Surekha Sikri, one of the finest actors in the industry, passed away at the age of 75. She started her career in theatres and later joined Indian Television and Bollywood. Let us visit the popular characters played by her.
1. Balika Vadhu
The popular Hindi serial started on 21st July 2008. The serial sheds light on child marriage in India. Surekha played the character of Kalyani Devi, Dadisa in Balika Vadhu. Delivering a breathtaking performance as the strict widow grandmother, Dadisa, the character is supposed to be the representation of the traditional and conventional society of India. The tinge of patriarchy is very well reflected through Kalyani Devi. This character could only be brought to life because of Surekha Sikri. She carved out the rural Rajasthani matriarch of the house, through her astounding acting.
2. Badhaai Ho
Released on 27 September 2018, Badhaai Ho is about an elderly couple, having a grown-up son, becoming pregnant. Surekha Sikri plays the paternal Dadi, Durga. Her character is very straightforward and honest. Dadi gains immense praise because she supports her daughter in law and stands up to the bullies who were taunting her for getting pregnant at such an age. We all need such a positive Dadi in life. Surekha won the Star Screen Award, Filmfare Award, National film award under the category of Best Supporting Actress for her character of Dadi in this film.
3. Ghost stories
Netflix released Ghost stories on 1st January 2020. Ghost stories are a combination of 4 stories by 4 directors. Surekha acted like an old and ailing bedridden lady, Mrs Malik in story 1 which was directed by Zoya Akhter. Established in an eerie setting, the character of Mrs Malik can give the viewers chills. Without much dialogue, Surekha tactically displays the character with expressions and emotions.
Film Tamas is a period television film which was directed by Govind Nihalani. It was released in 1988 and was based on a novel by Bhisham Sahni’s novel with the same name. The film reflected the partition and its effects on people. Surekha played the role of Rajo. This role was responsible for the actor’s first National Film Award For Best Supporting Actress. Her performance was breathtaking and was the talk of the town for a long time.
5. Kissa Kursi Ka
The film was a political satire and was released in 1978. It was directed by Amrit Nahata, who was a member of Parliament. This became Surekha Sikri’s debut film. The film revolved around an evil politician trying to win the public. Playing the character of Meera, a political aspirant, Surekha portrayed a sly character who could do anything. The performance was so stunning that the audience enjoyed watching her play a sly character.
Directed by Shyam Benegal, Mammo is the first film of the Muslim Trilogy. Mammo was released in 1994 and is considered to be one of the best works by Benegal. The story revolves around Fayyuzi, played by Surekha, her grandson and her sister, Mammo. Surekha is praised to date due to her astonishing portrayal of Fayyuzi. This role is the reason behind her winning the National Film Award for the second time.
7. Sardari Begum
The second film in the Muslim Trilogy by Benegal came out in 1996. The story is about a reporter pursuing the story behind the death of Sardari, a courtesan and singer. Surekha Sikri plays the role of Ittan Bai, who is the owner of a house where courtesans perform. Sikri, despite her brief role in the film, delivers such a powerful performance that is hard to not notice.
Released in 2001, Zubeidaa became the final conclusion film of the Muslim Trilogy by Benegal. While the story involves Riyaz searching for his mother Zubeida. The plotline is a little bit similar to the first film of the trilogy Mammo. Riyaz was fostered by his maternal grandmother Fayyuzi, played by Surekha Sikri. Sikri with very little screen time delivers a strong, impactful and long-lasting performance.
9. Hari Bhari
Hari Bhari is a film by Shyam Benegal which focuses on 5 women and the various issues of fertility faced by each one of them. The film tries to educate the audience about the struggles women have to go through. Surekha played the matriarch of the household, Hasina. As the ailing grandmother, Surekha represents the pain of the character in an incredible way.
10. Ek Tha Raja Ek Thi Rani
Ek Tha Raja Ek Thi Rani was a period serial that came out on 27th July 2015. The story revolves around Gayatri and Ranaji and their villainous Badi Rani maa, played by Surekha Sikri. The character created chaos and was against the protagonists’ relationship. And through this Sikri brings the character of evil grandmother to life once again.
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