Musarrat Nazeer: One who delights (E-1 of 3)

By Anis Shakur
Monday – March 5, 2018
ISLAMABAD: “God always gives his best to those who leave the choice with him,” is a statement made by Jim Elliot, to which I subscribe. In addition, his is a statement that seems to work well with the actress-cum-singer of yesteryear, Musarrat Nazeer.

Musarrat Nazeer was born to a middle class family on October 13, 1937. Her parents were of Kashmiri origin from Lahore. Her father, Khwaja Nazeer Ahmed, worked for the municipal corporation as a registered contractor at the time of her birth.

Despite their meager resources, Musarrat’s parents wanted her to be a doctor. They provided her the best possible education they could afford.

Musarrat passed the matriculation examination with distinction. Two years later, she passed the intermediate examination from Kennard College, Punjab, Pakistan.

At that point, in time, she showed keen interest in music and began singing for radio Pakistan. However, insufficient money from the radio took her to the film director, Anwar Kamal Pasha. Pasha had the practical understanding to motivate the stars.

She explained to Pasha about her strong desire to sing for the movies. Instead, Pasha wanted to make her an actress. Musarrat needed her parent’s approval. Pasha himself met Musarrat’s father and convinced him to allow his daughter to work in movie industry.

Pasha changed Musarrat’s name to Chandni and signed her for a side role in his movie. Thus, film director Pasha took this contractor's daughter to stardom on the silver screen. Musarrat’s eyes gleamed. She wore the smile of a little girl. However, she was grown up, born to sing and act.

Hence, Chandni made her debut with Nayyar Sultana in Pasha's film 'Qatil' in 1955. Her role was secondary but forceful.

During those days, Sheikh Lateef of capital films planned to make a Punjabi film. Lateef's friend, poet-cum-script writer, Baba Aalam sia poash, advised him to cast Chandni in the film. Sheikh Lateef agreed.

Chandni appeared in the hit Punjabi film, 'Patan', with her real name, Musarrat Nazeer. She played the lead role opposite Santosh Kumar. Producer, Sheikh Lateef, director, Luqman. The film 'Patan' opened the doors of success for Musarrat.

Her true caliber was all the more evident in the Punjabi film, 'Paatay Khan'. She was the supporting actress. Producer, Shami, starring, Noor Jehan- Aslam Pervez- Musarrat Nazeer. (To be continued...)