Actress Sadhana Shivdasani was popularly known as The Mystery Girl for playing mysterious women in several films. In an old interview, Sadhana, who was born in Karachi, opened up about her love for Mumbai. She said that Mumbai was the only place where she could order whiskey without people raising their eyebrows.
Sadhana was born in Karachi, now in the Pakistani province of Sindh, on September 2, 1941. She studied at Jai Hind College in Mumbai before joining films. Though she had a cameo in Raj Kapoor’s Shree 420 (1955), it was the 1960 film Love In Shimla which made her a household name. Sadhana died in 2015, after reportedly suffering from cancer. She is survived by her foster daughter.
In a 2012 interview with Rediff, Sadhana said, “After the India-Pakistan Partition in 1947, my family (including parents and elder sister Sarla) came to India. I was only six years old. We moved from Delhi to Varanasi to Calcutta before settling down in Mumbai in 1950.”
She added, “Now, I can’t imagine living without the Mumbai sea. In Mumbai, people give you space and yet rally around you in your hour of need. Besides, it’s the only place where even in the ’60s I could announce that I wanted a whiskey with coke without raising eyebrows.”
She became a star with films such as Hum Dono, Asli Naqli, and Mere Mehboob. And then came Who Kaun Thi in 1964, which made her the reigning queen of Bollywood in the late 1960s. She was also known as a style icon thanks to her Audrey Hepburn-style fringe, which later came to be known as ‘Sadhana cut’. Her other notable films are Waqt, Mera Saaya and Ek Phool Do Maali. From the mid-1960s to the early 1970s, Sadhana ranked among the highest-paid female actors in the country.