A tribute to Shabnam and Robin Ghosh

Published: May 11, 2012
ACCOLADES: Sindh IT Minister Raza Haroon and Weekly Nigar’s Aslam Ilyas presented Shabnam and Robin Ghosh with the Lifetime Excellence Award. PHOTO: ASHRAF MEMON

ACCOLADES: Sindh IT Minister Raza Haroon and Weekly Nigar’s Aslam Ilyas presented Shabnam and Robin Ghosh with the Lifetime Excellence Award. PHOTO: ASHRAF MEMON

ACCOLADES: Sindh IT Minister Raza Haroon and Weekly Nigar’s Aslam Ilyas presented Shabnam and Robin Ghosh with the Lifetime Excellence Award. PHOTO: ASHRAF MEMON Shabnam with veteran actors Mustafa Qureshi and Nadeem Baig. PHOTO: ASHRAF MEMON Salma Waheed Murad. PHOTO: ASHRAF MEMON Actor Bindiya. PHOTO: ASHRAF MEMON Musician Alamgir. PHOTO: ASHRAF MEMON

Pakistani film-makers, actors and music composers all came together at the Arts Council in Karachi to pay tribute to the legendary actor Shabnam and her husband music composer Robin Ghosh on Thursday evening. Held in honour of the two legends who are visiting Pakistan from Bangladesh, the event was organised by the Arts Council of Pakistan and Weekly Nigar.

Praise for Shabnam and Robin Ghosh

Talking about Ghosh, music composer Arshad Mahmood recalled how he would watch Ghosh edit his own beautiful compositions so he could fit it in the records. He remembered how he and Nayyara Noor would visit Ghosh’s residence and learn the art of making music from the acclaimed composer.

Pop sensation of Pakistan Alamgir called Ghosh the ‘Madan Mohan of Pakistan’ and fondly recalled the times they spend together in Lahore working on Aaina, while actor Mustafa Qureshi, who was a big fan of the fine tunes composed by Ghosh said that a film collaboration between Pakistan and Bangladesh is badly needed.

When it came to honouring Shabnam, superstar Bindiya came on stage and said, “I am elated to see Shabnam, who is an icon of the industry, here in Pakistan. Now that we have the legends of Pakistani cinema here, we should work on jumpstarting the local film industry. And Shabnam and Robin should be signed up for a film where Shabnam can act and Robin Ghosh can provide the music for it.”

Veteran actor Munawar Syed said, “Just like her name, which means morning dew that blossoms a flower as soon as it drops, Shabnam has changed this industry.”

Actor Nadeem, who is Shabnam’s famed co-star from the golden days, said that he began his music career with Ghosh and acting opposite Shabnam. “I have to give Shabnam credit for the success of all the films that we did together because no matter what her part was, she played it with pure dedication. Both of you shouldn’t come after 14 years; you should come every 14 months or 14 days. You are a part of us and you cannot stay away from us.”

What the legends had to say

When Shabnam came on stage, dressed in a gorgeous purple sari, she reminded everyone exactly why she was one of the biggest film stars of Pakistan. Talking about the packed audience at the event, she said, “I had no idea that the younger generations were aware of my work and loved it so much. I have been amazed at their response to my recent visit to Pakistan.”

Talking about the people who made her film career possible, she said, “Although Ilyas Rasheedi Sahab is no longer in this world, I cannot forget him. He was my godfather who gave me my start in the industry.”

When she was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award, she said, “I would urge institutions like PTV to remember our icons and award them in their lifetime rather than when they’ve passed away. After death, the honour doesn’t hold any meaning for the artist who has passed away.”

Regarding the current status of the film industry, she said, “I visited Lahore and wanted to see the studios but was told that most of them have shut down. So I didn’t visit the studios as I didn’t want to take sad memories home with me. I really think a collaboration between Bangladesh and Pakistan should take place. Hum kaam kerain gaay tou maza ay ga na.”

When it was Ghosh’s turn on the podium, he spoke about all the legends who have come and gone. “Pakistan has a lot of talent and one day this talent will be recongised globally. The revival of the industry is a must, we can’t let this industry die; it’s the same industry that produced stalwarts like Noor Jehan, Mehdi Hasan and Mehnaz,” said the music composer.

What does the future hold?

Nawab Hazoorul Hassan, the director of Nishat Cinema revealed an interesting development for the industry. “Chandi and Mandviwalla Entertainment have agreed to collaborate on a film. However, the film will only be made if Shabnam stars in it and Robin Ghosh provides the music.”

Published in The Express Tribune, May 12th, 2012.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (11)

  • Knotty
    May 12, 2012 - 2:30AM

    Shabnam is queen of our heart.
    May she leads a long and healthy life…


  • Indrani RR
    May 12, 2012 - 12:15PM

    As an Indian I am wondering if there are any other hindu women apart from actress Shabnam who managed rise to prominent positions in pakistani society in any field since the creation of pakistan. I am doing research so any clues from others will be appreciated.


  • Kathy
    May 12, 2012 - 1:29PM

    WOW! Great to see my favorite actress Shabnam in Pakistan, after a long time!

    Who can forget her blockbuster films, with lilting songs, composed by Robin Ghosh? Waiting anxiously to yet see their another hit movie in coming years.

    Truly, this famous star couple’s name will be written in golden words in the history of Pakistan Film Industry.

    With all my best wishes..


  • Knotty
    May 12, 2012 - 5:41PM

    @ Indrani RR

    We don’t look at her as Hindu… I dont know what your problem is!!
    She is just a BEAUTIFUL PAKISTANI WOMAN who ruled our silver screen! It’s a film industry, not a mosque or temple!
    We’ll appreciate if our Indian friends leave her alone! She has never begged Bollywood for any role!


  • Indrani RR
    May 12, 2012 - 6:42PM


    There is a factual error in your remarks. The formulation should be as such– ” she WAS a beautiful pakistani HINDU woman who….”

    Apparently, its obvious you do not have any other names to provide in answer to my question. I need the data from pakistan for research on minority women in muslim societies.


  • Mansur Ali Khan
    May 12, 2012 - 6:58PM

    I wept silently seeing Shabnam and Robin Ghosh at Karachi airport. Look how much love people of Pakistan have for these two legends who went back to Bangladesh reluctantly and deep down they still consider Pakistan their home where they gave their best.Recommend

  • khan
    May 14, 2012 - 5:30AM

    @ Indrani RR

    What I meant: She is of Bangladeshi origin but Pakistan is her second home! She has nothing to do with Bollywood.
    Her religion is her personal matter. We dont have to provide you any religious data as we are very comfortable with our and her religion! It never was any issue not even at the lowest point!
    So much for secular mindset of Indians!


  • Muhsen Ali
    May 14, 2012 - 8:35PM

    Mr Indrani RR,

    For your kind information, I am giving you a free advice that you should start research on minorities in your ‘secular’ India, as your country’s new film, Ishaqzaade finger at Hindu-Muslim divide in India. The director of the film thinks it is unrealistic to think the divide between Hindu and Muslims doesn’t exist. “It does.”
    “Look around. The Hindu-Muslim divide is everywhere.”
    “These differences are normally swept under the carpet. I don’t think that helps. We have not really progressed intellectually in understanding let alone bridging the chasm between the progressive and regressive India.”


  • Mohammad Ali
    May 17, 2012 - 4:48PM

    Shabnam and Robin Ghosh did not leave Pakistan reluctantly. Did anyone force them out? They could stay in Pakistan as long as they wanted. They left on their own to be with the family in Dhaka where they belong to. They returned to their homeland Bangladesh earlier like most Indian or Pakistani do at the end of an overseas career. Their Pakistan visit was a nostalgia for all.

    Thanks Shabnam and Robin Ghosh for being with us.


  • May 31, 2012 - 4:32PM

    @Indrani RR:
    My dear, i am a living dictionery on shabnam so you can ask any question.




  • May 31, 2012 - 4:37PM

    Shabnam is the msot successful heroin ever produced by pakistani cinema with maximum number of diamond jubilees & nigar awards. Other all actresses could only dream to be as successful as she was.


More in Film