Sharmila Tagore Recalls How She Used Her First Salary She Received From Filmmaker, Satyajit Ray

Veteran actress, Sharmila Tagore walked down the memory lane and recalled the beginnings of her career under filmmakers, Satyajit Ray and Shakti Samanta.


By Srijony Das Last Updated:


Sharmila Tagore Recalls How She Used Her First Salary She Received From Filmmaker, Satyajit Ray

Sharmila Tagore is one of the finest evergreen actresses of her generation in Indian cinema. She has woven magic on the celluloid with her irresistible charisma, graceful performance and flawless looks. Born into a prestigious family of the Tagore’s, she made her debut just at about 14 years of age, with Satyajit Ray’s iconic Bengali film, Apur Sansar. Thereafter, she continued with her successful footfall in the film industry by collaborating with some of the prominent filmmakers of the decade, including Ray, Shakti Samanta, Basu Bhattacharya, Gulzar, Hrishikesh Mukherjee and many others. In her personal life, Sharmila was married to cricketer, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, and the couple is blessed with three children, Saif Ali Khan, Saba Ali Pataudi and Soha Ali Khan.

Sharmila Tagore recalls the first remuneration she got for her film with Satyajit Ray

Recently, while speaking with Anupam Gupta on his YouTube show, Paisa Vaisa, Sharmila Tagore walked down the memory lane and talked about the first salary she earned as a 14-year-old actor from the filmmaker, Satyajit Ray. The actress revealed that her father wasn’t keen on taking any salary from Ray. But, only after a lot of convincing that the filmmaker was able to present her a saree, a watch and a sum of Rs. 5000. Adding how this money was utilised in her Bengali family, Sharmila said:

“He gave me a saree, he gave me a watch and he gave me Rs 5,000. So instantly, being a Bengali family, we went to the gold shop. We bought bangles, we bought a necklace and we bought earrings for Rs 5,000. While the money was less, things were also not that expensive. I started working pretty early in life and I started earning pretty early in life. Although the fees was not as wonderful as they are right now but again, things didn’t cost so much.”

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Sharmila Tagore reveals filmmaker, Shakti Samanta offered to give her land in place of salary

Moving forth in the conversation, Sharmila Tagore recalled another interesting exchange of words with the filmmaker, Shakti Samanta. For the unversed, the actress-filmmaker duo collaborated on many films together, each of which was no less than a blockbuster hit. The actress recalled that for her first Hindi film, Kashmir Ki Kali, Shakti Samanta was supposed to pay her Rs. 25,000 as her fees, which was more than the range of Rs. 10,000-12,000 she got in Bengali films. Moreover, she revealed how the filmmaker was keen on presenting her with a land, instead of her salary. In her words:

“He said, ‘Instead of giving you money, why don’t I give you land? In what is now Vile Parle. So I said, ‘Are you mad? Am I going to come and live in this swamp? That was back in 1963.”


Sharmila talks about the time when she purchased her first house

In the concluding segment of the interaction, Sharmila also spoke of the struggles she faced during the initial few years of her film career, when it came to finding her own house. The veteran actress shared that she used to live at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai for a couple of years since she didn’t want to bother herself with housekeeping duties. She then recalled buying her first home, an apartment at a price of Rs. 3 lakhs. Speaking more about it, she said:

“I couldn’t be bothered about housekeeping. I bought my apartment for Rs 3 lakh and it was such a struggle to arrange for that Rs 3 lakh because at that time, we were paying enormous tax. So there was no scope for capital building.”

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When Sharmila spoke about working relentlessly in her career

In an old interaction with News18, Sharmila Tagore spoke about working relentlessly at one point in her career. Citing the reasons behind the same, the actress mentioned how it was a necessary move, so that she could pay her rent on time and keep sufficient funds.


What do you think about Sharmila Tagore’s revelations?

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