It would be hard to say when Nadeeem first met Shabnam, but the first film he did with her was Suroor Barabankvi’s Tum Mare Ho in 1968. Generally, Nadeem was paired with Shabana, while Rehman was doing movies with Shabnam. There weren’t too many fans of the Nadeem-Shabnam pair in East Pakistan then. Everybody liked Shabana with Nadeem. In fact, Shabnam was already being cast together with Waheed Murad in Lahore more often during that time. So, Nadeem seldom had a chance to seriously consider Shabnam as his screen partner. But his next film with her i.e. Nazneen didn’t do badly, but Shama Aur Parwana was their first real success in 1970.
After that, the two stars consistently snuggled close to each other, with films like Jaley Na Kyun Parwana, Chiragh Kahan Rohni Kahan, Man Kee Jeet and Ehsas, and that made them a star attraction together. Their respect for each other grew over the years as their expressive inputs increased. In the early 1970s, Nadeem was doing more films with Deeba (Sangdil, Aao Pyar Karien, and Ansoo), Shamim Ara (Suhag, Angarey, Aanch) and Nisho (Bazi, Sehrey Ke phool). But as time progressed, by the mid 1970’s, Nadeem had lots of movies with Shabnam, and their pair was established as a symbol of quality work, like Ehsas, Badal Aur Bijli, Society, Do Badan, Dillagi, Sharafat etc
In 1977, Aaina was released and created records of the longest running film and biggest earner of Pakistan history. After 1977, Nadeem and Shabnam attained a phenomenal rise in fortunes. Aaina established them for another decade. In the 1980’s, the pair continued to remain the prime actors of the country, with films like Bandish, Hum Dono, Qurbani, Dehleez, Kamyabi, Naraz etc.
It was always conjectured that Nadeem and Shabnam had soft corners for each other, though each of them had married lives of their own. Nothing concrete is there, in matters of proof that they over-indulged in any romantic overtures off-screen. Of course, tea and sympathy is always on the agenda!
Probably the last film they did together was Javed Fazil’s Faisla, which also featured Javed Sheikh. It was a massive hit and people still remember it as the Maula Jat of Urdu films!