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Dildar Pervaiz Bhatti – Personal Memoirs – Part I

Posted on July 8, 2007
Filed Under >Pervaiz Munir Alvi, People, TV, Movies & Theatre
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Pervaiz Munir Alvi

Last time I saw Dildar Pervaiz Bhatti in person was in year 1993.

In the photo above from left to right are: Dildar Pervaiz Bhatti, Shoukat Ali, Munir Hussain, Masood Rana, Asif Jeved, Surayya Khanum, Naheed Akhtar, A. Nayyar, Inayat Hussain Bhatti, Amjad Perwez, Amjad Boby and Akhlaq Ahmad

I had gone to Pakistan to attend wedding of my one niece. As it has been my habit, upon arrival I would call up all of my friends to let them know that I was in town. In those days Dildar and his dear wife lived in a modest house in Wahdat Colony, Lahore. When I called his home, his wife told me that he was not there but I could catch him at the Avari Hotel where he would be playing stage host that evening at a high level social event. Since we had to go to Avari for some preliminaries for my niece’s wedding anyway, we thought that it will be a good place for us to get together.

Khursheed Mahal at Avari was packed with Sahibs of Pakistan Civil Service, all dressed in Western suits with their wives in Pakistani Shalwar Kameez. (The sight of Pakistani men in Western and women in Pakistani traditional clothes together says a lot about our society). Singer Taranum Naz was on stage all decked up trying to look and sing like Malika-e-Taranum, Noor Jahan. Not every one was listening. Soon Dildar appeared from the back of the stage and there was a unanimous silence. Here he was; the same old Dildar with his crooked right hand third finger speaking fearlessly and extemporaneously. Pakistani bureaucrats mostly come from the privileged classes and often consider themselves superior to all others. Mistakenly they thought they could hoot Dildar down, but that would not be the case. Dildar started with a Chaudhry joke and soon with his caustic tongue and sharp wit he was cutting those Sahibs down to their size.

After introducing the next performer up, Dildar came down from the stage and greeted us at the back of the hall with his distinct broad smile. We did not want to take too much of his time since he had to go back on stage. We told him about my niece’s wedding date and he promised to attend it without fail.

The wedding ceremony went on as planned. The bride and the groom at the head table with every one hovering and making fuss over them. The dinner had not been served yet. Here walks in Dildar with his well recognizable stroll. Spotting Dildar, the younger crowd left the bride and the groom and mobbed this TV star all of sudden unexpectedly among them. Soon the crowd was joined by the mommies and the aunties as well, all asking tens of questions about his TV shows and the celebrities appearing on his shows. Somewhere in the corner I found myself explaining to my American friends that Dildar was Pakistani equivalent of Johnny Carson. He did not stay for the dinner but promised to come over the next day at my parent’s house. Plus the fact that it will give him a chance to steal one of my favorite ties.

We sat at the front Veranda of my home. He looked uncharacteristically drawn. We talked a lot that day. He told me that he was working long hours these days. Other than teaching English Literature at the MAO (Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental) College, he was doing weekly TV show and performing live as Stage MC (Master of Ceremony) many times a month.

Dildar did not care much for money but stage was his life. He loved to perform even when we were kids. But he was sad. He did not hesitate to tell me that in spite of many around him he often felt alone. The people in show business were not sincere and mostly were ready to abuse others. Sitting down and chatting with a childhood friend brought back in both of us all the good things life has to offer. We decided to change the subject and talk about America instead. He said that he might be coming to the States soon. Imran Khan was planning a fundraising tour of the USA for Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital that he was building in honor of his mother. We promised to see each then in the United States.

The phone rang and it was Dildar at the other end. He was calling me from New York. We both were happy and excited to hear each others voice. He was with Imran Khan and along with others in the group they will travel through the US and Canada, mostly to the cities where Pakistani diaspora was concentrated. He will come to see me as soon as possible but in the mean time we will talk again on the phone.

But I did not hear from him again. Never. Few weeks later a friend of my mother called her to tell her that Dildar had died while in New York. He was rushed to the hospital while performing on stage. Later he passed away that day. My friend never made it to my house in the USA.

Pakistan lost its Johnny Carson that day and I lost my childhood bud.

Here is a short video of Dildar’s performance in PTV awards ceremony of 1985-86.

Read Part II of this series here.

19 Comments on “Dildar Pervaiz Bhatti – Personal Memoirs – Part I”

  1. Talha says:
    July 8th, 2007 1:31 am

    Although I was never a fan of Dildar sahab, since I was more of an identity crisis, wanna bee, kid.

    My father has always been his big fan.

    May almighty Allah SWT bless him.

  2. July 8th, 2007 2:33 am

    ah you revived my memories :) nice post.

  3. Shazia Rubab says:
    July 8th, 2007 11:27 am

    As a child, I used to watch his show “Takra” on Ptv. I consider him one of the wittiest people ever produced by Ptv. It is unfortunate that he left so soon. Thank you for the post. I am in the process of recording my childhood memories and I have a section where I am listing all the T.V shows that I loved to watch. Your post reminded me to add “Takra” in the list. How could I forget?!

  4. Asif Ansari says:
    July 8th, 2007 7:02 pm

    I saw dildar in 1993 when he came to chicago with imran khan for the fund raiser he was absolutely amazing squeezing all the dollars he could from the audience for a good cause the last thing which i remember him holding his kurta out and asking the audience to fill the “JHOLEE” and he stood there on the stage and Pakistanis did not disapoint him.He was a great artist a excelent performer a true son of the soil. I am glad you wrote about him.It has been the tradition in Pakistanis to forget “Hum Ney Apnow Kee Kader Nahee Kee or nahee apney Mulk Kee”.
    Asif Ansari

  5. Adnan Ahmad says:
    July 8th, 2007 8:43 pm

    Good that you wrote about him. I have fading memories of him. Enjoyed his wit. His command of english language was good and one also got the impression that he was into english literature. He worked his tail off for Imran’s hospital and once joked that he would be the first patient admitted to that hospital. I remember watching the news of his death on ptv. His sobbing sister quoted a heartrending english poem in his memory when asked how she felt. It was a sad day.

  6. Owais Mughal says:
    July 8th, 2007 10:27 pm

    I’ve never seen Dildar’s performance Live but I do remember him vividly from PTV stage shows. He was indeed one the wittiest MCs of Pakistan.

  7. Zubair Mughal says:
    July 9th, 2007 12:31 am

    I saw “Takra” when I was in FSc. Its a more than 20years. If some one has the Programme copy of “Takra” please inform me. I want to see this programmes again. I check all the Video markets but could not find any VCD of VHF. If some one has, please inform me.

    Thanks

  8. Adil Mulki says:
    July 9th, 2007 4:29 am

    Dildar Pervaiz Bhatti,… never really knew a lot about him, just a few glimpses that I recall, … and even as a child I recall that he was witty. … a naughy-nice source of inspiration I guess.
    Dildar Pervaiz Bhatti, Allan-Nanha, The late 70′s early 80′s TV serials, 50-50, Anwar Maqsood, Saleem Nasir, Jamshaid Ansari, …simple serials with a strong moral message,… andhaira ujala, dairay… Drama 83, Drama 84 etc… :) … the memories are beautiful…

  9. July 9th, 2007 5:02 am

    I did not know Dildar Pervaiz Bhatti as close as PMA but I did have the pleasure of knowing him. I was the victim of his very sharp wit enough times to know that his reputation as the sharpest wit on PTV was entirely deserved. There were greater ‘craftsmen’ of humor and than him (e.g., Anwar Maqsood), but nearly no one I know was faster on the draw than him… or whose one-lines cut deeper. He did this in true Punjabi style and that is why his Punjabi work is really the best of his best.

    My favorite line from him, however, came from one of his Urdu performances. At its 25th anniversary PTV created a series of special shows on various aspects of its programs. One of the best one was on TV talk shows. Apart from great clips, the show was structured as an actual talk show with all the great compares sitting around talking to each other. Two things I remember from that. First was when Dildar really got at Naeem Bokhari (they had this, not always pleasant, rivalry) in true Dildar Pervaiz Bhatti way. Then, at a later point, there was this exchange between Bhatti and Shoaib Hashmi which went something like this: Dildar Bhatti to Shoaib Hashmi, “mein tou bass yeh jaan-na chahta houN keh Faiz Sahib jaisey baRRey aadmi nay apni baiti aap ko kiya soch keh day di!”

    I fear that reading this line on the screen will not do it justice. Imagine it being said with that wide Dildar Bhatti smile, that naughty twinkle in his eyes, and in the tone of the good natured ‘jugat’ between friends. That is how he delivered it, and it was absolutely hilarious… Dildar, Shoaib and everyone else there laughed their heads off!

  10. Wajahat says:
    July 9th, 2007 11:30 am

    Although my comprehension of Punjabi is not that good, but still i used to watch ‘Taakra’ once in a while. I still remember one of his witty one-liner in Taakra.

    ‘Uthay jawab aanda ai thay ithay paseena aanda ai’.

    I think somewhat loose translation would be: Sitting among the audience one can easily speak out the answer, but here on stage one only sweats.

    He was truly a great asset for Pakistan. May Allah bless his soul.

  11. Fawad says:
    July 9th, 2007 1:42 pm

    Alvi Sahib, Thanks for reviving some wonderful memories. Dildar Pervaiz Bhatti was indeed a great talent. His crisp Punjabi and sharp wit is hard to forget for anybody who saw him during the Takra days. He always came across as an unprententious son of the soil. I continue to be thankful to “All Things Pakistan” which has created such a wonderful platform to preserve and propagate Pakistaniat based on the thoughts and memories of Pakistanis in Pakistan and the diaspora. Now if only we had such a site in Urdu and better technology to type Urdu this platform could be broadened even further.

  12. Pervaiz Munir Alvi says:
    July 9th, 2007 2:02 pm

    Thank you all. Owais is responsible for prodding me to write this personal account. Dildar was a highly learned man and had very good command of both Urdu and English languages. He chose Punjabi for his TV programing to be more inclusive and to reach those not verse in the other two languages. I have promised Owais to write more about my friend and will be back with some very interesting accounts of our lives together. Please bear with us. BTW. He also did a program ‘Mela’ on Pak TV.

  13. mozang bijjli says:
    July 9th, 2007 11:34 pm

    I do’nt remember the exact name of show but i remeber this program being aired between 4 to seven in the evening. I had the habit of spending greater part of evening with my grandmother when i was in lahore and we either watched TV or sat on the roof top or lawn whichever took her fancy. from 4 to 6 is the time for local transmissions on PTV and I have watched almost all the punjabi dramas and other shows being aired at that hour. The thing that i remember about dildar pervaiz bhatti is the song which was repeated aired on STN when it started its transmission. Perhaps they did’nt have much programs in the begining so they played 2 ghazals sung by tahira syed and two other songs on which diladr sab was dancing.It was very lively because the verse of song suited dildar sab very well. it went like this
    ‘ik baat kahoon dildara
    teray ishaq ne hum ko mara’
    and dildar sab would go trotting almost dancing to the tune of song.

  14. Azhar Masood says:
    September 8th, 2007 5:18 pm

    DILDAR PERVAIZ BHATTI…This is the Name I love in PTV and everywhere in shows!! May God rest his soul in the Jannat..
    I was searching something and while browsing this site came in my attention and the name DILDAR PERVAIZ BHATTI got my finally focused attention. My fingers and mind got freezed for a while and I watched his name. I stopped doing my work just started reading all of your guys posts…That was wonderful.. I was wondering where from will we get such persons again in our lives. Who will be the next dildar pervaiz bhatti???? Who will now represent our culture?? WHO?? WHO will promote our true values on TV and in other shows??? This thing is keeps capturing my mind. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaah
    Our culture is going to be really CRASH culture !!Believe me! I’m afraid Our young generation is in speed. They are in motion, they have got theirselves into intensity?? OH God where they are going?? I hate people watching movies. I Greatly dislike the art of filmmaking and the culture of cinema. Have very critical views and commentary, and observations on ‘the industry!!!
    Plsssss any of you want to talk about him send me posts at azharmasood@msn.com or at aggeebhai@hotmail.com I would love to talk about him
    best
    az

  15. Owais Mughal says:
    April 12th, 2008 8:06 pm

    A rare video of Dildar Pervaiz Bhatti (along with Roohi Bano) from the PTV awards 1985 is added toward the end of this post. please take a look.

  16. SSR says:
    March 24th, 2009 9:10 am

    Dear Alvi Sahib

    Its wonderful to read your personal memories of
    Dildar Pervaiz Bhatti. I found your article by chance. It is also great how other people have fond memories of him too. Please share some more with all of us as I am forever thursty to know more about him.

    How long had you known him? Did you go to school together? Did you live nearby him or did you work with him? Thanks for your writing.
    Regards
    SSR

  17. Pervaiz Munir Alvi says:
    March 24th, 2009 2:11 pm

    SSR: Please read part II, III & IV also on this blog. If you ‘click’ at my name at the top of the post you will find all four parts and other contribution by me in the ‘archive’ section. Thanks for the interest.

  18. Afaq Ahmed says:
    October 20th, 2009 6:42 am

    I remember my father (the late playback singer Akhlaq Ahmed) had a performance on Mela (variety program hosted by Uncle Dildar) and had taken me along to the shooting. As my dad was getting ready and there was still a lot of time for the show to start, he asked uncle Dildar to take me out for lunch (I had just come back from school and was only 6/7 at the time). Uncle Dildar took me to a bakery near the PTV studios on his bike/car (I don’t remember clearly) He then asked me to pick anything I wanted to eat and chose a couple of chicken patties and something else. At the checkout counter I saw a pack of sweets which I really fancied and without thinking asked for them as well… Upon inquiring why I wanted them, I shyly remarked “khana khaane ke baad meetha bhi khana chahiay” at which uncle Dildar laughed and bought me the sweets. He told my dad upon our return and he laughed as well…

    Uncle Dildar was an amazing person and well loved by everyone. It was a big loss hearing about his death. We will all miss him. May Allah SWT bless him.

  19. Raj says:
    December 28th, 2009 7:02 pm

    Thanks for giving such a detailed information about my childhood hero Dildar Parvaiz Bhatti. We would wait for his show TAKRA in Amritsar. His jokes were original. He cracked a joke about movie Paakizaah’s song. On the sets of TAKRA he said, Meena Kumari came to me and said Chalo Dildar Chalo..Chaand Ke Paar Chalo…His presentations of English songs on Radio Pakistan Lahore 2 are still fresh in my mind. May God give him peace.

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