It has been a week since the passing of two Pakistani legends. A fierce human rights lawyer, the likes of whom we might never see again. And, an actor who represented the golden age of Pakistani television. Despite these being early days, we’ve already started the year off on a dismal foot. But, when we lose one of our own, we have to say goodbye. So, this is my entirely inadequate attempt to do just that.
A lot of people have a vague idea about Asma Jahangir’s life. And an even vaguer idea about her many, many toils. She was a divisive figure among Pakistan’s political scene. Which may have meant that she was doing something right. Here is a short video that details some of what she did for us. It will serve as a reminder of all that we have lost with her.
I have written about Dr. Taimur Rahman’s lectures before. I continue to feel that they provide some valuable insights for anyone who wants to understand politics in general. He made a really interesting video after Asma Jahangir’s death, titled ‘Who’s Afraid of Asma Jahangir’. The insinuation is obvious, and the sentiment is necessary.
Ma’am Asma Jahangir’s political achievements are unparalleled. But Mr. Qazi Wajid’s political stance shouldn’t be forgotten either. Albeit, most of these were obviously in the form of some memorable performances.
One of my personal favourites has to be his stint for his friend Anwar Maqsood’s series Angan Tehra. Urban legend has it that this PTV serial was so pointed in its political commentary, that it was actually banned. In this episode, Qazi Wajid played a journalist, working for a newspaper titled ‘Daily Zameer’ (‘Daily conscience’). The nuance is masked in some truly hilarious jokes, but it is also unmistakeable.
The Bitter-Sweet Journey
I suppose I have to clarify that what I will miss most about Mr. Wajid is his humour. As is the case for a lot of PTV’s veteran actors, he was blessed with comic timing. And many a classic production showcased this brilliantly.
Perhaps none other than the cult classic Tanhaiyan.
Often, the comedy was so robust that you forgot how sad the underlying story was. And I suppose this served as a metaphor for life itself. It isn’t always happy. In fact, I think it is fair to say that it is hardly ever happy. But you push on, and despite everything, you even smile. Even when you have to say goodbye to an old, and dear friend.
Now, I understand that there has been some vitriol in the wake of what most consider to be a tragedy. Because internet.
But here are my two cents. Even if you choose to ignore their legacies, you have to acknowledge that we have lost two of our own. And, as someone who hates the scrutiny, you have to appreciate those who opted to whether it. Arguably, because they hoped for something better.
And I know that internet trolls relish the attention, but this is not the time. If anything, now is the time to appreciate, remember and say goodbye.