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Mumtaz: Always alive

By Anis Ahmed Shakur



There really is a pretty actress, and her name is Mumtaz.


You do not need a stratospheric   I.Q. to become a movie star. Mumtaz happened to be a girl with an average intelligence.


She became a renowned artist with astonishing rapidity.


Mumtaz debut in the film ‘Ehsaas’ in 1972. She was in her teens at the time. ‘Ehsaas’, was released on December 22, 1972. Starring, Shabnam, Nadeem, Qavi, Sofia Banu, Lehri, Talish, Mumtaz,  producer, Ilyas Rashdi, director, Nazr-ul- Islam Dada, composer, Robin Ghosh.



Mumtaz worked in the film ‘Banarasi thug’, in 1973. Theatrical release was on October 28, 1973. cast, Firdous, Ejaz, Zamarrud, Munawwar Zareef, Saira, Sultan Rahi, Naeem Hashmi, Ilyas Kashmiri, Mumtaz.

Producer, Sharif Malik, director, Iqbal Kashmiri, music, Bakshi Wazeer.


A dance in ‘Banarasi thug’ was pictured on Mumtaz. While dancing, she gave lip service to this mega- hit song of Noor Jehan, ‘Akh lari badu badi, mauqa milay kadi, kadi’. Truth be told, her role was minor in ‘Banarasi thug’.


How, in an industry abounding in gifted performers, does Mumtaz stand in a category unto herself?


The answer is she achieved success through hard work, perseverance and a belief in herself.


She was part of the unerringly smart movies like the six below:


‘Sidha Rasta’, released on July 5, 1974.


‘Dushman’, released on November 8, 1974, director, Pervez Malik, starring, Mumtaz, Waheed Murad, Mohammad Ali, Zeba,  ‘Dushman’ completed golden jubilee.


‘Haar Gaya Insaan’, released on March 28, 1975, stars, Mumtaz, Nadeem, Habib, Aslam Pervez, Tariq Aziz, director, S.M. Yusuf, music, Nisar Bazmi.



‘Pyar Ka Mausum’, released on April 4, 1975, cast, Mumtaz, Munawwar Zareef, Nanha, director, Munawwar Rasheed, composer, Tasaddaq Husain.


‘Mohabbat Zindigi hai’, released on June 6, 1975, starring, Waheed Murad, Mumtaz, Mohammad Ali, Zeba, composer, M. Ashraf, director, Iqbal Akhtar, the film completed golden jubilee.


‘Jab Jab Phool Khilay’, released on November 21, 1975, music, M. Ashraf, director, Iqbal Akhtar, cast, Mumtaz, Waheed Murad, Mohammad Ali, Nadeem, the film completed golden jubilee.


From Mohammad Ali to Munawwar Zareef, from ‘Banarasi thug’ to ‘Dhee Rani’, Mumtaz came full circle.


A generation of moviegoers have been listening to her pitch- perfect voice for the past thirty years.


One enjoys reading about magnetic Mumtaz, as one careers through this actress’s past.


The six films below describes the role she has played in the lives of her innumerable well-wishers:


‘Talaash’, director, Pervez Malik, composer, Nisar Bazmi, The film successfully completed diamond jubilee.


‘Surat Aur Seerat’, 1975, director, Iqbal Yusuf, stars, Mumtaz, Waheed Murad, Sudhir, Mohammad Ali, the film completed golden jubilee.


‘Kharidaar’, released on July 2, 1976, starring, Mumtaz, Deeba, Mohammad Ali, Waheed Murad, Habib, Nayyar Sultana, producer-director, Jamshed Naqui, the film completed silver jubilee.


‘Jeeyo Aur Jeenay Do’, 1976, director, Shamim Ara, cast, Mumtaz, Waheed Murad, Shamim Ara, Nadeem, the film completed silver jubilee.


‘Parastish’, 1977, director, Aziz-ul- Hasan, stars, Mumtaz, Waheed Murad, Nadeem, the film completed silver jubilee.


‘Akh Lari Badu Badi’, 1977, director, Shafiq Akhtar, cast, Mumtaz, Waheed Murad, Mustafa Qureshi, the film completed silver jubilee.


Taciturn and modest about her accomplishments, Mumtaz ended up as a role model for budding artists.


She worked with the intensity of a star and rightly so.


She graced the Pakistani cinema with her wistful appearance.


The following three films magnified her popularity:


‘Apnay Huay Paraye’, 1977, director Iqbal Akhtar, starring, Mumtaz, Waheed Murad, Ghulam Mohyedin, the film completed silver jubilee.


‘Ambar’, released on January 6, 1978, successfully completed Platinum jubilee, directed by Nazar-ul- Islam Dada.


‘Meray Apnay’, 1981, director, Shamim Ara, stars, Mumtaz, Shamim Ara, Waheed Murad, Shahid, the film completed silver jubilee.


Her initial roles served as a vital platform which enhanced her experience in movies.


At the height of its splendor, she worked in the film ‘Do hati jee’, 1982, director, M. J. Rana, starring, Mumtaz, Waheed Murad, Musarrat Shaheen, Ali Aijaz, the film completed silver jubilee.


Mumtaz appeared in more or less 150 films in her illustrious movie career. As effective media as cinema is, it helped Mumtaz bring her familiar face to the public.


Movies of lasting interest like the six below are worth mentioning:


‘Zanjeer’, director, Pervez Malik.

‘Jasoos’, director, Iqbal Yusuf.

‘Jeenay Ki Saza’, director, Hasan Askari.

‘Ziddi’, director, Yunus Malik.

‘Shikar’, director, S. A. Hafiz,

‘Dubai Chalo’, director, Haider Chaudhary.



To go through the list of Mumtaz’s movies, is to witness an array of films at its best. With her good looks and cultured manners, Mumtaz lent a finesse to the character of the lead actress, as she was in numerous movies.


In the end there is something in her films for everyone. Below are six such films:


Director Hasan Tariq’s film ‘Deedar’.

Director Munawwar Rasheed’s film ‘Pyar Ka Mausum’.

Director S. Sulaiman’s film ‘Intezaar’, ‘Bhool’, ‘Shararat’, ‘Aag Aur Zindigi’.


She is, indeed, a great actress. But greatness is not a race and what defines Mumtaz best is her eagerness, her need, her ability to use her talents to the full extent.


Her role in the six films below was a formidable achievement:


Director S. Sulaiman’s film ‘Manzil’.

Director Shabab Kiranvi’s film ‘Do Raastay’.

Director Iqbal Kashmiri’s film ‘Jadu’, ‘Muqaddar Ka Sikander’.

Director Altaf Husain’s film ‘Awara’.

Director Hasnain’s film ‘Aik Jaan Hain Hum’.


The Punjabi film ‘Gangva’ was her last film, which was released in 1991.


Mumtaz, who is 49 years of age, is an amiable actress, a devoted friend and a patriot.


What is more, she is an optimist.


A highly articulate artist, she won the Nigar Award in the following five films:


Mumtaz received the Nigar Award for best actress in the film ‘Jadu’ in 1975.

Mumtaz received the Nigar Award for best actress in the film ‘Haider Ali’ in 1978.

Mumtaz received the Nigar Award for best actress in the film ‘Nizam Daku’ in 1979.

Mumtaz received the Nigar Award for best actress in the film ‘Sauharatay Jawaye’ in 1980.

Mumtaz received the Nigar Award for best actress in the film ‘Dhee Rani’ in 1985.


The stories of her films seems to be to stay alive.


Moreover, the spirit of her performance is still alive, which makes it more likely that Mumtaz will be around for a long time to come.









Anis Shakur works for the Downstate Medical Center and V.A. Hospital, N.Y.