LAHORE: Legendary Pakistani film star of yesteryear Shamim Ara has been in coma for about four years now, after undergoing brain surgery. According to internal sources, the artiste has been getting treatment for her coma in a hospital in London since 2010. Her son, Salman Iqbal, has been looking after her and taking care of the hospital expenses.
Shamim Ara’s impact in Lollywood fraternity is very unique; she plays the role of godmother to many of the female actors, who eventually became big names in the industry. Actor Resham holds the veteran actor in high regard and is in constant touch with her son. “She has been in the same condition, she is fine but they are waiting for the swelling in her brain to decrease,” Resham told The Express Tribune. “I only had a chance to work with her in a few films, but somehow she left a lasting impact. She is a great human being, humble and very soft-spoken,” added the actor.
Veteran actor Bahar Begum, one of Shamim Ara’s closest friends, shared that the two shared a special bond and how these four years have felt very long. She revealed that it would have been difficult for Shamim to stay in Lahore for treatment and hence she was moved to London. She added how lucky her friend is for having a son like Salman and that, unlike most artistes who cannot afford to bear the costs of sustained treatment she is being taken care of.
“She is very strong and over there (London) you know that the facilities are a thousand times better. The rest is up to God. She is lucky to have her family, we are all always praying for her recovery,” added Bahar.
Shamim Ara has had a rather tumultuous journey as a star. Her first film Kunwari Baywa did not yield much success at the box office, but the role gained her a lot of respect. Shortly after that, she got a string of hit films under her name, such as Devdas, Doraha, Humraz and other films.
“The thing is, no one has anything bad to say about Shamim Ara, because of the way she worked and the seriousness with which she always delivered,” recalls actor Habib Ur Rehman.
She developed into something more than just a star. “Before, people would discourage their daughters from becoming actors, but after watching Shamim’s characters, that changed. People would encourage their daughters to be more like Shamim Ara,” added Habib. “For many young actors, she is someone special; she helped them and gave them a lot of guidance in setting the tone of how an actor should look and act.”
Shamim Ara’s contribution is not only limited as an actor but she has also contributed as a director and producer to the film industry of Pakistan. We at The Express Tribune wish the legendary star speedy recovery and hope to see her in good health in no time.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 12th, 2014.