Nayyar Sultana: A trail of memories
By Anis Shakur
Tayyaba was born in 1937 in Aligarh, Uttar Pardesh, India, to a conservative ,middle class family.
Her parents sent her to a local school in Aligarh and she was in grade four at the time of partition.
In the midst of widespread unrest during those days, she migrated to Karachi ,Pakistan, along with her family.
Once settled in Pakistan, Tayyaba resumed her education and successfully completed her matriculation examination.
Interested in Urdu literature, poetry and stage drama as a young girl, she was an exquisite blend of brain and brawn.
To many who knew her, Tayyaba seemed to have knowledge and depth of understanding beyond her years.
Her parents were related to Shamim Banu, wife of the film director, Anwer Kamal Pasha.
It were one of those days, she visited Lahore, where she met both Mr. And Mrs. Pasha.
Pasha was a very experienced judge of talent who was overwhelmed by her beauty, innocence and simplicity.
Enchanted by Tayyaba's aptitude for Urdu literature, poetry and stage, Pasha was convinced that her qualities could be
combined to transform her into a successful film actress.
Consequently, he offered her to join the burgeoning Pakistani cinema.
Shy, as Tayyaba was, she glanced at Shamim Banu, who also encouraged her to accept Pasha's sincere suggestion.
Next, Mrs.Pasha requested Tayyaba's parents to allow her to work in the films, to which they agreed, and it launched
Tayyaba into the new society.
Thus Tayyaba changed her name to Nazli and appeared for the first time in the film 'Qaatil', in a side role: 'Qaatil',
January 22, 1955, starring ,Sabiha Khanum, Santosh Kumar, Zia, who later changed his name to Aslam Pervez, Nazli, who later
became Nayyar Sultana, Samina, who later became Musarrat Nazeer, Akmal. Director: Anwer Kamal Pasha, producer: Agha G.A. Gul,
incidentally, 'Qaatil' was also the first film of both Musarrat Nazeer and Aslam Pervez.
After completing 'Qaatil', Nazli returned to Karachi.
From that moment her life was gripped with purpose, and Nazli reveled in her fabulous new life style.
Around that time, Mirza Humayun Elias Baig, who was basically a civil engineer and who also immigrated from Aligarh,
decided to make the film 'Intikhaab' under the banner of Mughal Art Circle.
Masood was the hero and Jamila Razzaq, daughter of Seth Razzaq, played the heroine in 'Intikhaab'.
Nazli appeared in an important side role. The film 'Intikhaab' was released on September 30, 1955.
This time Nazli changed her name to Nayyar Sultana for good.
Increasingly, though, her attention was turned to filmdom.
Nayyar Sultana's third film in which she appeared in a side role was 'Anokhi',
starring: Sheela Ramani, Shad, Nayyar Sultana, Lehri. 'Anokhi' was released on January 21, 1956.
Nayyar was told to focus on what she could do best, and success will follow. Her associates applauded her strength, and
then, she felt, she could accomplish anything.
That vivid sense of reality is strikingly characteristic of the woman Nayyar has created in 225 films during her thirty
seven year movie career.
Nayyar married Darpan, while both of them were at the zenith of their film career and raised two sons.
Their personal life could best be described as a role model for other Pakistani film luminaries.
Nayyar sent her sons to U.S.A. for higher education.
The simplicity and innocence of her acting is reflected in all her movies.
Let us refresh our memory, lest we forget to applaud what a remarkable actress she was.
It is a story of bold spirit and sweeping aspirations: The film 'Surraiya'.
The secret of how she does it is in herself, in her great compassion, she reflected later. .
Apparently the one film that brought tremendous fame and glory to her was 'Baaji'.
Hence, most film critics agree that the film 'Baaji' was her most successful movie.
Nayyar, widely acclaimed as 'Malika-e-Jazbaat', did full justice to every movie in her entire career.
That believability and humanity-was powerfully manifest in the 1962 film 'Aulad'.
She came out charming and loveable at once.
During the location shooting of 'Aulad', Waheed Murad had invited his family members to watch the shooting.
Nayyar Sultana (smartly dubbed as Waheed's mother) slapped him in one scene.
As soon as the scene was shot, Shireen Murad, Waheed's mother, rushed to Nayyar and said: 'Nayyar, you slapped my son
with such force, my goodness!
Well, Nayyar had a hard time convincing Shireen Murad about the importance of that particular role and the nature of
Nayyar acted with rare passion and feeling. The following movies still rank among the all-time favorites of movie-goers:
'Ik musafir, ik haseena, 'Bay gunah' and 'Azmat'.
A stir went through the audiences as they watched the film 'Saheli'.
She continues to live through her immortal films like 'Ayaz' and 'Daku ki larki'.
The following films were a huge hit:
'Mazloom', 'Yahudi ki larki' and 'Umrao jaan ada'.
The enormous power of the great actress and her voice really hit home: The films 'Humjoli', 'Fasana -e-dil, cast included
Deeba - Nadeem - Nayyar Sultana. .
Jubilant fans greeted her following films: 'Pehchaan' and 'Ik gunah aur sahi'.
Nayyar was cinematically deft, she achieved lofty heights through the following films: 'Ghoonghat', 'Bahisht' and 'Gulfarosh'.
For the film producers, investing in Nayyar seemed a safe bet .Movies like 'Teray, meray sapnay', 'Aurat ik kahani' and
'Naqsh-e-qadam' also served to showcase her amazing acting talents.
The film 'Behroopia', 'Baccha Jamora' and 'Do Aansoo' can still evoke so many memories.
In fact, Nayyar had one of the most astonishing faces in film. Expressions drift over it like mist. The durable message
in the hand-written scripts still echoes today:
The films 'Surat aur seerat', 'Pyasa' and 'Aik thee maan'.
In an industry abounding in gifted performers, Nayyar stood in a category unto herself: The film 'Nanha farishta' and
She was an acting machine, that's what she was born to be. It was a gift she could never explain: The film 'Teray bina
Her fellow actresses did seem to fall under the spell of her acting talent: The film 'Nazrana' is a case in point.
It is a feeling she has given to millions of moviegoers.
The film 'Mehtaab' was made successful by a winning performance turned in by the super star , Nayyar.
Movies like 'Saath lakh' were so unsurpassable, their success seemed unreal.
Today, a decade after her death, her movies like 'Devdaas', give us a dynamism unusual in Pakistani cinama.
The list of her movies that have become standards goes on and on. The film 'Saza' is a quick example.
She strived to attain a first class level of performance and she was highly successful.
Many of her hugely successful movies touched on the themes of pathos and longing. Two good examples are the films 'Saheli'
The script of all her films were exemplary for its stylistic elegance, which dazzled audiences in the 1950s and 60s.
Her personal life was all but shattered, when Darpan died in 1981.
Staying resilient through the challenges of life, Nayyar faced Darpan's death with courage and fortitude and ran
his recruiting agency.
During her last days, Nayyar had been suffering from cancer. Subsequently, she succumbed to it on October 27, 1992 at
Her loss was incalculable.
Nayyar 's death was felt by millions of sad hearts. She left on a journey of no return.
Carrying memories of her movies next to their hearts, her innumerable adorers have this to say:
'Thank you, Nayyar, with all our hearts'!