Veteran actor Surekha Sikri passed away in Mumbai on Friday leaving behind a rich legacy of meaningful films. The actor was reportedly suffering from complications arising out of a second brain stroke. Born in New Delhi in 1945, Sikri grew up aspiring to be a writer or journalist.
However, after completing her graduation from the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), she decided to pursue an acting course and enrolled for the National School of Drama (NSD) in 1968. After completion of her course at NSD, Sikri was attached to NSD’s Repertory Company and was part of popular hit productions such as Sandhya Chhaya, Tughlaq and Adhe Adhure.
Surekha Sikri first appeared on the silver screen in the Amrit Nahata’s 1978 political satire Kissa Kursi Ka. She bagged her first national award for Govid Nihalani’s Partition drama Tamas (1986), where she essayed the role of Rajo, a Muslim woman who gives shelter to Sikh couple and stand up for them. Sikri’s portrayal of Fayyuzi, an empathetic yet pragmatic woman, in Shyam Benegal’s Mammo earned her the second National Award. The veteran actor’s won her third national award for stellar act as a dominating matriarch in Amit Ravindernath Sharma directorial Badhaai Ho. The thespian also garnered critical acclaim for her work in Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro, Zubeida, Sardari Begum among others. Her turn as Dadisa, a cantankerous-yet-lovable mother-in-law in Balika Vadhu made her one of the most popular faces of Indian Television.
As we bid adieu to the theatre veteran, here is a video where the late actor is seen reciting Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s famous Nazm, Mujhse Pehli Si Mohabbat. It’s a unique creation that blends romance with revolution. Sikri’s recital evokes myriad emotions, a testament to her craft as an exceptional performer. Created by Manish Gupta for Urdu Studio, a YouTube channel, the video was posted in 2017. Sikri powerful recital elevates the beautiful verses that speak of love, loss and longing. Towards the end of the video, one can see a tinge of emotion on the actor’s face.