Darpan – Nayyar Sultana


Darpan & Nayyar Sultana

It’s definitely interesting to note that when Darpan, the younger brother of Santosh, moved into Pakistani cinema, he was exactly opposite to what Santosh represented with large, hazel eyes, that almost seemed fluorescent, a rich playboy’s smile and slightly insensitive dialogue delivery. Darpan seemed more of a heart-less lady killer at first. When you find out that Darpan began his film career with Amanat in 1950, you’d find it strange that he hardly showed any signs of copying any American, European or Indian cinema giant. In Hollywood, it was the roaring period of Humphrey Bogard, Sydney Greenstreet and Clark Gable, while in India Prithvi Raj, Nazeer, Ashok Kumar, Dilip Kumar and Dev Anand were raging. But Darpan showed no indications that he followed either of them. In a rough way, he can be compared with Clarke Gable than any other star, because he was the handsomest, hazel-eyed star of Hollywood in those days!

In that context, when you analyze how Darpan was attracted to a shy, typically eastern and an essentially introvert girl, Nayyar Sultana, it is unusual to say the least. Darpan looked more the type of Musarrat Nazir (Baap Ka Gunah, Gulfam, Bahadur) with whom he was paired in many hits. They gelled on the screen as a couple receptive to each other – he, an eternal romantic and she, the sex symbol of the 1950s. But eventually when Darpan settled down in films like Saheli, Baji and Naela, he was taken seriously by the average cine-goers as well as the critics. His films with Nayyar, Shamim Ara and Zeba won credence and that’s also when he soberly thought of marriage to Nayyar Sultana. People often think about S. M. Yousaf’s Saheli as the epitome of their career, and in some ways it is also a pointer towards their sincere love, because Darpan had found that it was a lady-like Nayyar Sultana he’d settle down with. The same triangle of Saheli was tried again in S. M. Yousaf’s Dulhan and S. Suleman’s Tangeywala, but wasn’t as big a hit as Saheli. It is interesting to note that the Darpan-Nayyar pair wasn’t really a winning combo onscreen. At the fag end of their career Darpan’s own Aik Musafir Aik Hasina in 1968 featured them as hero and heroine, but the film didn’t do too well. Their other films together Azmat, Meri Bhabi and Saza also bombed at the box-office. Darpan died in the late ‘70s and probably his last film was Hasan Tariq’s Ik Gunah Aur Sahi. Nayyar Sultana remained a capable character-actress till mid-1980s and died in the early 1990s.

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