August 4th, 2011

Mala Sinha – Random thoughts on life as an actress

Mala Sinha

Mala Sinha

I remember, my first make-up session at the studio… The make-up man applied the foundation and then let me look in the mirror.

“Hey, I look like a mashed potato,” I cried, indignantly.

But when the make-up was completed, I was amazed… or was it, aghast because i looked stunning! I just could not take my eyes off the girl I saw in the mirror.

“Daddy, am I really so beautiful?” I asked. And Daddy, his face grave, replied: “Baby, I like you as you are… the real you, without make-up.”

Acting came to me unasked, unwished. But once I put on the grease-paint, my ambitions soared. Although I was never terrified or nervous on the sets, I must admit I had misgivings about the top-notch heroes and heroines. What were they like? Proud, snobbish?

I soon had a chance to find out, when I had some scenes with Asit Baren, idol of the Bengali screen at the time. One day a small arc-lamp fell on my foot. Asit Baren was at my side, massaging my foot and offering whatever little first-aid he knew. I had to change my mind about the big stars.

In a way, “Fllmfare” was responsible for my migration from Calcutta to Bombay. Mrs. Amiya Chakrabarty saw a photograph of mine in the magazine and urged her husband to give me a test, since he had often remarked that he couldn’t think of one Bengali girl who will do for the Hindi screen!

When producer-director Amiya Chakrabarty came to Calcutta, he offered me a two-picture contract. By this time I was well-known on the Bengali screen, and going to Bombay meant giving up security and starting from scratch. But the die was cast, and Daddy even left everything to accompany me.