Lollywood Flashback

Sound of Lollywood: Screen darling Anjuman teams up with Musarrat Nazir for a double treat

Energetic dance and superb singing lift the rendition of ‘Mera Laung Gawacha’ from the Pakistani movie ‘Dulari’.

In Dulari (Darling) a Punjabi movie released in 1987, the omnipresent Lala of Punjabi action, Sultan Rahi, plays second fiddle to the big-hearted (and big-hipped) Anjuman, who works overtime in a double role as sisters Salma and the eponymous Dulari.

Throughout the 1980s, when Punjabi films dominated Pakistani cinema, there was no bigger female star than Anjuman. Along with leading men Rahi and Mustafa Qureshi and the silver-toned singer Noor Jehan, Anjuman was part of the golden formula that made Punjabi action movies so lucrative.

Anjuman, the granddaughter of the last Nawab of Bahawalpur, began her performing life as a dancer. On the recommendation of 1960s starlet Zeba, who was impressed by Anjuman’s moves, the young, southern Punjabi woman took her initial turns in several unheralded Urdu features before striking gold in 1979 with Waadey ke Zanjeer (Chains of Promises) alongside the dreamy Waheed Murad.

It has often been noted that it was Anjuman’s raw sex appeal that drew and grew her audience. No doubt, her ample bosom and thunder thighs whose risque movements she synchronised to dramatic effect in perfectly timed jerks and jolts were hard to ignore. During that most dire of decades, the ’80s, Pakistanis took their titillation wherever and however they could get it.

But Anjuman was much more than a Multani nautch girl, as Dulari magnificently demonstrates. Director Haider Chowdhary, a prolific veteran of Punjabi films, gave his leading lady an expansive canvas on which to work. As twin sisters Salma and Dulari, Anjuman was able to channel the essential bipolarity of Pakistani womanhood.

As Salma, she was the conservative, submissive demure sharif ladki, and as Dulari, the indomitable self possessed social rebel. In the latter guise, Anjuman fills the screen with a presence that is simply magnetic. She swaggers and preens in outrageous get ups (slim-fit jeans with rolled cuffs; gaudy head gear; sparkling evening frocks with puffy shoulder pads) but doesn’t miss an opportunity to dish up sharp-tongued retorts or shatter society’s glass walls and ceilings. Dulari fearlessly spits her paan into the face of a village big shot, takes unsuspecting strangers to the cleaners and uses her fists and feet with as much skill and effect as Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan.

Very early on in the show, after Dulari fleeces an anxious motorist of all his cash, the police decide to take action. In a frantic chase through the streets of Lahore, Dulari is able to duck into the city’s premier concert hall, the Alhamra Arts Centre, where she takes to the stage.

Play
Mera Laung Gawacha, Dulari (1987).

Mera Laung Gawacha (My Nose Ring is Lost) opens with a series of Anjuman’s famous moves and close shots of her ankles and bangled wrists. She proceeds to entertain the audience with a highly stylised folk dance complete with wonderful cardboard bullocks and mango trees. The dancing is good but nothing extraordinary and certainly not as accomplished as the acting that is to come.

What really makes this song a standout (and what made it one of the biggest hits of the ’80s) is the singing of Musarrat Nazir. A leading lady in her own right in the ’50s and ’60s with many outstanding films to her credit, Nazir retired from acting in 1965 after marrying a foreign-settled accountant. For years she disappeared into the void of life in Canada. But in the early ’80s, unable to remain in the shadows any longer, she returned to Lahore to revive a public career.

Almost instantly, Nazir found work as a singer. Her playful voice was not as dynamic as some but was easy on the ears and TV on which she was a frequent performer, enhanced the appeal by showing off her statuesque form and sparkling eyes to great effect. Sadly, after some rather embarrassing public episodes involving the imbibing of alcohol she was repatriated by her husband back to suburbia.

The song itself is a traditional Punjabi engagement song, and Nazir’s rendition was already immensely popular when it was picked up for Dulari. Nazir fills the tune with crisp phrasing and ample coquetry. The music complements with lilting flutes, snappy rubab runs and fine Punjabi percussion, including a frenetic dholak solo.

All in all, Dulari is a double treat. Anjuman’s fulsome natural dramatics and Musarrat’s suggestive folk song prove yet again that even amidst Lahore’s mass produced Punjabi output hide many charms that are well worth seeking out.

Nate Rabe’s novel, The Shah of Chicago, is out now from Speaking Tiger.

A version of this story appeared on the bloghttps://dailylollyblog.wordpress.com/ and has been reproduced here with permission.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.

Play
Play
Play

2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.