Ashish’s FaceoftheMonth: Naseem Banu

Naseem Banu (1916 – 2002) (Supply: Mere Pix)

She used to be billed as ‘pari chehra’, the fairy-faced one. Her image used to be in each and every paper. She used to be certainly younger and wonderful, her maximum outstanding characteristic being her huge, magnetic eyes . . . (p. 169).

 . . . thus wrote, Saadat Hasan Manto concerning the lady who used to be regarded as as the primary feminine celebrity of Indian cinema: Naseem Banu. Many Indians nowadays know her as Saira Banu’s mom, however for connoisseurs of Indian cinema, she used to be the epitome of grace, the bulbul of day after today, and the pulsating horrors of a mess around. Coming from the house of courtesans, Naseem Banu possessed a herbal inculcation of musical and dramatic traditions, one thing which she deployed in her favorite genres: historic dramas and socialist realism. I recall looking at her for the primary time in Anokhi Ada (1948), as she performed an amnesiac, and used to be enthralled by means of her sharp histrionics and readable feelings: that Mukesh music, ‘dil dil se takrata toh hoga’, blows my thoughts away and reassures me of the theatrical pantheon that Naseem Banu illuminated and redefined. Carving a definite area of interest in an business ruled by means of ladies extraordinaire (within the ranks of Durga Khote, Kajjan Bai, and Devika Rani), I feel Naseem Banu’s idiosyncrasy lay in her onscreen skill to make audiences cry — and it’s to not indicate that others may just now not — however the sheer simplification of correlational relatability with Banu’s characters renders her awesome. Manto’s birthday celebration of her huge eyes isn’t an exaggeration. Alternatively, I’d love to consider that Naseem Banu’s cinematic stature used to be past the wonderful thing about her pores and skin and used to be outlined by means of how she acted. Sohrab Modi’s Sheesh Mahal (1950), ergo, turns into an ode to Banu’s appearing skills.

1673573855 79 Ashishs FaceoftheMonth Naseem Banu

Naseem Banu (proper) along with her daughter, Saira Banu (Supply: WikiBio)

Now not handiest does Sheesh Mahal constitute her penultimate look in a number one cinematic function — she persisted to behave in some lesser-known motion pictures sooner than marking her final (grand) look in Nausherwan-e-Adil (1957) — it additionally turns into an summary enviornment that allowed Naseem Banu to brazenly show-off the nature of her histrionics with out the purported toughen of her attractiveness which used to be cited as the basis of her good fortune. The overstretched presence of simplicity in Sheesh Mahal enabled the cinematic universe to concentrate on Banu’s onscreen manner. Within the absence of man-made glamour, Banu used to be uplifted from being a charismatic actor to being a charismatic and delicate actor. Sheesh Mahal memories of Pukar (1939), the place I discovered her a bit of uncooked(er), however because it used to be some of the earliest motion pictures of Banu, her appearing may well be excused — on the other hand, the gap of 9 years accentuates the cinematic building of Naseem Banu and is helping us envision the expansion of a celeb. That’s how Naseem Banu’s cultism used to be established: changing into an icon is something; changing into a cult is any other. Banu epitomised that phenomenon.

Over those a long time, the cult of Naseem Banu has weakened . . . grown invisible, in toto. This truth poses as a public reminder of the hundred gemstones of Bombay cinema who helped reshape, and reshape, the cinema of day after today; and Naseem Banu used to be, certainly, a outstanding determine of this cinematic renaissance. Her appearances in historic dramas nonetheless organize to inflate audiences with unadulterated awe, whilst her socials awaken our emotional sensibilities . . . and whilst it’s Kamini or Ophelia or Nur Jahan, and the fading tales of characters, it’s the legacy of Naseem Banu that endures. The ‘pari chehra’ of the day past will stay so . . . untouched, untarnished, as at all times.

right here’s a snippet that includes Naseem Banu and Surendra in ‘dil dil se takrata toh hoga

Film: Anokhi Ada (1948)
Track by means of Naushad
Lyrics by means of Shakeel Badayuni
Playback Singer: Mukesh
Supply: Sai Leisure Pvt. Ltd.

#Ashishs #FaceoftheMonth #Naseem #Banu

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