Unravelling the Legacy of Surekha Sikri: A Trailblazing Journey Through 3 iconic films

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By Filmi Khan

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Surekha Sikri, an eminent figure in Indian cinema, was born on April 19, 1945, in New Delhi. Her journey in the world of acting spans over five decades, marked by versatility, depth, and an unwavering commitment to her craft.

Surekha Sikri’s passion for acting ignited during her formative years. She honed her skills at the National School of Drama, where she received rigorous training in theatre. Her dedication and talent soon caught the attention of renowned directors, leading her to make her mark on the stage.

Surekha Sikri transitioned seamlessly from theatre to television, captivating audiences with her remarkable performances. Her breakthrough came with her portrayal of Kalyani Devi in the iconic TV series “Balika Vadhu,” where she depicted the complexities of a traditional yet progressive matriarch with finesse and authenticity. The role earned her widespread acclaim and established her as one of the most distinguished actresses on Indian television.          

Surekha Sikri’s foray into films further solidified her status as a powerhouse performer. She effortlessly embraced diverse roles, breathing life into each character she portrayed. Her memorable performances in movies like “Tamas,” “Mammo,” and “Badhaai Ho” showcased her exceptional range and depth as an actress, earning her numerous accolades, including three National Film Awards.

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Surekha’s father was in the Air Force and mother was a teacher. She was married to Hemant Rege and she has a son, Rahul Sikri, who lives in Mumbai and works as an artist. She was married to Hemant Rege who died due to heart failure on 20 October 2009.

 Famous actor Naseeruddin Shah is her former brother-in-law, as his first marriage was with her step-sister Manara Sikri. The couple had a daughter, Heeba Shah and Surekha was her maternal aunt. Heeba acted as the younger version of her aunt’s character, Dadisa in the television serial Balika Vadhu.

Surekha died on 16 July 2021 at the age of 76 of a cardiac arrest in Mumbai. She had been suffering from the complications of two previous brain strokes.

Surekha Sikri’s journey was not without its challenges. Despite facing health setbacks, she exhibited unparalleled resilience, continuing to mesmerize audiences with her captivating performances. Her ability to transcend boundaries of age and genre is a testament to her unparalleled talent and dedication to her craft.

Surekha Sikri’s contributions to Indian cinema are immeasurable. Her body of work serves as an inspiration for aspiring actors and a testament to the enduring power of storytelling. Beyond her numerous awards and accolades, her legacy lives on in the hearts of countless fans who have been touched by her performances.

Surekha Sikri’s illustrious career is a testament to her unparalleled talent, dedication, and perseverance. As she celebrates another year of life, her contributions to Indian cinema continue to resonate, leaving an indelible mark on the industry. Surekha Sikri’s journey is not merely a story of success but a testament to the transformative power of art and the enduring spirit of a true artist.


Kissa Kursi Ka (1977), Anaadi Anant (1986), Tamas (1988), Salim Langde Pe Mat Ro (1989), Parinati (1989), Nazar (1990), Karamati Coat (1993), Little Buddha (1993), Mammo (1994), Naseem (1995), Sardari Begum (1996), Janmadinam (1998, Malayalam film), Sarfarosh (1999) – Sultan’s Mother (special appearance), Dillagi (1999), Cotton Mary (1999), Hari-Bhari (2000), Zubeidaa (2001), Deham (2001), Kali Salwar (2002), Mr. and Mrs. Iyer (2003), Bokshu – The Myth (2002), Raghu Romeo (2003), Raincoat (2004), Tumsa Nahin Dekha (2004), Jo Bole So Nihaal (2005), Humko Deewana Kar Gaye (2006), Sniff (2017), Badhaai Ho (2018), Sheer Qorma (2020), Ghost Stories (2020 film), Kya Meri Sonam Gupta Bewafa Hai? (2021) (Posthumous release, final role)

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