If any one person is to be given a credit for initiating programmes for children - meant for adults, he is just one man: Shoaib Hashmi.
A man of many talents, educationist and dramatist, Recognizable by his typical curled mustaches, Shoaib Hashmi is a graduate of Government College (now University) in Economics. He did his masters in economics from Government College Lahore and then taught economics in the same college for many many years. He also holds a MSC from London School of Economics (LSE), London.
When I was studying in the Government College, Shoaib Hashmi was teaching economics. Though he was not my teacher, but sometimes I had the honour to have him lecture us when our teacher used to be away. He had a very different and unique style of teaching - something that no other professor of his time had.
It was those days, that he joined Pakistan TV and started his series of serials - for children as I said. But these were actually meants for the adults for their starical themes and substance. His many serials included Akar Bakar (his first serial), Such Gup and Tal Matol. He also initiated another and the last serial Balila - but it was banned soon after it was aired. He also translated the famous children’s series Sesame Street as Gali Gali Sim Sim.
Beside writing and directing the TV serials mentioned above, he also actored in almost all and sang songs. No doubt He is a talented producer, director, playwright and a versatile actor.
Screen shot of Shoaib Hashmi from one of his TV serials
For his many talents and contribution in the field of entertainment, he has been awarded with the President's Pride of Performance and Tamgha-i-Imtiaz. His association with Pakistan TV spanned over some 25 years. He is married to Salima Hashmi, the daughter of noted Pakistani poet, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, and the couple have two children.
After living a lively and versatile life, Hashmi is a very sick man today. He is paralyses and cannot speak - though can listen and answer back in gestures.
Recently I came across his photo on Facebook (above) - and was appalled to know that once dynamic Shoaib Hashmi is ailing and paralyzed - a state not synonymous to Shoaib. But I am sure his mind would still not be at rest and there would have been many things bugging him and him wanting to be well again to share his experiences he is only sharing with himself in silence
That is why I have chosen the caption "Shoaib Hashmi - Suno Gup Shup" - the song he once sang for his programme has now become caption of his life - for he can listen to the gup shup, he cannot respond. How times change and old age becomes something very different from how someone had spent his youth.
We pray for his recovery and well being to be him once again.
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