We reproduce portions of the interview telecast on DD for the benefit of Shamshad fans. It is reproduced from an HF post by Pulkit. Thanks Pulkit.
Ques: how and when were you initially drawn towards singing?
Shamshad Begum: Since childhood. Actually, in school when we used to have morning prayer so few teachers felt that my voice stood out. I was called to stand in the front and lead. At home, our family was strict with regard to singing, my brother used to even scold me if I sang a song. But, my uncle really encouraged me and persuaded everyone that I had exceptional talent which must be groomed and so I started singing. I gave in to my family's wish that I would never act or face camera and was not even fond of getting my snaps clicked. Initially, I sang non-film songs which became very popular. My first film song was for Yamla Jat, composed my Master Ghulam Haider.
Ques: How did you find the switch over to playback?
SB: In those days, studios in Lahore were poorly equipped, dusty and dirty, one mike used to be placed which was shared by singers, musicians and chorus......amidst these dusty surroundings we used to stand and sing...'ahaa ahaa sawan ke nazare hain....' (Laughs). When I was called at Bombay for Mehboob Khan's Taqdeer, recordist Billimoria had arranged three mikes. I was initially surprised but was extremely happy when he told me that one mike was specially reserved for me. Thereafter, I became spoilt and felt extremely uncomfortable by the thought of sharing the mike (laughs).
sings the song:boojh mera kyaa naam re.....................
Ques: According to you, which is your most popular song?
SB: 'chhod babul ka ghar mohe pee ke nagar'....without fail this song is played at all marriages. In fact when my daughter got married the band played this song and though initially I was sobbing, as soon as I heard this tune I started laughing that they were playing my song on my daughter's wedding (laughs).
Ques: Why did you quit singing?
SB: I always did so much to encourage yound people but none of them once they became famous reciprocated. When they didn't book me for their assignments I became disenchanted with film industry and thought what was the use and so I left the industry. Now, I live a quiet and peaceful life, far away from film industry. But I'm still very fond of singing, often in the day I lock myself in a room of my house and sing for hours.......I can't feel alive without singing............
sings: naina bahaaye neer......................sawan ke nazare hain....................