I met Shashikala twice at her flat in Vallabh apartment in Sejal Park situated on the link road in Jogeshwari west. I had met her for the first time for an interview for my Sahara Samay-Weekly’s column “Kya Bhooloon Kya Yaad Karoon” and then met her again while interviewing her “on camera” for a documentary that was being made on her. Even after that we would speak once in a while but then with passing time we lost touch. 4 years ago when I tried to get back in touch with her, her phone was apparently “not in service”. And then I came to know through the “Cine & T.V. Artistes Association (CINTAA) that Shashikala does not stay there anymore.
According to Shashikala, “in those days screen tests were taken in this way. Shauqat Saheb had promised that among the 3 of us whoever would perform the best would receive Rs.20 from him as a reward and eventually, I won that reward. With those 20 rupees new clothes were brought for all the brother sisters, I was given 2 sarees and after a long time Diwali was celebrated at home. Shauqat Saheb signed me for a 3 years contract where the first condition was that I would learn Urdu. Because of my speech I lost out on the role of Noorjehan’s daughter in the film “Zeenat” and that made me so upset that I vowed never to speak my mother tongue ‘Marathi’ again. That’s why today I have complete command over languages like Hindi, Urdu, English and Gujrati.
After playing small roles in movies like “All India Pictures’s” “Doli” (1947) and “Pagree” (1948) and Amey Chakravorty’s “Girls School” (1949) Shashikala was cast as the main lead in “Ranjit Movietone’s” film “Nazaare” (1949). Her hero in the film was Agha. After film “Nazaare”, Shashikala was seen as a heroine in Kedar Sharma’s film “Thes” (1949) with Bharat Bhushan and in “Kuldeep Pictures” film “Jaltarang” with Rehman. While she essayed the role of Meena Shourie’s Daughter in director Satish Nigam’s film “Raj Rani” (1950), she was once again got the chance to work with Dilip Kumar in the 1950 film “Aarzoo”.
In 1960’s Shashikala played many exceptional negative roles in films like “Hariyali Aur Rasta”, “Gumrah”, “Humrahi”, “Phool Aur Patthar”, “Daadi Maa”, “Himalay Ki God Me”, “Chhoti Si Mulaqat”, “Neel Kamal”, “Paisa Ya Pyar”. She won another “Filmfare Award” for the film “Gumrah” and the Gujrat Government’s “Best Actress Award” for the Gujrati film “Satyawan Savitri”. Shashikala Says, “preoccupations had tired me so much that I stopped work for some time. But then once again the industry beckoned me. During this new period I got to do some good films like “Dulhan Wohi Jo Piya Mann Bhaaye”, “Sargam” and “Khoobsoorat” but till then the atmosphere had completely changed.