Monday, 21 November 2011

Unforgettable Waheed Murad

His Seven Roles a Challege to Chocolate Hero Image

November 23rd marks the day when in 1983 Waheed Murad bade farewell to his mortal abode and walked up the stairs of immortality, and 28 years after that day we still find him in our midst, more close to us today than when he was shinning on the horizon of Pakistan Film Industry, and even still closer than what we feel about most of the living mortals.

Commonly he is labelled as a chocolate hero who had a lot of female following and one who could run around trees singing, dancing and charming heroines, but this is not a very plausible description of his talents as an actor. Waheed Murad's public appeal rests on the diverse roles that he played and portrayed the sentiments of common people, the roles with which masses used to identify him as one of them. The charisma and appeal of his innocent and easy going looks when translates on celluloid into roles of multitudes made him the darling of film going public of all ages and gender.

The seven roles of the commoner that I personally liked and always could see people identifying themselves with are Donkey cart dweller of film Heera aur Pather( 1964), Mental Doctor of Ehsan (1967), Peasant of Phir Subha Ho Ge (1967) Fisherman of Samander(1968),), Labourer of Ak Nagina (1969), Postman of Mastana Mahi (1971)and Taxi Driver of Wada (1976).

All these roles distinctively bore an anti chocolate hero image, but the way he depicted them aroused great affection and admiration for him among all segment of society, and they all looked up to him as an idol, but not just as a matinee idol, but an icon that transformed lives of ordinary people on silver screen and made them the real heroes of society. This was not possible without the trust that he had in his art and the trust in the believe that to reach to the people’s heart and mind the artist has to be the part of populous society and seeker of consensus art, an art form which is only possible when artist looks outward to society and produces a dynamic and vibrant piece of work which consumes his passion and translates that into compassion.

PS: 1-Waheed Murad's photograph is from his own production Samander released in 1968
2-Consensus Art/Literature is a term coined by brother Khurram Ali Shafique

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Iqbal creator of new paradigms

I was simply shocked when an Iqbal scholar who also happened to hold a senior position at Iqbal academy said in a published interview that Iqbal is a great poet but not a great philosopher.

I always thought like multitudes that Iqbal was a great poet philosopher, and my conviction grew more when I read along with Javidnama, The Reconstruction of Religious Thoughts in Islam. But after that shocking revelation of Iqbal scholar I started rereading the Reconstruction again and this time I found that calling Iqbal a philosopher was extremely unfair.

Like Iqbal scholar I have my own perception about all this, I think Iqbal cannot be termed only as a Poet, Philosopher, Mystic or a Sufi, to me he is an Artist. To me poet means an imaginative person, Philosopher the one who thinks he is imaginative but is one who contemplates, Mystic is the one who sees what can be imagined and Sufi is one who lives like what a Mystic imagines. But to me an Artist is one who creates from imagination a new world and Iqbal was one of those few artists who were par excellence and who is a creator of a new world, a world that did not explode at the time of creation when God pronounced Kun ( کن ) and it was, but God also wanted from His creation some creative souls who would answer the Kun with Faukoun ( فیکون ) and Artists like Iqbal took that challenge and responsibility, and the result is 9 glorious books or nine new paradigm that are nine new ways of understanding the past, the present but more importantly the future.