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Sabiha Khanum – Santosh Kumar


Sabiha Khanum and Santosh Kumar

A remarkable nobility of looks and manners marked the screen presence of Santosh Kumar. When he met the screen queen of the 1950s, Sabiha, who was known for her vivacity and beauty, it was a rare combination that lit up the screen. They first worked together in the first film Santosh did in Pakistan, which was Masood Parvez’s Beli in 1950s. But, it was actually Anwar Kamal Pasha’s Do Aansoo, the same year that launched the pair in the cine-circuit of the country. Later, they did many hit films together, namely Ghulam, Qatil, Inteqam, Hamida, Sarfarosh, Ishq-e-Laila, Wadah, Saat Lakh, Hasrat, Moseeqar, Daman etc. But it is said that during the making of Hasrat in 1958, they got married. The Sabiha-Santosh pair was a symbol of the pure and earthy elements, enriching an atmosphere that was essentially classical. Their true brilliance is revealed in the ritually romantic excellence of films like Wadah, Qatil and Moseeqar, intermingling the ideal family saga with ecstatic lift of semi classical music. Although Santosh and Sabiha did well in costume films like Sarfarosh and Sardar, they seemed more at ease in purely romantic flicks set in the village-meets-city tales. The fine tuned performances that they gave consistently were even praised by the top notch directors across the border.

The last movies of the pair, of course, as supporting actors, were Anjuman, and Mohabbat. Santosh died on 11th June, 1982, which also took much screen light out of Sabiha. Although she continued to play mother to lots of heroes on the celluloid, she wasn’t the same any more.

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