June 19, 2002 
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Chandramohan and Naseem Banu
'They called her pari chehra Naseem'
A tribute to actress Naseem Bano

Lata Khubchandani

One of the most beautiful figures to ever grace the Indian screen passed away June 18. Naseem Banu leaves behind a son (Sultan Ahmed) and daughter (Saira Banu).

A tribute to the actress from her close ones:

Begum Para (wife of Nasir Khan, brother of Dilip Kumar): I met her quite often after Saira (Banu) and Dilip Kumar married. She was a genuinely beautiful person --- as beautiful to look at as she was in person. She was a gentle lady.

I never got to work with her as she was before my time. We met occasionally after my husband passed away.

She was so lovely to look at that she was referred to as pari chehra Naseem (angel-faced Naseem). She worked quite a bit in Sohrab Modi's films. Her grace, beauty and gentleness marked her out as a person.

Saira was very attached to her mother --- she will be shattered because she has looked after her mother with great affection.
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Sitara Devi (dancer): She was the beauty queen of her time, a superstar of her days. I worked with her. We are of the same age. I was in Ranjit Studios and she was working in Minerva Studios. She worked in films like Pukar, Basanti. We would meet often at her place. I remember when Saira was studying abroad, Naseem and I met often.

I have known her since 1935. When I first met Naseem we were 18 years old. I do not think anyone knows her better than I. None of the others were around then except Ashok Kumar. She worked with him, too.

Susheela Rani Patel (Wife of Baburao Patel): She was one of the most beautiful women I ever set my eyes on. She was very loving, affectionate, dignified. And I do not think she had any rival.

When my husband passed away (Baburao Patel), she was the sweetest face I saw. She had come to pay her condolences when his body was lying in the house still.

She was a wonderful woman in all respects. I met her last at an party she had thrown two years ago. Since then she had not been too well. We had a common doctor. Her death came as a sudden shock. I could do nothing today except cry. Saira has been extremely attached to her mother. We have been very close to Yusufbhai.

I remember Naseem in the good old days when [director] Mehboob Khan used to throw parties. Naseem always attended them. Saira was very young at the time. She was a very sweet, gentle person.

Naushad: I have known Naseem for a long time. I have just returned from there (Naseem Bano's funeral), in fact. When I entered the field Naseem had appeared as a heroine in Sohrab Modi's Pukar.

In the publicity of her films it used to be said pari chehra Naseem Banu. She was so beautiful that she was referred to as a fairy. She was considered a beauty of her time. In that film she had sung one song, which goes zindagi ka saaz bhi kya saaz hai, baj raha hai aur be-awaaz hai(life is like a strange musical instrument, it keeps playing while no one can hear it).

She had sung this song then, but its meaning has become clear now. when she was lying in her coffin silent today.

I had scored the music for two of her films Anokhi Ada and Chandni Raat. It was made by Naseem's husband Ehsaan. Later they parted ways.

Saira is his daughter. She was a very fine artiste. Husnwale husn ka anjaam dekh, dubte sooraj ko waqte shaam dekh (When the sun sets, the light it had brought with it goes away, doesn't it?)


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