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 responses to “Dildar Pervaiz Bhatti – Personal Memoirs – Part I”

  1. Owais Mughal says:

    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.

  2. Azhar Masood says:

    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

  3. mozang bijjli says:

    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.

  4. Pervaiz Munir Alvi says:

    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.

  5. Fawad says:

    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.

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