Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Singing Superstar
Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Singing Superstar

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MAN MOR HUA MATWALA KIS NE JADOO DALA (Page 3)

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Suraiya - suraiya01.jpg
Suraiya


Talat and Suraiya in "MAALIK


Talat & Suraiya

SCENES FROM 'WARIS'


The 7 stills below from the film "WARIS" were presented to Talat Mahmood by Suraiya in 1994 after the film was shown at the Suraiya retrospective by the Film Society of India. 

Talat Mahmood, Suraiya and Nadira



Edited by Qwest - 30 April 2006 at 7:37pm
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Suraiya


Suraiya

Birth: 1929
Birthplace: Lahore
Profession: Playback Singer, Bollywood.

Save for her arresting, almond-shaped eyes, Suraiya was not a classic beauty; nor did she trained in classical music. Suraiya , the lovely melody queen created aura with her popular numbers like 'tu mera chaand, main teri chandani' ,'dil-e-nadan, tujhe hua kya hai' and 'woh paas rahe ya door rahe' .

Suraiya was born in 1929 as Suraiya Jamal Shaikh in Lahore. She received formal education at the New (J.B,Petit) High School for Girls in Mumbai and studied Persian and Quran at home. Her maternal uncle M. Zahoor used to perform character roles in films. During school vacations in 1941, she accompanied him to the Mohan Studios where shooting of film "Taj Mehal" was being done. There was a role for a child in this film. The director Mr.Nanubhai Vakil suggested her to perform the role and she agreed to face the camera for the first time. The shot was considered OK.

During her school days she used to participate in "Children Program" on Radio along with Shammi and Rajkapoor. She could sing some popular songs of that time with melody and fidelity. Appreciating her singing talent, a song "Boot karun mein polish" was recorded in her voice by Naushad Sahib in 1942 for the film "Nai-Dunia". In the same year she performed a role in film "Station Master" Other films of her playback singing with music by Naushad Sahib were "Sharda" (Punchi Ja- pechey raha hae bachpan mera), "Qanoon" and "Sanjog".

Her singing career found a mentor in music maestro Naushad. Suraiya had participated in a children's programme on All India Radio after friend Raj Kapoor and neighbour Madan Mohan had cajoled her. Naushad heard Suraiya on the radio and chose her to sing as 13 year old for Mehtab in Kardar's Sharda, 1942. Suraiya had to stand on a stool to reach the mike to croon Panchi ja, picturised on the much-older heroine, Mehtaab.

She was effectively launched as a singing star in Bombay Talkies Humaari Baat (1943). She made her presence felt in perhaps India's first multi-starrer K.Asif's Phool (1944) and played strong supporting second lead roles to Noorjehan in Mehboob Khan's Anmol Ghadi (1946) and Munawar Sultana in Dard (1947).Suraiya had her moments with Socha Tha Kya, Main Dil Mein Dard Basa La Aayee and Man Leta Hai.

She was starred opposite the legendary K.L. Saigal in three of his later films - Tadbir (1945), Omar Khaiyam (1946) and Parwana (1947), the last remembered for her haunting rendition of Jab Tumhi Nahin Apne.Her pairing with the then superstar Dev Anand was a huge hit and the two went on to star in many successful movies together - Afsar, Shayar and Jeet etal. They were romantically linked and were all set to marry when her strict grandmother put her foot down and broke their relationship (Dev Anand is a Hindu while Suraiya is a Muslim). The heartbroken Suraiya never married though many leading men of her time were interested in her.Surraiya's idol was Gregory Peck and he visited her by surprise during a night of 1954 while in transit at Mumbai on his way to Srilanka for shooting. He was much impressed by her simplicity.Dev Anand molded himself in postures of Gregory Peck but after long awaiting he married Kaplna Kartak.

The 1948-49 phase saw her rise to her peak. With Pyar ki Jeet (1948), Badi Bahen (1949) and Dillagi (1949) she became the highest paid female star of her time. At her peak, Suraiya generated hysteria comparable only to Rajesh Khanna in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Shop owners would down their shutters to see her starrers on the first day itself, crowds would throng outside her residence at Marine Drive in Bombay just to get a glimpse of her and actor Dharmendra recalls going to see Dillagi 40 times! Her songs from the above films Tere Nainon Ne Chori Kiya, O Door Jaanewaale (Pyar ki Jeet), Woh Paas Rahe Ya Door Rahe, O Likhnewaale Ne, Bigdi Bananewaale (Badi Bahen) and Tu Mera Chand, Murliwaale Murli Bajaa (Dillagi) were hummed in every nook and corner of the country.

Most of her films in the 50's flopped till she made a short lived comeback with Sohrab Modi's 'Mirza Ghalib' in which she played the role of the married Ghalib's lover.She made a short-lived comeback with Waaris (1954) and Mirza Ghalib (1954). The latter saw her finest dramatic performance as she made alive and vivid the role of the married Ghalib's lover, a courtesan. Ghalib also saw some of her finest singing - Aah ko Chaihiye Ek Umar, Nuktacheen Hai Gham-e-Dil, Dil-e-Nadaan Tujhe Hua Kya Hai, Yeh Na Thi Humari Kismet etc. Her singing is till date regarded as the definitive Ghalib. In fact India's then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru paid her the ultimate compliment by telling her " Tumne Mirza Ghalib ki Rooh ko Zinda Kar Diya" (she had brought Mirza Ghalib to life).

Unfortunately her work thereafter remained largely undistinguished. Shama (1961) was a musical hit and her last film was Rustom Sohrab (1963), which also boasts of one of her finest ever songs - Yeh Kaisi Ajab Dastaan Ho Gayi.

Now she has no restrictions on her eating and as such gaining weight in natural way. She is very fond of "Biryani" dish. She has a craze for ornaments. Her selection and collection of jewelry is unique. Even while going to bed, she often continues to wear them.

Best Of Suraiya:
Song Movie
Dil-e-nadaan Mirza Ghalib
Phir mujhe Mirza Ghalib
Yeh na thi hamari kismat Mirza Ghalib
Man leta hai angdai Anmol Ghadi
Socha tha kya kya ho gaya Anmol Ghadi
Man mera huo matwale Afsar
Man mera huo matwale Afsar
Milne ka din aa gaya Tadbir
Milne ka din aa gaya Tadbir
Kuch phool khile armaan ki Jeet
O door janewale Jeet





Edited by Qwest - 30 April 2006 at 5:56pm
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Suraiya : A Voice From The Past
(Source: Interview by: Sheila Vesuna)

Meeting Suraiya was like taking a walk back in time. There was a time when traffic jams at Marine Drive (Mumbai) were caused not due to a long line of cars, but because of a young charismatic actress whose melodious voice had cast a spell on thousands of young Indians. Entering her home at Krishna Mahal on Marine Drive today, instantly transports you into another age and time. "I WAS 12 AND LOOKED LIKE MUMTAZ MAHAL!" Suraiya's career as an actress began as a child artiste. "One day, my 'mamoo' (maternal uncle) Zahoor, who was a popular villian in films, took me along to watch the shooting of Prakash Pictures' 'Taj Mahal'. There, I met the producer, Nanubhai Vakil, who felt that my face was ideally suited for the character of young Mumtaz Mahal and asked my uncle if I could do the film. My mother and grandmother agreed. So, I went off to Delhi to shoot at the Red Fort for 10 days. "And that was followed by one offer after another.'' And a star was born. SINGING WAS AN ACCIDENT "I was never trained in singing. Madan Mohan, who lived close by and Raj Kapoor once dragged me to participate in the children's programme on the All India Radio. Naushad sa'ab, who heard my voice on the radio, got in touch with me to sing for Kardar sa'ab's film, 'Sharda'. And I sang 'Panchi ja peeche raha hain bachpan mera', which was picturised on Mehtab. I was 11 years old then." "NARGIS ENVIED ME" "Frankly, I hadn't planned a career in films. I was just lucky to have got good roles. Nargis would always tell me, 'Somehow you get the best roles'," says Suraiya, modestly. "Most of my roles were simple, but the audiences loved them. And I was lucky to have got simple, melodious and easy to pick up songs to sing, and work with the best composers of the day like Naushad, Husnlal-Bhagatram and Anil Biswas. We didn't even dream of promo videos, ads and all the associated technical wizardry then. But we still caught the audience's imagination." THE CROWDS WENT SURAIYA-MAD And how! When 'Pyar Ki Jeet' was released, it drew crowds outside Suraiya's house that had to be controlled by posting an inspector and four constables outside her house. "When I went for the premiere of the movie 'Badi Bahen', there was such a big crowd outside! As I walked into the theatre, they pulled at my clothes. There was a lathi charge and people were injured. I stopped going for premieres thereafter." "DEV SAVED MY LIFE" No Suraiya interview can be complete without a reference to the Dev Anand-Suraiya love story. While Dev Anand himself went on to marry Kalpana Kartik and, later, to romance several other women, for Suraiya, it seems that love began and ended with Dev Anand. "We were picturising a song in a boat right in the middle of the river, when the boat overturned and we found ourselves floundering in the water. I didn't know how to swim. Dev brought me out of the water. I thanked him, saying, 'If you hadn't saved me, my life would have ended.' He retorted, 'If your life had ended, so would mine.' We were drawn to each other." "MY GRANNY WAS DEAD AGAINST DEV" "I worked with Dev in seven films. Inevitably, people started talking about our romance and my grandmother learnt of it. She was extremely angry because Dev was a Hindu and granny was very orthodox." "WE DECIDED TO ELOPE" The highlight of this romance was the plan the lovers made to elope. While shooting for 'Jeet', the director decided to film on location instead of erecting a set. Also part of the plan was the summoning of a real 'panditji' to get Dev and Suraiya married during the shot. They would then get into the car and drive away - all as part of the scene, but in reality escaping. "I BACKED OUT" Unfortunately, Suraiya's grandmother came to know of the plan. "Eventually, my grandmother succeeded in separating us. Dev was deeply hurt and offended by my lack of courage. But I was afraid for him. In retrospect, I don't think anything would have happened if I'd been bold enough. But I was terrified of my grandmother. And was heartbroken. But time is the greatest healer." A practical woman, Suraiya prefers not to be a prisoner of the past. She agrees that had she chosen one of the many marriage proposals that came her way, life would have been different. But, she says, "Who can say what may have happened had I married? I've seen so many friends' marriages crumbling. I've been single and happy, living and doing the things I like, with a circle of close friends. But I'll admit that after my mother expired some years ago, I felt some amount of loneliness creep in." "PANDIT NEHRU COMMENDED ME" "I'd been a fan of Mirza Ghalib since childhood. And so when Sohrab Modi sent for my grandmother and discussed the role and other terms with her, I was thrilled. "It was a very simple film, made in three months. Yet, what an effect the film had! It was the first feature film to be awarded the President's Gold Medal. At a function in Delhi, Pandit Nehru, after watching the movie, said to me, 'Ladki, tumne kya unke (Mirza Ghalib) ghazalein gaayi. Tumne Mirza Ghalib ki rooh ko zinda kar diya.' For me, that was an award better than an Oscar." "MY TIME HAD COME" 'Rustom Aur Sohrab' made in 1962 was Suraiya's swan song. Why? "I hadn't been keeping well and had collapsed with weakness during the shooting of the movie. I was forced to take a break and recuperate. During that time, I really enjoyed resting and realised how tired I was with work. I completed the films I had on hand and decided to call it a day. And I've never looked back."

Incidentally, this legendary actress-singer still retains a lovely schoolgirlish lilt in her voice. Time, it seems, hasnt laid its hands on it.





Edited by Qwest - 30 April 2006 at 6:11pm
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SURAIYA
A Tribute
O door jaane wale...
Devinder Bir Kaur

Suraiya was a traffic stopper in her heyday
Suraiya was a traffic stopper in her heyday

THERE was a time when traffic jams at Marine Drive, Bombay, were caused not because of a long line of cars, but because of a young charismatic actress whose melodious voice had cast a spell on thousands of young Indians. This singing star didn't have to reveal any flesh or croon sexy numbers the way pop stars do today. Seeing her on the big screen and hearing her clear melodious voice was enough to have them bewitched.

Indeed, the screen goddess and singing star, Suraiya Jamal Sheikh, had the world at her feet. From the early hours of the morning, fans and hopeful suitors would begin to queue up outside her bungalow, Krishna Mahal, on the Marine Drive. Most of them were obsessed with her. In fact, one of them even went on a fast outside the gates of her house, so that she would relent and marry him! Then, there was another crazy fan who actually came to her house with a baraat! Yet another who kept her photograph in the puja room and wouldn't eat without worshipping Suraiya. Even street singers made their living singing the songs of her hit film Pyar ki Jeet. They would particularly come outside her house and sing O door jaane wale... and Suraiya's mother and grandmother, pleased, would give them a lot of money.

Suraiya was introduced to the film industry as a child artiste. One day, in 1941, her mamoo (maternal uncle) Zahoor, a popular villain in films, took her along to watch the shooting of Prakash Pictures' Taj Mahal. The producer, Nanubhai Vakil, looked at her and felt that her face was ideally suited for the character of young Mumtaz Mahal. He asked her uncle if she could do the film. Suraiya's mother and nani were only too willing. So, she was sent off to Delhi to shoot at the Red Fort for 10 days. And that was followed by one offer and then another and another. Thus, by the age of 12, she was doing the heroine's role in Ishara. She was so skinny that they had to pad her all over! And, what was more, she was opposite the 'grand old man of the Indian screen', namely Prithviraj Kapoor, who was in his mid-40s. Like everyone in the unit, she too called him 'Papaji'! Prithviraj admitted that it was difficult romancing with a girl he would call 'daughter' when the camera wasn't whirring.

Suraiya with Bharat Bhushan in a scene from Mirza Ghalib
Suraiya with Bharat Bhushan in a scene from Mirza Ghalib

The singing star is seen here with Tabassum
The singing star is seen here with Tabassum

Once Suraiya started working as a heroine, she never sang for anyone but herself. In fact, it was an era of singing stars. She was never trained to sing. But she was bright and picked up tunes very well.

Music director Naushad, who heard her voice on the radio, got in touch with her to sing for A.R. Kardar's film Sharda. She sang Panchhi ja, peechhe raha hai bachpan mera... which was picturised on Mehtab.

Naushad found Suraiya's voice as the voice of the girl next door. "It was an unsophisticated and charming voice and very effortless," he once commented. For Naushad she sang in films like Dillagi, Dastaan, Dil-e-nadan, Anmol Ghadi etc.

In fact, the songs of Pyar ki Jeet were so popular that crowds would gather outside Suraiya's house. This irked the Marine Drive residents and they complained to the Chief Minister about the traffic jams caused by the crowds. So, an inspector and four constables were posted outside her house.

Her movie Badi Bahen, in 1949, was such a success that when the song Woh paas rahen ya door rahen, nazron mein samai rehtein hain would unfold on the screen, the stage would be littered with change, as people would go crazy and throw coins.

Similarly, Shama had some of Suraiya's most melodious numbers like Mast aankhon mein, shararat, kabhi aisi to na thi and Dhadakte dil ki tamanna ho mera pyar ho tum composed by Ghulam Mohammed.

Most of her roles were simple, but the audiences loved them. Thus, Dard dealt with the sacrifice two lovers want to make out of gratitude for their benefactor who has brought them up. In Badi Bahen, Suraiya stands out in a deglamorised role of an elder sister slogging as a maid-servant to educate her younger sister played by Geeta Bali. Dastan was the age-old tale of two brothers pining for the same woman. In Afsar, Suraiya is a rich girl who entertains an imposter played by a young and gawky Dev Anand. Shama Parwana was another tragic love story of a princess drawn to a commoner.

However, it was Mirza Ghalib which brought Suraiya accolades. She was all the more flattered that she had bagged the role for which other beautiful stars like Madhubala had been considered. Sohrab Modi discussed and finalised the matter with Suraiya's grandmother and had the film ready within three months in 1954. It was the first feature film to be awarded the President's Gold Medal. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru came for the awards nite and sat between Sohrab Modi and Suraiya. Not only did he sit through the entire movie, he turned to Suraiya and said she had sung the ghazals so well that 'Mirza Ghalib ki rooh ko zinda kar diya' (you have brought to life Mirza Ghalib's soul). Suraiya considered the praise to be an award greater than an Oscar.

Indeed, Suraiya had immortalised Ghalib's ghazals. Who can forget Dil-e-nadan tujhe hua kya hai, Nuktacheen hai gham-e-dil, Ye na thi hamari kismat in Suraiya's mellifluous voice?

Her swan song was Rustom Sohrab in 1963 at the age of 34. Based on a Persian legend, the movie was about how a father and son are pitched against each other in a battle without their knowing their relationship. While Prithviraj Kapoor filled the screen, Suraiya's song, Yeh kaisi ajab dastan ho gayi hai, chhupate chhupate bayan ho gayi hai, is still remembered.

Suraiya had decided to call it a day. And once she had made up her mind, she refused to change it even in the face of many tempting offers. Since she never sang for anybody else but herself, it was most natural to quit singing too. Thereafter, she never sang. She felt she had made the right decision to leave when she did, as she wanted people to remember her the way she was in her prime.

But no talk of Suraiya would be complete without a mention of Dev Anand and their love story. Suraiya met Dev during the filming of Vidya. She was then an established star and he a raw newcomer, but she found him 'cultured and very handsome'. It was during the shooting of the song, Laayi khushi ki duniya, hasti hui jawaani, in which she had to rest her head on Dev's shoulder, when she experienced 'an electric shock go through her' and realised that no one had made her feel this way before.

Suraiya had no existence outside her work, her grandmother made sure of that. So much so, even after one and a half years, Suraiya and Dev didn't get to meet each other alone.

Dev Anand began writing passionate letters to her. Sometimes she would sneak out to the terrace and Dev would follow.

Dev proposed to her on the sets of Jeet and gave her a diamond ring. But hell broke loose at home as her grandmother discovered the ring and threw Dev's ring into the sea.

Suraiya's grandmother and uncle threatened to get Dev arrested or killed. People like Mehboob Khan, A.R. Kardar, Jaddan Bai and others, who made up the Muslim lobby of the film industry, insisted that if she got married to Dev Anand, Hindu-Muslim riots would break out. Being naive then, Suraiya got brainwashed into believing them. She feared for Dev's safety and finally took the decision of telling him a final 'no'. She was just 22.

Later, Suraiya was never short of proposals from other men. But she frankly admitted that Dev was the only man in her life and remained unmarried till the very end.

Gregory Peck-lookalike Dev Anand was no doubt the love of her life. But she once had an unusual midnight rendezvous with the original Hollywood actor himself. It so happened that Peck was in Bombay at a party at Ambassador Hotel, a stone's throw from Suraiya's house. Actor Al Nasir, who was a close family friend of Suraiya's, was present at the party. He mentioned it to the actor that Suraiya, a top star in India, was a great fan of his. At midnight, he had Gregory Peck at her doorstep. He had also dragged a photographer with them. The next day pictures of Gregory Peck and Suraiya were splashed in all newspapers. It remained one of the most cherished moments of her life.

Suraiya died a lonely woman — her mother and grandmother having died several years ago, and the rest of the family having migrated to Pakistan. She had held her own among stalwarts like Noor Jahan, Khurshid, Zohrabai, Amirbai and others without any music training. Her career spanned a little over two decades but she left behind a vast repertoire of songs for audiences to delight in.




Edited by Qwest - 30 April 2006 at 6:37pm
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The 50's was the era of the Singing Star. America had Elvis Presley, England had Cliff Richard and India had Talat Mahmood ! Handsome, good looking men with fantastic voices and a distinguished style of singing that was all their own. The mere mention of their names on the silver screen was enough to pull in female crowds looking for gentle romantic fare, with clean cut story lines. Whether Elvis, Cliff or Talat, these singers were packaged and presented on the silver screen with the utmost of care. Nothing was left to chance. For them, it was nothing but the biggest producers, the biggest banners, the topmost heroines and of course, hand picked music composers to create those scintillating musical scores !

Producer Sohrab Modi, Suraiya, Nadira, Mrs Talat, Talat Mahmood and Director Nitin Bose at premiere of 'WARIS'


Producer Sohrab Modi, Suraiya, Nadira, Mrs Talat, Talat Mahmood and Director Nitin Bose at premiere of 'WARIS'

***   When producer Sohrab Modi (the Cecil B. DeMille of Indian Cinema) conceived the film 'WARIS' for the reigning singing superstar Talat Mahmood, he decided to bring in the highly respected Director Nitin Bose, renowned for introducing playback singing to Indian Cinema and later for directing the great Dilip Kumar's magnum opus 'Ganga Jamuna'. Not just one, but two top heroines were signed up to play the lead opposite Talat Mahmood - Suraiya, the highest paid heroine of her time and the beautiful Nadira ! Apart from being the top stars of the day, they were also great fans of this handsome singer and welcomed the chance to team up with the Ghazal King. 'WARIS' of course, was a hit!

***   Talat Mahmood starred with the actress par excellence, Nutan, in Sone Ki Chidiya. Nutan always referred to Seema and Sone Ki Chidiya as her careers two most memorable films !

***   Famous producer - director A.R. Kardar, who launched Raj Kapoor, signed up Talat Mahmood for his musical venture Dil e Nadaan. An all India beauty contest was then launched to find a heroine to star opposite mega star Talat Mahmood for this film ! The winner was lovely Peace Kanwal. After acting in Dil e Nadaan, she got married to a well known industrialist and gave up acting completely.

***   Talat Mahmood starred in the 1957 hit Ek Gaon Ki Kahani with the lovely Mala Sinha as heroine, directed by well known director Dulal Guha and produced by Satyen Bose ( who has also produced one of the biggest hits and highest box office grossers of all time - 'Dosti' )

***   Producer S.U. Sunny, who had earlier made the Dilip Kumar starrers Babul and Udan Khatola, cast the striking singer-duo of Talat Mahmood and Suraiya for his film Maalik.

***   Despite the presence of Dev Anand and Madhubala in Araam, the star appeal of Talat Mahmood was used to boost the box office ratings of the film !

***   Director Nitin Bose, whose credits include the great Dilip Kumar's magnum opus Ganga Jamuna, directed Talat Mahmood in Waris !

***   At a Suraiya retrospective in Bombay in 1994, a much-acclaimed film was the late Sohrab Modi's Waris. This film starred handsome Talat Mahmood as hero.



Edited by Qwest - 30 April 2006 at 7:15pm
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Posted: 30 April 2006 at 7:42pm | IP Logged

Originally posted by Iron

thanks quest...after geeta she is my next fav. her yeh kaissi ajab and dile nadan...are truely amazing Clap thnaks for reminding us such a evergreen jem Big smile
Iron ji, cannot agree more with you. Here is a pic for of the Legend.Thanks.

Handsome and debonair Talat in "DIL E NADAAN"



Edited by Qwest - 30 April 2006 at 7:43pm
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Posted: 30 April 2006 at 7:52pm | IP Logged
Bollywood 2004: Necrologies
By Gaurav Malani,

The year 2004 saw the departure of some great luminaries from the world of cinema. The sky of Indian cinema lost some wonderful stars whose sparkle can never be restored. IndiaFM enumerates some of the biggest losses in Bollywood in the year that just passed by and pays a tribute to the departed souls.

Suraiya (1929 - 2004)

Film profile: Singer-actress

Suraiya Yesteryear singer-actress Suraiya passed away in her sleep on the morning of January 31 after a brief illness. She was 75.

Suraiya Jamaal Sheikh was first seen as the young Mumtaz Mahal in Taj Mahal (1941). She started her singing career with Sharda (1942) and went on to sing many songs for composer and mentor Naushad. She turned the singing sensation of the 40's and 50's.

Singer-actor K L Saigal who took a great liking for her voice, recommended her as a heroine in Tabdir (1945). She subsequently worked with the biggest stars of the time, including Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand. Her offscreen relationship with Dev Anand was widely known. It is said that the duo came close when Dev Anand saved her from drowning during one shooting sequence. However her family opposed to their marriage and Suraiya vowed to remain a spinster for the rest of her life. Last Seen: She was last seen as Shehzadi Tehmina in Rustom Sohrab (1963). After that she quit acting.

Edited by Qwest - 30 April 2006 at 7:52pm
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Qwest ji... you always seem to be on a qwest to find out more about such lost artists and help people like me who dont kno much about them to know more !

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