Where’s Faryal, the item girl from the late 1960s who for a brief while sizzled in cabaret numbers and then disappeared? Jayshree T and her sister Meena T? The sisters together danced through scores of potboilers, sometimes together. When I saw Shilpa and Shamita Shetty set the rains on fire in the track Baras ja… in Fareb I was reminded of the ‘T’ sisters, both probably contented housewives now in places where cameras go only to click family pictures.
Or Laxmi Chhaya? The Gujju bombshell who shook up the screen with one item song after another in Mera Gaon Mera Desh, and then vanished, although she had comedian Agha singing an entire song—Tu hi meri laxmi tu hi meri chhaya—dedicated to her in a movie.
Laxmi Chhaya came to an undeserving tragic end when she died in near-penury some years ago.
“Just a small snippet on the 8th page announcing the death of a sexpot who had men throwing coins at the screen each time she shook her hips and quivered her lips. That’s why I opted out when I could still hear wolf whistles in the dark. Better for us dancers to settle down before it’s too late. Unlike other actresses, we dancers don’t get mature roles later. We’re as good as our last gyration,” a leading item girl of the 1970s had told me when I met her some years ago.