A legend of many talents

Ghazalatikki Zaman and Tabassum Vally
Filed on March 23, 2021 | Last updated on March 24, 2021 at 09.05 am
Anwar Maqsood

Anwar Maqsood is a renowned artist dabbling in painting, playwriting, music and even hosting his own podcast

"Plant a tree that not only gives you  shade but also provides shade to your neighbours."

Such is the conviction of legendary and much loved Anwar Maqsood.

Born in 1935, Maqsood migrated to Pakistan in 1948. His love for his country and his people is an integral part of his life.

Talking about his early years in Pakistan, he recalls the joy he felt in his newly found land. There was hope and joy and though some members of his family were still in India Maqsood along with his family members settled quickly in Karachi. While in conversation with Maqsood, it was delightful to hear his love for his own grandmother. This was indeed heart rendering as he himself is now in his 80s.He spoke about his love for art and how he from an early stage in life produced amazing rhapsody of colours on canvas.

Maqsood has an uncanny versatility for wit, humour, art and storytelling. Maqsood has used his inborn gift for writing to bring to the surface many serious issues in many of his humorous and thought-provoking skits and plays. Maqsood has written plays for Pakistan television over a period of 50 years. His work includes an impressive 170 plays and 391 episodes of the much loved 'Loose Talk'.

Maqsood's creativity is not limited to literature, as he is a bold artist making striking impressions with his paintbrushes. Maqsood held his first exhibition in 1958 where he displayed 40 pieces of his artwork. His paintings are a reflection of his own vibrancy and positivity. His choice of words in his writings and choice of colours in his paintings are equally uplifting.

Maqsood has spent many years of his life with renowned personalities from different fields of art and literature. It is no surprise that he talks about his love of music and his music collection from the times of Gulshan Ara Syed and Ahmed Rushdi.

Maqsood is an enthusiastic traveller and has travelled to the UAE several times. The Pakistani community has been enthralled innumerable times by his live recitals and humorous skits such as Sawa 14 August and Anwar Maqsood Ka Dharna.

It is with great zeal that Maqsood laid the first brick for the Pakistan Medical Centre in Dubai. Endorsing it as a big milestone in a year when UAE was celebrating the year of tolerance. What has impressed Maqsood most about the centre is that Pakistan is the only country, that has established a medical centre that looks after all communities in the UAE free of charge. He sees this as a remarkable effort by the Pakistani doctors to show the humane side of our nation.

Speaking of March 23 Maqsood passionately expressed the importance of this date for every Pakistani. He went on to say, "It's a day of commitment and promise to fulfil the dream of many. It's a day of commitment to our land to see it flourish and keep its flag high. It's an Ahde Wafa, a promise that Pakistanis will prevail where ever they may be."

Commenting on his own battle with Covid-19 in November realises the impact of grim days on people. To delight the people of UAE in celebration of March 23, Maqsood in collaboration with poetic strokes is exhibiting ten of his artworks. The theme of the exhibition is love and hope, both much needed, in today's changing world. His paintings reflect his versatility and his bold attitude towards life.

He is indeed delightful witty and hopeful about the future. He has appreciation for the future generation as he sees the youth of today highly committed to their dreams. He went onto the state the failures of his own generations in mismanaging expectations and systems. However, he is full of hope as he sees the youth of today driven and honest. This is no surprise as Maqsood as a gift of seeing the best in everyone and every situation.

Indeed Maqsood is a legend and his work is priceless.

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