

“I was lucky to get good roles. I even got a Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress for Sharda. I enjoyed doing family dramas like Do Behnein, Choti Bahen, Bhai Bhai and Do Bhai. In Do Behnein I played the good girl and the bad girl. Rajendra Kumar was a newcomer then. So initially, the film didn’t do well. But when it was released again, it became a hit,” says the actor who was also appreciated for her roles in Barsaat Ki Raat, Tarana and Aar Paar in the ’50s. “I had a photogenic face. Whatever direction the light fell from, I photographed well. I maintained my figure. I was particular about my diet and for days I’d just be sipping glucose water to remain slim. I used to wear all kinds of clothes — ghararas, salwars, saris and pants,” says the actor who was known for her puckish prettiness.

While doing Sazaa (1951), the 16 year-old-actress fell in love with director and ace cinematographer Fali Mistry. “We were fond of each other. But I was very shy. I couldn’t express myself,” she confides. “Initially, he asked me not to work after marriage but I said that wasn’t possible. I had worked very hard to reach where I was.” They got married in 1953 and had three children, two boys Farook and Rohin and a daughter Shirin. “I was very content in my married life. Even after my first child, I didn’t give up acting. Fali had confidence in me. When it would get late I’d say, ‘Fali hum late hogaye hain. Magar khana hum saath mein khayenge (I’m going to get late. But we will have dinner together)’. We had a great understanding,” she says of the Muslim-Parsi marriage.

Though she chose Fali as her husband, she did have her share of suitors amongst her co-actors. “I got many proposals. I don’t want to take their names. Some of them are no more while the others have their families. Sometimes we call each other up and inquire, “Kya haal hai?” she laughs.

She continued acting, doing character roles, even after Fali passed away prematurely in 1979. The last film she did was the Sanjay Dutt starrer Hathyar.  The highlight of her day today is just aaram (rest) she says. “I rest; I sleep and see my old films. I enjoy seeing Bhai Behen, Barsaat Ki Raat, Aar Paar. I have sent the DVDs to my sons too,” smiles the mother who says she has ‘secured’ her children’s future. Her close friends are Waheeda Rehman, Nanda and Shashikala but she greatly misses Nirupa Roy and Nadira who are no more. “I was very close to Nirupa. She died suddenly. It was a great shock,” she says softly. About friendships in the industry then and now she says, “We used to hide each other’s secrets, today they let them out.”

She seems a trifle tired as it’s time for her afternoon siesta. The memory jog has also been an exertion of sorts. I gently draw the interview to a close. Any regrets I ask her. “I miss my family,” she says referring to her sons who have settled abroad. “Also, my parents had nine children. Today I’m the only survivor.” She continues, “Log aaye aur chale gaye, yaadein chod gaye. Meri dushmani kisise nahin, dosti hai sabse (People came and went, leaving behind memories. I have enmity with none, friendships with all). Any unfulfilled wishes? “Last year I was honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. Let’s see if I get some more!” Down yes, but definitely not out. That’s Shyama for you!


Shyama on her co-stars

MEENA KUMARI

Meena Apa was a very good actress. She would cry naturally while doing a scene. She was so sensitive. We did Sharda together. She loved food and once asked me to get biryani for her. So I got it prepared at home and took it to the set. We spread a mat on the floor and ate together. She even ordered some fish. She also loved zarda paan. She was never very slim. She was plump and loved wearing white. As for her personal life, she never let anyone know whether she was upset about anything. We never asked her about it either. A lot of things used to be printed though. She never had the desire to keep any asset in her name. I saw her health fail. I was also part of her last film Gomti Ke Kinare. I remember her standing to give a shot. Suddenly she felt giddy and sat down. The nurse came running and gave her something to drink. That was the last time I saw her.

 

MADHUBALA

She was extremely beautiful. I met her for the first time during Tarana. She was good in her work. She was in love with Dilip saab (Kumar). We thought they would get married. But things didn’t work out. Her father Ataullah Khan was very strict. She would head home straight from the studios. She would not even attend premieres. Later, she got involved with Kishore Kumar. I remember him coming to meet her on the set of Barsaat Ki Raat.

 

NARGIS

My first meeting with Nargis was while shooting for Pyaar. I slipped and fell on the sets and she burst out laughing. Nargis was a very normal, down-to-earth and humble person. I worked in many films with her and Raj saab (Kapoor). She was very attractive. She’d always wear white saris, tie her hair in a jooda (bun) and wear gajras (flowers). She never wore lipstick. She was very simple. Once I was shooting for her brother Anwar Hussain’s film when he came and said, “Baby (Nargis’s pet name) ki shaadi kal hogayee (She got married).” I was shocked. The next day a newspaper carried a photograph of Dutt saab (Sunil) and her. Dutt saab was sona (gold)! He was the best man to have come into her life. She adjusted very well after marriage. She was a good wife, a good mother. I remember going to see her at the hospital when she was about to deliver Sanju (Sanjay Dutt). Nirupa (Roy) was with me. She was sitting on the bed with a big tummy. On seeing us she said, ‘Hai! Kabhi se intezar kar rahi hoon (I’ve been waiting for so long!)

 

WAHEEDA REHMAN

She was my neighbour. She lived here with her mother and sister Sayeda. She was very photogenic and loved wearing saris. She was good-natured but kept to herself largely. Guru Dutt was very fond of her. He was a good director and she a good actress. I don’t know about their personal lives but we knew that Geeta Dutt (singer, Guru Dutt’s wife) had stopped singing for her. I worked with Waheeda in many films. One of them was Dil Diya Dard Liya. Yusuf bhai (Dilip Kumar) was the hero. Often she’d be reading on the sets. Once I asked her teasingly, ‘Whom are you trying to impress? What can you see in the dark?’ She’d smile. She’d also be knitting a sweater. I’d ask her mischievously, ‘Whom are you knitting it for?’ They made a good pair. But ultimately, love and marriage is a matter of naseeb (destiny).

 

GURU DUTT

He was a very good director. He would not okay the shot till it was perfect. He would be well prepared. He knew exactly where to place the camera and would get impatient if things didn’t happen the way he wanted. He was strict, a man of principles and also very sensitive. He’d enact all the expressions for me when I was doing Aar Paar. He was good at that because he was also a dancer. He had come home for my birthday party, just a week before he died. I guess he died due to an overdose of alcohol. I don’t think he committed suicide. I worked with him in Bahurani and not once did he mention being depressed. But he had an unhappy family life. Separation from your wife and kids can be killing.

 

RAJ KAPOOR

He was not very tall. So when I was facing the camera with him in Sharda, he’d say, ‘Go remove your four inch sandals and stand barefoot!’ He never interfered with the director even though he was a good director himself. Every film of his is a lesson in cinema be it Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai or Satyam Shivam Sundaram. He never made faltu films. He was a jovial person and loved his food and booze. He used to wear a white bosky shirt and pant. He’d often remember Nargis. Once we were shooting for a film when he suddenly looked at the calendar and said, ‘Aaj Baby ki saalgirah hai (today is Baby’s birthday)’. How can you forget a person you’ve known? After all he was a human being.

 

DILIP KUMAR

He used to be immersed in his work and would concentrate deeply on the set. He wouldn’t have fun when working. He would give us suggestions also. He was a senior and we listened to him. He loved female attention. Yusuf bhai marenge (he will hit me) if I say more. I have seen his romance with Kamini Kaushal (during Shabnam). Those days, being a newcomer, he didn’t have a car. He and Kamini Kaushal would be travelling in the first class train compartment to reach the studios. I would be in the third class section. From there we would take a tonga to reach Filmistan Studio. It was fun. He doesn’t keep well these days. I called up Shakeela (yesteryear actor) who is very close to Saira (Banu, wife) to inquire about his health. She said, ‘He’s got a wonderful wife, she looks after him so well!’

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Adnan Sami dedicates award to his late father

via bollywood http://ift.tt/2pfosDb
Adnan SamiAdnan Sami has been honoured for his outstanding achievement in music at the seventh Asian Awards in London over the weekend. The award was presented by Lord Karan Billimoria, the chairman of the awards jury panel. Sami, who is presently touring Europe, says, "I am honoured and humbled.""I dedicate this award to my late father and receive it in the name of India."Sami is delighted, given that it is a prestigious award under the patronage of the British Parliament. Sachin Tendulkar accepted the Asian Fellowship award at the event.

Adnan Sami to make his acting debut in Radhika Rao & Vinay Sapru’s next

via Bollywood Hungama http://ift.tt/2tjl3UN Adnan Sami is all set to make his acting debut with Radhika Rao and Vinay Sapru’s next film Afghan – In Search Of A Home. Adnan will be seen playing a musician in this movie. The movie is the perfect entertainer with drama, emotion and music. This project will be Adnan’s first project as an Indian.Adnan, Radhika and Vinay have been friends for over a decade and were last seen working together in Lucky… No Time for LoveAfghan- In Search Of A Home is the story of a musician refugee from Afghanistan who flees his country of birth under extenuating circumstances to make a very long and arduous walk towards seeking an identity and a home. The film is a story of music and the musicians in countries where music is that one thing no one needs or wants anymore cause in a disturbed and violent terrain the first casualty is always art.What happens to all those poor musicians? What happens to a beloved piano or a beautiful guitar or a rubab when all y…

Shahid Kapoor to launch his own vegan app

via Bollywood Hungama http://ift.tt/2ifmobf Today is the age of digital media, when more happens within the online world than in the real one. With people across the globe spending more time lost with their devices, we have seen a massive shift from other mediums to digital. In fact, a number of Bollywood celebrities too have gone digital with their own apps, and joining them soon will be none other than Shahid Kapoor.Apparently, Shahid who is currently in London with his wife and daughter Misha to bring in the little one’s first birthday will soon be launching his own app. If what we hear is true then, Shahid Kapoor’s app will be one that talks about his diet and his meal plans and patterns. Interestingly, earlier this year, the actor had announced that he had turned vegan and couldn’t stop expressing how positively the new diet that had changed his life. According to reports, Shahid’s currently underproduction app will be one following the same path, taking his vegan diet to his fan…