Shamim Ara – End of an Era480 views
By: Omair Alavi
Versatile actress and veteran film director Shamim Ara passed away in London at the age of 78, bringing end to an era of Pakistani films. From the late 50s to the 90s, Shamim Ara stayed active on the film circuit first as an actress, later as a producer and finally as a director with countless hits to her credits.
Be it her role of a Tawaif opposite Mohammad Ali in Aag Ka Darya, her brilliant acting in Saheli opposite Shamim Ara and Darpan or her double role in Humraaz, Shamim Ara captured the attention of the public with her innocence. She could act as well as dance in an era when females didn’t venture into films due to family pressure; it was the family of Putli Bai (her maiden name) that encouraged her to go for films and their decision proved to be beneficial to Pakistani films. She was one of the top actresses in the 60s
Let’s take a look at Shamim Ara’s career by going down the memory lane and looking at some of the songs she made immortal with her skills both in front of the camera as well as behind it.
Kahan Ho Tum – Humraaz
Shamim Ara played a double role in this Khwaja Khursheed Anwar thriller where one of the twin sisters was in love with the leading man whereas the other was kept a patient stuck in a basement. This song by Madam Noor Jehan was one of the first in the country to experiment with chorus and came out exceedingly well.
Gham e Dil – Naila
Naila was one of the first few films that were released in colour; Mala sang brilliantly for Shamim Ara in this hit number which is still loved by all.
Bhooli Hui Hoon Dastan – Doraha
This tandem song changed the story of the film where Waheed Murad’s character has quit the hope of finding his beloved who then sings the same song he used to perform as a radio singer; Pervez Malik’s direction is top notch and so is Mala’s rendition.
Abhi Dhoond Hi Rahi Theen – Bewafa
Madam Noor Jehan is at her very best in this Nisar Bazmi song in which Shamim Ara and Waheed Murad look dashing and in love; to lip sync on such a high pitched song might be difficult for some but Shamim Ara does it effortlessly.
Kiya Hai Jo Pyar – Dil Mera Dhadkan Teri
Another tandem song featuring Waheed Murad and Shamim Ara; Mala delivers a gem when she croones for the top actress of the 60s. Master Inayat Hussain must also be commended for his brilliant compositin which also saw Ahmed Rushdi deliver his version in an impeccable manner.
Chalo Acha Hua Tum Bhool Gaye – LAKHON Main Ailk
Not many know that Saat Laakh was the inspiration behind Bollywood flick Henna in the 90s; back in the 1960s when it was released, it became one of the better known flicks due to its songs as well as story. Shamim Ara performed well in most of the songs but this one remains etched to the memory for one reason – Madam Noor Jehan!
Aye Baharon Gawah Rehna – Saiqa
Shamim Ara turned producer with Saiqa that was based on Razia Butt’s novel and by doing so, she opened the door for other actresses as well who later tried their hands at production. In this Ahmed Rushdi-Mala duet, she gives wonderful expressions and blows away the audience with her innocence.
Le Aayi Phir Kahan Par – Saalgirah
Saalgirah may not be the biggest hit of Shamim Ara’s career but the songs were outstanding; she plays a young woman who got misplaced when young and later returns as a popular singer to her parent’s place.
Kal Bhi Tumse Pyar Tha Mujhko – Khwab Aur Zindagi
Although Waheed Murad and Shamim Ara were of the same age, she started her career quite early hence was senior to the chocolate hero. They had a good reputation as they were best of friends and that’s one of the reasons why they had a brilliant chemistry on screen. This song from Khwab Aur Zindagi has been sung by Masood Rana and Runa Laila and was released in 1973.
Tera Mera Koi Na Koi Naata Hai – Playboy
Shamim Ara turned director in the 70s and Playboy proved to be one of the most successful flicks of her career as a director. Here Mehdi Hassan sings a wonderful song for Babra Sharif who later returns the favour in the voice of Mehnaz.
Title Track – Munda Bigra Jaye
At one time, this flick was the most succesful flick of Pakistan and Shamim Ara must be commended for introducing a new lead pair Reema-Babar Ali through it, who remained popular in the late 90s. However, Rambo (Afzal Khan) gets to show his dancing skills in this Saleem Danish number that became a rage.
Dil Main Basa Kay – Miss Istanbul
Anwar Rafi and Humera Channa sang the two versions of this tandem in one of Shamim Ara’s final films; the location is Turkey and the movie is Miss Instanbul, an adaptation of Pretty Woman. The result – wonderful soundtrack.
Pal Do Pal – Title Track
It was Shamim Ara who convinced Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan to compose a soundtrack in Lollywood; Pal Do Pal proved to be her final film and in this song, Humera Channa does a brilliant job, justifying the music composer’s trust in her abilities.
Mujh Se Pehli Si Mohabbat – Qaidi
Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s poetry, Noor Jehan’s vocals and Shamim Ara’s rendition – graceful and eternal.
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