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Sultan Rahi – Anjuman


Sultan Rahi & Anjuman

Superstars have often faced this problem that while they march steadily on, lesser mortals who may be their partners, get old or tired or flopped, to leave their side. Mega-star, Sultan Rahi faced this dilemma twice or thrice in his career, not only with his heroine, but with his opposite number, Mustafa Qureshi. Rahi could never find a brilliant pair as Mustafa Qureshi, all through the rest of his career. But as far as heroines are concerned, he was fortunate that when Aasia and Mumtaz started to fade during the mid-1980, Rahi already had a ready-made female lead of immense caliber with him. That was Anjuman, who had ventured successfully into Punjabi movies after her early stint in Urdu films during the early 1980’s.

The film that put her immediately into top gear was Younus Malik’s Sher Khan in 1981. Sultan Rahi and Anjuman looked good together. They proved virtual conquerors of the big screen. Their next films like Sala Saheb, Chan Varyam, Jeedar etc, were all hits. Anjuman was a tall Multani specimen of womanhood. Her voice had that special Khanak and audio level that suited both cinemas, the Urdu and the Punjabi. She had already looked good with Mohammed Ali in a few Urdu movies, and then with her typical gestures in Punjabi films, she just took Lollywood by storm. By this time, Rahi had had some 20 years in the industry and looked fit for another 20. As Chakori, Mumtaz and Anujuman were the only heroines on the circuit; Rahi was paired more often with Anjuman.

Film actresses in the subcontinent, willingly or unwillingly, are taught to play up to their heroes. Usually in such cases, an affinity evolves and sometimes, it leads to romance and affairs. This wasn’t the case with Anjuman. For ten to twelve years, there wasn’t any stopping to the Rahi-Anjuman duo. But in 1990, another Amazonian called Saima entered the fray and within the next 3 to 4 years, she was rivaling Anjuman for the number of films she was doing with Sultan Rahi. Moreover, Saima developed romantic leaning with Rahi and it was rumored that they had secretly married. Later, the same year, Rahi was killed coming back from Islamabad, in a car, and as always the murder case was sidelined because there were big political names involved. Anjuman continued for sometime but she had grown flabby and lost her popularity to Saima and the rise of the younger breed like Reema, Meera, Resham and others. She tried desperately for comeback in 1999, with Chaudhrani, which was a hit, but no other film could do the same business.

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