Shyama, the actress who became a sensation with her beautiful presence in songs and some of the best performances in Barsaat Ki Raat, passed away today, on November 14. She was 82. She was considered as one of the most beautiful actresses of her time. Her real name is Khurshid Akhtar and filmmaker, Vijay Bhatt, gave her the stage name of Shyama. Talking to Mid-Day, actor Johnny Walker’s son Nasir Khan revealed, “It’s really disheartening to know about the demise of Shyama aunty. She had done several films with my father and in a lot of them she was opposite him also. In fact, in the film that was made on his name ‘Johnny Walker’, she was the heroine with him. My heartfelt condolences to the family and may Allah give her the strength through this trying time.”
Late Shyama had acted in 175 films and won awards for her acting Sharada. In an old interview, the legendary actress opened up about how she landed a job in films. “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)’. 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.”
Clearly, Shyama was born to be an actress.