Habib: fun of a lifetime, 2nd death anniversary

By Anis Shakur
Sunday - February 25, 2018
ISLAMABAD: Our days move lightning fast, let us peruse the life and times of Habib before 2018 becomes history as well. ‘Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential,’ is a statement made by John Calvin Maxwell, and it holds so true to the prominent actor of yesteryear, hearty, hilarious, Habib.

Habib-ur-Rehman, who is widely known as Habib, was born in Patiala, pre-partition India, in 1931. After partition, Habib migrated to Pakistan along with his family. Equipped with a double Master’s degree, abundance of patience and highly refined etiquette, Habib embarked upon a movie career in the year 1956.

Habib debut in a side role in the 1956 film ‘Lakht-e-jigar,’ starring Santosh Kumar, Noor Jehan, and Yasmeen. The film ‘Lakht-e-jigar,’ was a result of a great team work, still the film could not succeed. Because another Pakistani film, ‘Hameeda,’ was released a little earlier and ‘Lakht-e-jigar was left behind in the competition. Habib’s second film happened to be ‘Shohrat,’ in which he was cast as a hero opposite actress Nasreen, directed by Nazeer Ajmeri.

The film ‘Shohrat,’ too, could not garner much popularity amongst the masses. Next, Habib played the lead opposite actress Yasmeen in director Shareef Nayyar’s hit film, ‘Masoom.’ Afterwards, Habib achieved prominence in the super hit movie, ‘Zehr-e-Ishq,’ starring Habib, Musarrat Nazeer, director Masood Pervez. With the release of ‘Zehr-e-ishq,’ Habib was on his way to stardom. It was though his career and his life were charmed.

It is said about Habib that he used to think a lot before buying anything which is not a bad idea. Regarding nuptials, Habib married actress Naghma in 1972. God bless them with two sons and four daughters. Unfortunately, their blissful marital life ended in a divorce around 1979. Later, Habib had a daughter from his second wife as well.

Habib’s sustained efforts paid dividends and he worked in the hit movie, ‘Aadmi,’ in 1958. In reality he was a shining example of one man making a big difference as he proved in the film ‘Gumrah.’ In his case through the power of his personality, Habib played a decisive role making him a star. Example the film ‘street number 77.’ Similarly, the 1960 film ‘Ayaz,’ took Habib one step up on the ladder of success, starring Habib, Sabiha Khanum.

Irrepressibly ambitious, Habib took tremendous interest in his profession. As is evident in the 1961 successful film, ‘Surraiya,’ cast included Habib, Nayyar Sultana and directed by Shabab Kiranvi. Habib worked in the following years at a rapid pace. One example among many is the film ‘Mehboob,’ directed by Anwar Kamal Pasha. Cast included Habib, Shamim Ara, Yusuf Khan and Rani. As he moved ahead, Habib passed his optimism and faith to the posterity. A glaring example is the film ‘Kala Pani.’

Likewise, the film ‘Inqilab,’ brought more fame to Habib. Moreover, Habib’s pride in his work soon caught the eye of other movie directors like director Daud Chands’ 1961 hit film ‘Saperan.’ Further, Habib teamed up with Meena Shori in the film ‘Teen aur teen,’ furthermore, the admiration and gratitude of Habib’s fans are endless as is obvious in the film ‘Azmat-e-Islam,’ in which Habib appeared opposite Sauran Lata.

Habib was truly the guiding light of so many lives and rightly so. An example is the film ‘Maan kay Aansu,’ in which Habib and Nayyar Sultana played the lead. Essentially, Habib’s industriousness lead to one success after another. An instance is the veteran director S.M.

Yusuf’s megahit 1962 movie ‘Aulaad,’ starring Habib, Nayyar Sultana, and Waheed Murad. Habib’s utmost dedication reminds us of the spirit of renewal and adventure that is the core of our national heritage. Another example is Habib, Shamim Ara’s movie ‘Ghazala.’ The outcome was simply outstanding in the film ‘Waqt,’ in which Habib, Shamim Ara played the lead.

Overwhelmed by his ebullient personality, the film directors offered Habib more interesting characters in their upcoming films like the movie ‘Suhaag,’ cast included Habib and Bahar. Obviously, with every new movie, Habib had an opportunity to avail his spirit to bring hope to each other and to our communities. As he made an endeavor in the film, ‘Mein nay kiya jurm kiya,’ in which Habib and Laila played the lead roles. Doubling down on his attempt to ensure success, Habib and Neelo worked in the film ‘Kala Aadmi,’

One fine morning, Habib got up from his bed and thought as usual that there is much work that needs to done. let us get to it! The outcome was Habib and Husna’s film ‘Haabu.’ Besides, the film ‘Devdaas,’ attained the industry quality, the luminaries included Habib, Shamim Ara and Nayyar Sutana, Khwaja Sarfaraz directed it with plenty of zest.

Habib achieved a new level of greatness in the film ‘Sazish,’ opposite Shamim Ara. Habib used a great opportunity to raise both his participation and visibility and had fun at the same time during the movie shoot in the film ‘Jamila,’ and ‘Shukriya.’ So also, Habib knew that he will continue to persevere as he always had in the movies like ‘Tum na maano,’ and ‘Aakhri daao.’

What is more, the film crew was superlative during those days. In the endless list of movies are names like the films ‘Maikhana,’ and ‘Head constable.’ While his popularity was at an all-time peak, Habib worked in the super hit film ‘Aashiyana,’ and also in the film ‘Badal,’ a seemingly endless procession of film releases appeared in the years to follow. Notably two movies ‘Dil kay tukray,’ and ‘Maan ka pyar.’ Apparently, Habib was making large strides toward the same goal, even in some days of doubt. Two quick instances are movies like ‘Ghar ka ujala,’ and ‘Zinda laash.’

The haunting dialogues and simple words linger in our hearts just as they have lingered in the hearts of people throughout Pakistan and abroad. Two examples are movies ‘Maujiza,’ and ‘Husn ka chore.’ Most definitely, our cinema is not immaculate. We are all humans, after all. As such our movies flop once in a while. In spite of setbacks, Habib worked well in movies ‘Nadira,’ and Kalay loag.’

Similarly, admirers will always cherish Habib’s impressive characters in the film ‘Phool aur kaantay,’ and ‘Faraib.’ Relatively speaking, Habib worked wholeheartedly in the years to follow. Hence, movies like ‘Choti see duniya,’ and ‘Pardase,’ speaks about its proverbial success. But in the face of adversity we persist because we believe what we can achieve together.

More so, Habib’s very presence in the film ‘Eid Mubarak,’ made a huge difference. The movie shoot of the Eid prayers in the film ‘Eid Mubarak,’ took place in the Polo Ground, Karachi. Further, Habib played the character role of a father in the Pakistani television drama serial ‘Raahain,’ which was telecast from the Lahore television center. Furthermore, Habib directed and produced two Sindhi movies, ‘Baaghi,’ and ‘Allah Bachayo.’

Additionally, Habib not only excelled in the Urdu films he also had the opportunity to work in the Punjabi films, In fact, it was a truly rewarding experience for Habib to work in director Aslam Irani’s film ‘Mauj mela.’ As a matter of fact, Habib knew his presence could make a difference in director Muzaffar Tahir’s movie ‘Lahu dee Aag,’ Habib, one of the stalwarts of Pakistani movies, worked in director M.J. Rana’s movie, ‘Jeedar,’

Habib won the Nigar Award for best actor in director Luqman’s film ‘Aadmi,’ in 1958. Habib won the Nigar Award for best actor in director Shabab Kiranvi’s film ‘Surraiya,’ in 1961. Habib won the lifetime Achievement Award in 2002, Habib won the prestigious Pride of Performance Award in 2011.

‘Ask not for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee,’ is a statement made by the British Poet, John Donne. That said, as a consequence of a brain hemorrhage, Habib was hospitalized in Lahore, on February 15 2016.

Ten days later, on Thursday, February 25, 2016, in Lahore, Habib said farewell to the world at eighty five years of age. Last but not least a myriad of adorers should find solace in the fact that wonderful people like Habib outnumber terrible people in the world.