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.

Memories