mithun shettywrote on Aug 13 2009 4:58PM
Salma Agha is a popular singer from Pakistan who sang as well as acted in Indian films in the 1980s and the early 1990s.Agha born to a wealthy father and in Karachi, moved to London at age 9.Salma along with sister Sabina produced and sang for a record called AGHA - Salma and Sabina Agha sing ABBA hits in Hindi. The record made a few waves and was applauded by critics. However, it didn't create any major ripples in the Hindi film circles at the time.When acclaimed Indian director Raj Kapoor was at the London reception of his son Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh's wedding, he invited his cousin Zarina Agha (Salma's mother) to the reception. Present at the wedding were many prominent Indian directors, including B.R. Chopra. Chopra had just finished a female oriented hit with Zeenat Aman called Insaf Ka Tarazu. He had just commissioned a heroine-oriented movie called Talaq Talaq Talaq and was on the look out for a Muslim actress. Zeenat Aman (even though, half Muslim) he felt had a much too urban look to portray the character of Neelofar in his movie. Raj Kappor too was on the lookout for a Muslim girl his movie Heena. Soon Raj Kapoor nixed plans and went ahead with Prem Rog. Hearing that Chopra was looking for a Muslim girl, Salma flew to Bombay to meet him. Using her uncle Raj Kapoor's connection, Salma was soon hired
Nikaah went on to be a huge success and is considered a classic. It is one of the strongest debuts for an actress and a huge vehicle for a newcomer. She earned a Filmfare nomination as Best Actress. In addition to winning the Filmfare Best Female Playback Award for the song "Dil Ke Armaan," she also earned two Filmfare nominations: one for the song "Pyar Bhi Hai Jawan" and the other for the song "Dil Ki Yeh Arzo.However, Salma wasn't interested in movies much, she soon was introduced to Mehmood Sipra, a New York City business man, who made Salma drop all her movie assignments and produced movies for her, beginning with Begum Sahiba and Bebasi. Sipra's divorce came through while his love affair with Salma began to fade. Both movies were shelved and Salma was left without a husband or career.
Finally, after her break with Mehmood Sipra, she signed Babbar Subhash's Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki with Mithun Chakraborty and Smita Patil. The movie was publicised with huge pictures of Salma, which in turn upset and overshadowed Mithun. This movie became Salma's second release and another hit. She earned a Filmfare nomination for the song "Jhoom Jhoom Baba." Salma went to Pakistan to visit her now married sister Sabina, living in Karachi and while visiting relatives in Lahore, she was offered Pakistani movies. She debuted in Hum aur Tum with Javed Sheikh. They both fell in love and Javed divorced his wife of 15 years and tied the knot with Salma. They were in such a rush for marriage that Salma Agha didn't even dub for the Hum aur Tum. The bad dubbing job and the horrible story line killed the movie. Though the curiosity of seeing Salma and her box office power made the movie a hit in Pakistan.
Salma worked on many other movies in Pakistan, none with major recognition other than a movie that later got adopted into a Hindi version Pati, Patni aur Tawaif. Salma played the same character she had, in the Pakistani version and was once again teamed with Mithun. While shooting in Bombay she also did Oonche Log with Rajesh Khanna (another remake of the Pakistani movie Dehleez) and Salma (also a remake of the Pakistani hit Anjuman of the 1950s). All of these movies flopped massively at the box office.
She carried on with a few more Pakistani movies then settled with the squash coach Rehmat Khan. She now shuttles between Islamabad and London with Khan and puts out an album of ghazals every few years.
She has a daughter and a son with Rehmat and also runs a high-end boutique in Islamabad. She is now settled in Dubai.