Born in Mangalore, Shyamala had schooling at Besant National Girls High School and college education at St Agnes College, Mangalore.
Her father, Narayana Uchil, was an educationist and reformist and mother U Vasanthi worked as PT and Guiding teacher at the Besant National Girls School.
With an inborn passion for books and reading and with a treasury of books at home, she read a lot and soon took to writing. Her first poem 'KaDalina Kare' was published in 'Rashtrabandhu, when she was just eleven.
Married life brought her to Mumbai. Memoirs of her grandmother were published in 'Amrita Varshini' in 'BeLLi' in 1971. Her other works are Kannada stories, features, translated stories and travelogues in different magazines in Karnataka and Mumbai.
She has worked for Sound and Picture Archive for Research On Women (SPARROW) in the field of transcription and translation. She has also served on the editorials of Mumbaivani special issues and Nityavani daily in Mumbai. She has presented a research paper on Mumbai-based Kannada fiction at PUKAR in Mumbai.
Besides, she was the president of Srijana, a forum of women writers in Kannada in Mumbai for two years. During her tenure, she had organized seminars, book releases and workshops in collaboration with the Anuvada Academy, Bangalore.
Her published works include 'Alamapanah', translated from the Hindi version of the Urdu novel of the same name by Rafia Manzurul Amin and it was brought out Bhagirathi Prakashana in 1994, translation of Margaret Mitchell's great Classic 'Gone With The Wind' published by Ankita Pustaka, Bangalore in 2004, translation of Mary Shelly's Classic, 'Frankenstein' published by Ankita Pustaka, Bangalore in 2007 and many others.