Talent runs in this family

Posted on October 6, 2006
Filed Under >Naveed Siraj, Humor, Music, People, Poetry, TV, Movies & Theatre
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Guest Post by Naveed Siraj

Anwar Maqsood belongs to a Pakistani family that has made huge contribution to civil society. Either through social activism or conscious efforts through Television, Anwar Maqsood has articulated and defined the ethos of modern pakistaniat. So what better place to express my admiration for his latest work than Pakistaniat.com.

Anwar Maqsood is hugely popular these days thanks to “Loose Talk�, a comedy show on ARY. Indeed this is the facet of his personality for which he has earned fame. That of a leading writer of comedy shows & television presenter. But he is a far better writer of serious prose than he gets credit for.

One often hears people describing how their lives were impacted or shaped by a piece of literature; a verse or a play. For me, it was a PTV long play by Mr. Maqsood called Daur-E-Junoon aired in 1986.

Mr. Maqsood’s siblings Fatima Surraiya Bajiya and Zehra Nigah are blessed with God-gifted genius especially the latter whose poems are replete with social and political content. Faiz sahib, it is said, insisted that Zehra Nigah recited her poems in taranum whenever he visited her home in London in the late 70’s. What can be a greater compliment?

What drove me to muster my courage to write to Pakistaniat.com is a video by the Pakistani band The Strings. The track is called “Beirut� lyrics are credited to Anwar Maqsood.

Bilal Maqsood, (lead guitar/back-up vocals), Anwar Maqsood’s son lives upto the family tradition of creative output of highest order. Lead vocals are played by Faisal Kapadia and he does a magnificent job by rendering “Beirut� in a heart-moving fashion.

The track heralds the coming of age of Pakistani pop music and all credit goes to The Strings for highlighting the plight of Lebanese people.

Naveed Siraj blogs about a variety of subjects, but especially sufi poetry and music at Rambling On.

17 Comments on “Talent runs in this family”

  1. TURAB says:
    October 6th, 2006 1:26 am

    anwar maqsood from PIB COLONY and so m I !!

    insperational personality and family indeed…

    I think his wife and his daughter are involved in the media industry….

  2. October 6th, 2006 1:26 am

    Naveed, What a beautiful song/video, and what a poinant post. Thank you for this. This is certainly what is Pakistaniat.
    Anwar Maqsood’s humor is etched into my memory for life. and I knew even when I was a kid that when someone as humorous as Anwar Maqsood puts on a serious face, one should listen carefully to his message. In this video, he does the same.

  3. October 6th, 2006 1:37 am

    Indeed Anwar Maqsood’s contributions to Pakistani literature and media are invaluable. Thank you Naveed Siraj for the tribute you have paid to him and his other family members who are all great artists in their own right. I think his most significant work has been introducing political satire to Pakistan television in times when criticising the ruling elites was considered an unforgivable sin. Shoaib Hashemi is the only other name that comes to my mind in this context. However, the troubling thought is that there is no such artist in the new generation in electronic media and entertainment world in Pakistan. Or may be I am not aware of one.
    Also thank you for posting this very moving video from Strings.

  4. ayesha says:
    October 6th, 2006 4:22 am

    A very throughtful song. Thank for sharing.

    On Anwar Masqsood: Nothing can ever beat the wit and humor of Aangan Tera. Classic creation by the man.

  5. Adnan Ahmad says:
    October 6th, 2006 9:27 am

    Few of the most beautiful and serious plays I saw on pakistani tv were writtern by him. I am thinking of ye kahan ki dosti he, mirza and sons (aired from lahore), sitara aur mehrunisaa, etc. In fact Zehra Nigah does play back singing in ye kahan ki dosti he (Huma Akbar and Rahat Kazmi I think gave the performance of their life in that play). Anwar’s bread and butter, by the way, is his painting talent. Has a set clientele who waits in line to buy his works.

  6. Shahran Asim says:
    October 6th, 2006 9:31 am

    To add to Mr.Anwar Maqsood’s family :
    1. His Elder brother Ahmad Maqsood Hameedi was former bureaucrate and was a chief Secratery at one time.

    2. His wife Imrana Maqsood frequently writes plays on TV.

    3. Zubaida Tariq, is a famous designer and cooking show host.

    4. Sara Naqvi , was with the BBC Urdu in UK and used to produce Science and Technology programs for the BBC urdu.

  7. Fawad says:
    October 6th, 2006 1:21 pm

    Nice to see a tribute to Anwar Maqsood. He is a truly versatile writer/artist/literateur and one of the few public personalities of Pakistan worthy of being called a renaissance man. It is sad that there is so little written material that exists on Pakistani luminaries (I couldn’t even find a decent bio or a list of Anwar Maqsood’s works on the internet).

  8. Owais Mughal says:
    October 6th, 2006 2:15 pm

    ‘aaNgan TeRha’ was indeed one of his best works. I recently reviewed it. Bushra Ansari was jealous of Durdana Butt as she thought Durdana must be after her husband. In one scene shakeel says Durdana was knitting sweater. to this Bushra replies:

    “zaroor ek ghar seedha, ek ghar ulTa ki tarkeeb se bun rahi hogi”

    I thought this was the funniest dialog. i just can’t get it out of my head :)

  9. Altamash Mir says:
    October 7th, 2006 2:11 am

    What a great thread !!!
    Anwar Maqsood sahab is indeed a living treasure for Pakistan…His talents for writing short plays and comedy skits have been keeping the Pakistani Television alive for all these years…
    His most recent contribution is to write for his Son Bilal’s band “Strings”. Resulting in the chart topper in India “Zinda Houn” from the Indian movie “Zinda”…

  10. Mutazalzaluzzaman Tarar Wattamaar says:
    October 9th, 2006 4:15 pm

    I don’t understand why people are celebrated long after they are over the hill. Anwar Maqsood was at the top of his game maybe ten years ago when no one was talking about him. His recent hit show is “Loose Talk”. Despite being a long-time fan of Anwar sahib, I can’t stand to watch five minutes of it. He has completely lost his touch.

    He is a great artist – I’m not denying that. But I just find it amazing that he wasn’t given due for writing “Studio Dhai” (which for my money is the funniest thing I have ever seen on PTV) or “Angan Terha”. And yet for the extremely mediocre and pedestrian “Loose Talk” he gets all kinds of awards etc. Is this because he does it for a private channel instead of the reviled PTV?

    That rant aside, yes he comes from a very distinguished family which has made many contributions to Pakistani art. I was especially impressed with Zehra Nigah’s lyrics that she penned for Raana Sheikh’s “Umrao Jaan Ada”. What a magnificent play and what great writing! And of course, Bajiya needs no introduction.

  11. Zahid Q says:
    October 18th, 2006 4:05 pm

    Great post. I think Anwar has not been given due credit for all his work in bringing political satire to television. As someone else mentioned he is also an accomplished artist amongst other things.

    Just to add to the list of family accomplishments that others may not know, there is Mrs Kazmi and Bunto Kazmi, Faraz Maqsood (ad man/artist/actor), and Hussain Tariq (accomplished artist).

  12. soud says:
    October 28th, 2006 6:40 am

    does anybody of you guys know who wrote the lyrics for the song “shayad” by the band CALL ?

  13. Adnan Ahmad says:
    October 29th, 2006 1:17 pm


    A good article about Anwar. Where is PIB colony?

  14. October 29th, 2006 6:02 pm

    Adnan A., PIB is Pir Illahi Bakhsh Colony, it is one of the many neighborhoods in Karachi that grew immediately after partition to accomodate those migrating.

    By the way, the article that you linked is a good one and worth reading.

  15. naeem banday says:
    March 2nd, 2007 7:28 am

    Assalamo Alaikum,

    This is my first contact with your website, I need to get in touch with Mr Anwar Masood regarding his Charity for the blind. Can u help ?.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    W A S


    naeem banday

  16. August 13th, 2007 1:54 pm


    I need Awar Maqsood E-mail adress. Please see my artistic wooden sculptures.
    wasan khurshid

  17. basit says:
    August 27th, 2007 7:48 am

    Few of the most beautiful and serious plays I saw on pakistani tv were writtern by him.I think his most significant work has been introducing political satire to Pakistan television in times when criticising the ruling elites was considered an unforgivable sin.

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