Global Marriages? How Some Biz Girls Escaped Them!

Some chaps of the generation gaps (as Athar Shah Khan Jedi used to say) may remember a fine singer-actress, Arifa Siddiqui, who was the rage during the Eighties. Her cute role of Makkhi (homely nickname) in Amjad Islam Amjad’s Dehleez will never be forgotten by the TV audiences.

Arifa was a likeable, talented actress, whose beautiful smile was infectious. Her naz nakhra, her perfect pronunciation, and good-natured personality proved that she was well-versed in the ways of the showbiz world. And why not? She was the daughter of a senior film character-actress, Talat Siddiqui, known for her roles in Lori, Ladla, Behen Bhai etc. Arifa’s world-renowned sister, dance activist, Naheed Siddiqui, once the wife of Zia Mohyuddin, is still going strong.

During the Eighties, in the middle of her film and TV career, Arifa was suddenly cajoled into the bitter facts of Globalised life. The family, insistent that Arifa should marry a very ‘chaklatee’, filthy rich man, said no more showbiz till she agrees. May be, she was in a fling, and the family didn’t want it! Whatever it was, Arifa, waking up to the fact that her hitherto loving family was trying to sell her into slavery, put her foot down, and said no shadi at all. But, a whole crowd of familial relations ganged up on her. Finally, she decided that she would rather marry her famous aged music teacher, Ustad Nazar Hussain, than get hitched just for money. So, she got married to her teacher!

Around the same time, our popular, young film songstress, Naheed Akhter was in another dilemma. Her thriving career was going well, when she met a handsome, courteous politician (Yousuf Raza Gillani?), and some meetings led to a torrid love affair. But, as usual, the angry khandan, being robbed off of monetary benefits from showbiz, shook their heads, and did not let her marry. They were far crueler in real life than they seemed in the glow of reel life. Naheed was flabbergasted, and left playback singing in films and denied them the rupiyah. Instead, she reverted to PTV, where she had originally started. She had a flourishing career, again, but lesser monetary benefits. But, she called the bluff of her lalchee family, and married much later, with a journalist, Asif Pota, who died a couple of years back.

Of course, not everybody had a bad wedding! Arifa’s beautiful cousin, and a grade A singer, Frieha Parvez had a real Bo kata marriage with an aged music-maker, who used to be a famous recordist for the films. That marriage carried on well for quite a few years, and Frieha had a great helping hand for her music career. She became a very popular and competent singer. The internet informs us that Frieha, later married a younger musician, the pop star, Nouman Javed. That marriage didn’t work. Generally, it’s a fact that the globalised marriages seldom helped people settle down. They, mostly, turned the lives of the biz girls upside down!