Sabira Sultana: Sweet, Scintillating Sabira
By Anis Shakur
An innocent girl, in her teens took great interest in her academic pursuits.
Her face was an exquisite blend of red and white. Her sharp features, included; teeth as white as pearls,
shining face with a beautiful smile, immaculate, thin lips, medium height, and healthy body, made her a perfect princess of
a romantic novel.
Over and above, she was a rare amalgamation of intelligence and decency.
Her friends never left her alone and always coaxed her to join the film industry, primarily due to her extremely
refined and sophisticated personality.
Sabira Sultana (real name Rabia) was born on Tuesday, December 21, 1945, in Bombay, India to a highly conservative
Her descendents hailed from Kashmir.
Her friends remember that film director, A.H. Siddiqui, did recognize tremendous acting potential in Sabira
and signed her for the film 'Insaaf' (Sabira's debut) in the beginning of the sixties.
Neelo and Kamal had played the lead in 'Insaaf', which was made in Karachi.
Next, Shabab Kiranvi, an established director of that time, took her for two of his films, 'Jamila' and
'Shukriya'; Sabira played the lead actress in both of those movies.
Later, she appeared in prominent director, Hasan Tariq's film, 'Kaneez'.
Sabira did full justice to one of her most challenging roles of an old woman, who had been subjected to
unjust treatment for no fault of her own.
She reaped enormous appreciation for her vivid character in 'Kaneez'.
Besides, 'Kaneez' finally established her as a fore-most actress of high repute.
One reason, among many, which played a pivotal part in her illustrious film career, was Sabira's sweet,
serene, smile, which brought her laurels from the enthused public.
Moreover, there was something in her peerless nature, which compelled the moviegoers to line up for her
Perhaps, one of the most dramatic instance of her God-gifted talents were quite evident in film 'Insane',
in which she performed the memorable role of an exemplary, virtuous eastern woman, who lived up to her great family values
and never compromised her unimpeachable integrity, even at the height of her helplessness, destitute and misery.
Silver-screen beauty, Sabira, played the role of a gorgeous girl in the film 'Mujahid' which was very close
to her real life, in the sense that essentially she was a beautiful girl.
Her countless fans will never forget that unprecedented acting. In the film 'Mujahid', she happened to be
the sister of actor, Aslam Pervez, who, in turn, played the role of the Christian governor of Poland.
Later on, she falls in love with a 'mujahid' (Lala Sudhir), and then she embraces Islam and assists that
'mujahid' in his religious mission.
Graceful, indeed, was her role of a Queen, which marked her presence forcefully in the film '
Sabira did her job in an admirable fashion in all of her movies.
In times of stiff competition, she won the admiration of her myriad fans in a movie like 'Aelaan'.
She performed brilliantly in the film 'Burma Road'.
In addition, keen observers cannot ignore her role in the film 'Naghma-e- sehra', whose songs are popular
to this day.
Sabira had enthralled millions with her role in the film 'Bahadur'.
One gets nostalgic, as he remembers Sabira's sentimental performance in blockbusters like 'Shaam Sawera'
and Ahmed Sartaj's movie, 'Ziddi', which had swayed the sixties.
Furthermore, in the vast array of super-hits, her sincere adorers will never forget Sabira's performance
in the films 'Lagan' and 'Buzdil', which encompassed her inexpressible passion and feeling.
Sabira is much revered for her acutely felt and strongly appealing roles in the films 'Chauda saal', 'Shareek-e-Hayat',
and 'Maujiza', which took her fame to dizzying heights.
In the second phase of her film career, she had played character roles in numerous movies.
As mentioned earlier, since Sabira had a strong educational background, she has been deeply involved in
her own girl's school in Lahore.
Sabira's magic lives on after four decades.
Century fades away, but memory stays on.
As for the remarkable Sabira Sultana, her memory will be there
for generations to come.