Very sweet… This is Noor Jehan (also referred to as Nur Jehan and Noor Jahan), acting and singing in a clip from the movie Khandan, made in 1942. (Playback singer? No such thing.)
As I may have mentioned, I’m reading Bollywood: A History, by Mihir Bose. I’m finding some parts more interesting than other parts… The part about Noor Jehan is quite interesting. (By the way, Bose insists it’s spelled “Nur Jehan,” but everyone else (at least judging by YouTube) seems to be spelling the first name “Noor” no matter how the last name is spelled. I like that too, so I’ve decided to stick with that.)
So, Noor Jehan was a huge star, at a very young age, in Bollywood from the release of this film until 1947. (She was born in 1926. So, that would make her about 16 here… The age when she also married this film’s director, Syed Shaukat Hussain Rizvi, soon afterwards having a child with him – which we learn in a couple of pargraphs in Bose’s book that just gush with gossip…) Then when the partition happened, she moved to Pakistan. After she left, Bollywood saw the rise of two major phenomena that (so some say) might never have become as prevalent had she stayed:
1. Playback singing
2. Lata Mangeshkar
P.S. [7/19] I am finding that she did a lot of good stuff in Lollywood for the next 50+ years, from a great looking/sounding Anarkali, to playback singing for the mujra dancer Reema(!)… Maybe she didn’t become a longstanding Bollywood great the way she should have, but she didn’t exactly become a has-been either.