Anwer Maqsood-An Inspiring Personality

By Mahwish Kamil

Anwer Maqsood was born in September 07, 1940, in Hyderabad Deccan. He started his career working in a bank but only came into limelight when he switched to being a columnist in Hurriyet. Gradually he climbed up the ladder of success with his writings for TV and hosting in chat shows.

Anwer Maqsood belongs to one of the most famous and talented families in Pakistan. He is one of ten siblings which boast Fatima Surayya Bajia (TV personality who also helped in planning his career), Zehra Nigah (poetess), Zubaida Tariq (cooking expert) and Mrs. Kazmi (clothing designer). He grew up in an environment where creativity in any form was encouraged and talent was appreciated. He believes that one inherits a lot from ancestors (for him, his maternal grandfather – a classical poet). It is no doubt that he loves to reminisce about his past and has strong links with his childhood.

His family still encourages and critiques each others work. They speak articulate Urdu; his elders would not let them speak in typical Hyderabadi version of Urdu, as this may affect the quality of his scripts and writings.

Since the last four decades, Anwer Maqsood has been at the forefront of the Pakistan entertainment industry. He can be called a master in every field; from art, television, radio and theatre to press. He does not believe in run-of-the-mill treatment in any field. Through the undying freshness and spontaneity, the entertainer in him dominates Anwer Maqsood the man. Despite the diverse skill base and endless chain of achievements to his credit, Anwer Maqsood feels that more can be done and says that ‘there is no end in this field’.

With a career that spreads over a large span, Anwer Maqsood is someone that Pakistan is proud of.

Anwer Maqsood is a writer-actor of class. He does not like to write plays in a dialogue format; instead he writes it as a conversation.

His first play and performance was in 1967 in ‘Hero’. He also wrote for the groundbreaking ‘Zia Moyeuddin Show’. Later he began writing skits with witty retorts and one-liners, for shows like ‘Fifty Fifty’, ‘Shosha’, ‘Showtime’, ‘Studio Dhai’ and ofcourse, ‘Silver Jubilee’. He further set a milestone in comic television with introducing sitcom on TV through drama series, ‘Aangan Terha’ - which he takes as his best play. As he writes comical lines with a purpose, he has also won applause for such fine specimens of serous plays and serials such as ‘Duar-e-Junoon’ and ‘Sitara aur Mehrunnisa’. He is hugely popular for his talk show; ‘Loose Talk’ which is written and hosted by him is still appreciated worldwide.

As a television personality his career started in early seventies and commands a very respectable name in the television fraternity today. He has done programs of varied nature, both in the realm of entertainment and for mass awareness. His plays for television enjoy the reputation of a cult classic. His longest recording was 1600 hours, on PTV.

Anwer maqsood is a painter of national repute. He has over forty exhibitions to his credit. During his first painting exhibition in 1959, at the French embassy, within half an hour, he sold 60 of his paintings, with Jamshed Marker buying 35 of them.

‘Painting is how I make my living’, says Anwer Maqsood, and that remains his basic profession. He is one of the more serious names in the world of Pakistani art and is known to be the quintessential Renaissance man”.

Though known for his satire, Anwer Maqsood has not picked up his paintbrush for cartoons and caricatures, except when he drew caricatures of famous personalities as a journalist.

Talent blended with winning personality traits makes an Anwer Maqsood, a man of substance. An interview with the artiste substantiated what we had heard and read about him.

His work reflects his keen observation and decades of experience. He knows every knit of our social fabric and paints it meticulously on TV as well as on canvas. When he translates this knowledge into his powerful prose, we are bound to have one of the most enlightening and moving experiences of our lives.

He is every one's favorite because of his departure from the conventional style of comparing and writing and for his compassionate, seemingly altruistic efforts towards society. He may be a familiar face on television that has made the public smile and laugh with his sharp wit, for decades, but for Anwer Maqsood the smiles that greet him every time he goes to remote areas of Pakistan for welfare causes are worth more than all the money in the world. He continues in his quest as he sees hope; like a flickering light at the end of a dark tunnel.

We as young adults can learn immensely from his experiences, vision and values. With the discipline and life skills he possesses, our lives can also become a beacon of light for others and a speck of hope for our own bright future.

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