Yesterday marked the fifth death anniversary of Madam Rukhsana Noor and her fans have still not been able to process the great loss. Rukhsana Noor (1959-2017) was a Pakistani journalist, poet, script writer, producer, intellectual, academic and wife of the famous film director, Syed Noor.
Born in Sialkot to a learned family of the town, she started writing at a young age. Her father was an army officer and mother was a head mistress in a government school. Her parents used to run a non-profitable school with a motto of providing quality education to the children of underprivileged families. After completing her graduation in Sialkot, Rukhsana moved to Lahore to follow her passion for journalism. She completed her masters from Punjab University and right after that, she made a name for herself as a reporter in the media industry. Meanwhile, for the sake of an interview, she met the then successful film writer, Syed Noor. In the first meeting, both of them connected and instantly told their respective families. They got happily married on April 20, 1984 and soon after that, their personal and professional lives changed drastically. Syed Noor established himself as a successful film director, Rukhsana became a much acclaimed writer and they were blessed with three beautiful daughters as well.
Rukhsana worked proportionally hard for her husband’s career by writing some tremendous scripts and lyrics for his films. By the end of 90s, she gathered a lot of praise as a scriptwriter and a lyricist too. Her scripts for films like ‘Sangam’, ‘Larki Punjaban’ and ‘Majajan’ are still celebrated as some of the best works of Pakistani Film Industry. She won numerous awards along with Nigar Award for her contribution to the fraternity. ‘Majajan’ still remains one of the finest works by the Noor-trio as Rukhsana wrote its script, Syed Noor did the direction and Saima Noor played the title role of the film.
Later in life, Rukhsana started teaching script-writing as a subject in Punjab University and Superior University, Lahore. She won the throbbing hearts of millions by penning down some evergreen songs which include ‘Palkan Da Chimta’, ‘Laiyan Laiyan’, ‘Dhola’, ‘Aa Pyar Dil Mein Jaga’ and many more. She also opened a production house under the banner of ‘Art and Vision’ and produced many great TV plays of that era which are ‘Dua’, ‘Talash’ and ‘Nokar Union’.
Despite the hectic routines, she always managed time for her oldest passion, which was journalism. She regularly used to write columns and articles for different newspapers. With all of this art work and literature, she never sacrificed the upbringing of her children. She gave equal time to them, brought them up very well and was deeply connected to her daughters.
Amidst this hustle, she also faced the major trauma of her life in 2005, when her husband Syed Noor, in a press conference, announced his second marriage with the famous film star, Saima. She got completely shattered and retaliated a lot to this harsh decision of her husband as she couldn’t share the only love of her life with anyone else. But later in life, she gradually learned to live with this trauma. Afterwards, she decided to dedicate her remaining life to poetry and her children. Poetry written by her during the last years of her life heavily depicts women’s issues with regard to their place in a selfish and patriarchal society.
Apparently being a super lady, Rukhsana lived a tragic life in reality. While she was tackling the infidelity of her husband, she was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 but at that time she fought with the disease valiantly and won. After recovering, she continued with her productivity without any hindrance for almost a decade until 2015 when she was on a tour of the United States for the launch of her book Ilham. There, her health worsened as this time the disease had attacked with more rage. She was admitted to a local hospital in California on an emergency basis. After getting quite stable she returned to her country and continued getting the chemotherapies at Anmol and Shaukat Khanum. But the disease was way stronger as her last therapy took a harrowing impact on her and finally she lost the battle on January 12, 2017. According to her will, she was buried at the shrine of her husband’s ancestors, Darbar Hazrat Syed Shah Abu-Ul-Maali, Lahore.
Whenever the history of Pakistani cinema would be recorded, it would remain incomplete without Rukhsana Noor’s name. Similarly, Syed Noor’s career will also remain incomplete without her name. She was a true artist who dedicated her entire live to journalism, arts and film industry. She will never die in the hearts of her fans, students and daughters.