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Jamila Razzaq

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Jamila Razzaq

Cinematic appeal is a thing of wonder. Very ordinary faces become sliver screen icons on the right exposure, and there are also those who are too cute for words, but never, dazzle the screen with their true beauty on the parda e-seemi. There are very few men and women who look equally charming on and off screen Amongst them, two who come to mind in recent times, are Babra Sharif and Neeli. Jamila Razzaq, who was very popular in the early years of Lollywood, was also one such fortunate star.

Blessed with beauty and natural style, Jamila was a girl well supported by family traditions. Her mother was Sultana, an extraordinarily beautiful actress from the days of silent films, who was the elder sister of Zubeida, the heroine of the first talkie film in India. All three sisters (Nawabzadi Zubaida, Nawabzadi Sultana, and Nawabzadi Shahzadi) were real Muslim princesses, and belonged to the city of Soorat – India. Their father Ibrahim Muhammed Yakut Khan (Jamila Razzaq’s maternal grandfather) was the Nawab of Sachin, and their mother, Fatima Begum was probably the first woman director of the sub-continent. Sultana worked in a number of silent movies, which included Veer Abhimanyu, Gul-e-Bakavali, Kala Naag, Prithvi Vallabh, and Sati Sardarba. Later, she married a moneyed gent, called Seth Razzaq, and left films. After Partition, they settled in Karachi, with their cute daughter, Jamila with the cultural conditions pretty conducive to the nurturing of talent in Karachi. At that juncture, Jamila started to acquire prowess in classical dance. When her talent was revealed, she was requested by friends and relations to present her talent at private functions one of which was also attended by the famous director, Humayyun Mirza. He was much impressed by the beautiful girl, whose classical dance was a visual delight. He immediately offered Jamila a leading role in his film, Intekhab, opposite the late hero of Pakistani films, Masood. Both Jamila and Nayyara Sultana were the highlights of the film, and Jamila was hailed as a good addition to the Pakistani screen. Later, she was cast in another film, Fankar, where Khursheed Begum played the lead, but its failure immensely depressed both Jamila and Khursheed. At that moment, she was approached by the well known film maker, Ataullah Shah Hashmi.

Ataullah Shah Hashmi was considered a re-conditioner of old Indian films. He used to borrow films, and cast local stars to make hits. He was looking for a new female artiste for his new film, Naya Daur, and was impressed by Jamila’s talent and finesse. He cast her opposite Aslam Parveiz, and the film proved to be a reasonable hit. Thus, Jamila gained a foothold in Lollywood. Nazir Sufi’s Yeh Dunya paired her with another youngster called Aaqil, and A.H. Siddiqui’s artistic venture, Aur Bhee Gham Hain had Asad Jaffrey in the lead. In Gul Bakaoli, she was cast opposite the hit hero of those days, Sudhir, which helped in establishing her career, more so because the film did good business. Meanwhile, Jamila’s mother, Sultana also decided to make a film, released in November 1961, which was Hum Aik Hain. She hired the famous scriptwriter, dialogue writer and lyricist, Fayyaz Hashmi as its director, while the music director was A. Hameed. Some of the scenes of Hum Aik Hain were picturized in color, and that should be considered as one of the first colored experience of Lollywood. Aslam Parveiz played the lead opposite Jamila in Hum Aik Hain, but the film flopped and the loss lingered heavily on the mind of Jamila. She felt that good stories are not appreciated as much as the copied stuff. However, she continued her trek, and her next film was Inquilab, opposite a young producer cum actor, Rashidi. Shamim Ara and Habib were the leading pair of the film.

Amidst this routine fare, Ilyas Kashmiri’s personal production, Ishq Par Zor Naheen came to her rescue, in 1963. It was a classic film from a superb director, Sharif Nayyar, with a powerful cast that included Aslam Parveiz, Azad, Jamila Razzaq, Yasmin, Ilyas Kashmiri, Bibbo and others. Its music was truly a trill, with that evergreen number from Master Inayat Hussain still reverberating in the minds of the people, Dil deta hai ro ro duhai Kisi se koi pyar na karey. Jamila proved through this film that she was a classy performer indeed. The film was a super hit, and made her an entity to be reckoned with. Jamila also appeared in Jaffar Bukhari’s successful film, Faisla, opposite Yusuf Khan. At her prime, she married the famous cricketer, Waqar Hasan, who is the brother of the talented sound recording engineer and film maker, Iqbal Shehzad. Waqar Hasan is now a well known businessman, Chairman of National Foods, and he and his wife, Jamila Hasan are leading a successful married life in Karachi.

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