Naseeruddin Shah visits Faiz Ghar -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Naseeruddin Shah visits Faiz Ghar

Saleha Rauf

LAHORE: Indian actor Naseeruddin Shah and his wife, Ratna Pathak Shah, visited Faiz Ghar on Saturday for a private visit.

They participated in a music class at Faiz Ghar and joined the sing-along session, where Ustaad Basharat Butt led to sing a ghazal “Dil mein ab yun tere bhoole hue gham aate hain”.

Naseeruddin Shah exclaimed his love for Faiz and how he inspired him. He also said he would love to work for the cause of Faiz. He discussed his ideas about Faiz, performing arts and Pak-India harmony issues with the music students and visitors.

Discussing his movie “Firaaq” which is based on the theme of a piece of Faiz, “Yay Daagh Daagh Ujala”, he said: “An actor has no independent input in a film as he always has to depend on the writer and director of the film for the ideas he portrays. All you can do is sign the projects you agree to work in and then give your best with purity to it.”

A film and TV graduate, Ribqa Raza said, “Faiz Ahmad Faiz is the big inspiration for the artists on both sides of the border. It is clear that the hope Faiz has left his people with will never let him die and it is the hope that has brought the artistes from India to Pakistan to share the common aspiration of Faiz.

“Artistes like Naseeruddin Shah and Ratana Pathak Shah have contributed a lot through theatre and films to bring hopeful situation on both ends. They are big inspiration for us and the government should take steps for the promotion of the performing arts.”

Naseeruddin Shah said films on social issues could really change people’s perceptions towards growing problems in society; this is not so often practiced by the Indian and Pakistani cinema but the film students can really change this trend and can go against the mainstream thoughts.

These individual thoughts of both the countries can bring out their unique features and give unique qualities to both the cinemas, which should be realised and highly promoted by the people related to media and especially the students.

He gave a message to young generation of Pakistan to work hard for the revival of the film industry. He said people were looking up to new generation to do something and I think they could really make a difference if they’re determined to work and grow in spite of difficult situations where there is no financial backup. There should be the exchange of artistes on both sides.

In response to a question about the relations between the two countries, he said “people are easily driven by passions and when we move forward two steps, we have to take a step back which is painful at times. What we have got is hope that one day things will be improved. To make people understand it is important to make economic progress. We are suffering in poverty at both ends and until we solve the basic issues, giving emotional stability at both ends is next to impossible.

“However, we should keep on trying to make things better and I find theatre a great medium to convey such massages to bring about a social change in society.”

He expressed concern over the display of Indian movies in Pakistani cinema.

“I can see the Indian movies are being shown in Pakistan, which is a positive sign in terms of harmony but I’m not in favour of this as Pakistani film industry is already facing a hard time,” he said.

Salima Hashmi commented the film industry was improving and “we are hopeful about its bright future.”

They visited the library at Faiz Ghar with the daughters of Faiz, where a vast collection of books has been kept.

Naseeruddin purchased T-shirts for his sons, a documentary on the poet made by Muneeza Hashmi and a few CDs of the poetry sung by many singers. He also wrote his remarks about Faiz Ahmad Faiz in the guest book.

Dawn