When one recount Saloni’s name a couple of times, one is instantly reminded of Salome and her seven veils. Not that Saloni didn’t have her own chance to don tissue and chiffon and do a few twirls of her own.

Saloni entered the Pakistani film industry in nondescript and unmemorable Urdu films, and only became popular in the mid `60s with films like Aadil, Darinda and Ghaddar. Aadil was one of the many early movies she made with Mohammad Ali and it proved to be a mega hit. Saloni had her fifteen minutes (more like six) of dancing fame as she had three songs picturized on her notably Eid Ka Chand Dakhao.

In the mid 60s Saloni was offered Punjabi roles and due to the lack of Urdu films popularity during that time, she accepted many of them, and was instantly wowed by film audiences all over Pakistan.

In these typical Punjabi scenarios, dusky skinned Saloni was paired with film actor Sudhir, and one of the most memorable songs picturized on her was Terey Jae Put Jamman.

Apart from swarthy complexion, another characteristic that was taken full advantage of in the raucous Punjabi cinema of the day, was Saloni’s squeaky and high-pitched voice. In those films one can still see her portraying the typical Punjabi heroine, no doubt screeching loudly, in a swirling black and white harlequin lehnga, with indigenous puffballs attached to it, the dupatta and blouse, lending her almost rural bovine look. Ironically enough however, Saloni’s career sustained itself through the essential requirement of the day: unadulterated sex appeal, something which she exuded effortlessly, if not somewhat crudely.

In the early 70s, she married film studio owner Bari Malik of Bari Studios, Lahore, and retired from films before she was ever asked to play the supporting role of a mother, something that would evince a stereotypical stigmatic stamp – Zurain Imam

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