Nigar Sultana – Interview

nigar-1953-2Fair, well-proportioned, with a heart-shaped face which is highlighted by big, lustrous hazel eyes, dark eyebrows, a dainty nose, a full Cupid’s-bow mouth and a firm round chin, and framed in dark brown hair, Nigar Sultana is one of our most arrestingly attractive stars with the manner and graciousness of one born and bred in that elegant state, Hyderabad.

She is the youngest daughter of a family of five: she has two brothers and two sisters. with whom she spent a happy childhood in Hyderabad where her father held the rank of a Major in the Nizam’s State Army.

She went to school for a while and later stu­died at home, where life was gay and happy in the healthy way and atmos­phere good families have of living anywhere.

She took part in a school drama on one occa­sion and ever after was keen on acting. The first film she ever saw was “Hum, Turn, Aur Woh.” She was so utterly thrill­ed by it that when Jagdish Sethi, a friend of her father’s, offered her the lead in a film he was making with Mohan Bhavnani, Nigar took it on the spot, loved the work and still thinks it’s the best work in the world.

Her first big picture was “Shikayat,” made in Poona; then came “Bela,” a Ranjit production, and after that many more in which she played leading roles. At the moment Nigar is working in “Mughal-e-Azam” – she portrays Bahar –“Dara” and “Khyber.”

A well-read glamour girl, Nigar reads a lot, especially Urdu poetry which she recites and occasionally also composes with a fine display of knowledge, virtuosity and an inborn sense of beauty and cadence, as well as of thought and expression.

She goes to the pictures quite often and liked “Duel In The Sun” and “Annie, Get Your Gun” immensely. Niger would love to play Annie and she is a natural certainty for the part—in addition to being an excellent shot, she can swim, ride, fence, has ridden around on a motor-cycle since she was twelve, even in the “hands-off-the-bar” style, and would make a ravishing hill-billy and bring glamour to any backwoods.

Nigar Sultana is a person with a stagger­ing array of accomplishments, and tagged on to the list of things she can do very well are the following: she plays the sitar, sings, sews, paints, designs her own clothes and cooks di­vinely–“whoever knows to eat good food knows how to cook it,” said the charming lady. Her Urdu is, of course, polished.

She wears saris, slacks, gagaras, salwars and dresses, each of which she fills and car­ries beautifully. She coiffs her hair in the In­dian style and loves to wear chamellis. White and pale pink are her favorite colors. She likes jewellery (the old Indian type) and pre­fers diamonds, pearls, rubies and emeralds.

Nigar’s best treat is to sit at home and play with the houseful of children—her own three-year baby girl, and her nieces and nep­hews who reciprocate her adoration and enjoy, every bit as much as she does, the divertise­ments and “home dramas” she organizes with their help and enchanting hindrance.

Right now Nigar is in the throes of the paper-work of her own forthcoming production, a musical comedy in which she will play the part of an unsophisticated, young lovely. That will realize one of her ambitions. She has al­ways wanted to act in a light comedy role, as well as to play a tragedienne, a sultry siren and the swashbuckling heroine of a real, tough adventure story.

An ardent admirer of our wonderful city of Bombay—”it’s the best place, alive with fun and gaiety, and things to do”–Nigar plans to take a prejudiced look at the cities of Eu­rope and America sometime towards the end of this year (This interview was conducted by Patricia Pereira in 1953).