Pervez Malik: Live in the moment

By Anis Shakur
Thursday – June 11, 2020
NEW YORK (United States): Effort is the law of life. To cease to strife is to cease to live. The aphorism rings too true to the renowned Pakistani movie director, Pervez Malik. Essentially, Pervez, who was born in 1937, happened to be a happy-go-lucky person with a beautiful smile smeared all over his face.

Upon successful completion of movie making course in California, U.S.A. Pervez returned to Pakistan in 1963.

Soon, young, enthusiastic Pervez developed enduring friendship with music composer Sohail Rana, songwriter Masroor Anwar and film star Waheed Murad. Additionally, his closest friends lovingly called him ‘Pozy.’

Perhaps, the four friends must have learnt early in their lives that ‘there can be no friendship without confidence and no confidence without integrity.’ Hence, the four budding luminaries struck up a very close friendship that lasted almost three decades. In fact, from that moment Pervez’s life was gripped with purpose.

Let us turn back history’s clock a wee bit and get a glimpse of those earlier days. Pervez’s directional debut was the 1964 super hit film Heera Aur Pathar. What made Heera Aur Pathar so great was Pervez’s openness to new experiences, his honesty and most of all, his truth. Also, the elegance and effectiveness of the songs composed by maestro Sohail Rana are reflected in the mellifluousness of those melodies.

Most importantly, Pervez had the strength, gumption and independence to come up with new innovative notions to direct movies. Searching for gems in the never-ending flood of everyday life, Pervez came across something, which he eventually transformed into greatest directional accomplishment.

In 1966, Armaan not only became one of the greatest Pakistani movies ever made on Pakistani soil, but also went in the history as the first Pakistani movie to successfully complete the platinum jubilee. Pervez, whose talent shines here on its brightest beams. A film as awesome as its images, Armaan stirs the soul of those who treasure the power of movies.

Ahmed Rushdi’s honeyed vocals made him the darling of the youth. There is tremendous fluidity to the melodies in Armaan. It was the shimmering arrangements and thoughtful vocals as well that did the trick. Most importantly, there is hallowed tone of intimacy in the instrumentation of music genius, Sohail Rana.

Pervez had really gone to the depths to attain name and fame. While his countrymen acclaimed him one of the greatest movie directors of the twentieth century, Pervez prided himself on superfluous direction and rightly so.

Pervez strived to attain a first-class level of direction in the 1967 movie Ehsaan. His is an achievement that is still a worthy yardstick and it still retains an atmosphere of long ago. Most of all, the public believe in the gorgeous melodies of Sohail Rana. How fabulous to hear Sohail Rana’s music coming back so profoundly after such a long time.

Pervez believed he could be anything he wanted to be. Moreover, Pervez’s independence of mind and his ability to focus on his work also served him well. The film Doraha happened to be the co-production of Pervez Malik-Sohail Rana. It was his coolness and composure, which gave Pervez a command on every situation. What could be a better instance of Pervez’s directional abilities then Doraha.

Pervez had really gone to the depths to attain name and fame. What could be a better instance of Pervez’s directional abilities then Doraha. To think of Doraha today is to remind the listeners that there is more enjoyment in those melodies, which lift them too high and create a feeling of serene exaltation among them.

Chief among Pervez’s successes was a success to understand the human relationship.

A good example is his direction in the film Jahan tum wahan hum. As one listens to the lilting music of Robin Ghosh in jahan tum wahah hum, one comprehends the powerful and positive effects music can have in our lives.

Apparently, Pervez was one of those superb individuals who had gotten where he was because of his talent and his belief in the possibility of upward mobility. The films like esay deikha esay chaha,Anmol and Dushman, made Pervez a legend whose legacy is imprinted in the Pakistani cinema. Pervez directed movies in the spirit of those days gone by. Moreover, in the annals of creating memorable roles, Pervez stands out. Three examples are the films Pehchan, Talaash and Suchhai.

Doing well is easy when doing well is automatic. A case in point is Pervez’s direction in the film Intikhab. Pervez was a canny observer of daily life, as is evident in the movies he directed on walks through countless cities. Three examples are the films Mehmaan, Hum dono and Rishta.

Pervez’s gentle, soft-spoken presence created an aura of intimacy that you wanted to share. It was easy to see why actors were drawn into his collaborative embrace. Movies like Qurbani, Meherbani and Kamiabi elevated Pervez’s credibility to the public.

What is more, Pervez had managed to promote the mass media as family friendly and morally uplifting. Pervez, widely acclaimed for his direction in Pakeeza, he came out brilliant in the films Halchal and Zanjeer. Likewise, Pervez’s magnificent direction in the film Saughat proved to be a genuine ‘tohfa’ or gift to the cine-goers.

Presumably, in Saughat, as always, Sohail Rana wanted the music to bring the same joy and peace to the listeners as it has to him. Pervez’s extraordinary range of understanding was so rich in quality and human profundity that makes all quality possible. The films like Gumnaam, Ghariboan ka badshah and Shehzada lifted the spirits of the viewers.

Pervez had not been in the limelight for quite some time. The man who shared so much with the public, crossed over peacefully of cardiac arrest on Tuesday November 18, 2008, in Islamabad, Pakistan, at the age of seventy-one.

His passing drew a great deal of attention because he had been in the eye of the Pakistani people for over forty years. Millions of moviegoers lamented the sad demise of Pervez.

Perhaps, one of his ardent admirers said it best: ‘But with the news of his death, it is that haunting first film that springs to mind, for it understands so well the acute pain of mourning.’

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.