Shabnam stars opposite the young
LAHORE: Famous film star Shabnam came face to face with a group of youngsters here on Tuesday, promising her expectant admirers that she will provide them with a real tour of her life and career through an autobiography she plans to write.
She was given a warm welcome upon her arrival at the FC College with her composer husband, Robin Ghosh. This set the tone for a frank interaction between the two artistes and the students and faculty of the college.
Moved by the enthusiasm and the inquisitiveness of her audience, Shabnam was at her most relaxed and introduced the youngsters to a trait that has become rare in artistes with time: she was her usual humble self, more inclined to greet the questions with a smile than proudly flaunting her star status.
The Shabnam-Ghosh pair may not have been strangers to most in the jam-packed auditorium. They have a permanent place in the annals of Pakistani cinema and household names here. Given their status, it was no surprise that one question they were repeatedly asked was: “Why has the Pakistan film industry gone to the dogs?”
“I am not responsible,” came the answer from the smiling lady guest dressed in green and gold. “I left the industry in 1999 and don’t know what happened afterwards.” She did, however, underscore the importance of government support if the “lifeless” industry was to be resurrected. “Director, producer, musician, writer, actors… they all combine to make a good film. You need to gather the team,” she said.
Exactly, then what forced one team member to leave Pakistan in 1999? “I left Pakistan for the simple reason that I wanted to spend time with my family in Bangladesh,” Shabnam said and spoke about the bright prospects of a co-production involving talent from Pakistan and Bangladesh.
But it wasn’t just an instance where the young had got nostalgic about how rosy it once had been. Far from it. The young crowd did ask Shabnam about her on-screen chemistry with Nadeem, just as they asked her the secret behind her flowing black hair.
“This runs in the family. Besides, coconut oil helps,” the star replied with her trademark smile. And she did display her powers to hold captive and enthrall the gallery with a standard yet unique sounding “Lahore, Lahore aye” at one point during the interaction.