To understand how popular Shakeela is down South, you have to
read the three-year- old autobiography of Surayya Bhanu. Bhanu, a
Chennai-born Commerce graduate, had developed a passion for cinema since
childhood. She ended up on the margins of the Tamil film industry as a
body double for porn stars unwilling to go completely nude. Like
Shakeela. Bhanu filled those ‘gaps’. She exposed her nude body in
bedroom and bathroom scenes in almost all Shakeela films.
In the book,
Bhanu talks about the South Indian porn market’s crush on plump women:
Shakeela’s body type. Bhanu was slim when she began her career. Later,
on realising the popular demand for well-endowed curves and heavy
thighs, she put on weight and shaped herself to ‘industry standards’. It
gave her the chance to play Shakeela’s double.
Extracts from her autobiography:...I decided to
write this book on myself because people should know how a Shakeela is
formed and shaped..…During an interview, a journalist once told me that I was the woman
who embodied the sexual desire of Malayalee youth. When somebody is
hungry, we have to give them food. Nothing else will make them happy….
I have no good memories of my mother. I never experienced love and
care from her. It was my mother who spoiled my life. I think my mother
did not like me since my childhood. She often ignored me and cursed me.
But one day, she appreciated my beauty. This was soon after my sixteenth
birthday. Then she informed me that a person would come to pick me up.
She asked me to go with him to a place where I have to ‘please’ a rich
man who would help rid us of our financial constraints. She asked me to
obey him, and do whatever he wanted me to do. I was shocked. I was grown up enough to understand what she was asking for. A stranger
came to pick me up, I had no choice. I accompanied him. We reached a
hotel room. That ‘rich man’, who was in his forties, was waiting there. I
was frozen with fear and sorrow. He undressed me, and raped me. But he
could not penetrate me due to my resistance. It was only a beginning. I
was forced to sleep with many such ‘rich men’ thereafter. I experienced
both pain and pleasure. I am not able to recollect when I lost my