Shabnam. - File Photo

LAHORE: Legendary film actress Shabnam and her musician husband Robin Ghosh are visiting Lahore after 12 years or so. The once-a-hub-of-film industry city has impressed the duo because of its improved road infrastructure and lush green sideways.

At the same time, the duo is dejected at the closure of film studios and production houses where Shabnam ruled for almost three decades (1960 to 1990).

“I am really sad to know that the most of the film studios in Lahore now wear a deserted look and even one of them is now a godown,” said Shabnam during an interview to Dawn at the Deplix in Defence on Tuesday.

“During my stay in Lahore, I will definitely visit the studios. I have many memories attached to the complex.”

The couple will remain in Lahore for a week. Shabnam, who reigned supreme the Pakistani silver screen in the past, also appealed to the Pakistanis to pray for her health.

Shabnam is visiting Pakistan on the invitation of the Pakistan Television (PTV) Network. The PTV held a classical tribute evening for the couple at the Governor’s House on Saturday in which Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani gave the Lifetime Achievement Award to both Shabnam and Ghosh for their contribution to the film industry.

She was moved by the reception the PTV held for her and warm welcome by the public wherever she went in Karachi and Lahore. She thanked the PTV, her fans, media and people of Pakistan for the love they extended to the couple.

She said her friend Mussarat Misbah was the moving spirit behind her visit. “Misbah contacted and informed me that the PTV wanted to hold a tribute evening for us. In fact she has a great contribution in making this visit possible,” said Shabnam.

About the measures to improve the situation of Pakistan film industry, Shabnam said a coordinated effort by both the film industry and the government could revive it.

“In Bangladesh, the government has been very supportive of the film industry.

When asked would she accept any offer if floated from Pakistan film directors to act in any film, the actress said it would largely depend on the script, director and producer.

She, however, said that she had quit the industry and was leading more a life of a housewife than that of an actress.

She opposed the screening of Indian films in Pakistan, saying that the measure would further add to the woes of the industry already going through a slump. She said that recently in Bangladesh a move was made to screen Indian movies but the entire film industry vehemently opposed the idea and took out demonstrations against it.

“Pakistan has great talent in film making but things have to be streamlined from both the film industry and the government,” she said.

Mr Ghosh said Pakistan had a lot of good singers but the musicians needed to improve. He said he was hopeful the Lollywood would again rise and blossom. Ghosh, who has composed several timeless songs, says he was inspired by music composer Nushad.

He said some film producers had asked him to compose their film music.

“I would love to work with them but film making is a team work; it’s a collage of a good writer, director, producer and so many other things.”

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