I am shocked, I am at loss of words today when I heard Moin Akhtar passed away, to me it was like someone from my family has passed away, someone we all loved him so much, not because he was a TV artiste or a comedian as some say but, Moin Akhtar was everybody. He was everyone’s favourite, I never came across a single person who said, “I don’t like him,” they all said, he is great, we love him, there is no one comparable to him. To say he was a TV artiste or a comedian is not a justice, in my view he was an INDUSTRY within himself.
Today, he is no more with us, but he will remain in our hearts and minds as long as we live and beyond that, because even the new generation liked him, appreciated him and applauded at his works. When he played the role of a Memon, Bengali, Pathan, a Hyderabadi or, when he played the role of a female Indian Cultural Minister or whoever, it was not Moin Akhtar, Moin Akhtar became that character. No one could say it was Moin Akhtar, he looked like a Pathan, talked like a Pathan, looked like a Bengali, talked like one, it was impossible to say that someone is acting, there was a natural flow of words, humour, creativity that made us laugh and enjoy his art or should I say the natural talent he had to blend in a role that was given to him by his producers, partners?
His partnership with Anwar Maqsood was symbiotic, they both depended on each others success and thrived on the partnership which was extraordinary and above the trivial and cheap entertainment that we see sometimes on the TV by other comedians, the standard of the jokes and humour of Maqsood and Akhtar was sophisticated and yet very simple. He never crossed the boundaries of decency whereas, there are others in this field who always take the assistance of cheap humour and they could target only one segment of the viewers. Whereas, Moin Akhtar shows were for everyone. And, going to Moin Akhtar’s live shows with families was never an embarrassment, in fact it was pure entertainment and that too a memorable one. I remember being there in his live shows in Dubai several times.
The program “Loose Talk,” was never a real loose talk, it was a gem of the gems and now it will remain as a collectors item only. I reckon his roles as a Pakistani Hyderabadi in one of the Loose Talk Shows along with Indian Hyderabadi role played by Javed Jafferi was superb. And in the same DVD there is one in which he is a Bengali who was interviewed by Anwar Maqsood is another gem, followed by a role of a Pathan and in another one he dressed like a female and played the role of an Indian Cultural Minister who is visiting Pakistan and Anwar Maqsood interviewed him/her.
I have always admired him as a person with such great talents, his creativity and improvisation of the situational comedy was incomparable, even the greatest of the greats like Yousuf Bhai (Dilip Kumar) acknowledged his talents and spoke so high of him. Today, Pakistan has lost a son and a brother, the country is plagued with so many problems and Moin Akhtar used to divert the attention of millions and used to bring smiles on their faces.
Moin Akhtar shows were not just for entertainment of the masses only but:
He was the host of the show in which King Husain of Jordan was invited.
He was the host of the show in which the Prime minister of Gambia, Dawoodi-Al-Joza, was invited.
He was the host of the show in which President Zia-ul-Haq was invited.
He was the host of the show in which Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was invited.
He was the host of the show in which President General Yahya Khan was invited.
He was the host of the show in which President Ghulam Ishaq Khan was invited.
His accomplishments are many but, he did not live with us for many years. To die at an age of 61 years means nothing in today’s world. But, Allah has numbered everything in numbers and this was his destiny that HE has taken him away from us. May Allah bless his soul and grant him a place in Paradise and may the people of Pakistan and even in India and his followers in the rest of the world where he performed numerous shows pray for his Maghfirat. AMEEN.