My motto in life is to live life to the fullest and to fulfill the purpose of the universe that I was sent here for.
Meet Shama Sikander – a dashing bollywood actress gracing the cover of our issue. Shama is a successful Indian actress whose career has spanned through TV, films and now web. She made her debut in Prem Agan and then went on to features alongside Aamir Khan in Mann. However her true calling came in television when she played the lead in the smash hit TV show Yeh Meri Life Hai where she portrayed the character of a small town girl wanting to make in big in a big city. She won many awards and accolades for her performance in this role. She then went on to feature in many shows such as Jodee Kamaal Koi, Popkorn newaz, Kaajjal, Seven, Baal Veer to name a few.
Tell us about your education.
I have studied till 10th and I have changed at least 9 schools in my life. the rest of the main education happened with life.
What are your favourite childhood memories?
I don’t remember much of my childhood but i do remember these flashes of memories with my grandparents, like I used to lay down on my grandmothers(mom side) stomach, every night in the open ground we have this small bed laid out side we could see all the stars and the moon and we slept in nature and I still remember how quickly I used to fall asleep on her stomach, as I loved sleeping on the stomach like a small monkey child and I also remember my grandfather(mom side) how he used to drop me to school because to drop me to school he had to obviously give me a lot of things and convince me to go to school because I was really pampered by these them.
Who inspired you to take up acting as a career?
My dad actually wanted me to be an actress in the beginning and of course I used to watch a lot of films so I think a lot of actresses… watching Sri Devi growing up, watching Mumtaz growing up, these were 2 of my favorite legendary actresses. I guess somewhere deeply I was subconsciously inspired but I was not aware of it till my dad told me we were shifting to Mumbai and then I joined acting school and I was very young and I had no idea what I wanted to become so when I started my career also I was 13 years old and I don’t think at that time our mind was fully built to decide what I wanted to be, so he took this decision that I was good at acting and I was, also in dancing and all these things, I was very fond of art… anything related to art, films or dancing, so when he saw all of that he thought that I could be an actress hence he put me to acting school and gave me this big dream that I can become an actress.
When and how did you get into acting?
When I was 13 I started. I took my first year acting course from an acting school and before that I took a short acting course from Baby Naz. She was a phenomenal child actress of her time and she had done a lot of films, very famous and god bless her soul. she taught me not only acting but to even speak in English
Please briefly describe your journey so far?
My journey has been very interesting with lots of ups and downs, I’ve seen so much in life since I started it at a very young age. I got to see the reality of life at an early stage of my life. I think I have had a little too much to know at that young age when I could hardly process anything and that somehow was a little overwhelming to me as I grew up. when you see so much of reality which most of the times is very different from the fairy tales we read and our family teaches us and we grow up to and it can be damaging and it was damaging for me, I really feel that the children should be taught about the reality of the world from the beginning
What projects are you now working on?
Well, i was supposed to start shooting for 3 projects before the pandemic hit unfortunately now no idea when everything is going to get normal and when our film shoots are going to start slowly. I think as things get better I’ll have a better idea of what I’m going to start shooting first and it’s kind of dangerous quiet scary to be honest I have been contemplating a lot to sort of where and how we’re going to do it so yeah it’s kind of dicey.
If not an actor, what would you be?
So many things I mean a couple of years ago perhaps I wouldn’t be able to say this cause I wasn’t aware of a lot of my qualities nor of my talents I thought I was just good as an actor I may be what do you say devaluated myself quite a lot but I recently learned that I’m extremely good as an interior designer I’m extremely good as a business woman as an entrepreneur, I do have a very business-oriented mind, i am extremely good as a producer of movies and I am extremely talented as in a lot of post-production work that is required to make a movie. I would say making a movie I would rather be making movies or simultaneously working in as an interior designer and maybe having some different kinds of businesses which I am now already into.
Best thing about being an actress?
Best thing, to be able to connect with so many people, actually the best thing is to be able to live so many life’s as one person I mean just by being an actor I’m able to live so many different characters I’m able to feel so much more than under a normal that a known actor would ever be able to feel and also live their life’s entirely in a way wherever that person goes we get to go wherever that person lives we get to live however many people exist in that person we get to interact with all those people even if those people are artists they are also living others life’s so I think we get to live so many life’s as one person and just by the shear idea of so many dimensions as one character is just outstanding
..And the hardest?
The hardest is also the same thing actually it’s ironical that you know the same, we are just part of the same coin. The same thing can also be very traumatic and it can and also kind of, if you’re not aware enough that you are living other characters and you are not those characters, if you don’t get lost in those characters it can destroy your this birth that you are living because it can create a complete confusion, a complete chaos in the mind if you just are kind of loose control over yourself and you get confused in all those characters that you have played it can be extremely damaging to you as this person that you are, and that I think is the hardest.
What do you like to do away from acting?
I like to do interior designing a lot as I said I’m an artist I like to create things, I like to make places beautiful, homes beautiful, spaces beautiful, or make them better if I can in any way and also the awareness of letting go when I can’t otherwise I’ll reach a state of OCD which is not good at all, which is also bad for mental health. So yeah, my meditations help me a lot to keep the balance, so hence I like to do interior designing I like to watch movies I like to travel a lot
How was your experience working with Amir Khan during ‘Mann’?
It was an amazing experience, Amir is a very thorough artist, he is one of my most favorite actors so I was in awe of him when I was working, but he made sure that I look at him as a human being and not as a superstar, he would play games with me and he would play silly you know kids games with me or joke with me or make me feel comfortable with the whole unit so whatever small time that I spent with him I was, I thoroughly enjoyed, , I always will look up to him even as a human being because he’s so easy going and he doesn’t have this starry attitude he’s a very easy person and I think I also would like to give some credit to his family for that because his family is also very simple people they made some of the biggest films in our industry but they are extremely simple at heart.
Which Bollywood actor are you keen to work with and why?
So, I’m keen to work with a lot of Bollywood actors currently Ayushman Khurrana, Vicky Kaushal, Ranveer Singh, Ranbir Kapoor, for the fact that these guys are brilliant actors Shahrukh Khan they’re brilliant actors they are good people I mean they seem like they’re fun to work with and professional and I’m excited to learn something from them
The hardest scene you’ve ever filmed?
I’ve always got very hard hitting roles, like every role that I did they were difficult to do they were hardest of, I mean if you see, but what was the hardest, I think the hardest scenes that I ever shot were from my latest film which is not released yet and I can’t take the name of that film till it goes for a release but they were a lot of scenes from that film they we’re really hard they were mentally very hard on me in fact after shooting that film I went into quite deep depression for a month
Name your dream role you’d like to do one day?
So many roles, I want to create dream roles I always feel like something that Sridevi did in Miss India was a dream role for me it was fantastic or something that Mumtaz Ji did in Khilona was a dream role there was something like Meena Kumari doing Sahib Bibi and Ghulam it was a dream role or something like what Rani Mukherji did in Black dream role I mean these women they created dream roles so I definitely don’t want to do the same things because they are legendary in what they did and I don’t want to touch anything that’s legendary it will be stupid of me but I would like to create my roles which becomes dream roles for other people hence I would like to definitely do some roles which are very powerful and that has been my main
Three things that make you happy?
Love, Kindness, and Honesty.
Do you have any tricks or routines to stay healthy and beautiful?
Yes, I meditate a lot so if you want to glow from within you got to become aware of yourself you got to become aware of your worth you got to become aware of who you really are and accept it whole heartedly and then the glow will forever remain hence that will keep you beautiful my normal routine to keep my outer beauty is just very simple I like to keep my skin healthy and clean by drinking a lot of water keeping myself hydrated and eating the right kind of food
You also started a private fashion label named ‘Saisha’, why ‘Saisha’ and who would you say is the right audience for your brand?
Well I did start a private fashion named Saisha, why Saisha I just like this name Saisha because it was just so beautiful it means goddess of life I think and I felt like since I am doing my brand is for women and I feel like every women is a goddess of life and hence I kept this name. The right audience for my brand is every woman, every woman has the right to look pretty to look gorgeous to look exclusive hence I started that brand you would find only one piece each with exclusive so I feel every person is unique and exclusive and hence they deserve to wear dresses that are exclusive and that you will not see anywhere else so yeah that was the brand but I ran it for 3 years but then I shut it cause I couldn’t handle there was too much going on in my life and now I just make clothes for myself & for my friends
We also learnt that you own a production house. How did you make this decision? Was it a good decision?
Yes I do, my Production House is called Shama Sikandar Films Private Limited, I always wanted to have a production house since I entered this line because a lot of people used to misbehave if we went for work if you’re a new comer if you don’t have enough value in their eyes they would really ill treat you and I felt like one day when I’ll become capable of opening a Production House I will open a Production House and I will have all nice people appointed in my Production House and nobody should be at least degraded or disrespected in that Production House whether we can give them a work or no that’s a separate thing but they should be respected first as human beings.
What do you want to achieve next?
What I want to achieve next is the well-deserving stardom that I deserve and thankfully I am aware of it now and I am giving all my energy towards that also to be able to achieve that special place in people’s heart where I am not only respected as an artist but as a human being and as a person who did something for the society I want to be able to reach my highest potential and to reach and to be able to fulfill the goal of the universe through me whatever I am here for I would like to fulfill that purpose of the universe on a larger scale so that’s what I want to achieve now.
Favorite sport is football, yeah! Or all these gymnastic tournaments I love gymnastics so anything related to gymnastics.
I love all kind of music, soothing music I don’t like, I’m not a very hardcore kind of hard rock kind of music fan I don’t like music that makes too much noise I like more soft romantic soft rocks classic music or even instrumental music that something that can touch my heart and so. So, it’s here. I think most favourite music of mine would be Sufi music, I really love Sufi music in any language.
My most favorite travel destinations are umm Greece, Turkey, Switzerland and Italy I just love these places I think they’re the best places oh also UK I love UK and US I think I have covered the whole world haha But yeah these are my most favourite places to go to
Favourite TV Show:
Favourite tv shows, I don’t know if Dark is a TV show but I love Dark on Netflix I think it is my most favourite show till date, it’s not a show anymore it’s more it’s like life , dark is life actually, also Game of Thrones, House of Cards, Ozark, umm yeah these are my most favourite shows, oh This is Us oh my god yeah I love This is Us.
Anything that my mum cooks she’s a brilliant cook her biryani her sheer khurma her daal chawal anything that she cooks, she’s such a good cook umm also I love Turkish Cuisine I love Greek food I love Italian I think, I think I’d like these places more for food.
Favourite all-time movie:
I don’t have any one choice honestly, I don’t think you can just have one choice there’s so much great stuff in this world and putting it all into one is just injustice it’s not right I feel, so I would say like favourite all time movies would me Gangs of New York, or umm My left Foot, or Wolf of the Wall Street, or Black, or mm oh my god there are so many movies – Sophie’s choice, Inception, Interstellar , I mean I just love these kind of films I can’t wait for Tenet
Your motto in life?
My motto in life is to live life to the fullest and to fulfill the purpose of the universe that I was sent here for and to be able to find joy in everything that I do honestly that’s my motto just live and let live and help as much as you can be compassionate towards each other and just enjoy each moment it’s so precious it’s never going to come back at least not in this consciousness maybe it exists in multiple consciousness after watching Dark (laughs) but know in this consciousness I don’t think this moment is going to come back.
Do you have any other secret talent(s)?
My secret talent would be is I can paint I can cook I can mm I’m a great negotiator I think that’s a talent I’m also very good in business because I’m a great negotiator (laughs) very good serious person but only something I have to believe in it like I’m very honest safe person also so once I know something and I believe in something then I can be a very serious person
Your message for us at CiiN magazine.
I just want tell you all that it’s a great magazine I love the look of it and I love the content that you guys put up keep up the great work and be happy and live life fully and don’t worry about anything else just live whatever comes your way as I said If you start looking at yourself as an entity that is connected to the universe and not just a body or a mind you will be able to go through so many big problems in your life without really going through pain or much of pain hence I just wanted to tell you that just be happy be joyous and keep prospering and all my best wishes prayers to all of you who are working at CiiN and Thank you for the interview.