Aslam Pervez: Prince
By Anis Ahmed Shakur
Film director, W.Z. Ahmed, was so fascinated by an educated,
well-organized manager of Regal cinema, Lahore, that he called him Shad and offered him a role in his film, ‘Roohi’.
Thus, Shad made his first silver screen appearance with
‘Roohi’ in 1954. The film ‘Roohi’ was shown in Palace cinema, Karachi, produced by C.R. Golani. Shammi
was the lead actress and Shad played the role of Shammi’s brother.
Director-producer, Syed Ata ullah Shah Hashmi, was all
praise for Shad’s performance in the film ‘Roohi’.
He signed Shad to play in an important role in his film
‘Naukar’, which was also the first golden jubilee film of Pakistan. (The film ‘Naukar’,1954, starring,
Shad- Raagni- Nazeer- Sauran Lata)
Soon, director Sheikh Lateef, nick named, Seth Lacchoo
of the film exchange, selected Shad for his up coming film, ‘Anokhi’.
The 1954 film ‘Anokhi’, marked the debut
of Lehri. (‘Anokhi’, starring, Shad- Sheila Ramani- Lehri, , Tamar Baran, popular song, ‘Gari ko chalana
babu, zara halkay, halkay, halkay, kaheen dil ka jaam na chalkay’, singer, Zubeida Khanum)
A little later, Shad appeared as the hero in the film
‘Seestaan’ (1954, director, N.M.Khwaja, stars, Shad as lead actor, Musarrat Nazeer as lead actress, Aasha Poslay,
Agha Saleem Raza).
Shad then appeared in the film ‘Khatoon’,
released on March 25, 1955, director, Nazeer, producer, Ismail Noor, stars, Shad- Sauran Lata, Nazeer- Naeem Hashmi.
After working in the above five films, Shad vanished
from the big screen for a while. Fortunately, for cine-goers, after that respite, he resumed his career.
His fans will be amazed to know that Shad used to stutter.
His tongue problem plagued him his entire life.
However, all his films are completely free of his speech
Shad was born in 1932 to an enlightened, middle class
family of Lahore. His grand father, Deen Mohammad, established an office building at Shahra-e-Quaid-e-Azam (former Mall Road),
Shad’s brother, Afzal, is the son-in-law of Chaudhry
Eid Mohammad used to be the film producer-director at
one time, who also owned the Rattan cinema, Lahore.
Shad’s other brother is a chartered accountant.
His third brother is known for his paintings.
Director Anwar Kamal Pasha changed Shad’s name
to Zia and made him the hero of his hit film, ‘Qatil’.
‘Qatil’ was released on January 22, 1955,
starring, Zia- Nayyar Sultana- Musarrat Nazeer, producer, Agha G.A. Gul.
Afterwards, Zia became Aslam Pervez (his name was changed
for the third and last time) and he worked as hero opposite Noor Jehan in the Punjabi film ‘Paatay Khan’. (Producer,
Islam uddin Shami, director, M.A. Rasheed, Zareef played the title role of ‘Paatay Khan’, composer, Akhtar Husain,
starring, Aslam Pervez- Noor Jehan- Zareef- M.Ismail- Alauddin- Nazeer- singer-cum actress, Zubeida Khanum was dubbed as Zareef’s
lover. The hit film ‘Paatay Khan’ sky- rocketed the career of Aslam Pervez.
He appeared in many movies before achieving stardom.
In his thirty years as an actor, 1954-84, Aslam Pervez
was known for his cinematic face, attractive personality and fashionable dress.
He added to his success with the following films:
‘Pardaisan’, ‘Painga’, Paasbaan’,
‘Pholay Khan’ and ‘Palkan’
Additionally, he was well known for socializing with
people. His friends and associates named him ‘Prince Aslam’ for his magnanimity.
Below are five films, which established his national
‘Kachhian kalyaan’, ‘Zulfaan’,
Miss 56, ‘Chan Maahi’ and ‘Aas Paas’.
Furthermore, he was the patron-in-chief of a popular
cricket club in Lahore. Being a good cricketer himself, he always financed the club.
The following five movies eloquently proves his attachment
to the public:
‘Muzloom’, Aankh ka nasha’, ‘Humsafar’,
‘Choomantar’ and ‘Koel’.
His leading ladies over the years included Noor Jehan-
Musarrat Nazeer- Sabiha Khanum- Bahar- Yasmeen- Shamim Ara- and Nayyar Sultana.
Around that time, Aslam Pervez suffered a temporary
set back. The following nine films flopped at the box office. His reputation was at stake:
‘Nai larki’, ‘Himmat’, ‘Sunehray
sapnay’, ‘Lakan matti’, ‘Laila mujnu’, ‘Sohni kumharan’, ‘Roop mati’,
‘Baaz bahadur’ and ‘Zameen ka chand’.
However, the films ‘Bhabhi’ and ‘Ishq
per zoar nahi’ did good business.
The film distributors refused to show films in the theaters,
in which Aslam Pervez played the lead romantic role.
The year 1959 brought encouraging news for Aslam Pervez.
The film ‘Neend’ was Hasan Tariq’s first film as director. No pain no gain. Hasan Tariq took a big risk
by offering a unique role to Aslam Pervez in his film ‘Neend’.
Despite the fact that Aslam Pervez was the hero of ‘Neend’
he was portrayed as a bad man. He was dubbed as highly influential entrepreneur. His role was a blend of good and bad.
As the story goes, he fell in love with an attractive
but poor girl, whom he raped. Later, the innocent rape victim dies, after giving birth to a baby girl.
That experimental role was an arduous challenge for
Aslam Pervez. He was very successful in that character. In reality, the film ‘Neend’ made Aslam Pervez the first
anti- hero of the Pakistani cinema.
For the first time in 1960, he appeared as villain in
the film ‘Saheli’, directed by S.M. Yusuf. To see is to believe. From head to toe, he successfully portrayed himself
as a wicked man.
From 1960 onwards, the film directors always gave him
the role of a villain.
The films of lasting interest like the five below are
still fresh in our minds:
‘Insaan aur Aadmi’, ‘Riwaaj’,
‘Baharo phool barsao’, ‘Shikwa’ and ‘Nateeja’.
He married an educated actress of his time, Khawar Sultana,
who died a few years ago. One of their sons studied and settled in the U.S.A.
Aslam Pervez made his lucky strike in the following
‘Daman’, Qatal kay baad’, ‘Mujahid’,
‘Sartaj’ and ‘Tasweer’.
By the end of 1960, he became the greatest villain ever
to grace the Pakistan film industry. He achieved great fame as an actor in the following five films:
‘Taqdeer’, ‘Payal ki jhankaar’,
‘Kaafir’, ‘Khilona’, and ‘Mafroor’
He garnered more attention, which extended beyond his
life with the exhibition of the following five films:
‘Mehal’, Asmat’, ‘Behan bhai’,
‘Adalat’, and ‘Naheed’.
Just think of the films
which were class acts. The following four movies were made successful by winning performance turned in by the movie
crew, which included Aslam Pervez:
‘Anmol mohabbat’, ‘Aanch’, director
Qadeer Ghauri’s film ‘Mehmaan’ and the film ‘Pardaisi’.
He is most well known for his role in the film ‘Insaan
aur Aadmi’ for which he won the Nigar Award for best supporting actor.
One fateful day in November 1984, both Aslam Pervez
and actor Iqbal Hasan were traveling in the same car to the film studio.
Chaudhry and the rest of the film crew were waiting for them to arrive for the location shooting of the film ‘Jhoora’.
As luck would have it, the car suffered a fatal road
accident. Iqbal Hasan died on the spot. Aslam Pervez was rushed to the hospital
with life threatening injuries.
A few days later, on November 21, 1984, Aslam Pervez
lost his battle against severe injuries.
He was gone, and I
imagined him running upward in sun light in the happy journey that he, like each of us, must make alone.