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Shama Sikander Ali Gesawat (born 4 August 1981) is an Indian actress, best recognised for her lead roles in the TV series Yeh Meri Life Hai and short film Sexaholic and the mini-series Maaya: Slave of Her Desires. Sikander has appeared in numerous Bollywood films, including starting her career with the 1999 Aamir Khan starring Mann. Her last theatricals release, a Bollywood thriller, Bypass Road was released on 8 November 2019.
|Alma mater||Roshan Taneja School of Acting|
Early life Edit
Shama Sikander was born in Makrana, Rajasthan, India. She was born to mother Gulshan and father Sikander Ali Gesawat. At the age of 9 her family moved to Mumbai, Maharashtra, where she lived together with her younger siblings, Khalid, Rizwan Sikander, and Salma (born 1991). Sikander has mentioned in interviews that her early years in Mumbai were extremely difficult, even commenting that at times "there was no food in the house to feed the family".
Having moved locations frequently, Sikander attended as many as nine schools in her early life in Makrana and various parts of Greater Mumbai including Malad, Mumbra, Thane, and Andheri. Following her completion of the 10th grade, and passing the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education examination, Sikander enrolled in the Roshan Taneja School of Acting in Mumbai in 1995, graduating from the course a year later.
Sikander began her career on the big screen with small parts in Prem Aggan (1998, Hindi) and Mann (1999, Hindi) before landing a supporting role in Ansh: The Deadly Part (2002, Hindi). Her first major role on television was as the title character "Pooja Mehta" in the popular Sony TV drama Ye Meri Life Hai (2003-2005). The performance earned her numerous nominations and awards, her wins including the 12th Annual Lion's Gold Awards' Critics' Choice "Best Actress" (2005), Indian Television Academy Awards' "GR8! Face of the Year" (2004), and "Best Debut" (2004). Sikander subsequently anchored Popkorn Newz (2007) and Jet Set Go (2008) before returning to film with lead role of "Jiya" in Dhoom Dadakka (2008). She subsequently appeared in the lead role of "Shunyaa" on the supernatural thriller TV series Seven (2010-2011 Hindi) produced by Bollywood juggernaut Yash Raj Films. She was seen as "Byankar Pari", the lead antagonist in the children's program Baal Veer (2012–2014) on SAB TV.
While working to establish herself in Mumbai's Bollywood industry, Sikander traveled hours, daily from the outskirts of the city to attend auditions, often accompanied by her brother, Rizwan Sikander, also an actor.
Her film debut came at the age of 16, in 1998 with the Hindi-language feature film Prem Aggan, produced and directed by acclaimed film personality Feroz Khan. After a friend suggested she screen test for the part, Sikander so impressed Feroz Khan that she landed the role, even though it had already been cast. Despite significant hype, the film, which also featured Feroz Khan's son Fardeen Khan's debut, was both a critical and box office failure. Nevertheless, one critic praised her screen presence and commented "[Sikander is] friendly to the viewers' eyes."[unreliable source?]
A year later Sikander appeared in the Amir Khan starer Mann (1999 Hindi) in a cameo as Kamini. Directed by Indra Kumar the film received mixed reviews and did not do well at the box office. As with her debut in Prem Aggan, however, Sikander received positive reviews for her performance. Calling her "pretty and emotive", Mohammad Ali Ikram of Planet Bollywood exclaimed "Mark my words, this simple stunner has the ability to shine as a great performer and star".
Ansh: The Deadly Part (2002) was Sikander's first supporting role in a Hindi-language feature film. Portraying the character Kusum opposite south Indian actor Abbas, the film produced by Rukamanee Arts was a box office success doing reasonably well and garnering generally favorable reviews. Despite Ansh being her best-faring feature film so far, Sikander would not have another big screen release for the next six years.
Actor (2003–present) Edit
Though her feature films failed to establish Sikander as a box office success, her Television debut portraying the title character "Pooja Metha" in the popular Sony TV drama Ye Meri Life Hai (2003-2005) made the show a household name overnight, gave her "instant fame", and eventually elevated her to "one of the most loved faces on Indian television.". Her performance earned her numerous nominations, her wins including The Indian Television Academy Awards' "GR8 Face of the Year" (2004), The Indian Television Academy Awards' "Best Debut" (2004), The 12th Annual Lion's Gold Awards' "Best Actress: Critics' Choice" (2005), and Sony TV's "Best Face" (2005). The same year she was seen in the lead role in Chand Bujh Gaya, a film on the Godhra train burning and 2002 Gujarat riots, which was initially refused certification by CBFC and FCAT and could be released only after the producers approached the Bombay High Court.
Fueled by the success of Ye Meri Life Hai and her subsequent performances, Sikander would be seen in frequent guest appearances on various popular programs including Batliwala House No. 43 (2005), CID (2006), Jodee Kamaal Ki (2007), Kaajjal (2008), and Man Mein Hai Visshwas (2009).
Beginning in 2007 Sikander also featured as a TV program host – first of entertainment channel Zoom's Popkorn Newz for a single season, and then in 2008, as the host of the STAR One travel-contest program Jet Set Go. An accomplished self-taught dancer and amateur singer, 2008 would also see Sikander appear on numerous programs including the celebrity dance program Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena as a celebrity contestant alongside notable Indian cricketer Vinod Kambli (where she drew praise from Bollywood Superstar Sushmita Sen who called her "one of the most fabulous dancers I've ever seen"), next in the singing reality program Jjhoom India again as a celebrity contestant, as well as India's longest running dance program Boogie Woogie as a celebrity guest performer in 2010 and subsequently on multiple occasions as a performer as a guest judge. Her ability to showcase well in singing, dance, hosting as well as acting caused critics to comment on her versatility as a performer, identifying her as one of the few who have been able to navigate between film and television. While her TV career flourished, Sikander returned to film in 2008 with a supporting role in director Shashi Ranjan's Dhoom Dhadaka alongside notable Bollywood actors Jackie Shroff, Anupam Kher, Gulshan Grover, and Satish Kaushik. The film was a box office failure and regarded by critics as average to disappointing. Sify's Sonia Chopra commented that "The cast doesn't disappoint as much as the film", and that "Shama Sikander [is] earnest enough ... molten-hot and ... superbly styled".
2010 saw Sikander return to a lead role in a television series for the first time since leaving Ye Meri Life Hai in 2005. Sikander's Shunyaa featured as the central character in the supernatural thriller series Seven (2010-2011 Hindi) produced by the Bollywood juggernaut Yash Raj Films. With a production budget far in excess of any television program that came before, YRF's Seven aired weekly episodes instead of daily, in contrast to its competing programming. Sikander's performance and the program as a whole was widely appreciated for being "daringly different", with its own "dedicated audience" eliciting a "huge response through ... platforms like internet, e-mails and social networking sites." Nevertheless, perhaps due to its weekly format, lack of significant promotion, excessive production budget, and YRF's primary focus on its film division, Seven experienced only niche viewership and was eventually brought to a close after only one season of 26 episodes.
After a short break Sikander took the role of the main antagonist, Byankar Pari, in the young-adult fantasy program Baal Veer starting in September 2012. Baal Veer stands as one of the channel's, and indeed the market segment's, highest-rated programs. Sikander quit the show in 2014.
In March 2016, Sikander featured in the short film Sexaholic. Bollywoodlife.com noted that Sikander's performance in the YouTube series "treading into a territory, which would make many male actors balk, Shama is supremely comfortable with her choice."
Continuing to captivate audiences with bold content distributed exclusively online on YouTube, in early 2017 Sikander was featured in the title role of Maaya in Maaya: Slave of Her Desires directed by Vikram Bhatt. Dealing with "the theme of BDSM - a variety of erotic practices or role playing involving bondage, discipline, dominance and submission," the miniseries is frequently cited as among the best produced in India till date.
In December 2017, Sikander announced Ab Dil Ki Sunn, the maiden project of her home production in which she also plays the lead role. Inspired by her own life incidents, Ab Dil Ki Sunn features 7 short films based on different human aspects such as bipolar disorder, depression, and other social and emotional complexities, once again distributed exclusively on YouTube. Ab Dil Ki Sunn launched on YouTube in early 2018 and the event was attended by many notable Bollywood celebrities.
Sikander's return to the theaters comes by way of the November 1st 2019 release of the mainstream Bollywood thriller Bypass Road. Starring Sikander alongside notable actors including Neil Nitin Mukesh, Adah Sharma, Sudhanshu Pandey, Manish Chaudhary, Rajit Kapoor, and Gul Panag the Times of India predicts "it is sure going to be one edge-of-the-seat thriller."
Designer (2010–present) Edit
On 3 December 2010 Sikander launched her women's wear fashion label Saisha in the upscale Mumbai suburb of Bandra West, with the high profile and widely covered inauguration attended by her close friends and Bollywood superstars Sushmita Sen and Jackie Shroff. Sikander has showcased her collection numerous times since, often, but not always, appearing on the ramp in her own designs. Saisha has appeared both domestically in Hyderabad Fashion Week and Mumbai's Lakme Fashion Week, as well as internationally, most notably in South Africa.
Film, music and music video producer (2012–present) Edit
Opting in late 2017 to divide her attention between performance and production, Sikander incorporated the Film and TV production company Shama Sikander Films Pvt. Ltd. which is best known for the short film series Ab Dil Ki Sunn.
Having previously featured in a number of music videos in Punjabi and other Indian languages (most notably for acclaimed singer Abhijeet) Sikander reportedly produced a (very sensuous) music video featuring herself alongside boyfriend actor / musician Alexx O'Nell picturising his original English language composition entitled 'Still on My Mind'. The video, which marks their first on screen collaboration has not yet been released. Reports also indicated that she may have been producing an entire English language album authored by O'Nell. In March, Shama Sikander appeared in a music video, Hawa Karda by Koinage Records opposite T.V. actor Gaurav Bajaj. The song was sung by Punjabi Singer Afsana Khan and Sahil Sharma.
In the media Edit
She has been featured in numerous magazine spreads as well as appearing on the cover of GR8! Magazine more than any other actress, three times for the English Edition: March 2010, July 2006, February 2005, as well as at least twice for the Hindi Edition. She also appeared on the cover of Showtime Magazine in December 2011. Sikander was deemed October 2011's 'Hottie of the Month' by Perfect Woman Magazine, and featured in the 'Perfect Woman Spotlight' in May 2013 and Zing Magazine's 'Travel Diaries' in March 2013.
Additionally, Sikander has appeared in print and on the ramp supporting various notable fashion labels and designers including Manish Malhotra & Shaina NC, Neeta Lulla, Nisha Jamvwal, the world-renowned Ritu Kumar, as well as her own brand Saisha. In addition to heading the creative development of Saisha's women's wear designs, Sikander who has been referred to as a "fashion connoisseur" even reportedly contributed design expertise for the creation of wardrobe for her various projects including the fantastical Baal Veer.
Listing among her activities kickboxing, power yoga and dance, Sikander has commented "fitness has always been an integral part of my daily routine ... I ensure that I work out everyday [sic] for at least an hour ... [I] eat right and think positive."
Personal life Edit
In mid-2011 speculation began regarding Sikander's relationship with India-based American actor / musician Alexx O'Nell. The two were spotted with increasing frequency throughout 2011. Sikander confirmed that they were once in a relationship in an interview with Hindustan Times. Sikander and O'Nell's relationship was confirmed to be over in January 2015.
|2002||Yeh Mohabbat Hai|
|2002||Ansh: The Deadly Part||Kusum|
|2008||Contract||Special appearances in "Maula Khair Kare"|
|2003–2005||Yeh Meri Life Hai||Pooja||Sony TV|
|2005||Batliwala House No. 43||Herself||Sony TV||Celebrity Guest|
|2006||C.I.D.||Minakshi||Sony TV||Ep. "Secret of the Code No. 571 E 1115"|
|2007||Jodee Kamaal Ki||Herself||Star Plus||Ep. Raksha Bandhan Special|
|2008||Kaajjal||Chameli||Sony TV||Cameo appearance|
|2009||Man Mein Hai Visshwas||Rukhsana||Sony TV||Single Episode Appearance|
|2012–2014||Baal Veer||Bhali Pari later changed to Bhayankar Pari since she was not chosen as Rani Pari||SAB TV||Last seen
Television: Dance & Reality Edit
|2008||Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena||Dance Reality Show||Self (Celebrity Contestant)||Colors (TV channel)|
|2008||Jet Set Go||Travel-Contest Reality Show||Self (Host)||STAR One|
|2010||Jjhoom India||Singing Reality Show||Self (Celebrity Contestant)||Sahara One|
|2010||Boogie Woogie||Dance Reality Show||Self (Celebrity Guest / Judge) *Multiple Appearances||Sony TV|
Web series Edit
|2016||Maaya||Sonia Arora||VB on the Web||Marseille Web Fest Official Selection 2017|
|2018||Ab Dil Ki Sunn||multiple||YouTube||Producer also|
Music videos Edit
|2001||Mirza panjabi song Harbhajan Maan||Lala Lala Lala|
|2001||Mehfil Mitran Di Babbu Maan ,Chann Chaanani Raat||Saaun di jhadi|
|2002||Baje Jo Bansi Thama Karo||Tere Bina|
|2002||Kabhi Mausam Hua Resham||Tere Bina|
|2021||Hawa Karda||Hawa Karda|||
Awards and nominations Edit
|2004||Best Actress in a Lead Role||Indian Telly Awards||Nominated|
|2004||Fresh New Face||Indian Telly Awards|
|2004||GR8 Face of the Year||Indian Television Academy Awards||Won|
|2004||Best Debut||Indian Television Academy Awards|
|2005||Critics' Choice: Best Actress||12th Lions Gold Awards|
|2005||Best Face||Sony TV|
|2017||Official Selection - Maaya||Marseille Web Fest||Nominated|
|2017||Fitness Diva||Perfect Achievers Award||Won|
|2019||Most Beautiful Woman of the Year||Aspiring She||Won|
|2019||Style Icon of the Year||International Quality Awards||Won|
|2019||Most Promising Actor||Black Swan Awards, Asia One||Won|
- Shama Sikander Ali Gesawat. Open Corporates.
- Taran Adarsh [@taran_adarsh] (24 October 2019). "New release date for #BypassRoad: 8 Nov 2019... PVR Pictures joins hands with Miraj Entertainment and NNM Films to distribute the film... Stars Neil Nitin Mukesh, Adah Sharma, Shama Sikander, Gul Panag, Rajit Kapur and Sudhanshu Pandey... Directed by Naman Nitin Mukesh. t.co/jkYSyP1faN" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "I always want my mother to feel special: Shama". The Times of India. 11 May 2013. Archived from the original on 16 August 2013.
- "PIX: Sultry Shama Sikander designs sexy womenswear!". Rediff. 24 June 2011.
- "PIX: Sultry Shama Sikander designs sexy womenswear!". Rediff. 24 June 2011.
- "PIX: Sultry Shama Sikander designs sexy womenswear!". Rediff. 24 June 2011.
- "Reaping the Jassi harvest". The Hindu. 29 April 2004. Archived from the original on 5 July 2004.
- "Prem Aggan Review". Planet Bollywood, Mohammad Ali Ikram. 30 October 1998. Archived from the original on 29 January 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
- "Mann Review". Planet Bollywood, Mohammad Ali Ikram. 9 July 1999. Archived from the original on 2 October 1999.
- "Shama is living her dreams". The Times of India. 4 October 2008. Archived from the original on 14 October 2013.
- "Shama Sikander ushers in Diwali with lights and family time". SAWF News. 27 October 2008.
- "Shama Sikander moves to big screen". DNA India. 10 May 2011.
- "HC tells Censor Board to give certificate to film on Guj riots". Outlook. Press Trust of India. 5 November 2004. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
- "Shama Sikander - A girl to watch out for!". ThaIndian, Amrit Rashmisrisethi. 26 September 2008.
- "I can look glamorous". The Times of India. 30 September 2008. Archived from the original on 15 October 2013.
- "Dhoom Dadakka". All Indian Site. 23 May 2008.
- Sonia Chopra. "Dhoom Dadakka Review". Sify. Archived from the original on 18 November 2015.
- "movie review dhoom dadakka". Bollywood Hungama News Network, Taran Adarsh. 23 May 2008.
- "DVD REVIEW - DHOOM DADAKKA - ONE OF THE WORST FILMS OF THE YEAR". Naach Gaana, Joginder Tuteja. 3 July 2008. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
- "YRF Television". Yash Raj Films.
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- "YRF TV driven by content, not TRPs". Zee News, IANS. 25 January 2011.
- "All YRF soaps to go off air from July 1". Hindustan Times, Agencies. 30 June 2010. Archived from the original on 16 August 2013.
- "Salsa time for Shama". The Times of India. 14 March 2010. Archived from the original on 7 October 2013.
- "Overnights: 'SaraswatiChandra' hits record high". Media 247, Raj Baddhan. 12 March 2013.
- "Balveer". television trp. 12 May 2013. Archived from the original on 26 November 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
- "Shama Sikander: It was not easy to play nymphomaniac in Sexaholic". indianexpress.com. 6 March 2016. Retrieved 25 February 2018.
- "5 Amazing Web Series By Vikram Bhatt To Binge Watch This Weekend - Stressbuster". Dailyhunt. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
- "55 Best Indian Web Series Worth Watching on Netflix, Prime,Youtube 2019". Moodswag. 24 April 2018. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
- "Shama Sikander: 'Ab Dil Ki Sun' inspired by my life". 17 December 2017.
- "Ab Dil Ki Sun' inspired by my life: Shama Sikander".
- "In Pics: It was a star-studded evening at Shama Sikander's trailer launch of 'Ab Dil Ki Sunn'". 16 May 2018.
- "'Bypass Road': The thriller-drama starring Neil Nitin Mukesh to release on November 1 - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
- "Saisha by Shama Sikander". Bandra Info. 17 May 2013.
- "Celeb spotting in tinsel town: Launch of Shama Sikandar's new label Saisha". MSN. 3 December 2010. Archived from the original on 9 December 2010. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
- "Sushmita Sen opens friend Shama Sikander's designer store SAISHA". GlamGold. 5 December 2010.
- "Shama Sikandar showcased her Cocktail & Party Collection". BollySpice, BollySpice Editors. 22 January 2011.
- "Shama gears up for her LFW debut". The Times of India. 19 August 2011. Archived from the original on 16 August 2013.
- "Grateful Dread". The Times of India. 11 December 2012. Archived from the original on 29 May 2013.
- "Shama Sikander Films Pvt. Ltd". The Open Database of the Corporate World.
- Mujhe Kanhaiya Kaha Karo [Full Song] Tere Bina. T-Series, Abhijeet Bhattacharjya. 22 May 2011. Archived from the original on 20 December 2021.
- "You can't stop the world from judging you: TV actress Shama Sikander". Zee News. 27 December 2012.
- "Marriage will happen when the right time comes: Shama". The Times of India. 10 April 2013. Archived from the original on 16 August 2013.
- "Shama Sikander, Alexx Onell to feature in a music video". The Times of India. 21 December 2012. Archived from the original on 16 August 2013.
- "Sizzling Shama Sikander reveals her fitness secrets!". Rediff. 29 March 2010.
- "Shama inclined towards a fit and toned body". The Times of India. 26 July 2013. Archived from the original on 16 August 2013.
- "Shama is called Uma on the sets!". The Times of India. 31 December 2009. Archived from the original on 16 August 2013.
- "Sayantani Ghosh's b'day bash in Mumbai". The Times of India. 8 September 2011. Archived from the original on 16 August 2013.
- "Return of a Hottie... (Cover Story)". Gr8! Magazine. Vol. 7. Indian Television Academy. March 2010.
- "Cricket Special (Cover Story)". Gr8! Magazine. Vol. 4. Indian Television Academy. July 2006.
- "Valentines Special (Cover Story)". Gr8! Magazine. Vol. 3. Indian Television Academy. February 2005.
- Raedita Tandan (December 2011). "Shama Sikander Finally Breaks Her Silence on Her Relationship With Alexx O'Nell (Cover Story)". Showtime Magazine. Magna Publications. pp. 20–26.
- Aanchal Gera (October 2011). "Hottie of the Month". Perfect Woman Magazine. Vol. 1, no. X. GGC Limited. pp. 20–22.
- Aanchal Gera (May 2013). "Perfect Woman Spotlight". Perfect Woman Magazine. Vol. 3, no. 5. GGC Limited.
- Ayushi Sinha (March 2013). "Shama Sikander Travel Diaries". Zing Magazine. Cyberax Media. pp. 43–46.
- "Shaina NC and Manish Malhotra's charity fashion show". DNA, Prashant Jadhav. 20 June 2011.
- "Shama helps designer of her show on costumes". The Times of India. 13 October 2012. Archived from the original on 16 August 2013.
- "Playing the violin is sexy: Shama". The Times of India. 13 October 2008. Archived from the original on 7 October 2013.
- "Shama's creative instincts". The Times of India. 16 December 2012. Archived from the original on 16 August 2013.
- "Painting is a highly creative passion: Shama Sikander". CanIndia. 1 August 2013. Archived from the original on 16 August 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
- "Mithun's son is in love". The Times of India. 17 May 2010. Archived from the original on 16 August 2013.
- "I swallowed several sleeping pills: Actor Shama Sikander on her suicide attempt".
- "Shama Sikander-Alexx O'Nell end their relationship - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
- "Shama Sikander: I don't need to get married to have a baby. I will proudly call it my love child". The Times of India.
- "PHOTOS: Shama Sikander engagement pictures from Dubai's only seven-star hotel Burj Al Arab". dailybhaskar. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
- "Shama Sikander and James Milliron tie the knot, see their gorgeous white wedding photos". Bollywood Hungama. 14 March 2022. Retrieved 16 March 2022.
- "Watch: Shama Sikander's sex addict act in short film is literally too hot to handle". DNA. 4 March 2016. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
- "Shama Sikander Has Been Recently Signed Film Bypass Road".
- "Maaya". Marseille Web Festival.
- "Watch New Punjabi Song Music Video - 'Hawa Karda' Sung By Afsana Khan, Sahil Sharma | Punjabi Video Songs - Times of India". timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
- "Telly awards 2004 Popular Awards winners". Archived from the original on 17 September 2018. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
- "Telly awards 2004 Popular Awards nominees". Archived from the original on 16 October 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
- "Marseille Web Fest - Edition 2017".
- "Shama Sikander Interview With AspiringShe Team". Archived from the original on 24 June 2019. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
- "Shama Sikander For international quality awards night 2019".
- "IQA, MARCH 2019".
- "Lastnight wasspecial".