'Everyone who knew Shammi aunty, loved her'

Mar 07, 2018, 09:25 IST | Shaheen Parkar

Farah Khan and Salim Khan remember the veteran who passed away at her home yesterday

Salim Khan and Shammi
Salim Khan and Shammi

Veteran actor Shammi, fondly called Shammi aunty by industry folk, passed away yesterday at 89. The yesteryear star had been ailing for a while and breathed her last in her sleep at her suburban residence. Her last rites were performed at the Oshiwara crematorium at noon.

Born as Nargis Rabadi to a Parsi family, she made her debut with Tara Harish's Ustad Pedro (1951) when she was 18. Shammi followed the act with films like Half Ticket (1962), Jab Jab Phool Khile (1965), Upkar (1967) and Ittefaq (1969). A celebrated name in television as well, she had shows like Dekh Bhai Dekh, Kabhi Yeh Kabhi Woh, Zabaan Sambhal Ke and Shriman Shrimati to her credit.

Farah Khan and Boman Irani
Farah Khan and Boman Irani

Though illness kept her away from public glare for the last few years, Shammi would be spotted with best friend Asha Parekh at film screenings organised by Salim Khan. The veteran writer says, "I knew her well even though we had not worked together on a film. She was part of the industry's gang of friends, which included Waheeda Rehman, Asha Parekh, Nanda and Sadhana. It's sad to see that, one by one, everyone is passing away. I would organise screenings of new releases at a preview theatre and invite yesteryear folk. She was full of life. She had not been keeping well, and my family had visited her."

Asha Parekh at the funeral Pics/Datta Kumbhbar
Asha Parekh at the funeral Pics/Datta Kumbhbar

Shammi made a comeback in 2012 with Bela Segal's Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi, starring Farah Khan and Boman Irani. She played the latter's grandmother in the romantic comedy. Says Farah Khan, "On the set, she was always punctual and good humoured. Often, shooting would go on till late night, but she would always be in good spirits."

Farah's association with Shammi goes back five decades. "I have known her since I was a kid. She had worked in a couple of films of my father [Kamran Khan]. She was a friend to my aunts [Daisy Irani and Honey Irani]. Everyone who knew her, loved her. She was always full of cheer and laughter, even when enduring hard times."

B-Town pays tribute to Shammi on Twitter
Amitabh Bachchan
"Shammi aunty, prolific actress, years of contribution to the industry, dear family friend passes away. A long suffered illness. Sad, slowly, slowly they all go away."

Abhishek Bachchan
"I will miss you Shammi aunty. You always gave the warmest hugs and never failed to make everyone smile. So many memories, so much happiness, gone, but not forgotten. Rest in peace."

Anupam Kher
"Some people are born to spread happiness and joy. Shammiji was one of them. Warm, affectionate, funny, optimistic and a wonderful human being. Her permanent line to me was, "Don't ever grow your hair." And she will continue laughing. Will miss her."

Boman Irani
"Bid farewell to everyone's favourite aunty, Shammi aunty. Played her grandson a few years ago. She was the most fun person on set. Loved her very much. Will miss her. May her soul rest in peace."

Priya Dutt
"Shammi, aunty to me and a great actor of yesteryears. She was my mother's dear friend and someone we all loved very much. May her soul rest in peace and her laughter and contagious smile rock the heavens. Be in peace with your friends."

Sandeep Khosla
"We will miss you. You will always remain special to us. Best friend, guide, family."

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