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Pakistani cinema


Aasia: Destined for glory
By Anis Shakur
In laryoan mein dukh apnay piro kay
Palkoan pay Aanso'on kay deep sinjo kay
Baich raheen hoon Armano kay
Ye moti unmoal
Kalyoan kay gajray phuloan ki mala
Pehnay ga koi bhagoan wala
Bhaag mein to apnay Qudrat nay
Zeher dia hai ghoal
The once reigning deity of Punjabi films, Aasia was born Firdous in 1951, in Punjab, India. She migrated to Pakistan along with her family, while still in her teens. She proved her versatility as an artist at a young age.
Aasia made her film debut in 1970, with director Riaz Shahid's historical movie, 'Gharnata' (popular song: 'Mein hoon yahan, tu hai wahan', singer: Mehdi Hasan).
She was an instant hit as a young girl for her great looks and her enormous talents.
Hence, the pumped-up and over-flowing cinema crowds greeted Aasia on her first movie. Initially a novice, she was eager to learn and quickly mastered acting.
Aasia's second movie was the super hit film, 'Insaan Aur Aadmi'(1970, directed by Shabab Kiranvi, starring: Mohammad Ali, Zeba, Aasia, Talat Husain, Aslam Pervez, popular song: 'Tu jahan kaheen bhi jaaye, mera pyar yaad rakhna', recorded in Noor Jehan's voice and pictured on Zeba)
Aasia was dubbed as Zeba's daughter and the latter took all necessary measures to protect her from the villain, Aslam Pervez.
The film 'Insaan Aur Aadmi' was so consistently involving because the excellent cast delivers their lines with the kind of utter conviction not seen in this category of movie for a while.
Besides, it put Aasia on the road to fame.
In reality, 'Insaan Aur Aadmi' was released before 'Gharnata'.
Events unfolded rapidly as Aasia developed as an actress.
Moreover, she had stepped into the showbiz at a time, when almost every new movie brought her new triumphs.
The year 1971. Enter director-producer Rangeela, who seemed to have been born to direct the film 'Dil Aur Duniya'(cast: Aasia, Rangeela, Habib)
The scope of the story was vast and it was creatively crafted.
The results left movie-buffs in awe.
Aasia, cleverly dubbed as a poor, blind girl, made her living by selling flowers on the streets. She had this message on her lips, fraught with sadness: 'Ruk jaao babu jee.'
'Champa Aur chambeli, ye kalyaan naye naveli, tohfa phuloan ka ye unmoal, lay tay jaana babu jee bin moal.'
From those sad lyrics, sprang the soulful stirring and poignant pining of the blind girl's tragic life.
Rangeela takes great interest in the blind girl, who, in turn, falls in love with the eye surgeon, who brings back her sight.
Aasia's superfluous performance, as a helpless girl and then as a lover, is still fresh in the minds of her innumerable fans. Some were inspired by the sheer magnitude of it all.
Also, she was eminently suitable for her side roles in the following films, as well:
'Road To Swat', 'Yaadain', 'Paraye Aag'.
She garnered more fame for her magnificent role in the film 'Pyar he pyar' (1974, starring: Waheed Murad, Aasia, Shazia,, Munawwar Saeed)
Aasia owes her rocket-like rise to the highly skilled movie-crew of her time.
She was fortunate to work with highly articulate artists like Mohammad Ali and Waheed Murad in the golden jubilee film 'Tum salamat raho'( 1974, director: M.A.Rasheed).
Both Mohammad Ali and Waheed Murad were interested in Aasia. The latter sacrificed his love for the sake of his friend.
Popular song: 'Kartay hain mohabbat sub he magar, her dil ko sila kab milta hai', singer: Ghulam Ali, pictured on Waheed Murad.
The following two films, which magnified Aasia's popularity, are a testament to her exceptional performances:
The film 'Mehboob mera mastana'(1977, starring: Waheed Murad, Aasia, Sangeeta, director: Saqlain Rizvi).
The film 'Wada' (1977, cast: Waheed Murad, Aasia, Deeba, Saiqa,director: Aslam Daar, status: Silver jubilee).
She gripped the heart of her adorers  in the following films:
'Do taswerain', directed by Sibtain Fazli.
'Imaan Daar', directed by S.T.Zaidi.
'Haseena maan jaaye gee' directed by Nazrul Dada.
She showed tremendous confidence and exuberance on the location shooting of the following films:
'Truck Driver', directed by Sheikh Hasan.
'Suhaag tera, lahu mera', directed by Aslam Daar.
'Baray meyaan diwanay', directed by Aslam Daar.
The following films managed to evoke interest to date:
'Goga', directed by Aslam Daar.
'Anokha Raaj', directed by  Aslam Daar.
'Ghulam' directed by Khalifa Saeed.
Given here below are the movies, which reminds us of her glittering film career:
'Rawal', Director: Khalifa Saeed.
'Mein bhi to insaan hoon', Director: Zafar Shabab.
'Paazaib', 'Shart.'
The celebratory movie, 'Sehray kay phool', echo us the sentiments of her fans to this day.
The Punjabi film 'Jogi' further exemplifies her dedication to the films' ('Jogi', 1975, golden jubilee, directed by Haider Chaudhry, starring:
Waheed Murad, Aasia, Munawwar Saeed).
Aasia's magnificent acting will always be remembered in the mega-hit movie, 'Maula Jat', directed by Yunus Malik.
The following Punjabi films are also worth mentioning:
'Wehshi Jat', directed by Hasan Askari, starring: Sultan Rahi, Iqbal Hasan, and Aasia.
'Jeera Blade' directed by Iftikhar Khan, starring: Aasia, Munawwar Zareef.
Aasia won the Nigar Award, for best actress, in the film 'Qanoon' in 1977, directed by Hasan Askari.
Aasia won the Nigar Award, for best supporting actress, in the film 'Aag' in 1979, directed by Hasan Askari.
Aasia, who worked in the movies for a decade (1970-80), retired from the filmdom in 1980.
She got married to an entrepreneur, and settled in the United States.
Today, 179 movies (mostly Punjabi) and 23 years later, her fame is greater than ever.
Speaking of Aasia, in the past two decades, she has visited Pakistan more than once.
She strongly desires to invest her time and effort in her children 's lives.
Last but not least, the acting, which she embodied, propagated and imposed a clear discipline and aesthetic in her own innovative art.
She will continue to attract her countless fans for an extended period of time.

Our beloved Pakistan