Legendary script writer, host, humorist and actor, Anwar Maqsood takes up our instagram screens adorned in a raspberry shawl and turban he received from Thar before the lockdown and had promised to wear at his next interview. While Bilal Maqsood digs through the treasures of Anwar Maqsood’s wisdom and timeless humour, this live session easily takes up all ranks as one of the best live sessions done by any celebrity.
And here’s why;
Anwar Maqsood starts the conversation with a mouth watering recipe of instant prawns. Some grammar corrections are made out of habit as Bilal words ‘aap bohat acha khana banatay hain‘, to which he says ‘Khana pukaya jata hai aur bewaquf banaya jata hai‘
Hope you guys have noted that one down too!
Moving on, Anwar Maqsood reminisces his childhood in Hyderabad Dhakan and compares it to nothing short of a beautiful dream.
He recalls the ‘thezeeb’ and traditions of his early years with a shair;
‘Itna tou mujhe yaad hai kuch usne kaha tha,
kya usne kaha tha ye mujhe yaad nahi hai’
He recalls his years in PIB colony karachi where the likes of Josh Maliabadi and Sultan Puri used conduct Mushairay, and Anwar Maqsood being the master of improvisation placed a lantern against the wall to cast shadows outside for the street kids to enjoy the show. Showing his early interests in screenplay ofcourse.
Remembering the journey, he says ‘Achay logon k he halat buray hotay hain, jin logon ka mazi acha ho unka mustaqbil kabhi kharab nahi hota’
He adds a hilarious story about earning his first income by selling two stray white cats to his neighbours saying they had just arrived from Iran. Taking 10rs home with the thought of Zubaida Apa’s snipped pink lehnga which became the bows for the kittens. His skilful tailoring didn’t stop at ribbons and he later made sets of ties and cufflinks up-cycling gowns he had found at the light house. These ties were worn by the likes Waheed Muraad and Santosh Kumar.
When asked about his retirement from writing for tv, Anwar Maqsood says he has been asked this question many times. After serving the tv for 55 years his reply to his question left us in tears.
He says, ”I don’t write because Fatima Suriya Bhajiya isnt, Bano Qudsia isnt, Ashfaq Sahab, Monu Bhai, Intezar Hussain, none of them are writing. When they died they took drama with them. And what you are left with is every Thursday night ‘tum mere pass ho’ Friday night ‘mujhe baita chaiye’ and Saturday night ‘Cheekh’ the loudest cheekh.”
A little humour out of habit yet an extremely thought provoking statement, it is Anwar Maqsood after all.
‘Where is Urdu Adab?’ asks Bilal Maqsood’
In the graveyards of Defence phase 6, Lalu Khaith and Nazimabad. Replies Anwar Maqsood.
The difference between old cinema and new?
‘Old ones i used to watch till the end, new ones i can watch till the interval.
Remembering Moeen Akhtar he narrates a humorous story where Anwar Maqsood improvised a few lines at their show in Chicago as per the incident of Moeen Akhtar’s mesmerised state of watching a beautiful woman taking a swim in the pool;
‘Pool main tair rahi thi, joon samadar main jahaz
Dur se saaf nazar atay thay Mehmood o Ayaz
Nikli jub pool se bahar
Tou sharam k maray na koi banda raha na koi banda nawaz’
Any lessons for you in the lockdown? Bilal further adds a question we all want the answer to.
Anwar Maqsood says his believe in the hereafter has been strengthened as man fails with years of scientific advancement and moon landings while a sneeze can bring the world to a halt!
He says if Faraz was living today he would say
‘Raat kya soye k sari umer ki neend ur gai
Khwab kya daikha dhaarka lag gaya tabeer ka’
Towards the end of the conversation he talks about Bilal Maqsood’s early interest in music when the likes of Iqbal Bano, Farida Khanum and many other famous musicians of all time used to come visit and Bilal would take a keen interest in music and asked for a Tabla on his fourth birthday.
Anwar Maqsood’s written Strings songs are our favourite and very hard to pick from but the maestro himself enjoyed writing ‘Dur’ and ‘Bolo na’
Like father like son session ends with Anwar Maqsood singing ‘Rung’ while we wipe tears of joy.
Lots of people have taken to twitter sharing their favourite bits from this beautiful and heart felt session;
— Sabahat Naseem (@SabahatNaseem) April 15, 2020
Bilal Maqsood's live with Anwar Maqsood is so wholesomee!!!
— Hadia (@hadia_hasan) April 15, 2020
— 𝓱𝓮𝓮𝓷𝓪⭑ (@IAmGrumpyArtist) April 16, 2020
You don’t come across a live session that leaves you feeling this wholesome. Although it was an hour long session but we could have gone watching it for much longer that that, where a living legend teaches us the importance of art, literature and the essence of creative legacy.