Shyama was one of the most beautiful actresses to have graced the screen. She was charming, gorgeous, lively, expressive and there was something very refreshing about her.
It was her birthday on 7th June. Though a little late, here’s wishing her a very Happy Birthday!!!
Her real name was Khurshid Akhtar. Shyama, her screen name, was given to her by Guru Dutt.
I haven’t seen many movies of hers, apart from Bhabhi. Chhoti Behen and Sharda (And she has a bit of grey shade to her character in all these movies). But I love most of the songs picturized on her.
Shyama and Geeta Dutt - This is one deadly combination. Geeta’s voice suited Shyama’s vivacious-ness so well. Not that I am restricting my list only to this jodi but couldn’t help mentioning it.
1. Ae dil mujhe bata de (Bhai Bhai, 1956) : I didn’t want to include this song in this list as it had already featured in my Geeta Dutt special post. But I couldn’t help it, simply couldn’t move ahead without this one. It’ one of my all time favourites! Ae dil mujhe bata de tu kispe aa gaya hai, woh kaun hai jo aakar khwabon pe chha gaya hai…They say you are in love when kuch kuch hota hai… Hmmm, let me rephrase that – they say you are in love when somebody walks into your life, starts being a part of your every dream, when your every thought begins revolving around him/her and changes your life forever without you even realizing it and you dont mind when you do. And it’s also believed that love makes life beautiful. Filmy symptoms of being in love – You don’t feel hungry, you turn into an insomniac, you’ll suddenly start finding friends in stars and the moon, you smile to yourself, you day dream, you sing songs and dance like noone’s watching. Well, this song has all of these ingredients and a lot more. The joy of feeling that attraction towards somebody…a tug at the heartstrings is so beautifully expressed in this song. Shyama, bright and glowing, her expressive eyes dreamy and dancing along with her – her happiness so obvious. Geeta sounds equally happy, even in her plight of not knowing who exactly has taken over her heart. They are in such perfect sync with each other. I thoroughly love listening to this song and watching it. And Ashok Kumar’s amused expressions are to die for!
2. Dekho woh chaand chhup ke (Shart, 1954) : This movie had very nice songs. After debating over Na yeh chaand hoga and this, I finally chose this one. Very very romantic. Shyama and Deepak pledging their love for each other under the moonlight. Though the video is little melo-dramatic, especially the beginning where Deepak is so nervous, the song is very sweet – Hemant Da’s voice renders the soothing and subtle effect to it. I love the way Lata sings “Hum ho gaye tumhare….” and Shyama’s response to “Aisa naa ho ke humko raste mein chhod jao, Jaa kar kahin kisi ki duniya nayee basao” …her denial, the brief shake of her head, so brief that one would almost miss it and the smile that follows with the last antaraa. …
3. Lehraaye jiya balkhaye jiya (Shaarda,1957) : Well, Shyama was definitely very fond of dancing all around the house. She uses the space (covers the stage) very well while dancing and I find her pretty graceful as a dancer. She in fact flows with the song…in a state of joyful exuberance. She’s singing with joy when she gets to know that she’s getting married to Raj Kapoor, who she’s always been in love with. I think I am not wrong about the plot. I went into a shock after watching this movie, so dont remember things very clearly. It’s Asha singing for her here to Chitalkar’s composition. Shyama also won Filmfare Best Supporting Actress Award for her role in this movie.
4. Yeh lo mai haari piya (Aar Paar, 1954) : Though Shyama is confined to a car here and can’t dance, her priceless expressions and her eyes do such complete justice to the picturization of this timeless classic and Geeta Dutt’s flawless rendition. Guru Dutt is great playing hard to get…but for how long can he resist the magic? It was so difficult to choose just one song from this movie…it’s a true musical treasure house. I almost chose Jaa jaa jaa bewafaa, though sad it’s such a beautiful song. But finally I settled for this one. It’s very entertaining and one of it’s kind. All of them – OP Nayyar, Geeta Dutt and Shyama are at their stunning best!
5. Do naina tumhare pyaare pyaare (Shrimati ji, 1952) : Here we have dashing Nasir Khan and young Shyama dancing to a peppy and a romantic duet. I recently came across this song and fell in love with it. Geeta Dutt and Hemant Kumar sound so good together in this. And Jimmy’s composition is awesome - it’s a simple, sweet and a catchy song. Geeta Dutt’s singing suits Shyama’s chulbulapan so perfectly.
6. Achha ji maaf kardo (Musafir Khana, 1955) : OP Nayyar’s composition again, rendered by Rafi saab and Geeta Dutt for Karan Diwan and Shyama. Shyama is dancing again in the garden, doing her trademark steps. I especially like the way she actually counts on her fingers to “Dil par jo teer chalaye unka hisaab kardo” at 1:20 and the way she pats his arms to the same line at 2:56. The last antara would have been so much fun to watch if Karan had shown little more attitude. Everytime I see this song, how I keep wishing it had Shammi Kapoor or Dev Anand or Guru Dutt in it. There’s one more track in the movie Dil de daala which I am very fond of.
6. Mujhe mil gaya bahana teri deed ka (Barsaat Ki Raat, 1960) : Simple and a delightful song. Shyama dancing yet again singing her gratitude to the moon for bringing her so much happiness. She looks so radiant, like a chaand-ka-tukda herself. I had seen this movie very long ago, during the good old Doordarshan days. I don’t remember much of the story, apart from Zindagi bhar nahin bhoolenge and a part of Madhubala-Bharat Bhushan love story. I need to watch this movie again, at least for its songs and for Shyama and Madhubala. Phew, there are so many movies to watch and so many to re-watch!
7. Saiyan pyaara hai apna milan (Do Behne, 1959) : A very beautiful romantic song picturized on Shyama and Rajendra Kumar. I love the sets, it’s such a beautiful room. And Rajendra Kumar and Shyama make a very wonderful couple. The song, it’s picturization is so serene. And it somehow reminds me of Chhupa kar meri aankhon ko and Ek tera saath hum ko do jahan se pyaara hai.
8. Tumse hi meri zindagi (Apna Ghar, 1960) : Pretty Shyama and handsome Premnath pledging their love for each other. Geeta Dutt and Mukesh sing for them. The prelude is pretty fast and peppy but the song slows down once the mukhda begins. I just realized that all the songs so far have been extremely romantic. It wasn’t intentional but I’m a sucker for romantic songs, so can’t help it. Let me try, at least, try to end the post with two not-so-romantic songs ;-)
9. Tabiyat thik thi aur dil bhi bekraar na tha (Mirza Sahibaan, 1957) : Tabiyat thik thi aur dil bhi bekraar na tha, yeh tab ki baat hai jab kisi se pyaar na tha. Such a melodious song, though a little sad. Sardul Kwatra’s composition is awesome and Lata’s rendition flawless, as usual. For a change Shyama is not dancing with joy. This song is a true example of being helplessly in love. If only they had shown a glimpse of Shammi darling…sigh!!!!
10. Tumhe husn deke (Jabse Tumhe Dekha Hai,1964) : I hadn’t set any rules for choosing the songs for this post, I just went with the flow – flow of listing down which ever song came to my mind but I was still focussing on solos and duets. And now, since I couldnt get a glimpse of Shammi Kapoor in the previous song, I had to include this one. Few days ago I had mentioned in dustedoff’s post that anything with Shammi Kapoor would qualify for my every post. So, here it goes! A terrific qawali picturized on Shyama, Kumkum, Shammi Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor, Om Prakash, Bhagwan and many more. - one of the most flamboyant qawalis I have ever come across. Fabulous song, glamorous starcast, great dance and all wonderful people…aur kya chahiye, hai na? :-)
Chhupa kar meri aankhon ko and Oh Chaand jahan are two of my favourite songs but they are not a part of this list as I had already included them in my earlier posts.
There’s one more song that I recently heard on radio and have been dying to get my hands on it’s video. Dil unko utha ke de diya from Baap Bete. I am head over heels in love with this song, but as the video is not available, I decided to put it in the extras. The first 2 lines of the song is sung by Madan Mohan himself and then Lata follows. I hope somebody uploads its video soon on youtube. Log kehte hai dhoondne pe toh bhagwaan bhi mil jaate hai aur hum hai ke yahan ek video ke liye taras rahe hai.
And here’s one more not-romantic performance that I couldn’t list above.
Here’s wishing her good health and lots of happiness. To one of the most stunning and vivacious actresses!