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Pakistani cinema

Rani - Waheed Murad

Rani: Sweet success
By Anis  Shakur

Baat kuchh aisee bani, ho gaye duniya haseen

Khud ba khud jhuknay lagi, teray qadmoan pay jabeen

Deikhti jaaoon tujhay mein, ye hasrat, ye hasrat, ye hasrat hai kya

Janay mun itna bata do, mohabbat, mohabbat, mohabbat hai kya

Dard ye kaisa diya hai, ye lazzat, ye lazzat, ye lazzat hai kya

Janay mun itna bata do
Mukhtar Begum, wife of Agha Hashar Kashmiri, migrated to Lahore from Calcutta after partition. Later, she settled in Karachi.
Mukhtar Begum had a servant, whose wife gave birth to a baby girl in 1942 and they named her Nasira.
After a while, Nasira's mother died, leaving her alone.
A little later, Mukhtar Begum asked her servant to bring Nasira to her house. She assured him that she will raise his little daughter.
Hence, cute little Nasira, who had very appealing features and a sweet voice, moved to her new abode.
Mukhtar Begum, an established artist of her time, had apparently seen talents in Nasira.
Subsequently, she arranged dancing classes for Nasira, whose early dance inspiration was surprising. Soon Nasira became an expert dancer.
Years passed by quickly and Nasira grew up to be a gorgeous girl.
It was one of those days, Mukhtar Begum recommended 19-year old Nasira to seasoned film director, Anwar Kamal Pasha.
Pasha changed Nasira's name to Rani Mukhtar, since Mukhtar Begum addressed Nasira as Rani beti, and offered her a minor role of a dancer in his film 'Mehboob' in 1961.
Thus, Rani Mukhtar debuted from the film 'Mehboob' in 1961.
Later, she took off the word 'Mukhtar' from her name and came to be known as Rani.
Years later, she reported to have said in an interview, that she was raised in Mukhtar Begum's place. But she attained name, fame and stardom due to her God-gifted aptitude and hard work. No body contributed to her success.
The film 'Mehboob' did not succeed at the box office. However, Rani found her way to film success.
From 1961 to 1964, Rani worked in numerous movies. With the exception of a few films, the rest were failures.
During those days, there were rumors circulating about Rani that she was an average actress at best. On top of that, she was labeled as bad luck.
In spite of all her setbacks, Rani remained focused on her film career.
There are people who are artistic by nature. Rani was one of them.
The following ten films are good examples, which mixes songs and excess, with talent and heart:
'Shutrunj', 'Choti Ammi', 'Bees din', 'Aurat ka pyar': popular song: 'Haal-e-dil hum nay sunaya: Ahmed Rushdi, 'Choti behan', 'Aik dil do diwanay', 'Shabnam', 'Sanam', 'Aurat', 'Hazaar dastaan'.
Rani was not just an actress. She had a special place in the hearts of her admirers. She played her roles with great effect in all of her movies.
The following ten films were not that successful. Still, their stories had an immense effect across Pakistan's then social landscape:
Suroor Bara Bunkavi's film 'Aakhri station' starring, Rani-Haroon-Shabnam, actor Kamal's film 'Jokar', popular song: 'Aaj is sheher mein': Ahmed Rushdi, 'Bhaijan', 'Goonga', 'Ghar ka ujala', 'Wo kaun thi', 'Nadira', 'Kafir', 'Bay reham', 'Zaalim'.
Her films exemplifies her concentration on acting. The positive dialogues were rooted in her lilting voice.
She gained renown for her performance in the films. Mentioned below are ten films which depicts the creative minds of our film industry:
'Yateem, 'Cheen lay Aazadi', 'Dara', 'Sajan pyara', 'Dilbar jaani', 'Punchi tay per desi'(first film of director Altaf Husain), 'Khoon na haq', 'Jand jaan', 'Kauch waan', 'Mehram dil da'.
In her long, illustrious career, Rani worked with Waheed Murad in twenty films. The film 'Saaz Aur Aawaaz' was Rani's first film in which she appeared as the lead lady opposite Waheed Murad.
The movie was a success, it was directed by Usman Qasim, released on April 30, 1965, starring, Rani-Waheed Murad-Habib.
The masterpieces began to flow, as they would in the next two decades.
Her self-created style made her slightest gestures, at work or off - indelible.
Veteran film director, Hasan Tariq, was determined to take a chance with Rani, despite her past failures.
He worked zealously with Rani and the rest of the film crew and came out with a mega hit movie, 'Dewar Bhabhi' (released on May 5, 1967, starring: Rani- Waheed Murad- Santosh- Sabiha, status: Golden jubilee)

Rani played the role of a rich woman.
Following the release of 'Dewar Bhabhi', Rani became the 'super- star', that was always there, but unknown to most others.
For 32 years, from 1961 to 1993, she was never outclassed. She kept her versatility until her final moments.
One good example of her versatility is the film 'Commander' (released under the banner of 'Ever fine films' on August 9, 1968, starring: Rani- Sabiha- Santosh- Saiqa- Adeeb, producer: Mohammad Abdullah, directed by Jafar Malik, composer: Abdullah, popular song: 'Jaanay mun itna bata do', singer: Runa Laila, picturised on Rani)
There was a cluster of distinctively pure, Pakistani, presentation such as the film 'Dil mera dharkan teri', director, M. A. Rasheed , released on April 26, 1968, starring: Rani- Waheed Murad- Shamim Ara, status:
Golden jubilee, Rani played the role of an affluent girl.
The hall mark of her acting were fierce concentration and intensity.
Around 1966, Rani began a long liaison with director Hasan Tariq, who also became her mentor.
Together they assembled  a film crew that would go on to be driving forces in the entertainment industry.
Rani- Hasan Tariq- Waheed Murad- Nisar Bazmi- santosh- Sabiha are some examples of a list that goes on and on.
One conspicuous example of Rani- Hasan Tariq's understanding was the film 'Maan Beta', starring, Rani- Waheed Murad- Santosh, released on September 26, 1969, status, silver jubilee.
One of the most prolific film directors of all times, Hasan Tariq offered Rani the role of a lifetime in the film 'Anjuman':
Uf Allah hum to kuchh keh bhi nahi saktay.
Rani, beautifully dubbed as a dancer, in the film 'Anjuman', sacrificed her happiness, her love and eventually, her life, to make others happy.
The final moments of the movie, when she commits suicide after swallowing the diamond, left the audience in tears. Popular songs:
'Aap dil ki Anjuman mein', Runa, 'Dil dharkay mein tum say', Runa, 'Izhar bhi mushkil hai', Noor Jehan.
The film 'Anjuman' was named by most critics as the second greatest Pakistani movie, after 'Armaan'.
In fact, the second most famous Pakistani film to complete the platinum jubilee, after the film 'Armaan'.
Rani became the most sought after actress overnight. The film 'Anjuman' was released on July 31, 1970, starring, Rani- Waheed Murad- sabiha- Santosh- Lehri.
By 1971, she had come to a point where she could inflame any audience with her superfluous acting.
She was a fabulous actress-there was such vitality and flexibility in her acting. Two examples are given below:
The film 'Tehzeeb', director, Hasan Tariq, starring, Rani- Shahid- Sabiha. Rani played the role of a simpleton, who later transforms herself into a fashionable girl. Songs: 'Ho hamay apna bana low hey jamalo' Runa, 'Ghar Aanay wala hai ik unjana', Runa, 'Laga hai Misar ka bazaar deikho', Mehdi Hasan.
The super hit film 'Umrao jan Ada', director, Hasan Tariq, starring, Rani- Shahid- Nayyar Sultana. Rani played the role of a professional dancer.

Songs: 'Aap farmayain kya kharidain gey', Runa, 'Jhumay kabhi naachain', Runa, 'Jo bacha tha wo lutanay kay liye Aaye hain', Noor Jehan.
It seemed that both Rani and Hasan Tariq were made for each other.
Since all those films which were directed by Hasan Tariq and in which Rani was the lead actress achieved fame beyond imagination.
Soon Hasan Tariq proposed to Rani and they got married.
The choices she made, helped ignite a renaissance of quality that lives on today. Example, the film 'Khalish', director, Laeeq Akhtar, released on January 27, 1972, starring, Rani- Waheed Murad- Sangeeta.
Status: Golden jubilee.
Talk about the thrill of victory: Rani became the talk of the town. First and foremost , Rani's distinction hinges on her quick adaptability to vastly different roles.
Examples: The film 'Naag Muni', director, Raza Mir, released on April 17, 1972, starring: Rani- waheed Murad- Sangeeta. Status: silver jubilee.
Songs: 'Tan topay waroon, mun topay waroon',Noor Jehan, 'Mun mein uthi nai tarang', Noor Jehan.
Rani had the common touch and she used it well, perhaps, peerlessly so, in the film 'Baharo phool barsao'.

Director M. Sadiq's  masterpiece was released on August 11, 197, starring, Rani- Waheed Murad- Sangeeta. Status: Golden jubilee.
Rani, dubbed as Waheed Murad's wife, was childless. They desperately needed a son to inherit the family wealth. Her tragic life, became worse when she lost her memory. Try as she might, she could not remember. What good was a life without a past?
The film showed her true caliber, as an actress of the highest repute. Songs: 'Aye parda nasheen', ye ghar mera gulshan hai, singer, Noor Jehan, picturised on Rani.
Beloved by the public, as well as a new generation of fans, her popularity was greater than ever.
Her electrifying performance gave the films respectability and true importance.

Two examples: The film 'Laila Mujnu', director, Hasan Tariq, released on October 18, 1974, starring: Rani- Waheed Murad- Alauddin, status: Silver jubilee.
The film 'Deedar', director, Hasan Tariq, released on November 15, 1974, starring: Rani- Waheed Murad- Shahid. Status: Silver jubilee. Rani played the role of a Nawab Zaadi.
Rani entered the golden phase of her career, when almost every movie brought new triumphs. She was her own woman, always.
Her simple gestures were dramatic, uplifting and, at times, sentimental.
She was the perfect choice for the following three films. It looked like she was romancing a real life tale-floating with total ease:
The film 'Dilruba', director, Hasan Tariq, released on October 7, 1975, starring: Rani- Waheed Murad- Husna, status, silver jubilee.
The film 'Naag Aur Nagan', director, Hasan Tariq, released on March 26, 1976, starring: Rani- Waheed Murad- Kavita. Status: silver jubilee.
Song: 'Sawan kay din Aaye balam', singer, Nahid Akhtar.
The film 'Surraiya Bhopali', director, Hasan Tariq, released on July 16,1976, starring: Rani- Waheed Murad- Shahid. Silver jubilee. Rani played the role of a professional dancer.

Songs: 'Jis taraf Aankh otha oon, teri tasweraan hai', singer, Nahid Akhtar.

'Tha yaqeen keh Aa yain gee ye rataan kabhi', singer, Nahid Akhtar.
Perhaps, Rani was in her best roles in the following three films:
The film 'Saheli', director, Shabab Kiranvi, released on February 17, 1978, starring: Rani- Shabnam- Waheed Murad. Status: Golden jubilee.
played the role of a rich friend of Shabnam.
The film 'Parakh', director, Jan Mohammad Jaman, released on April 7, 1978, starring, Rani- Waheed Murad- Asif Khan. Status: Golden jubilee.
The film 'Nazrana', director, Nazar Shabab, released on January 9, 1978, starring, Rani- Waheed Murad- Neelo. Status: Silver jubilee.
Rani had a knack to grab another film project quickly before the momentum dissipates. Movie-buffs marveled at her strength.
The success of the following four movies showed there was a huge audience for such wonderful films:
The film 'Behan bhai', director, Nazar Shabab, released on January 19, 1979, starring, Rani- Waheed Murad- Mohammad Ali. Status: Golden jubilee.
The film 'Tarana', director, Zafar Shabab, released on March 9, 1979, starring: Rani- Waheed Murad- Amjad. Status: Golden jubilee.
The film 'Aurat Raaj', director, Rangeela, released on July 12, 1979, starring, Rani- Waheed Murad- Asif Khan. Status, Golden jubilee.
The film 'Budnaam', director, Iqbal Yusuf, released on October 3, 1980, starring: Rani- Waheed Murad- Mohammad Ali. Status: Golden jubilee.
Rani, an engrossingly captivating actress, worked  in numerous movies in her later years. Those movies were creatively crafted. The scope of the stories was vast. The following seven films were popular with the moviegoers:
'Dhol jawaniyan manay', 'Pyasa', 'Ik gunah aur sahi'( Rani- Sabiha), 'Aulad', 'Zururat', Begum Jaan', 'Kaalu' (Makrani).
She worked whole-heartedly and with a very high degree of credibility. Her productivity was awe-inspiring.
The following six movies could be cited as perfect examples of Rani as extraordinary in her range, intensity and control over the script:
'Ibadat', 'Nawab Zaadi', 'Watan' (remake of Khalil Qaiser's film 'Shaheed'), 'Seeta, Maryam, Margaret', 'Mera ghar meri jannat' (starring: Rani- Santosh- Sabiha), 'Aik thee larki'.
She won a Nigar Award for her superfluous acting for the film 'Mera ghar meri jannat' in 1968.

She won a Nigar Award for best actress for the film 'Sona Chandi' in 1983.
Further, Rani's contributions extend beyond the films. She worked for Pakistan television, as well.
She appeared in two drama serials, 'Khwahish' and 'Faraib', which were telecast from Pakistan television.
She garnered more fame and added new fans to her long list of admirers.
With the passage of time, Hasan Tariq and Rani started having frequent conflicts. Their domestic life became unbearable and it resulted in their separation.
Rani continued working in films. She married film producer, Mian Javed Qamar (Rani's second husband)
Soon after came bad luck and she developed health problems. She underwent medical tests. Her tests reports showed initial symptoms of cancer.
Rani went to England and received medical treatment at a London hospital.
Then life got even more difficult for her. Her second husband, Mian Javed Qamar, also divorced her.
Pakistani cricketer, Sarfaraz Nawaz, happened to be in London at the time. He was deeply moved by Rani's plight. He did whatever he could to help her out of those terrible situations.
Rani's determination and Sarfaraz Nawaz's timely assistance, resulted in her fast recovery.
Rani was indebted to Sarfaraz, who saved her life. She was overwhelmed by his sacrifices so much that she married him. (Rani's third and last marriage.)
Furthermore, Rani had a daughter, Rabia, from Hasan Tariq. Rabia was wedded in Rani's lifetime.
Rani, a picture perfect actress, has left an indelible stamp on our culture and society.
Her dialogues had her trade mark wit and rhyme.
Evidently, Rani had an incredibly enormous loyal following.
Her eloquent performance was followed by another spate of movies:
'Mukhra chan warga', 'Chan sajna', 'Ghabru puth Punjab day, teray jaye puth', 'Jaman ma waan', 'Rab dee shan', 'Sajan beli'.
Almost every thing was working perfectly for her and it seemed that she was on her way for more fame.
But as the saying goes, God Almighty's game plan is different from our game plan.
Cancer again attacked her, this time with full force. Rani was rushed to the hospital. Innumerable well-wishers were praying for her life.
In the innermost recesses of her heart, she knew that all was over.
This icon of the 1960s and '70s, lead lady behind some of the greatest films ever made, succumbed to cancer on May 27, 1993, at Karachi. She was only 51 years of age.
Rani left behind uncountable adorers in profound sorrow.
A decade after her death, her unforgettable movies appear as recent as if they were made yesterday.
Such was the magic of this charming actress.


Our beloved Pakistan