We remember Shyama, a classic beauty of the fifties!












Shyama, once she said in an interview,  “Allah must have made me with fursat!”


Shyama an old time actress was a chiseled beauty, born in Lahore and was Khursheed Akhtar when Vijay Bhatt gave her the name Shyama. She married cinematographer Fali Mistry who had said once when he auditioned and shot her that she was the most photogenic face from any angle from his camera.

Shyama has acted in around 150 films and she gave some famous numbers namely ”˜O teri duniya se door chale ho ke majboor’ ”˜sun sun balama’ ”˜kaare kaare badra meri attriya na shore macha’ ’ that used to blare on All India Radio and Radio Ceylone in the fifties.





Once when she was studying at Anjuman High school she went with her school friends to film set where Noor Jahan was shooting. She was picked out of the bunch of chatty girls. Called one Shaukat Saab to Shyama then Khursheed Akhtar, “Ai ladki idhar aao, would you like to work in a qawwali in the film Zeenat. “

Says she, “I reached from school straight with my books, in the evening and was surprised  that the whole of the film industry had turned up to see me.”

From then on there was no stopping this beautiful actress Shyama who has acted in just about in all kinds of roles from heroines, co-star and even as a bhabi or a vamp even and finally as grandma as she grew old.

Says she that acting is, ”˜Allah’s gift. For me acting is natural. They say a ”˜star is born’ it was all so easy for me. I could even do comedy with ease and confidence. I never have had to think as I would rehearse and my dance masters used to say ”˜wonderful!’

“It is not possible for all and it involves a lot hard work. I could very easily grasp a shot and go ahead with it in just one take.”

Shyama thanks and pays all her credit to Allah now that she is retired and is 78 years old. And to us she has left us some quite a memorable songs. She was paid as low as rupees 10 in Zeenat but it finally reached to as high as 40,000 rupees when she was acting in 25 films at one time.

Her favourite films are films Bhabhi, Sharda and Guru Datt’s Aar Paar. She is quite content with her life and had a very happy life with husband Fali Mistry. Says she, “Allah must have made me with fursat!”

We surely all agree with her when we see her in ”˜Kaare kaare badra.. o ja re kaare badra meri attariya na shore macha’”¦

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