Suraiya was born on 15 June 1929 in Gujranwala, Punjab (present-day Pakistan). Her full name is Suraiya Jamal Shaikh and she was a famous actress and singer in Hindi films. She contributed to Hindi cinema in the 40s and 50s. Suraiya Jamal Shaikh, the queen of elegance in style and excellence in singing, wrote a new chapter in the history of Hindi cinema with her beauty and talent. Even today, after listening to songs like 'Woh paas rahe ya door rahein', 'Nuktachin hai ghame dil', and 'Dil e nadaan tujhe hua kya hai', the picture of Suraiya emerges in the mind.
Proved herself as an actor and playback singer
Born on June 15, 1929, Suraiya was the only child of her parents. Although Suraiya, who was brought up with so much love and care, did not take music education, she later became known as an excellent actress as well as a good singer. Suraiya has proved herself at every step with her acting and singing.
Started her career as a child artist
Suraiya's film career started in a very interesting way. The famous villain of yesteryear, Zahoor was Suraiya's uncle and because of him, she got her first role as a child artist in the film 'Usne Kya Socha' in 1937. In 1941, during the school holidays, when she went to Mohan Studio to watch the shooting of the film 'Taj Mahal', director Nanubhai Vakil's attention fell on her and he selected Suraiya at a glance for the childhood role of Mumtaz Mahal. Similarly, musician Naushad also heard Suraiya's voice for the first time on All India Radio and made her sing in the film 'Sharda'. After India's independence in 1947, Noor Jehan and Khurshid Bano took Pakistani citizenship, but Suraiya remained here.
Love story of Suraiya and Dev Anand
There was a time when romantic hero Dev Anand used to be crazy about Suraiya. But ultimately the couple did not pair up in real life. The reason was Suraiya's grandmother, who did not like Dev Saheb. But Suraiya also did not allow anyone else to replace Dev Saheb in her life. She did not marry throughout her life and lived alone in her flat located in Marineline, Mumbai. Her films 'Jeet' (1949) and 'Do Sitaare' (1951) with Dev Anand were special.
These films were also memorable because it was on the sets of the film 'Jeet' that Dev Anand expressed his love for Suraiya, and 'Do Sitare' was the last film of this pair. Dev Anand himself has confessed his relationship with Suraiya in his autobiography 'Romancing with Life'. He writes that Suraiya's eyes were very beautiful. She was also a great singer. Yes, I loved her. I would like to call this the first innocent love of my life.
Suraiya’s most memorable films and songs
Her major films were 'Shama' (1961), 'Mirza Ghalib' (1954), 'Do Sitaare' (1951), 'Khiladi' (1950), 'Sanam' (1951), 'Kamal Ke Phool' (1950), ' 'Shayar' (1949), 'Jeet' (1949), 'Vidya' (1948), 'Anmol Ghadi' (1946), 'Hamari Baat' (1943).
Apart from acting, Suraiya sang many memorable songs, which are still quite popular. These songs include 'Socha Tha Kya Main Dil Mein Dard Basa Lai', 'Tere Naino Ne Chori Kiya', 'O Door Jaane Wale', 'Woh Paas Rahe Ya Door Rahe', 'Tu Mera Chand Main Teri Chandni', 'Murli Wale Murali Baja', etc. are included.
She was the highest-paid actress of her time
For only three years from 1948 to 1951, Suraiya was the highest-paid female artist in Bollywood. The decade of 40's to 50's in Hindi films can be attributed to Suraiya. Her popularity was such that to get a glimpse of her, her fans used to stand in front of her house in Mumbai for hours and there used to be a traffic jam.
Master of acting and singing
On the set of the film 'Jeet', Dev Anand expresses his love to Suraiya and gives Suraiya a diamond ring worth three thousand rupees. Suraiya, who gained immense popularity in Hindi films, was one of the last of the generation who had expertise in playback singing along with acting and this gave her an edge over her contemporary actresses.
India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had also said about the greatness of Suraiya that she immortalized the soul of Mirza Ghalib by giving voice to her poetry.
Always in our heart
Suraiya said goodbye to the world on 31 January 2004. The importance of music will be there every moment of our lives, but if we talk about meaningful and melodious songs, Suraiya's name will come up. The song sung by her ‘Woh paas rahein ya door rahein’ suits her perfectly. Her mannerisms and expressions were the biggest features of her singing. She used to express all her emotions through her facial expressions. Even today there is no dearth of appreciation for her. Even though Suraiya is not among us today, her acting and her music will always remind us of her.
Tags: Suraiya's Death Anniversary