Tuesday, December 24, 2013



When you have lived in Pakistan on the “right” side of the bridge the last thing that you want to see on any screen be it TV or silver is Pakistani dramas because they are ridiculously depressing!  To add to it the cast is repetitively obnoxious as they flit from one drama to another and it is simply ridiculous how an artist is repeatedly typecast for any show that gets proper funding.  

 In Pakistan I remember the classics such as Tannhaiyyan and I loved the connection it made with the public and all the classes of society.  Pakistani Television has struggled so hard to match the eyeball value of the show that after over two decades they managed to perfect it with Humsafar!   We always love to look towards the west for our clothing and we have original stories but with our limited talent pool we burn out our actors because film, television, drama and the Arts are not considered to be a respectful profession even today behind closed parental Islamic valued doors.

Our neighbours get discovered in film and then dabble in television whilst our actors are on an over ambitious roller coaster to do a serial and then produce direct and act in the way Tom Cruise would have done so in a Steven Spielberg production.   For one thing we need to develop our talent pool of actors who have the ability to deliver emotion and can actually act.  The producers need to stop grabbing and discovering teenage girls from the likes of Always famous ads and corrupting their innocence by throwing them in front of a camera in clichéd roles that one as a viewer has very high expectations of. 

However, this is not a rant about what is wrong with the Pakistani media from a blogger like me rather it is about an actor who refuses to start aging!  Javed Sheikh is not an actor rather he is a legend in his own right!  Born as a Pindi boy who made his acting debut in the Lollywood film Dhamaka, released on 14 December 1974.  I have met him on many occasions at social functions and at people’s houses nationwide and what inspires me about him is that he loves life!

As a father he is a success as a family man he has done his time and run the responsibility gauntlet but one thing that remains unchanged is the fact that no matter who you are Sheikh Sahab will greet you with a very warm Punjabi smile… and actually mean it!   I have seen fame corrupt the souls of those that the screen has been kind to but this resilient actor who at over 39 years of an acting career proves that you can only hold up an act for so long.

If there no business like show business then Pakistan has had a limited virtually non-existent show business gene pool and our television studios and channels have had to deal with their share of Karbalas to have gained back such a strong market share from the Indians who had captured it through their Star Network.  Javed Bhai is one of those actors who has the ability to morph into any role that he chooses to do and actually does a fantastic job delivering more than what is expected from him.

I have been watching his shows on television and it is a pleasure to see such innocent and honest delivery that one can truly call an art when it comes to acting and that too delivered by him.  If you know him then you know him in person for what he is and how he is but you need to see the value that is delivered in the form of raw passion for what an actor can deliver.

Without a Asif Qureshi being played by Javed Sheikh the film Mein Hun Shahid Afridi would not have been as effective in delivering its message as it did.  Us Pakistani’s love new found clichés and yet we tend to forget that every new found cliché has its roots of inspiration buried somewhere.  As a guy I personally feel that this well produced flick was successful due to the fact that we hated Asif Qureshi so much for corrupting something so dear to us that we forgot that he was the glue that had us in our seats for so long otherwise we would all have been getting popcorn refills whilst the wives ooh’d and aaah’d over the new kids on the block.   

After our encounter again today I wish and pray that the candlelight of renewed hope in Pakistani media has the ability to teach those who have lost their faith in Acting as an art and allow them to find the reality of being an actor today in Pakistan without corrupting their souls to the politics of media.  Javed Sahab it’s been 39 years and you still smile like there no tomorrow…  I hope you live in the form of spirit in every actor that aspires to be one and you teach those who are lucky to have known you…  you are young at heart and always will be one of the Godfathers of Pakistani screen time…

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