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Photo: The Citizens Archive of Pakistan (CAP)
Photo: The Citizens Archive of Pakistan (CAP)
Thirty seven years after his passing, Edition PK pays a rich tribute to the man who changed Pakistani Cinema, Mr. Waheed Murad.

He came, he saw and he conquered; Waheed Murad changed the way films were being made in Pakistan; it was after his arrival that film stars became bigger than ever and Pakistan finally had an answer to the Indian stars who were the only ones with charisma till then. After ruling the industry for two decades, the forty-five-year-old heartthrob breathed his last on 23rd November, 1983 and left his countless fans around the world saddened with his final act. Edition PK pays a rich tribute to the legendary actor on his death anniversary thirty seven years later, bringing forward seven things you should know about him.

Read on:

Waheed Murad made his debut as a film producer instead of a leading man!

Before he started romancing the good looking leading ladies, Waheed Murad made two films as a producer in the early 1960s. Both Insaan Badalta Hai and Jab Se Dekha Hai Tumhain featured the successful actor of the day Darpan as the leading man whereas with his third film Heera Aur Pathar, Waheed Murad launched himself as the protagonist. After these three films, he produced eight more films including one Punjabi flick over the next 20 years, all featuring him in the lead. Hero was his last film that was released two years after his death in 1985, and featured him in a double role, one as a simpleton and the other as a gangster.

Waheed Murad wrote four films including Pakistan’s first Platinum Jubilee film

We all know that Waheed Murad tried his hand at film direction through Ishara; what some of you don’t know is that he wrote four films including Ishara and his final movie Hero. The first one he wrote was Armaan that at that time became the highest-grossing Pakistani film, completing its Platinum Jubilee. The other one Ehsaan wasn’t far behind as it completed its Golden Jubilee due to its emotional story, it’s phenomenal soundtrack and Pervez Malik’s direction.

Waheed Murad sang a couple of songs in films, for himself!

Long before ‘Singing A Song’ became a part of an actor’s checklist in films, Waheed Murad did that twice, and both the times the reasons were rock solid. The first time he did was in his own production Samandar where he sang the sad version of Tera Mera Saathi Hai (Music by Deebo Bhattacharya; 1968) for a few seconds, just to give credibility to the character he was playing of a fisherman; the second time it was along with his co-star Deeba Begum in his only directorial venture Ishara; both the hero and the heroine were supposed to have a conversation-style romantic number and thus Jaise Taise Beet Gaya Din (Music by Sohail Rana; 1969) was born. One must salute the production sense of Waheed Murad here who didn’t sing a song for the sake of singing, but for valid reasons and that’s why he didn’t attempt playback singing when it wasn’t needed!

He was part of many films shot abroad, including the first one!

The first Pakistani film to be shot abroad featured Waheed Murad and Zeba in the lead; it was a black and white film shot in the United Kingdom and was directed by Qamar Zaidi in 1967. He then went onto act in many films that were shot outside Pakistan including Khamosh Nigahen that was shot in Japan, and featured the famous song Guriya Japani. He would have been the leading man in Mere Humsafar had he not played a prank on the producer, and we would have seen him dance in front of the Eiffel Tower with Shabnam, romance at Champs-Élysées or in the beautiful Parc Floral de Paris, where Mohammad Ali later filmed songs with the leading lady, as Waheed Murad’s replacement.

Waheed Murad acted in Punjabi and Pashto films as well!

During the second half of his career, regional language films began doing well in Pakistan and that’s why Waheed Murad opted to act in as many as eight Punjabi films, including his home production Mastana Mahi. That was not all, he even acted in the Pashto version of Kaala Dhanda Goray Loge (1981) that was titled Pakhtoon Pa Vilayat Kamba in which Indian actress Samina Singh was his leading lady. The film was produced by his co-star Asif Khan and revolved around racism in the United Kingdom, which was a bold topic even in those days. And yes, the song Sayonee Mera Mahi was from the same Mastana Mahi Waheed Murad produced and acted in!

He is the first and only Pakistani actor to be mentioned in a Hollywood film

And if you didn’t know that Waheed Murad was mentioned in a Hollywood film, you must watch Agent Cody Banks 2 Destination London (2004) to feel proud as a Pakistani. In the climax scene of the movie when other characters are naming their wannabe alter-egos, one character shouts out the name of Waheed Murad; when she was asked who that was, she told her colleagues that he was a famous Indian actor. Indian or Pakistan, we know that there was only one Waheed Murad, and he was as much Pakistani as we are.

Waheed Murad – Ahmed Rushdi performed together, died together!

If you want to explain ‘Till Death Do Us Apart!’ to someone, tell them about Waheed Murad and Ahmed Rushdi. The actor-singer combo began their careers in the 1950s (with Waheed Murad making a cameo in Saathi (1959) and Ahmed Rushdi a little earlier, achieved stardom in the 1960s, had a great time in the 1970s and faced a decline in the 1980s. Ahmed Rushdi sang as many as 150 songs for Waheed Murad including the first and last one on the actor (Heera Aur Pathar 1964, Hero 1985) and while the singer died in April 1983 at the age of 48, Waheed Murad followed six months later at 45. Their combination resulted in hit tracks like Koko Korina, Akele Na Jana, Tumhein Kaise Bata Doon, Bhooli Hui Hoon Daastan, Haan Isi Morh Par, Socha Tha Pyar Na Karenge, Aae Abr-e-Karam and many others. May their souls rest in peace!

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