Delicate and arty, Komal was what you could call a very unusual film actress of our cinema. Despite her facial and style resemblances with Shamim Ara, she had nothing in common with the famous actress. In fact, if you look at Resham today, she reminds you strongly of the most bubbly, but very choosy actress of her times, which was Komal. She was also thin and wiry, but also as cute and lively as Resham, with a hint of that curious girl who collected seashells at Seychelles! Resham has now decided to throw of the handcuffs of choice work, but Komal, with her early education in semi-classical dance and proper adherence to artistic maneuvers, would hardly run to people for work and roles. She hardly ever worked in a Punjabi movie, but worked in Pushto film or two. In fact, most of her films were quite artistic and her performances in different roles impressed the public. She had little interest in the commercial projects. Her mannerism and articulate behavior proved that she was mature beyond her years.

It was early in 1960’s that one of the most well-known and highly revered film-maker, Nakhshab came to Pakistan and decided to embark on his first venture in this country, called Fanoos, under the banner of Ghazalistan, he asked most of the film people about who should star in his individualistic enterprise. He watched many male and female artistes of this country, but found that the concept that he was to introduce in his film, needed young people with no previous reputations. The film was about a haunted Haveli, where a dancer is seen performing her classical dances, and making occasional appearances at the old gate of the palatial home of Nawab, who had died long ago. With his mastery over quite a few departments of film-making, Nakhshab felt that he would go for a whole young team. So, he chose a stylish young man from amongst many aspirants, whose name was Salman Peerzada, the gifted son of theatre world’s great Doyen Rafi Peer. For the heroine, he okayed Komal, a charming young lass with characteristic features. A new musician, Saif Chughtai was selected for the score. Senior actress from India, Bibbo, character-actor of repute, Azad, and Ilyas Kashmiri were the other noticeable artistes in the film. The film didn’t do well, but the semi-classical touch of Komal’s dances were liked. Komal had grown up with the knowledge that Madam Azuri, Panna and Emmy Minwala had been active performers in early Pakistani movies. So, her fetish for dancing gave her some inspiration for the dances in Fanoos.

Later, in 1965, for Munshi Dil’s socially relevant film, Sartaj, Komal played a faithful and educated wife of an invalid husband to the hilt.

Although the hero and heroine of the film were Kamal and Deeba, she was much appreciated for her sensible performance. Similarly in Nazir Ajmiri’s Shab Bakhair, she also had a vital role to play, which involved psychological side too. But, it was later, that Komal had a really interesting foray into the parallel cinema, which was Filmotopia’s Neela Parbat, harrowing tale of lust, greed and sexual infidelity. Komal portrayed the sensual play thing for Mohammad Ali, both of whom did fine, but the whole film was dominated by that unparalleled character-actor of Pakistan, Talish. The film was directed by Ahmed Bashir and proved to be too much of an experimentative genre in our commercially dominated industry. It flopped, mainly because very few could understand the psychological movie and its symbolic connotations. This turned out to be Komal’s last Urdu film although she continued working in a Pushto films, like Makhroor etc – Zulqarnain Shahid

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