Friday, 23 November 2012

Waheed Murad- a study in his classic movements

Waheed Murad was an artist with lithe and supple movements.  His movements were measured and he used his movements of head, hands and feet in such a graceful manner that his overall persona conveyed a poetic balletic expression.

His physical charms were related to the physical expressions that conveyed a lot about the man that he was and the art that he created which addressed to bring about the unity and homogeneity in the society.

This is the study of one of his famous songs from his own production Arman (1966) in which he has used the full range of the movements that was in his repertoire and this full spectrum of grace turned this song into a unique visual classic of Pakistan cinema.

Akeley na jana is one song that has  seven  distinctive movements, a symphony of movements that define a cycle of seeking and discovering :

Movement ONE-Search : The song starts with lover's hand clasped behind back it shown an apprehension of starting a search, but then he moves forward with one hand moving towards the beloved and when he finds a tree trunk he rests his elbow on the trunk that defines nature's help, then tilt his head to show that he is pondering while thumb rub against his finger tips in pin rolling manner a sign of an anticipation, so the search is initiated.
Movement TWO-Love: The next movement is when he takes and hold hand of the beloved which is the only occasion in the song when the lover and the beloved touch each other, this touch of hands conveys that search found the beloved and love manifests.

Movement THREE-Understanding:
The setting of next movement is astonishing, one sees the trunks of four trees visibly standing in close proximity a sign of natural balance of universe- the four dimensions, length, breadth, depth and time. The lover moves from the second tree to the third put his elbow on trunk and back of his head rests on his palm a gesture showing understanding.

Movement FOUR-Detachment:The move carries forward but in a very subtle manner the fourth trunk which should have featured   next in this move is bypassed and the lover following the beloved detach himself from this natural support and swings forwards while holding a  pillar of a patio, this gesticulation  shows detachment as natural support is forfeited. 
Movement FIVE-Unity: Then he bows his head and puts one hand on the chest as the mark of submission to the beloved, the dichotomy ends and unity takes place.

Movement SIX-Wonderment: One hand on the hip in a teapot position while the other placed on stem shows that he is hanging in between outer and inner awareness of space and time and this move very eloquently suggests wonderment.

Movement SEVEN-Nothingness: The song ends on the final gesture when he turns his back on the beloved whom he was following in the whole song, and now it is the time for beloved to turn around and follow him, the song ends on this beautiful sequence as the lover who turned his back on the beloved senses her following he moves his head slightly sideways to have a glance backward and this moment freezes as if he turns into stone on looking back this paraphrases nothingness.


  1. Greetings,

    Thank you very much for this unique post. You have so well communicated that how Waheed Murad exhibited a unity of thought, word, and deed (physical expression). To express these 7 stages of this cycle, and to exhibit each in such finely nuanced physicality, tells me that it is something qualitatively beyond mere acting technique.

    I will be showing this to my daughter. She has a great interest in theater and acting.

    Thank you again.

    All good wishes,


    All good wishes,


  2. Thanks robert and would be interested to know the feedback of your daughter as well :)

    It is always a pleasure to receive your comments with greetings and good wishes, thank you very much.

  3. I simply love your post about Waheed Murad.He is my favourite performer.On the occasion of his death anniversary this is an awesome post Mr.Dar, thank you so much.

  4. This analysis is simply amazing. Also, summarizes the entire movie symbolically. I wish this post could be read by everyone - for a deeper appreciation of "Film Arts".

  5. Thanks Khurram Sahib and I am happy that you liked it, in fact you are the motivating spirit behind this :)

  6. Extremely insightful.. Well done Wasim. It must come from all those studies you have undertaken over these years. The only fear is, I will have to watch my moves when in your company so I don't send wrong signals :) .. Excellent work and very detailed and methodical indeed yet uniquely perceptive.

  7. Thanks Ashfaq, and it has been long time since saw you majestically ambling along with friends, look forward to once again walk along with you :)