Ajab Gul: Par excellence

By Anis Shakur
Wednesday – July 8, 2020
NEW YORK (United States): I do concur with Ralph Waldo Emerson in that, ‘What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.’ That said let us explore how Ajab Gul managed to utilise resources within him and come out with outstanding performances in the realm of show business.

Some people, who continually strive to make a difference to better them and the lives of those around them, often go unheralded. Fortunately, Ajab Gul's talent was recognised early in his life.

Ajab Gul was born on April 15, 1964, in Peshawar, Pakistan. During his teenage years, he envisioned a career in entertainment.

His first performance was on Peshawar television in 1984, in the drama serial ‘Mausum,’ director, Jehanzeb Sohail, but Ajab made his permanent residence in Lahore.

Ajab’s first Pushto drama serial was ‘Fasilay,’ director, Masood Ahmed Shah. Ajab’s first drama serial from Lahore television was ‘Suraj kay saath saath,’ in 1986, director Rashid Dar.

'Piyas,' drama serial from Lahore television, director, Nusrat Thakur, the cast included Ajab Gul- Abid Ali- Afzal Ahmed- Tahira Wasti- and Shakila Qureshi, writer, Asghar Nadeem Syed. Ajab Gul was cleverly dubbed as Syed Zada, who was supposed to spend his life at a religious shrine.

The super hit drama serial, 'Piyas', whose script read like a wail of pain, has had many reasons to cry. 'Pyas,' an epic tale of love and justice. To forgive is very difficult to do. May be that is where love and justice finally meet.

The Pakistani public was overwhelmed by the outstanding performance of Ajab Gul. Additionally, offers from Pakistani cinema started pouring in from every direction, which landed several film roles for Ajab Gul.

Ajab Gul made his movie debut in a 1989 film called 'Qayamat say qayamat tak', directed by Mumtaz Ali Khan. Ajab Gul and Naila played the lead roles. Ajab Gul's characters are unsurpassed in their wit, truthfulness and lasting corrective value. Moreover, he played major characters in Urdu, Punjabi and Pushto movies.

His second movie was 'Jungju gorillay', 1990, directed by Aziz Tabassum. Javed Sheikh and Neeli played the lead characters. Ajab Gul, Kavita and Samina Meer appeared in supporting roles.

He is high-energy and first rank movie and television artist. In his work, Ajab Gul displayed one of the defining sensibilities of the 1990s and beyond. Ajab Gul's third film was 'Jungloos', 1990, which was his first Punjabi film.

Director, Zahoor Husain, starring Ajab Gul- Manza Sheikh.

A world of new ideas has taken shape with the advent of Ajab Gul in the Pakistani entertainment. His acting in the film 'Zeherilay', 1990, provoked such feverish, star making praise, which encouraged Ajab Gul to work even harder.

Ajab Gul and Madiha Shah played the lead romantic roles in 'Zeherilay'. There is plenty of convincing storytelling, but you never lose sight of authoritative direction by Sangeeta.

An actor of uncommon grace and intelligence, Ajab Gul was well received in director Safdar Husain's Punjabi film 'Khandani badmash.' Ajab Gul and Kavita played the supporting roles.

Hopes were accordingly high for his first Pushto film 'Datopak zaba', directed by Al- Nask Syedi. Badar Muneer and Shehnaz played the lead, while Ajab Gul and Durdana Rehman appeared as supporting characters.

Essentially, his movies are like considerable set pieces, both in direction and production. Ajab Gul is as goal oriented as a person could be. He has shown the same qualities in his later movies. Below are three instances:

Director Rasheed Dogar's film 'Kala paani', in which Ajab Gul and Manza Sheikh played the lead roles.

Director Mumtaz Ali Khan's film 'Daka', in which Ajab Gul and Shahida Muni were the hero and heroine.

Director Mumtaz Ali Khan's film 'Rambo', starring Ajab Gul and Reema.

Ajab Gul is a sterling craftsman and a very likeable actor. He is well versed in both positive and negative characters. Additionally, his admirer's utmost admiration for him is worth applauding. The three movies below are laudable and entertaining-but for movie buffs the presentation is tantalising.

Director Iqbal Kashmiri's film 'Saat khoon ma'af', stars included Ajab Gul and Reema.

Director Jan Mohammad's film 'Aalami jasoos', starring Ajab Gul and Nida Mumtaz.

Director Mumtaz Ali Khan's Urdu film 'Chataan', in which Ajab Gul, Gori and Manza Sheikh played the lead roles.

Very early in his career, Ajab Gul learned to unleash his power to succeed. From time to time, he also receives precious advice from his fans and associates. Does he take the advice? You bet-and it works.

He got another boost into public awareness from the three films below:

'Darindigi', starring Ajab Gul and Reema.

Punjabi film 'Ag day golay' stars Ajab Gul and Shahida.

Punjabi film 'Saanwal', the cast included Ajab Gul and Muni.

Ajab Gul's keenly articulate film grammar and surprisingly tender grasp of human nature remained consistent all through these times. Hence, he found a way, in his exquisite fashion, to fulfill himself artistically and personally. The three films below belong to its less well-known stars as well:

Punjabi film 'Koray Shah' stars included Ajab Gul and Saneeta Khan.

Director Mumtaz Ali Khan's Pushto film 'Chataan', in 1993, stars Ajab Gul and Gori.

The film 'Rambo 303’, starring Ajab Gul and Saima.

According to Ajab Gul, if Pakistan and India could play cricket and hockey matches, then why would not they produce movies. The key to his movies is that they are realistic and fantastic at once-an enormous accomplishment in ordinary and mundane circumstance. Below are two examples:

'Sheda tali', starring Ajab Gul and Reema.

Producer-director Badar Muneer's film 'Ajab Khan', in which Ajab Gul and Madiha Shah played the romantic roles, while Sonia was the heroine.

Furthermore, assuming the directorial helm himself, Ajab Gul combined genuine expression with realistic characters in a movie like 'Khoye ho tum kahan' in 2001. He worked really hard to keep the viewer engaged in the interesting story.

Television always has been Ajab Gul's home ground. From 1997 onwards, he actively participated in television plays. In Peshawar television drama serial, 'Ghulam gardish', Ajab Gul acted as the son of Rasheed Naz.

He appeared in the television drama 'Mun chalay ka sauda.' The cast included Ajab Gul, Khayam Sarhadi and Arifa Siddiqui.

Likewise, he made his presence felt in the television play, 'Masafatain', the cast included Ajab Gul, Abid Ali and Huma Meer.

Ajab’s first Punjabi drama serial was ‘Kicker Kanday,’ director Saleem Tahir. His colleagues might as well have confided in him that it was an uphill task but Ajab made through it in one television drama serial after another like ‘Pathar,’ and ‘Girift.’

Not only that, Ajab looked forward to more challenges and he attained fame in television drama serials like ‘Tawan,’ ‘Dastar,’ and ‘Sheharzaad.’

As the saying goes, ‘kindness lifts us all. Through kindness and commendable teamwork, Ajab participated in yet more television drama serials like ‘Chashman,’ and ‘Faraib.’

Who knows someone might have advised Ajab it might be too ambitious, but he went full steam ahead and placed his stamp on movies like ‘Dukhtar,’ in 2014, ‘Yaar Baash,’ and ‘Sharabi,’ in 2008.

A passion for amelioration elevates Ajab to new heights as is conspicuous in his magnificent play ‘Janam, janam kee mailee chadar.’ It is, indeed, one of the greatest accomplishments of Ajab to date.

Ajab worked tirelessly and presented his movie ‘Khoye ho tum kahan,’ which happened to be his directional debut as well. Later, Ajab made another movie ‘kyoon tum say itna pyar hai, in 2005, music director-writer, Ajab Gul.

Ajab Gul won national acclaim and earned the prestigious Nigar Award in his debut film as an actor in'Qayamat say qayamat tak', in 1989, directed by Mumtaz Ali Khan.

In the year 2020, Ajab Gul stands as a modest artist bestriding thirty-six years of excellence.

Every adorer is indebted to Ajab Gul for looking past the glitter and gloss of celebrities to say, 'Thank You' to our hardworking Pakistani entertainers.

Info: Eminent storyteller, Anis Shakur, is a Pakistani born United States (US) citizen. He works for the US federal and State government. He resides at a stone-throw distance from the darting shores of the Atlantic ocean in New York, for the past three decades.