Love Letters To Icons: Shamim Ara

There are countless female icons that have coloured our history and left a lasting impression on us with their talent, charisma and presence. Every week, Ammaar – known on Instagram as ammaavocado – will be sharing his letter of love and admiration to some of these inspiring women. This week it’s the talented and admirable, Shamim Ara.

Hamari Shamim Ara,

Sometimes people find opportunities to make change on a scale so large that it lasts for decades. Other times, they make a change that inspires millions to strive to continue the tradition of making change. And you did exactly that. After you, hundreds of actresses broke through the shackles of society and marked their presence on the pavements of history.

Everyone loves you as an actor, Shamim. For your performance in Qaidi; when you gave Faiz’s ghazal and Noor Jehan’s voice a face. But I… I loved you after you decidedly reached the end of your acting career. I loved you for the ways in which you raised an entire generation of women and taught them how they can be more than just pretty.

Shamim, something that a lot of people don’t know about you, is that you were the woman behind the films that first introduced us to girl power. You did that through Miss Hong Kong, Miss Colombo, Miss Singapore and Miss Bangkok, Babra Sharif beating up goons twice her size, made women measure the lengths of their bravery. And your last two flicks with Babra were Lady Commando and Lady Smuggler made them see themselves in more forms than just a housewife. You knew the ways in which women were oppressed and the ways in which they were considered weak. You wanted to prove them wrong, Shamim. And you did.

I was never brave, Shamim. I was instead weak, always. But for someone who is weak, admiring strength and bravery becomes a habit. It has become my habit to love you. To admire you from afar.



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