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Colleagues pay homage to Shamim Ara

Colleagues pay homage to Shamim Ara

KARACHI: The event symbolised the kind of attitude that we have towards our role models once they depart this world. It was a condolence reference held at the Karachi Press Club on Thursday evening in honour of one of the finest actresses and directors of the Pakistan film industry, Shamim Ara, who passed away in London on Aug 5. But apart from a couple of film stars, and the regular group of showbiz journalists, there were hardly anyone from the film fraternity or the public who attended the programme though it was being advertised for the past two days.

Speaking from London via phone, Shamim Ara’s son Salman Majeed said his mother loved Pakistan and wanted to come back to her country. She had been in a comatose state for the past six years therefore, he said, there wasn’t much to share with the audience about her last days. He said he was with her all along her illness and was next to her when at 4am on Aug 5 she breathed her last.

Film star Nadeem Baig started off his speech by referring to the line of a song (‘Chalo achha hua tum bhool gaey’ — it’s good that you’ve forgotten me) filmed on Shamim Ara which was written on the backdrop made for the event. He said she was the kind of artists who could not be forgotten. He said he was much junior to her so he got to learn from her. He said he worked with her as a fellow artist and as an actor under her direction. He said her greatest attribute was that both on- and off-screen, she was a representative of our eastern cultural values. He said he never saw her acting or dressed up in an objectionable manner. He said she carried herself with a great deal of dignity.

Mr Baig said while doing a character Shamim Ara never overacted. He said he learned a lot from his seniors like her because in the field of acting one could never be a master of one’s craft, rather one always remained a student. He said he worked in the film Playboy, co-starring Babra Sharif, in her direction. He said it was a difficult subject to handle but Shamim Ara handled it very well. He said her diction was refined and she spoke in a gentle manner.

Actor Ghulam Mohiuddin spoke via phone from Lahore. He said Shamima Ara dedicated her life to the film industry. He said he worked as an actor in her film Jio Aur Jeeney Do and found her work to be of high quality.

Film star Mustafa Qureshi said Lakhon Mein Aik was his first film as an actor in which he did the role of Shamim Ara’s husband. Highlighting her professionalism, he quoted an incident from the film where in a scene he had to hit her, and once inadvertently touched her face, but the actress was gracious enough to ignore it and instead encouraged him to retake the scene in a better way. He echoed Nadeem Baig’s views that the actress made a name for herself through her performances. He lamented that she had been unconscious for seven years, and no one (government, media etc) inquired after her health. He said today’s actresses should follow in her footsteps.

According to the organisers of the event, film actor Saud had also promised to come but couldn’t make it to the condolence reference saying he was stuck in traffic.

A. H. Khanzada, Fazil Jamili, Khalid Farshori, Sheikh Liaquat, Wasi Qureshi and Athar Javed Sufi also spoke. Pervez Mazhar hosted the programme organised by the Pakistan Film and Television Journalists Association and the Karachi Press Club.

Published in Dawn, September 2nd, 2016

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