Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The News Tribe» ‘Laaj’ was the most prestigious assignment of my life: Abdul Rauf Khalid- Interview conduct by: Sana Naseer Shaikh

‘Laaj’ Was The Most Prestigious Assignment Of My Life: Abdul Rauf Khalid

The Christmatic Personality: Mr.Abdul Rauf Khalid

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The News Tribe, latest top breaking news Pakistan, blogs, citizen journalism pakistan, South Asia, UK and Middle East » ‘Laaj’ was the most prestigious assignment of my life: Abdul Rauf Khalid

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(Abdul Rauf Khalid, is an acclaimed Pakistani filmmaker, writer and director. Rauf Khalid is known for his patriotism-infusing plays. He has also worked in films and television plays. Rauf Khalid is also a painter, rhymester and educationist. His paintings have been exhibited in the World Fineart Gallery New York and the Omma Art Gallery in Crete Greece. Rauf Khalid is the founder President and Chancellor of the National Institute of Cultural Studies, Lok Virsa Islamabad.  Here are excerpts from his exclusive interview with Sana Naseer Shaikh of The News Tribe.)

The News Tribe: Tell us as how and when you started writing or what were the circumstances which led you to be a writer or ventured into the television filed?
ABDUL RAUF KHALID: I used to write for Radio Pakistan even when I was a junior school student. My play ‘Rozgaar’ was an instant hit, and all regular radio listeners still remember the play, which was later on played on PTV.  I wrote some stories including Neeli Gurya in my student life. I kept writing for Pakistan Television and Payya Aur Patri, Lambee Sarak, Bara Ghantay, and Bhola are few to mention.

TNT: I have come across that you have been a bureaucrat. What compelled you to switch over from bureaucracy to television industry and to be a writer?
ARK: Only a ‘yes man’ can be successful in bureaucracy in Pakistan. I am primarily a writer and I am caught up in drama and film-making. TV plays or film are dominant medium of education and communication.

Just like a book which is written once and remains there in the market with all the information and education, a well produced drama or film with a message also serves a tool to disseminate information and educate people.

TNT: Who has been your inspiration?
ARK : I am inspired by David Lean, the director of “A bridge on the River Kuwai” and Franklin J. Schaffner director of “Papillon”.

TNT: Tell us something about your ongoing projects?
ARK: I am working as Vice Chancellor, National Institute of Cultural Studies Islamabad. We are involved in research work, capacity building and offering diploma courses. At present, I am not doing any media project.

TNT: There is a new trend among Pakistani artists to rush to India. What is your take on this?
ARKEveryone is free to go anywhere or do what he/she likes to achieve his goals for his/her life.

TNT: What was the most significant assignment of your life?
ARK: ‘Laaj’ was the most significant and prestigious assignment of my life. I have tried my level best to give my people something very original, something that they can relate to. Like other film-makers, I don’t believe in making tall claims and at the end not to come up with something concrete. In fact, the way people liked my plays ‘Angar Wadi’ and ‘Laag’ that really boosted my confidence gave me strength to go ahead with this international project.
The task was challenging and everybody in the industry disheartened me, but with every blow of opposition, I found my enthusiasm enhanced with the same degree. In some far flung locations of NWFP, even our lives were under threat, but we kept moving ahead and completed the project.
The story of ‘Laaj’ is a period drama based on a real love story about a Hindu girl and a Pathan Muslim in the undivided India.

This invited a great demonstration in both communities and the mean interference of the British rulers added fuel to fire so that they may extend their rule.
We have tried to create a real bang by making sure that whatever equipment, weapons,  locations and set designing is done, must reflect the period that the film is all about. Likewise the roles of British rulers are performed by the foreign artistes, which makes it more levelheaded. With Resham, Zara and Imran as lead characters, this film will offer the people of Pakistan with something, which they may relate to.

TNT: Do you think the viewers are mature enough to greet a change that you are trying to bring about?
ARK: I don’t know why we are misjudge our people. If you don’t give them something that invites their attention to focus on, then how can you figure out their powerlessness? In fact, we have never tried to give them something, which may get going them.
They have been provided the same bits and pieces with the same chemistry each and every time. Nobody has seriously tried to bring a change. Some people who tried to proved to be so short-tempered that they vanished from the scene when their product was not welcomed by the masses. I guess they shouldn’t have given up because the way our industry has deteriorated it will take sometime to make our people aware of the cinema precincts.

TNT: Which project is your Greatest Achievement?
ARK: In 2003, I released a debut film Laaj. As a writer, director, producer and actor, was highly praised by the intelligentsia, calling it the best film ever made in Pakistan. The film Laaj won 12 Bolan Awards, 14 Graduate Awards, 4 National Film Awards and Luxstyle Award.

TNT: Some people said, ‘everything is fair in love & war’ what you say?

ARK: I don’t believe in the phrase,  ‘everything is fair in love & war.’ I think one should be extremely truthful, exceedingly forgiving and exceptionally caring in love and war.

TNT: Did you receive any award for your work ?
ARK:  Yes, I have been given “Pride of Performance” award by President of Pakistan.  “The Kashmir Medal” by Prime Minister,  Bolan Award for Best Director, Film, Writer, Best Supporting Actor,  Graduate Guild Award for Best Director, Best Writer, Best Producer, Best Supporting Actor, & Best Original Script,  National Pakistan Award for Best Director, Best Film, Best Writer, Best Original Soundtrack shared with Zille Huma, Lux Style Award for “Best Film” in 2005.

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