Vyjayanthimala Bali had the rare opportunity of watching the legendary Shamshad Begum record songs which were later picturised on Vyjayanthimala. The actor, here, remembers her association with the singer, who passed away recently...

“I met Shamshad Begum for the first time in the AVM Studios in Madras, when she was there to record for the M.V. Raman-directed film, ‘Bahar,’ which was a remake of my film ‘Vaazhkai.’ I was young then, but she made a quite an impression on me. What I still remember is her wicked sense of humour… she was really very funny. I admired her grasping power and her thick yet splendid voice. Four of the songs she sang were picturised on me.

The number ‘Duniya ka maza laylo duniya tumaari hai’ became a super hit. She sang gypsy number for which I danced and a classical song which I sing in a room. I can never forget the song picturisation where I was dressed like a boy and played tricks on the hero. In this film, Shamshad showcased her vocal range and high calibre as a playback singer. I was probably the only artist who got the rare opportunity to watch my film songs being recorded by a legend herself!

Later, I got the chance to meet Shamshad Begum again when we paid tributes to Bimal Roy. She hugged me spontaneously and promptly sang ‘Duniya ka maza laylo duniya tumaari hai’ in my ear; and believe me, it sounded exactly like it did when she sang it decades ago! It was truly nostalgic!

I am really saddened by her passing away. But I will hear her unique voice always in my ears.”