ran away to Mumbai, with dreams of stardom in his eyes. He managed to find work as an extra in films like Aman and Sapanon Ka Saudagar before finally being rescued by Dilip Kumar's family.
Narrating his short-lived adventure in his autobiography And Then One Day, the veteran actor writes that he got the idea after meeting a friend's girlfriend, whose father was a character actor.
She offered to sponsor his stay in the city of dreams and assured him that her father 'would do his best' for Shah. The actor stayed with the family for about a month before politely being asked to leave. Back on the road and with no money to spare, Shah found himself sleeping in a zari factory, travelling ticketless on local train and even applying for the post of a bellboy at Taj Palace hotel.
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Shah finally landed work at Natraj studio as an extra for Rs 7.50 with the help of girl's cousin. The film was Aman, starring Rajendra Kumar as a doctor. It even had a rare cameo by mathematician Bertrand Russell. Rajendra had to play dead in the scene while Shah was one of the hired mourners.
"The truck moved, the camera rolled and all of us paid mourners followed looking suitably stricken. I, quicker than the others and more desperate to appear on screen than any of them, managed to insinuate myself into the very first row and that was how I first appeared in a movie," Shah recalls.
The actor could not spot himself in Raj Kapoor-starrer Sapanon Ka Saudagar though.