What better way to launch a new year than with a post on one of my favourite actresses? That too on her birthday?
Yes, today, January 1, is the 78th birthday of the beautiful Shakila. Star of my all-time favourite ‘Bollywood noir’ suspense film, CID. Star of one of my favourite Shammi Kapoor films, China Town. Star of one of my favourite Muslim socials, Nakli Nawab. Luminously lovely. Friendly (as Edwina Lyons can probably testify). And a good actress.
Shakila, Noor and Nasreen are three beautiful sisters who were brought up by their Bua (aunt) as they had lost their parents at a very young age. Living in Mumbai proved to be difficult and led to a tough childhood growing up but, fate decides destiny as in 1950, Shakila Aunty got her first child artist role in the film Dastan. She portrayed actress Veena as a child.
Her debut role as an actress was in Guru Dutt’s film “Aar Paar” and I don’t need to say much about the film as her song “Babuji dheeray chalna” is ever so popular, even today. She worked with top notch directors like A.R. Kardar, Mehboob Khan and Guru Dutt. It was Mehboob Khan who first introduced her into movies.
She has many melodious songs picturized on her which are enjoyed even today such as:
- Baar baar dekho, hazaar baar dekho
- Ankhon hi ankhon mein ishaara ho gaya
- Neend na mujhko aaye dil mera
- Laagi chutey na ab to sanam
- Ae mere dile nadaan tu gam
- Leke pehla pehla pyar
- Sau baar janam lengay
Shakila Aunty has over 50 films to her credit and was lucky to have worked with many fantastic top actors such as Chandrashekhar, Shammi Kapoor, Guru Dutt, Manoj Kumar, Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Sunil Dutt, Pradeep Kumar, Jairaj, Vijay Anand and last but not the least, her most favorite co-artist/brother-in-law, Johnny Walker!
In 1963 she walked away from the lime light to retire and settle down. She has faced turbulent ups & downs in her life and has bravely faced them. To this day, she is as beautiful and gracious as she ever was in her yesteryears. Shakila Aunty is extremely loving, stylish and elegant in her lifestyle. Today, when she is recognized, she is really happy and appreciates the fact that “aaj bhi log mujhe pehchantey hain”.
Shakila Aunty has moved with the times but never lost touch with her friends – Nimmi, Saira Banu and Dilip Kumar, Waheeda Rehman, Jabeen, Nanda, Shyama, Azra, etc. She visits them and keeps in touch. Shakila Aunty for me is a sweetheart. She is ever so pretty, loving, caring and wins you with her beautiful smile. Love you Shakila Aunty!
Text and Shakila photograph ©Tasneem Khan
P.S. From Dustedoff, again: Happy birthday, Shakila, and happy New Year. I love you, too!