LAHORE: Lollywood’s poster girl of the 1970s Shabnam Ghosh burst into tears while narrating her story about leaving Pakistan and the film industry here.
She was speaking with the audience at the Ravians’ Literary Festival organised by the Old Ravians Union (ORU) at the Government College University (GCU) Lahore on Friday where Punjab Governor Rafique Rajwana was the chief guest at the event.
“It’s was very painful for me, but I did it for my family, especially my father, who suffered from a heart attack in Bangladesh while I was in Pakistan,” recalled the movie star while sharing snippets from her film life. “I lived and worked for almost three decades in Pakistan, so how can I forget the people who gave me so much love and respect?”
Legendry actor Mustafa Qureshi also attended the session titled ‘An Interaction with Shabnum Ghosh’ that was hosted by noted dramatist Prof Dr Asghar Nadeem Syed.
Shabnam believed the film industry was hit badly by the 1971 separation of East Pakistan.
When asked about the Bangladeshi cinema, the actor said it was in the same condition as of the Pakistani cinema nowadays. But added optimistically the new generation was working hard for its revival.
She added actors were not very demanding in their times. “There were no concepts of five-star hotels as we used to stay in tents most of the time during outdoor shoots,” she recalled.
Talking about her husband, renowned music director Robin Ghosh, Shabnam said he was a loving and caring man who never interfered in her silver screen life or asked questions about her whereabouts.
The festival was spread over five literary sessions, including one on the traditions of theatre and drama that was addressed by legendary television actors Irfan Khoosat and Naeem Tahir.
The panel stressed the need for eradicating vulgarity from theatre, and fixing its time from 6pm to 8pm and reviving it on the pattern of literary dramas, which had been staged at institutions like the GCU since the 19th century.
The festival opened with a session to pay tribute to short story writer Bano Qudisa. Poet Yasmeen Hameed, Anees Ahmed, son of Bano Qudsia, critic Prof Dr Saadat Saeed and Dr Khalid Sinjarni told the students about the great literary works of the towering writer, her inspirational personality and vibrant role she played in strengthening the roots of Urdu literature.
In the third session, eminent director Usman Peerzada, actor Feryal Gauhar and filmmaker Sarmad Khoosat deliberated upon the revival of cinema in Pakistan.
Eminent broadcaster Yasmin Tahir, editor Rashid Rehman and Naveed Shahzad shed light on the life and works of Syed Imtaiz Ali Tajj and chief justice SA Rehman.
The festival concluded with an enthralling poetry session with noted poet Anwar Masood, by which the Punjab governor was particularly touched.
He believed that writers mirrored the social and psychological dimensions of contemporary society at a higher creative level.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 11th, 2017.