Monday, June 1, 2015

Shoaib Hashmi - Suno Gup Shup

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 years. He also holds an 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, 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. He often wore white Kurta Shalwar and was always flocked by students asking questions and clarifying their doubts. And he never had wrinkles on his face and answered back in his typical style behind puffs of smoke from his cigarettes.

It was those days, that he joined Pakistan TV and started his series of serials - for children as I said. But these were actually meant for adults for their satirical 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.

Besides 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. 
A scene from his famous TV programme Such Gup

For his many talents and contribution in the field of entertainment, he has been awarded 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 spent his youth.

Obituary: While everyone prayed fro his good health, he finally bade us farewell on Monday 15 May at the age of 84. May Allah bless his soul for he brought smiles on faces of masses through his TV shows.

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