Suraiya Jamaal Sheikh, popularly known as Suraiya, was born on 15th June 1929 in Gujranwala, now in Pakistan. Though she was a simple looking girl who received no formal training in singing she went on to become one of India’s finest actress-singers and ruled the silver screen in the 1940s. Suraiya attended school in Bombay and made her debut as a child artist in 1937 in the film Usne Kya Socha.
Suraiya’s first big break came in 1941, when she accompanied her uncle Zahoor (a popular villan of his time) on the sets of the film Taj Mahal, a film by Nanubhai Vakil. The film had an opening for the role of Mumtaz Mahal, and Vakil promptly cast the 12 year Suraiya to play the lead. Her big break as a singer came when Naushad heard her sing for a childrens programme on ...» read full biography