For lovers of the bold and the beautiful, Shama Sikander is a known name. Today, she may be reaping the fruits of her labour but Shama comes from extremely humble beginnings. In her earlier interviews, the actress has spoken about how there was not enough to feed all members of her family at times. Mumbai may be the city of dreams but it’s also a harsh city and Bollywood an even tougher place. Actresses today may be being served better fare when it comes to content but back in the day, one was either arm candy or the sanskaari naari. Shama chose to create her own path with boundary-breaking work, shattering many stereotypes and taboos on the way.
At the start of her career, Shama travelled insane distances to attend auditions in the heart of Mumbai. At the age of 16, when others her age were either studying or playing the fool, Shama made her film debut with Feroze Khan’s Prem Aggan. The film may not have done well but Shama shone bright and made an impact instantly. She went on to do roles in Mann and Ansh: The Deadly Part but they didn’t do well at the Box Office. Shama still managed to walk away with praise from critics. It was on the small screen that Shama finally tasted incomparable success. As the face of Ye Meri Life Hai, a TV drama, Shama became a household name and gained immense fame. Some may call her an overnight success but she had worked extremely hard to reach where she had.
Many would have continued to do mainstream work but Shama chose to do Chand Bujh Gaya after that. The film, based on the Godhra train burning and the 2002 Gujarat riots, was initially in hot water with the CBFC and the FCAT but was finally released after the Bombay High Court stepped in. This would mark the first step for Shama when it came to doing stuff no one had attempted before. She went on to make guest appearances on TV shows, and reality shows and has been a constant fixture on the ramp during fashion weeks. In fact, she’s a designer herself with her own woman’s wear label.
We cannot write this feature without mentioning her status in the media as a sex symbol. Pick up any magazine and chances are that you’ll see her being praised for her exuberant sex appeal and her style. In fact, it was the force of her intense beauty that led to hits like Sexaholic and Maaya: Slave of her Desires. She explored BDSM in the latter project, a theme that is yet to be explored in Indian cinema and artwork. It’s safe to say that Shama doesn’t balk at projects others would tread away from.
In March 2022, Shama married American businessman James Milliron in Goa. Shama’s found success, love and had her taste of failures – the mark of a true blue star. It’s only natural that we’d feature her on our April 2022 cover. Long may she reign.