Shashikala __ the quintessential vamp of Bollywood
Shashikala, the number one whining, taunting, tormenting vamp of the Hindi cinema has been a household name which was synonymous earlier with a flighty woman who pouted and plotted the downfall of others, and later with a cruel sister-in-law who tortured younger women.
She has played such hateful roles literally in hundreds of films. Yet, behind those bouffant hairstyles and pouting lips, behind those cruel verbal jibes hides a woman whose life is like an riveting novel which you cannot put down once you have started to read it.
Born in Solapur in 1932, she wandered from studio to studio looking for work. She earned in bits and pieces till she met Noor Jehan, the reigning screen queen/singer of that era. Her husband Shaukat Hussain Rizvi was making Zeenat (1945) then and she was included in a qawwali scene and small roles in films like Jugnu (1947), Arzoo (1950), Teen Batti Char Raasta (1953) and other films.
It was in Aarti (1962) with Meena Kumari, Ashok Kumar and Pradeep Kumar that she clicked as a vamp for the first time and offers poured in for such roles. Her next power-packed performance as a vamp was in B R Chopra's Gumraah (1963).
Shashikala's other notable films include Shart (1954), Patrani (1956), Nau Do Gyarah (1957), Sujata (1959), Kanoon (1960), Singapore (1960), Junglee (1961), Anpadh (1962), Yeh Rastey Hain Pyar Ke (1963), Hamrahi (1963),Aayi Milan ki Bela (1964), Aap Ki Parchhaiyan (1964), Waqt (1965), Anupama (1966), Neend Hamari Khwab Tumhare (1966), Phool Aur Patthar (1967), Chhoti Bahu (1971), Chhote Sarkar (1974), Khubsoorat (1980) and Souten (1983). She played Shah Rukh Khan's mother in Baadshah (1999).
A very beautiful title song 'Yeh Rastey Hain Pyar Ke Chalna Sambhal Sambhal Ke' was filmed on Shashikala in 1963. She was really a superb actress.
Shashikala has received eight nominations for the Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award and won the award twice, for Aarti (1962) and Gumraah (1963).
She is the disciple of Mother Teresa, and worked for nine years in her various homes in Kolkata looking after leprosy patients and orphans.