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January 28, 2018

Tribute to Suleman with ‘Mohabbat’


January 28, 2018


Director: S Suleman

Producer: Azra

Music: Nisar Bazmi

Cast: Zeba, Mohammad Ali, Sabiha, Santosh Kumar

Lok Virsa film club Mandwa pays tribute to film director S. Suleman with ‘Mohabbat’ from 1972.

S. Suleman had a good fortune for having his two elder brothers Santosh Kumar and Darpan as renowned names in film acting.

He made his directorial debut in 1961 with costume musical Gulfam, produced by Darpan. The film did well at the box office.

Gulfam carried plenty of action in old Roman style. Music by Rashid and casting of Darpan and Musarrat Nazir in leads was another forte of Gulfam by a debutante director.

What surprised film goers next was Suleman's highly creative and serious work in cinema: ‘Baji’ in1963. Nayyar Sultana (soon to wed Darpan and become bhabi) played a widow in her late-thirties/ early forties. Nayyar comes close to a house guest Darpan who ditches her and gets married to young Zeba. Nayyar Sultana in the end, dies in the downpour. ‘Baji’ also brought back Noorjehan on screen for split of a second in special appearance. Noorjehan had earlier given up acting in 1961 after Ghalib. Apart from Nayyar Sultana's award winning performance, who can forget composer Saleem Iqbal-singer Noorjehan, Naseem Begum and lyricist Ahmad Rahi's two melodies: ‘Dil key afsaney nigahoon ki zubaa tak pohanchey’ and ‘Chanda tori chandani mey.’ Credit for ‘Baji’ also goes to producer Hafeezullah Hassan for betting on a daring subject of a widow as heroine. ‘Baji’ did not have mint gold at the box office but it won critical acclaim and received five Nigar awards for Best Picture, Best Script, Best Song, Best Editing and Best Sound.

Suleman's career went on with more titles including ‘Aag’ (1967) and ‘Jesey Jantey Nahi’ (1969). And then he gave up selective assignments. He came with bulk in 1974 carrying ‘Intezar’, ‘Miss Hippy’ and ‘Bhool.’ He sure was now bitten badly with ‘more’ syndrome. And more came in 1975(‘Anari’, ‘Shararat’ and ‘Zanjeer’), 1976(‘Aaj Aur Kal’,’Talaaq’ and ‘Insaniat’), 1978 (‘Abhi to Mei Jawan Hoon’ and ‘Prince’) and 1980 (‘Hai Yeh Shohar’ and ‘Manzil’). Mediocrity was now all over and by eighties, this led to downfall.

And now ‘Mohabbat’. Zeba, Mohammad Ali, Sabiha (his ‘bhabi’ in real life) and brother Santosh Kumar were part of his camp for a long time. ‘Mohabbat’ pretty much revolves around Zeba who must suffer with household chores day in and day out. Nisar Bazmi's score with lyrics by Ahmad Faraz rendered by Mehdi Hassan ‘Ranjish hi sahi’ and Tahira Saeed's ‘Hum sa ho to samney aye’ were the hit melodies from ‘Mohabbat’.

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