Why do we only remember our entertainment legends once they have died?


Why can they not be honoured and applauded while they are still alive?

Playwright Anwar Maqsood solemnly observes, 'Kisi fankaar ke mashhoor honay ke leeyay uss ka marna zaroori hai. Shayad Pakistan mein fankaaron ko marr hee jaana chaheeay'. (An artist needs to die in order to be remembered. Perhaps all the artists in Pakistan should just die.)

There is truth to his words. Tariq Aziz passed away recently, one of the country's most renowned celebrities, the man who initiated Pakistan Television's first-ever on-air transmission and hosted the game show Neelam Ghar for over three decades.

Four days prior to Tariq Aziz's demise, Pakistani film actress Sabiha Khanum, popularly known as the 'first lady of cinema', passed away.

Media was rife with poignant memories of both artistes. Celebrities and major social media portals recounted Aziz's most famous quotes - the way he would start off every show with the words, "Dekhti aankhon, suntay kaanon" or the familiar "Pakistan Zindabad!" that he would bellow at the end of Neelam Ghar.

Glimpses from some of Sabiha Khanum's most loved songs and films were aired out on TV. The achievements of both stars were celebrated - but in death.

Does the younger generation know that Tariq Aziz (pictured) is the man behind the infamous line, 'Yeh water cooler aapka hua!'? -Photo credits: english.alarabiya.net

While they had been still alive, there had hardly been any recent mentions of either of the two; no mention of their ailing healths and certainly no recounting of their best-loved performances. Did many of us even know whether they were alive or not?

Had Pakistan's younger generation even been aware of a man called Tariq Aziz who had once distributed water coolers to an enthusiastic audience?

Or of a yesteryear beauty called Sabiha Khanum (pictured) who had once made the cinematic screen her own? -Photo credits: musstblogs.com

And do they know the names of some of Pakistani entertainment's most dynamic icons: Qazi Wajid, Shakeel, Qavi, Talat Hussain, Kamal Ahmed Rizvi, Jamshed Ansari, Nanha, Ghulam Mohiuddin, Alamgir, Salim Javaid, Omar Sharif and Haseena Moin among them. It's a long list of very prestigious names which makes it all the more surprising that current media has opted to sideline them rather than honor them.

Many have passed away but some of Pakistani entertainment's pioneering stars are still alive. Why can they not be honoured and applauded while they are still alive? Why are they no longer the...

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