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Sunday, November 25, 2012
‘Lehraye Jiya Bal Khaye Jiya’- Shyama
‘Lehraye Jiya Bal Khaye Jiya’-
............Shishir Krishna Sharma
Translated from original Hindi to English by : Aksher Apoorva
Shyama’s filmography provided by : Shri Harish raghuwanshi
Posters & photosprovided by :Shri S.M.M.Ausaja
As soon as 1950’s decade’s
heroine Shyama’s name is uttered, image of a very beautiful, bubby and good
actress flashes through the minds of the enthusiasts of that era’s Hindi cinema.
But on the whole people are not aware that before she became a heroine, Shyama
had played many small roles in almost 50 films as a child and extra artist.
Shyama was born on 12th
June 1935in Lahore. Her father
was a fruit trader. She was just 2 years old when her father, due to his
business, moved the entire family from Lahore to Mumbai. She was the youngest
of 9 siblings. During one of our meetings Shyama had revealed that although
films held an attraction for her she couldn’t even think about working in
movies as the social norms of those times didn’t allow for such thinking.
Despite this it was a coincidence that she ventured in this field which did
cause some resistance at home especially from her father’s side. But the
resistance couldn’t last for very long.
Actually one day Shyama
had gone to see a film shooting with her friends. This film was ‘Zeenat’ which was made under
the banner of ‘Eastern Pictures’ and its
producer-director was Noorjehan’s husband SayyadShauqat HussainRizvi. According to Shyama, Shauqat Hussainasked the girls present on the set if they would like to work in the film
and Shyamaand her friends readily
agreed. Released in the year 1945, Shyama was just 9 years old when she was
first seen on screen in the film ‘Zeenat’s’qawwali ‘aahein naa bhareen
shiqwe naa kiye’. Written by songwriter ‘Nakhshab’, composed by Hafeez Khanand sung by Noorjehan, Zohra Bai Ambalewaliand Kalyani Baithisqawwali had become quite
popular during it time. On screen Shashikalaand Shalini have accompanied Shyama in this qawwali.
Shyama, whose real name
is KhursheedAkhtar, has worked in some of her earlier films like the 1946 release ‘Ghoonghat’, ‘Nai Maa’ and ‘Nishana’ under the alias Khursheed (Junior) and BabyKhursheed. But she had to change her name to Baby Shyama because during
that era there was already a big movie star with the same name. For the next
6 years Shyama played various small parts in almost 50 films like‘Beete Din’, ‘Meera Bai’, ‘Mehndi’, ‘Patrwana’, ‘Ram Baan’, ‘Anmol Moti’, ‘Begunaah’, ‘Chaar Din’, ‘Jagriti’, ‘Jal Tarang’, ‘Jeet’, ‘Naach’, ‘Namoona’, ‘Patanga’, ‘Sawan Bhadon’, ‘Shabnam’, ‘Shayar’, ‘Ahuti’, ‘Neeli’, ‘Sabak’ ‘Sartaaj’, ‘Wafa’, ‘Nazrana’, ‘Saza’, ‘Tarana’. And then, in 1952, for the first time she
was seen as the heroine in the movie ‘Shrimatiji’ (1952)
Made under the banner of
‘Filmistan’, directed by I.S.Jauharand released in 1952, Shyama’s hero in
the film ‘Shrimatiji’ was Nasir Khan. In 1952 another one
of her films, also with Nasir Khan, ‘Aasmaan’was released which was directed by Dalsukh Pancholiand was O.P.Nayyar’s first film as an
independent musiccomposer. Before this O.P.Nayyarhad given the background score for the film ‘Kaneez’ (1949) and Shyama had
acted in a small role in this film as well. Shyama’s career had a golden run
during the 1950’s decade. One can guess how busy
she would be during this period by the fact that from 1952 to 1960 she was seen
in important roles in a total of 82 films. 14 of her films released in the year
1954 and 13 films released in 1955 which is a record in itself.
filmfare award function
Shyama got the
opportunity to work with almost all well-known heroes of that time. Shyamasays,‘Aar Paar’with Gurudatt,‘Ghamand’with Rajkumar, ‘Gul Sanovar’ and ‘Thokar’with Shammi Kapoor, ‘Musafirkhana’ and ‘Laadla’with Karan Dewan, ‘Bhai Bhai’ and ‘Baap Bete’with Ashok Kumar,‘Lehrein’ and ‘Chandan’ with Kishore Kumar, ‘Dhoop Chhaon’ and ‘Teen Bhai’with Bharat Bhooshan, ‘Khushboo’ and ‘Saavdhaan’with Motilal, ‘Tatar Ka Chor’ and ‘Zabak’with Mahipal, ‘Lalarookh’with Talat Mehmood, ‘Maa’with Sureshand‘Jaggu’ with Kamal Kapoorare some of my favorite
films. My other films like ‘Chhoomantar’, ‘Duniya Rang Rangili’, ‘Johny Walker’, ‘Khota Paisa’ and ‘Mr.Cartoon M.A.’ with Johny Walker were appreciated
as well. All these were musical comedy films. Other than ‘Khota Paisa’, all the
films were composed by the top music composer O.P.Nayyar. It was very easy for us to dance to the tunes made by him.
According to Shyama, she
never planned how her career would shape up. She faithfully essayed whichever good roles she got. Out of her 11 films
released in the year 1957, she was the main lead in 7 of them and in the other
4 she was either the parallel lead or a character artist. She didn’t
even hesitate to play mother to her coeval Meena Kumari in the film ‘Sharda’. For her portrayal of this role Shyama received
a Filmfare Award for the best supporting actress in the year 1957.
Made in the year 1951,
during the shooting of the film ‘Saza’ Shyama and the films cameraman-director FaliMistry became close and
they go married in the year 1954. She had to hide this fact for almost 10 years
because even then married heroines weren’t easily accepted by the masses. Shyamasays, ‘I revealed this fact only when, after 10 years of marriage, I gave
birth to my son Faroukh. Anyways during the start of the 1960’s I had
completely become a character artist.’
shyama's birthday party in 2008
For the next three
decades from 1961, Shyama worked in almost 60 films like ‘Duniya Jhukti Hai’, ‘Bahurani’, ‘Gumrah’, ‘Jee Chahta Hai’, ‘Janwar’, ‘Dil Diya Dard Liya’, ‘Aag’, ‘Milan’, ‘Balak’, ‘Mastana’, ‘Sawan Bhadon’, ‘Gomti Ke Kinare’, ‘Prabhat’, ‘Naya Din Nai Raat’, ‘Chaitali’, ‘Khel Khel Me’, ‘Jinny Aur Johny’, ‘Khel Khiladi Ka’, ‘Haqdaar’, ‘Mohabbat’, ‘Mera Karam Mera Dharam’ and ‘Pyase Nain’. She says, ‘My stamina was reducing with my increasing age. I would get
tired very easily. Before people had a chance to say, Shyama can’t work
anymore, I thought it better to retire. J.P.Dutta’s film ‘Hathiyar’ released in 1989 proved to be my last film.’
Shyamastays at SouthMumbai’s famous Nepean Sea Road. Her eldest son FaroukhMistryis a well-known camera man in the ad world and her younger son stays in
England. Her daughter is married. She was very close with Nadira, Nirupa Rai, Sitara Devi, Nimmi, Shakilaand Shashikalaand they all
used to meet regularly. But Nadiraand Nirupa Rai who used to stay very close to her
house, are no more. Sitara Deviand Nimmialso left SouthMumbaiand haveshifted to Juhu and Andheri. Shakilaand Shashikalahave always stayed inBandra and Andheri, but with increasing age
their relation with Shyama have become limited to just telephonic
conversations. Shyama says, ‘it’s been almost 40 years since Fali passed away,
the kids are engrossed in their domestic lives and my friends have gone far
away. Today I am all alone. But it’s been my habit
to adjust with changing times that’s why I enjoy even my loneliness.’
: We are thankful to Shri Harmandir Singh ‘Hamraz’, Shri Harish Raghuvanshi,
Shri Biren Kothari and Shri S.M.M.Ausaja for their valuable
suggestions, guidance and help.
thanks to Ms.Aksher Apoorva for the English translation of the write up.
12 जून 1935 कोलाहौरमेंजन्मींश्यामाकेअब्बाफलोंकेकारोबारीथे।श्यामामहज़दोसालकीथींजबउनकेअब्बाकारोबारकेसिलसिलेमेंलाहौरछोड़करपरिवारकेसाथमुंबईचलेआएथे।नौभाई-बहनोंमेंवोसबसेछोटीथीं।एकमुलाक़ातकेदौरानश्यामानेबतायाथाकिफ़िल्मेंउन्हेंआकर्षिततोकरतीथींलेकिनउसजमानेकीसामाजिकसोचकोदेखतेहुएफ़िल्मोंमेंकामकरनेकीबातवोसोचभीनहींसकतीथीं।इसकेबावजूदउनकाइसक्षेत्रमेंआनामहज़इत्तेफ़ाक़हीथाजिसेलेकरघरमेंऔरख़ासतौरसेअब्बाकीतरफ़सेथोड़ा-बहुतविरोधभीहुआथा।लेकिनवोविरोधज़्यादादिनतकनहींटिकपायाथा।