The Kiss of Death: Motherhood
(This article was written in the late 70’s and taken from Shama
and in no way reflects our own views)

Being a mother is one of the greatest gifts of nature, especially in our eastern culture. in these parts, any married woman without a child is unfortunately frowned upon to the extent that even the most beautiful women are rejected and divorced for being unable to bear children. Conversely in our “Filmi” world which is an integral part of the society, the standards are rather different, indeed strikingly opposite to the norm.

In the “Filmi” world, any actress upon becoming a mother loses her fame, respect and value in the market. Actresses who become enormously popular must try to maintain a virginal persona and remain detached from any man or even if they do get involved with a man or get married, it must be kept an absolute secret for as long as possible. Men in our parts consider the actresses as possessions and they are totally unwilling to share them with any other and so when the actress gets married or is engaged to another, it could mean the end for her fans. Worst of all is the actress is found to have borne a child, her days as a leading romantic heroine are numbered.

There are tales of many actresses who have younger daughters who have to resort to outright lies, referring to their daughters as “younger sisters” and having their daughters refer to them as “apa ji” rather than as “ammi”. All this in order to preserve the aura of their own youthful virgin purity.

In this article (from Shama) we will take a look at those actresses who have had to keep secrets about their husbands, their children, their affairs and other dubious liaisons. Also, a look at some of those actresses with numerous affairs and multiple marriages who were never able to take on the role of a mother.

The moment Sabiha stepped into the film industry her father did his utmost to obstruct her and to keep her away and uninvolved from any sort of romantic liaison that might lead to marriage. In her peak years, Sabiha had no shortage of fans, every director, producer, actor, cameraman in the industry was under her spell, but it was due to the severity of Muhammad Ali Mahiya’s strictness that no one could acquire her. At the time, Sudheer, Darpan, Santosh Kumar and Aslam Pervez were her romantic co-stars and all her suitors as well but it was Santosh who caught Sabiha’s eye. Their romance flourished behind Muhammad Ali Mahiya’s back and one fine day they flew to London and got married. This resulted in a decline in her craze in the industry and she, who was at once everybody’s favourite, was reduced to mere Mrs. Santosh Kumar. To top it Santosh Kumar forbade her from acting opposite any other hero but himself. This led to a serious setback to her professional career, she gave birth to a child, and then another and then another, after having two sons and two daughters, her role was reduced to a mother which she is fulfilling to date, even of a grandmother now. Santosh Kumar’s early demise aged Sabiha much earlier than her time and once the darling of the industry she still commands respect and receives it from one and all.

Nayyar Sultana, too, tried not to marry as long as she was a heroine in the industry, but cupid struck while she was acting in “Saheli” opposite to Darpan. She kept her marriage with Darpan a secret affair for some time, but later admitted it and still continued acting in the industry as a heroine. But the sooner did she become the mother of her first son, Darpan asked her to sit at home and disengage from the industry. After the birth of her second child, the finances of the family were not the same as before and Nayyar had to return to the industry for work. But now it was late, she was married and a mother and could only be cast in elder character roles. Today, if she gets her son married, she would be a grandmother within no time.

Shamim Ara fell in love twice.  Once with Darpan but she was simultaneously the love of Mohammad Ali’s life as well. Darpan was hijacked by Nayyar Sultana and Muhammad Ali married Zeba after losing all hope in Shamim. As long as she was single, the industry loved her, but the sooner she announced her intentions to get married to Farid Ahmed, everyone got disappointed, although she never married Farid once she was linked with him, she was no more the Fantasy Dream Girl of the industry, and then, as she got married to Sardar Rind, her name was totally eradicated from the list of Lollywood heroines. After the shock accidental death of Sardar Rind, she married Karim Majeed and bore a son. Now she was absolutely nowhere to be seen in a romantic role, after getting divorce from Karim, she married Shammi Malik and gave birth to another son who is in his adolescence now. In films, even in her own productions, she is a sister or a mother and no one accepts her as a Heroine anymore.

Zeba was the only heroine who was already a mother when she joined the film industry. No one knew that when she made her debut in “Chiragh Jalta Rahay” she was already with a child, so much so that even after her wedding with Muhammad Ali, it remained a secret for many years to come. She entered the industry as a virgin and appeared as so for a fairly long time. Audiences loved her and her romantic couple with Waheed Murad was highly sought after, but her image declined as she married Lala Sudhir and then later Muhammad Ali. Later when she came out as a mother, the love her fans had for her was replaced with respect. Zeba became a grandmother when her Daughter Samina bore a child. Just think! who will accept a grandmother in a romantic role?

Shabnam was the sole actress who, when came from Dhaka to Karachi and then to Lahore, not only she was married but had a kid as well. But nature had gifted her with such a beautiful physique and a lovely face that film viewers nor did accept her in romantic roles but often considered her to be their imaginary girlfriend. However, Shabnam deliberately was cautious enough not to conceive any other child. Her son is now grown and is in London for higher education, still Shabnam is being cast in romantic roles and looks absolutely stunning till date. And a great quality of her character is that she loved a man, married him and still loves him even more.

As long as Neelo did not marry Riaz Shahid, she was the heartbeat of the industry, but as she got married, viewers lost hope in her, and when she became the mother of a beautiful girl ZERQA, she decided not to work in the industry anymore. Earlier Riaz Shahid had cast her for the last time in ZERQA, the movie, she was immensely loved. After that she gave birth to two sons Ijaz and Armaghan and now after three children she had grown immensely fat and viewers had totally forgotten her. After the death of Riaz Shahid, Neelo decided to make a comeback and in that move, she displayed her physique overtly, but the viewers abhorred it totally and Neelo was reduced to a mother’s role in real life for the days to come.

Parveen Rizvi aka Sangeeta when moved to Lahore from Karachi, could not get work initially in the film industry. His Father Syed Tayyab Rizvi, Mother Begum Mehtab Bano started living in a flat in Liberty Lahore with these two daughters Parveen and Nasreen. Parveen, though very young as she was, but due to her height and figure appeared to be perfect, Nasreen on the other hand was way too young, therefore Parveen was introduced to the film industry with the name of Sangeeta. Due to her adorable looks, filmcasters portrayed her in every possible manner, especially in that era of vulgar movies, she was filmed almost naked. As she was growing old, her sister Nasreen was coming of age, and started to figure out that she too had some natural desires which were to be satisfied. But her mother Mehtab Bano did not want her to get married soon so she introduced her too to the film industry with the name of Kavita. When Sangeeta realized that her parents are not interested in her getting married, she herself with the help of Musarrat Shaheen and Yasmeen Khan wedded Humayun Qureshi, which eventually was a disaster to her popularity as a heroine. Considering the turn of events, Sangeeta started directing movies, and by the time she gave birth to her first child, she became obese, yet she decided not to produce any other child and concentrate on work. She is again quite slim and back in the films but not as a heroine but an elder sister or mother since the audience is far from accepting her as a heroine any more.

Nimmi, after trying her utmost at stage dramas, when joined the film industry , all she could get were rape scenes and nothing substantial. But when Director Mumtaz Ali Khan took her in a leading role for his film Dulhan Aik Raat Ki , she and the movie was a tremendous hit. This brought loads of work to her but she could not digest all this worth and fame and married a producer leaving the industry. As she was off the screen, people soon forgot about her completely, and by now she was overtly fat and a mother of 3. What else, she met the same destiny as any other such heroines, she was divorced and is again in films and stage to make the both ends meet for her three boys, but she is no more in the hearts and minds of the masses.

This dancer turned actress saw many ups and downs in her career. She did not marry even spending a substantial part of her life dedicated to films and remained single to rule the hearts of her audience. Although she allegedly had extra marital relations with filmmaker Shimmi but was lucky enough to find Shahid as a legitimate life partner as she was growing old. As she married Shahid, she divorced the film industry and became a housewife. After the birth of Rabia, their first daughter Shahid lost interest in her and married Babra Shareef. Zamurrad separated herself from Shahid and joined the industry again. Truly she is past her youth but still her face has got the looks to keep her in for quite some time but no matter how hard she tries, people would never see her as the same Zamurrad she ever used to be.

With scores of illegal marriages and affairs on her account, her first legal marriage consummated in Dera Ghazi Khan when she was not an actress. Her second marriage was with a Marble Trader of Rawalpindi called Afzal. Either by luck or by plan, she never became a mother, otherwise Afzal would have never let her go. After Afzal, many men came in her life but she still claims to be single. A very few people know that Sawera, the actress is not her younger sister but her daughter from her first marriage. Musarrat is now too old to act as a heroine and she is now planning to introduce her daughter to the film industry.

This is that unfortunate lady, who after becoming a mother, cannot claim to be one. Is there any woman in this world who would carry a child in her womb for nine months and as she is born refuses any relation, and not give the new born the very right to call her mother … “Mother”! However it is a reality that the day she became a mother her reputation felt the jolt, yet she is very much in the film industry just because filmmakers, so far have not been able to find an appropriate substitute.

With a couple of illegal relationships, Firdous did, however legally married Film producer Shiekh Nazir, a marriage which is successful to this day, because Mr. Shiekh has not divorced her so far. Her illegal affairs included ones with Akmal, Ejaz, and as Ejaz got arrested, her manager Taj Khan and after Taj Khan a non filmi personality. As an outcome she became a mother of a baby girl which she claims to be of Ejaz. Some others, do however believe that the daughter is of Taj Khan, but both Ejaz and Taj Khan disown the child. As long as Firdous did not bear a child, she was very popular but after the birth of her daughter, she became so obese that the filmmakers hardly considered her as heroine material. Her craze has faded away and she is stuck with the characters of a mother in films these days. She is living in a bungalow in Gulberg Lahore with her daughter who is now 5 years old.

This Karachi-ite Christian girl, when stepped into the film industry, was picked up as a heroine in no time. She acted remarkably in many films but fate brought her to the lap of sound recorder Riffat Qureshi. She embraced Islam and married Mr. Qureshi, and this marked the fall of her career, she became a mother and gained weight, and soon she was a mother of 3 and too obese to be cast as a heroine. Eventually film makers lost interest in her and she faded out from the cinema screen. Riffat Qureshi, these days runs an Audio Video business and Rozina is happily living as a house wife with her kids.

She was the soul of film makers, Bahar, as the name indicates, was the blossom of the film industry. As long as she was single, her popularity was immense. She made her debut with Aslam Pervez in the film Chan Mahi by film producer and director M. Yousaf. though their liaison was no less than that of husband and wife yet still Bahar Begum carried the label of being single and enjoyed the limelight of Lollywood. Later as she married Iqbal Yousaf, son of S.M. Yousaf, her reputation was charred, she left lollywood and in quick succession produced three children. Iqbal, however divorced her and she was forced to make a return to the industry but only in a mother’s character. Her children since have all grown up and  educated.

This silly naughty girl’s craze faded the very day she married Inaam Rabbani and as she became Madiha’s mother, her popularity suffered a major dent. After getting divorce from Inaam, a process which also caused her reputation a lot of damage, she married Tasleem Faazli and the couple had a daughter. As filmmakers stopped casting her, she went to Karachi along with her family but after the death of her husband she returned to Lahore. Now her elder daughter Madiha is 8 and the younger one is in kindergarten. Nisho still wants to work as a heroine in films but …..

She is that unfortunate actress, film makers never accepted her wholly with their hearts. This TV superstar and Presidential Award winner of the small screen remained a failure in movies. She lacked the spice a heroine needed in the industry and as she married a hotel owner and  the news spread, the little chance of her success also faded away. She became a mother of a child but after her divorce she is again busy with her TV career.

Bindiya, as she joined the industry was married and already a mother of a son. Filmmakers did have a hint of her marriage but her being a mother was still a secret. She did many modern roles in films but couldn’t quite establish herself in the manner that her stature and work deserved. Now her son is young and understands everything her mother does, this is why Bindiya has confined her to television now.

Her craze died the very day she married Naseem of Popular Pictures. She left films and became mother of two, the elder one is quite grown up now. Her interest in acting forced her to get divorced from Naseem and marry writer Khursheedullah and started working in films again. at the age of 45 years old , this mother of two still wishes to be a heroine… Just imagine that the heroine of Late Akmal, how can possibly be the heroine of Faisal Rehman after 30 years on? Nobody in the present generation even knows who she is.