When the always affable Dharmendra returned my appeal on Sunday evening, he was deeply distressed. “I just heard that Shashikala is no more,” he mumbled sadly before I could bring up the subject. “We did some of our best jobs together. I don’t remember all the movies we worked in together. But three of my most favorite movies Anupama, Devar and Phool Aur Patthar had Shashikala in very important roles, ”Dharamji recalls.

“She was my oldest; she had made many films at the start of my career. I think the first movie we did together was Anpadh where Mala Sinha played the title role. The film is remembered to this day for the melodies of Madan Mohan Saab-Lataji. I was a nervous semi-newcomer, Shashikala put me at ease. ‘Ae Dharam, aao hamare saath khana khao, ‘she would ask me to join her for lunch while filming. For a newcomer, such warmth from a senior is never forgotten. She taught me to be nice to newcomers, ”Dharamji.

“She was typed like a vampire. And her most famous role as a vampire was with me Phool Aur Patthar where his song ‘Zindagi Mein Pyar Karna Seekh Le ‘ became a great success specially the slogan “Phishigala phishigala”. Hrishikesh Mukherjee Changed his picture to Anupama one of my most favorite movies. She was kind in a positive role. I wonder why she hasn’t played more positive roles. She was a gem of a person in real life. Aise hi unhone Pran Saab ko typecast kar diya (they also typed Pran). “

Dharamji regrets having lost contact with Shashikala.

“She cut herself off from the film industry completely and moved to Pune with her family. Fortunately, she didn’t have to die a lonely death like this other beautiful actress Lalita Pawarji whose decomposed body was found in her home a few days after her death. The celebrity is doing well. But the family is more important, ”concludes Dharamji thoughtfully.

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