Bhowani Junction and Ava Gardner

Owais Mughal

This photo was taken on April 22, 1955 and it shows American actress Ava Gardner at Lahore Railway Station. She was in Lahore for the filming of Hollywood Movie Bhowani Junction. When Ava came to Lahore, there was only one reasonable hotel in Lahore. It is still there – Falletis. The suite in which Ava stayed has been named after her – “The Ava Gardner suite”. In it’s lounge one could see a beautiful large size, black & white portrait of Ava Gardner smiling.
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aina – The Blockbuster Movie

Owais Mughal

In its prime days, Pakistan’s Urdu cinema has produced many big hit movies. The biggest blockbuster of the golden era was the movie Aina.

The movie title Aina is pronounced aaina and the English translation of the title is a mirror. This movie was so popular that it was shown in a Karachi Cinema for almost 8 consecutive years (400 consecutive weeks). The story of Aina is a formula love story but what made this movie special was the quality of direction as well as the superhit music of Robin Ghosh. The songs of this movie are still popular. I recently found these songs on Youtube and that is what prompted me to write this post.

Here is the first super-hit song from the movie titled: Wada karo saajna. Singers are Mehnaz and Alamgir.


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Lollywood Billboard Art

Owais Mughal

Please see special acknowldgements to film historian Mr Omar Khan in the end. Click on the photos to get enlarged views and also to reach their source website

A very unique thing about Pakistan is the prevalence of billboard paint art. For example, look at the photo to the right. In this billboard of movie called ‘aurat raj’ (rule of women) a gladiator lady (actress Rani) is shown controlling a 4-horse chariot. All the 4 horses have faces of men. The second horse from the right is by the way none other than our Lollywood’s mega hero of 70s Waheed Murad. I think this poster/billboard is very creative.

In Karachi, Marston Road is a big center of this form of art.  My father’s office used to be near Marston Road and whenever I went to his office, I invariably wandered off to watch these street artists bringing larger than life images to life on billboards. Most of these billboards belonged to local cinemas advertising oncoming movies. The use of extra bright colors, colorful language and extra emphasis on body muscles is all an essential ingredient of this form of art. Continue reading