Waheed Murad: Pakistan’s first ‘heart throb’ hero?

Posted on September 17, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Music, People, TV, Movies & Theatre
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Adil Najam

Was Waheed Murad was the very first ‘heart throb’ and ‘super star’ of Pakistan?

Cricketers Fazal Mahmood and Merry Max (Maqsood Ahmad) certainly had their groupies well before Waheed Murad, but they were ‘niche stars’.

The phenomenon called Waheed Murad took the country by storm – across class and across locations – and I would venture to say that certainly no film-star in Pakistan has had the sway over the public imagination that he had at his peak; for many, the myth reigns still.

The one movie star who was greater-than-life in somewhat similar dimensions (and more literally) was Sultan Rahi, but he too was defined by a niche constrained by language (Punjabi in his case), and to a large extent class.

These, of course, are subjective judgements. Do you think there were other ‘heart throbs’ of this stature before him? After him?

To me, the image of Waheed Murad is forever linked to such classic songs as ‘ko-ko-korina’ and ‘aakailey na jaana’ … or just about anything from the magic team of Waheed Murad and Ahmad Rushdi. Here is a little taste of vintage Waheed Murad, from the movie Ladla. The print quality is not very good and this is certainly not the best of Waheed Murad. However, it is representative of the Waheed-Rushdi genre.

Plus, I like the song, and I find the quaint ‘twist’ dance routine amusing. Indeed, the whole ambiance of the song is worth thinking about in terms of what was. Enjoy, ‘socha tha piyar na karain gay’.

As an added treat, here is another video clip of an old song. This is really much more about Madam (Noor Jahan, of course, see here) and about Shamim Ara (who, by the way, may be the most phenomenal of women in Pakistani film, having reigned the screen first as a top heroine and then as a top Producer and Director). Movie buffs, note also the ‘young’ Rangeela.. and his antics with Waheed Murad, who here is portraying his ‘chocolate’ mood: melow, sensitive, smooth, and silent. To me, at least, ‘abhi dhoond he rahi thi’ is a truly beautiful song; one from an era when Pakistani film music was at its best.

As you can see, I am a fan of Waheed Murad – he is someone who will certainly go into my ‘Pakistaniat’ capsule for the future!

22 Comments on “Waheed Murad: Pakistan’s first ‘heart throb’ hero?”

  1. Rabia Bashir says:
    September 17th, 2006 4:16 am

    In my opinion, no one in the Pakistani Film Industry can beat him when it comes to that rare charm and charisma that he had. An absolute heart throb, so rightly called “Chocolate Hero”. Besides his magical spell on the audience, great music and fantastic story lines of that time made him a superstar. The name of his last film was “Hero” that was released after his death.

    Nadeem will remain a big name in our film industry. No doubt, he is unforgetable as an actor.

  2. Amir H says:
    September 17th, 2006 9:06 am

    These are nice videos. Looking at the first one now is rather funny with the dance routine. I do not know much about Waheed Murad but know that many of teh great old songs were picturised on him.

  3. Daktar says:
    September 17th, 2006 10:10 pm

    That first video is amazing … so this is what Pakistan looked like in the ‘swinging 60s’ :-)

  4. Owais Mughal says:
    September 17th, 2006 11:20 pm

    Adil, thanks for this article. Very nostalgic. I like the second song video very much. After reading your article, I did a mini search on Waheed Murad and found this 101 trivia list about him here:

  5. Roshan Malik says:
    September 17th, 2006 11:38 pm

    Rabia rightly said that Waheed Murad was known as the “chocolate hero” of his age. No other actor could get as many fans as he had in his age.

    Though my favorite is Waheed Murad but I think Santosh Kumar had been one of the wonderful actors in our film industry since independence.

    Does anybody know the cause of his death (heart attack or suicide)?

  6. September 17th, 2006 11:53 pm

    Yes, he was called ‘chocolate hero’ which I also mention in the post. However, I never figured out what that means; its not an expression I had heard elsewhere… but that just may be me… or, maybe, its another case of Pinglish ;-)

    On Santosh, my recollection is that there were rumours of suicide …. not sure on the details beyond that.

  7. Aziz Akhmad says:
    September 18th, 2006 12:09 am

    I think your suspicion about “Chocolate Hero” being a case of Pinglish is not misplaced. The name is probably a corrupted variation of “chocolate cream soldier” — the name given to a character in Bernard Shaw’s play Arms and the Man.

  8. saima nasir says:
    September 18th, 2006 6:02 am

    The name for waheed murad, if I remember correctly was “chocolatey Hero”…..which in sub-continent is used (even today) for good looking men, on or off screen….call it minglish or pinglish but it is very much our own term….for sweet, charming, engaging,pleasant, dark and handsome men…..which waheed murad was…..i guess the the word “chocolate” was turned into an adjective by adding an alphabet “Y” to it….don’t even ask me under which rule….minglish or pinglish….you are free to choose.

  9. sabizak says:
    September 18th, 2006 3:07 pm

    ‘Do you think there were other ‘heart throbs’ of this stature before him? After him?’

    I think nobody beats the Imran Khan of the 80s as the biggest heart throb to have graced the country. Of course, since I wasn’t around during the Waheed Murad days I cannot be too sure about his fan following at that time, which judging from what older people say must certainly have been immense.
    I love both these songs and seeing their video would have been a treat but I can’t see them here. Must be some UAE thing.

  10. Hero says:
    September 22nd, 2006 1:46 am

    Oh I just love these videos. I wish I was around in the Pakistan of the 60s.

    The twist in teh first video is a killer and goes so well with the white pants and white shoes. And in the second video, it is so great that everyone in every film used to know how to play the piano :-)

  11. Yasser says:
    November 23rd, 2006 1:39 am

    Waheed Murad wrote, directed, produced and acted in super hit movies. Now how many stars can do that?
    Salaam Waheed Murad!

  12. January 3rd, 2007 2:51 am

    [...] For me, however, the birth of ‘popular pop’ came with Ahmad Rushdi; especially when he teamed up with Waheed Murad. We have argued here that Waheed Murad might have been the very first ‘heart throb’ hero of Pakistan. Let me now suggest that Ahmad Rushdie defined ‘kool’ as much as Waheed Murad and that Ahmad Rushdie was the first real Pop Superstar of Pakistan. [...]

  13. Naveed Bakhtiar says:
    April 2nd, 2007 2:09 pm

    Undoubtedly, the legend of Pakistani films in 60′s and 70′s. I remember vividly when people used to flock cinema halls to see his movies. Traffic used to come to a halt in Saddar and on MA Jinnah road near all major cinema halls. Oh, good old days of migical moments!
    I agree with some of the comments here about Santosh Kumar and Nadeem.
    Roshan: Waheed Murad died of heart failure.

  14. faheem says:
    April 23rd, 2007 7:50 am

    waheed murad is greatest actor

  15. June 8th, 2007 1:47 am

    meri pasand waheed murad shahid shabnum raani rozina

  16. Waqas Shaikh says:
    June 10th, 2007 12:37 pm

    Waheed Murad was a great actor and it is unfortunate that he died in his forties. However,his name will live for ever in the film
    industry of Pakistan. I have seen many of his
    movies but Arman, Kaneez and Hera & Pathar wer
    the best.


  17. Naveed Bakhtiar says:
    June 15th, 2007 1:41 pm

    Yes, most definitely. Nobody can surpass the fame and glory he received in his hey days. It has been almost 24 years since he died, unbelievable, but he is still alive in our hearts, and will be. He left a lasting impression which will never fade…

    We miss you :(

  18. June 23rd, 2007 12:09 am

    my name is abid sultan. i like this acter because his personality and acting was perfect. and he done his work very well. i was not see this kind of accter and not will be in th fucture.

  19. Ayaz Khawaja says:
    July 20th, 2007 5:31 pm

    Pakistani English accent gives me chuckles — specially when the people of Punjab are trying to explain something in Pinglish :) — In Pinglish, Bed is Bad, Belt is Balt, Antenna is Anteena, Adobe is Adob not Adobee — just a few for your eyes only.

    I have seen some Pakistani TV shows recently and this great humor ran across my mind :

    An English-speaking guy is watching a Pakistani TV Show — the host goes “Ok, viewers we will take you to sets of this new upcoming series “Hotel Guests” — so let’s go — the viewer adjusts himslef in the seat or maybe gets closer to the TV set — but the next moment the host says “achha to aap batayen ke aapko acting kerne ka kub se shauq tha?” — he catches the word “acting” but then it is all Urdu — he sits back and waits for more English words to understand what’s going on :)

    In a nutshell, when people talk it seems and sounds so funny because tehy can’t decide which language should they bank on — what I have observed people who speak English so well try to speak good Urdu as well and try avoid plugging in or embedd some really common English words like “Actually” — “Obviosly” — “Well said” — “Awareness” — etc.

    My 2 cents for this site :)

  20. shenaz110 says:
    December 3rd, 2007 1:11 pm

    Wahed Murad is not an actor he is an institute,Pakistan film industry can never fill his gap .its indeed a fact that actors like him are born once . He was handsome ,smart, educated , romantic and what not , I believe we are not paying him real and due respect and acknowledgement , I was so sad on november 23 2007 when non of our channels showed his movie I think all Waheedz fanz should plan something on his death anniversary . plz

  21. Aftab Khan says:
    December 27th, 2007 3:04 am

    The Greatest superstar and the legend Waheed Murad. We have Al Pakistan prince waheedi club. waheed is far ever and ever green hero. he is magical romantic senses and he is prince of romance and master of song picturization. Aftab Khan

  22. khan says:
    November 21st, 2009 3:04 pm

    He is in our hearts . is there any web site for waheed available?

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