Anwar Maqsood

Television has been a cheap form of entertainment in Pakistan. Thus, the Urdu drama has been significant in developing the television industry. In Pakistan TV drama continues to be one of the greatest forms of entertainment and has a massive audience worldwide. The name Anwar Maqsood needs no introduction; his artistic abilities span many facets being an acclaimed playwright, poet and lyricist. In Pakistan his name is closely associated with satire and humor besides his long association with television.

Anwar Sahib has come up with tremendous plays and talk shows that have left a lasting impact on the society. He himself has appeared as an infrequent actor and his work presents some of the most perplexing and striking situations in a light-hearted manner. At times, he has shown the bitter realities of life in an amusing way providing a great opportunity to laugh and relish. His body of work portrays subtle satire and sophisticated comments on socio-political situation. Maqsood’s work has often been subject to harsh criticism by the ruling elite. During Zia-ul Haq’s dictatorial regime, the national television was placed at the government’s disposal. However, Maqsood realizing the power of television as a communication tool continued to create sociopolitical awareness among the masses. Oppression by military regimes had inhibited the growth of arts and entertainment in the country. Nonetheless,  Maqsood remained steadfast and chose to speak the truth even when the authorities tried to silence him. Consequently he had to face hardships and bear serious consequences.  His contribution to the comedy show Fifty-50 was substantial to popularize television viewing in Pakistan. He has been popular for his crisp dialogues and sardonic look at the state of affairs during different regimes.  Studio Dhai, one of his popular talk shows was discontinued just after five episodes.

His career spans over many decades and he has contributed immensely in promoting arts and entertainment in Pakistan. Maqsood has been successful in creating interesting characters in both his dramas and talk shows. These characters seemed real and the audiences could easily relate to them. The central character in his talk shows was usually played by the late Moeen Akhtar which caused people to think and create an impression in their minds.  Anwar Maqsood has presented a handful of comedies including Studio-Pon-E-Teen, Silver jubilee and Nadan Nadia. The show loose Talk is considered to be one of his landmark achievements as it was televised for 8 years. This popular show had a line- up of guests including artists, politicians, bureaucrats and other celebrities. The interesting characters in loose talk took the viewers through a variety of actual life ups and downs in a hilarious way.

Maqsood has also expressed himself through painting which does not have the usual and common approach. One novelty of his paintings is that it features large faces and his brush provides a vivid splash of many colors. His contribution to both visual and performing arts suggest boldness and richness of thought. The immensely talented Maqsood has not been satisfied with one mode of creative activity. He has an extensive knowledge of music and is well read in contemporary and classical literature. He has a vast collection of music ranging from Elvis, Beatles and Beach Boys to Roshan Ara Begum. He has also contributed to the music industry by writing many songs through the years.

Maqsood known for his humility and generosity has gained a massive appreciation from the masses. His work has always raised the problems faced by the common man. No wonder Anwar Maqsood’s enormous contributions to arts and entertainment make him an extraordinary figure and a true gem of our society.

A man who needs no introduction

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