Dara’s Heroine; Fardeen’s Mother-in-law
Bollywood is full of miracles! One such miracle took place in the life of yesteryears’ heroine Mumtaz, when she became a heroine from an extra; ruled the film industry for many years; and also gave a number of hits.
In her early youth, Mumtaz started visiting the film studios with her sister, Mallika. They were from a middle-class family and were forced to seek this career for livelihood. She needed the job very much; hence she used to accept whatever role she was offered without any fuss and used to enact them. Mumtaz’s mother, Naaz, and maternal aunt, Nilofer, were amongst the fine actresses of their times.
Mumtaz was offered the role of supporting actress by V. Shantaram in his film Sehra (1963), which she wholeheartedly accepted. Jeetendra also appeared in this film in a bit role. Shantaram was pleased with their performances and cast the pair in his film Boond jo ban gayi moti (1968). It was a dream come-true for Mumtaz! Though the film was not a hit, but this lead pair gave a number of hits later on.
Mumtaz had enacted the role of heroine in a number of films before Boond jo ban gayi moti, and had already successfully paired with Dara Singh. Mumtaz did all kinds of roles – big and small. She never refused to perform in any film on the grounds that the role was either too small or not of her stature. All the directors liked this attitude of hers. She was also not averse to negative roles, and gave a spontaneous performance in a role with grey shades in Patthar ke Sanam with Manoj Kumar and Waheeda Rehman.
Subsequently, Mumtaz’s career took a new turn when she established her pairing with Rajesh Khanna. This pair gave a number of super-hit films, which include Do Raaste, Sachcha Jhootha, Apna Desh, Dushman, Roti, Aapki Kasam, and Bandhan.
One of the main aspects of Mumtaz’s personality was that she never demurred to perform with new artists. What comes foremost to our minds is the fact that Shashi Kapoor had refused a role opposite Mumtaz when she was a new-comer, yet Mumtaz did not demur a bit to act opposite him in Chor Machaye Shor even though she was at the pinnacle, later on. Mumtaz was also extremely instrumental in promoting the career of Shatrughan Sinha and getting him films, and he himself has proudly admitted this number of times. Mumtaz performed in the lead role in Khilona with Sanjeev Kumar and bagged the most coveted Best Actress Award from Filmfare.
Mumtaz who reigned the hearts of everybody, married the London based Mayur Madhvani and settled there. She came back to India with her two daughters due to some differences with her husband and acted in Aandhiyaan, but the viewers did not like the film. Recently, she appeared in India during the marriage of her daughter, Natasha, with Fardeen.
Anwaar Mohammed in Raj Cinema (December 31, 2005)