He may have moved over to his eternal abode but Farooq Qaiser’s work will keep him alive in our memories. Not only was he one of the most talented people to work for Pakistan Television, he kept himself relevant by discussing social issues for fifty years. He was not just a puppeteer, but also created live characters, drew political cartoons, and wrote poetry for his show, as well as for others. Edition PK pays a tribute to the master craftsman for his amazing work through which he inspired generations after generations.
Farooq Qaiser as Uncle Sargam
In 1976, Farooq Qaiser created Uncle Sargam in an attempt to pass his satire and jokes as harmless to the youth of the country. Not only did he excel in his attempt, but he also helped Uncle Sargam become so famous that if ever a list of renowned characters from Pakistan is compiled, Uncle Sargam would feature in the top five. For generations, Farooq Qaiser kept Uncle Sargam relevant with comedy skits laced with satire, guidance for youngsters as well as his hilarious skits which are still popular after so many years. With him gone, Uncle Sargam might become a thing of the past but we hope somebody manages to revive the very iconic character we all love!
Farooq Qaiser as a puppeteer
It wasn’t just Uncle Sargam that Farooq Qaiser created; in fact, he created more than 150 puppets that went on to rule the TV screens in every decade since their creation. From being there on TV in Akkar Bakkar, Sach Gup and Kaliyan in the 1970s, to Putli Tamasha and Kaliyan in the 1980s, and many Uncle Sargam shows since the 1990s on different channels, Farooq Qaiser’s puppet made problems and their solutions simple for the audience. Who can forget Maasi Museebtay, Haiga, Noni Pa, Rola, Bonga Bakheer, and Farighul Baal who appeared in many skits, including the famous ‘Atom Bana Ke’ song that was sung by Nazia Hasan and Zoheb Hasan, but was later banned for it hit where it hurt the most!
Farooq Qaiser as a satirist
It wasn’t just the humor that made Kaliyan famous, it was also the simplicity of the skits that helped it become a rage in the 70s. During the first Kaliyan innings in the 1970s, Farooq Qaiser trod in unknown waters as a humorist for kids, but as the kids grew, so did the humor and within no time, Kaliyan was criticizing some of the government policies without targeting anyone in general. In the skit shown below, that was penned by Farooq Qaiser and featured him and Babar Niazi on screen, you will get to know how easy it was to fool people back in the day. They continued to repeat the act in later shows as well, and even when Kaliyan returned in 1989 as Watta Satta.
Farooq Qaiser as a poet
If you didn’t know that Nazia Hasan’s famous song Komal Komal from her very first album Disco Deewane was penned by Farooq Qaiser, then you are in for a surprise. The talented playwright wrote over a thousand songs for kids that were performed by his puppets and featured him as a singer besides some Muppet-styled celebrity appearances. From Nazia Hasan and Zoheb Hasan to Tina Sani and Junaid Jamshed, they all visited Uncle Sargam’s studio and rendered a song that was usually penned by the man behind Uncle Sargam!
Farooq Qaiser as a cartoonist
And finally there was one side of Farooq Qaiser that not many knew – that he was a journalist who wrote columns for newspapers using pseudonyms and created cartoons that made fun of the way things were being run by those at the helm. He not just pointed out the many inconsistencies in the way, things were being done in the country but tried to highlight social issues as well. His cartoon strips usually featured Uncle Sargam as the main character who either spoke about the things that shouldn’t have happened or was found explaining something to Maasi Museebtay who always had a question or two for the children’s beloved uncle.