Cham Cham

Cham Cham

A lively industry is testified by the presence of all sorts of artists in the midst of a thriving environment. From the early fifties to the end of the 1970’s, that was the exactly the case. Apart from hero and heroines, the character actors and actresses, the technicians and the other people connected with the industry also had great recognition. The common folks still marvel the dancers of those golden years, like Emmi Minwala, Panna, Madam Azuri, Tarana etc, and those extras who later became established dancers and titilators, like Niggo, Chum Chum, Meena Chaudhry etc. Some of these girls you can remember by their faces, if not names.

When we talk of Niggo or Chum Chum, it brings back an era, when costume, magical and low-budget historical movies were very common including Aladdin Ka Beta, Paristan, Hazaar Dastan, Gul Bakaoli etc. You can enjoy this costume period elegance on a relatively grander scale in Munshi Dil’s Azra and S. Suleiman’s Gulfam. Later, in Riaz Shahid’s colored spectacle, Zarqa, this whole concept of historical relevance was taken to its finest scales, when the whole Evernew Studio was altered to look like the Palestinian streets and cafes. In these costume, magical and historical movies, the inclusion of atleast two to three dance numbers were considered as a mandatory requirement for the success of the film.

Similarly, in films showing fashionable atmosphere, and club scenes in high society, dancers like Emmi, Azuri and Panna, apart from Chum Chum, Niggo, Samia, Nasira, Tarana, Suzi, Rukhsana, Kafira and many others figured in the social gathering, as can easily be witnessed in films like Zamana Kya Kahega, Baaghi, Thandi Sarak, Raat Ke Rahi, etc. During that period, Chum Chum became a famous item of our ventures. She starred as a glamorous exhibit with Roman King, Talish in Baghawat, near the throne, with Panna, with young men Sultan Rahi, Badar Munir and Akmal watching over the court proceedings. In 1964, Chum Chum had a very playful role with Kamal and Habib, on the dance floor, in Aashiana, Samia was the other dancer with her in that sequence, with beautiful numbers like Aik Haseen Mehrban (Mala) and Jo Dil Ko Torrte Hain Un Ka Bhee Jawab Naheen (Munir Hussain) playing in the background.

In 1966, you can see Chum Chum in various movies, including Shabab Kirvani’s Ghar ka Ujala and A. Hamid’s Hum Dono. In Raza Mir’s Lakhon Mein Aik, she had a hit number alongside Saqi, dressed as a Pathan warrior, titled Maney ya na Maney Ghafooran Ghafoora. In 1968 she was the leading dancer in the streets, in films like Jamil Akhter’s Ik Musafir Ik Hasina. She was a vivacious dancer, with good moves and lovely expression that many of our dancers lack. She enjoyed her roles and her hobnobbing with the top stars, which showed on the screen. In 1970, she appeared in a rural setting, in Punjabi film Lara Lappa, as a dancer, who visits different villages to dance and earn money. She characterized the role beautifully with good expressions as she tried to keep her musicians in the film united in times of trouble and destitution. She also appeared in a few songs in Bhai Bhai, in 1972, where she and her colleague perform a mujra in front of the villain, Sawan.

By this time, in the early 1970s, new and uninhibited dancers like Mumtaz and Nazli were being discovered, which speeded the departure of dancers like Chum Chum and Niggo. You can very well understand the point, when you come to know that Chum Chum made a tragic exit, after such a massive hit on her in Ilzam, in 1972, as Hum pe ilzam to aisey bhee hai.

Her contemporary Niggo was probably killed by the paramour, as was reported in the press those days, but Chum Chum retired after marrying, it was said – Zulqarnain Shahid – Mag The Weekly – Karachi