In the forties and fifties, when the predominance of dance gradually increased along with song in Hindi films, the importance of “Party Numbers” or “Club Dancers” also increased in cinema. Dancers like Kukku, Sitara Devi, Purnima began to fascinate the audience with the rhythm of their dance. Almost all the songs of that time were quite funny with the fast music of C. Ramchandra and the background dancers dressed in colorful costumes. At that time “Item Dancer” would not have been the heroine of the movie. But there were some actresses who became the heroines of several mainstream movies from the so-called side roles. Rehana is one of them. Hre real name is Mustahar Jahan. She was born in 1931 in Bombay. Rehana got the first break in a dance scene in the movie “Tadbir” starring El Saigal and Suraiya. SHe then starred opposite Dev Anand in the 1948 film Hum Ek Hein.
This film was Dev Anand’s Bollywood debut. Both of them achieved success in this movie. She later starred in “Sajan” (1948) and “Sehnai” (1948) and became an overnight star. From 1947 to 1952, Mustahar alias Rehana worked with big heroes in big banner films. Her effortless wandering on the dance floor in charming rhythms, green eyes, sweet naughty smile made her “Jhatka Queen of Hindi film”. Sargam (1950), Dilruba (1950) opposite Dev Anand, Nirdosh (1950) opposite Shyam (1950), Suryamukhi (1950), Ada (1951) opposite Shekhar and “Sagai” (1951) opposite Premnath. “Delhi Darbar (1956),” Bahurani, “” Sargam “and” Sagai “were huge box office successes. From 1952 onwards, the career of this dancer-heroine began to decline.
Movies like “Rangili” (1952), “Chhamchama Chham”, “Hazar Raate” (1953), “Samrat” (1954) began to flop. Disappointed, Rehana left India with the desire to revive her career in Pakistan. One of her films, “Sin Sinaki Boobla Boo,” starring her in 1952, was banned by the censor board and the Broadcasting Center for some ethical issues. But due to the overwhelming support of the fans for this actress, the central government and the broadcasting center were forced to give “U” to the film but the film was not a success due to its late release.
In 2010, Rehana’s family filed a case in the Allahabad High Court against director Ekta Kapoor and Milan Lutharia, alleging that the actress’s image was tarnished by using Mustahar’s name in the film “Once upon a time in Mumbai” without permission. Rehana started working in side role after 1957. She acted in “Chitralekha” (1964), “Tisri Kasam” (1966), “Alad” (1961), “Jabak”, “Raat Ke Rahi” (1962). Her last film was Betab (1983). Despite her beauty and talent, Rehana did not get the status of a heroine in that sense. On the contrary, she has been given the B grade heroine’s badge. Maybe her looks, style, body language, appeal were better than other heroines of that time or far ahead of the times to say.
The actress breathed her last in Pakistan in 2013. Today’s generation hardly knows about her personal life. It is not known whether she got married or not after her love affair to director PL Santoshi. There is no way to deny the role of this ‘Bindas’ actress Rehana as she gives pure pleasure to Hindi films without any fascination and obscenity.