Rauf Khalid goes the way of all flesh
December 02, 2011
Just a week ago, this man with a smiling face trained youths all over Pakistan. “I’ll change the scenario of the youth’s aim that is outdated now,” he commented on the occasion of Youth Leadership Conference at Lok Virsa, Islamabad. In free time, he guided the youth about their future career including his headway towards cultural sublimity. All of a sudden news broke out that Rauf Khalid died in an accident on November 24 this year near Sheikhupura. He was coming back to Islamabad after meeting his daughter studying in Lahore. The news perturbed every art lover across the country and the world.
Rauf Khalid was a Pakistani actor, filmmaker and television writer/director. He started his career as bureaucrat in Sialkot for one year but left it due to his temperament. He was known for his Kashmir-based patriotic plays. He had some limited experience working in films and TV plays. Rauf Khalid was also a painter, lyricist, speaker and an educationist. He was a student of Islamia College, Peshawar.
In 1989, he wrote and partially directed PTV's thriller, Madaar, a seven-episode serial exposing drug trafficking, telecast from PTV Quetta centre. In 1991, he wrote Guest House, a 52-episode comedy series that turned out to be a popular comedy series of PTV. Its characters became household names.
In 1995, Rauf Khalid directed Angar Wadi a 15-episode serial in which he was an actor and a producer apart from writing it. The drama became so popular that he earned six million rupees worth of advertisements in a single day at PTV. In 1998, he made Laag, a 27-episodes serial (again written, directed, produced and acted in by him).
In 2003, Rauf Khalid released his debut film Lajj as (writer, director, producer and actor). The theme of the ‘Laaj’ was based on a love story of Ram Kori, a Hindu damsel who refused to leave her land for her lover and sacrified her life and was buried in Khyber. Though financially the film could not do well on the circuit, it won 12 Bolan Awards, 14 Graduate Awards, 4 National Film Awards and Luxstyle Award.
The day the film LAAJ was going to be censored, I was invited there by the chairman censor board, Islamabad. After watching the film, all members happily approved it and a censor certificate was awarded within 15 minutes that is perhaps a record in the Lollywood history. It is interesting to note that to achieve the quality of film he paid three million rupees to British actors. Further, he visited the ISPR and requested them to provide him with old weapons the British used during their reign in sub-continent to justify his script.
In 2008, Rauf Khalid made his third television serial Mishaal (as writer, director & producer). The play was telecast from Pakistan Television every Tuesday evening. Rauf Khalid died on 24th, November, 2011. He was so refined a person that he never indulged in evil deeds. According to rauf, when his drama Angar Wadi was on air, a veil-clad woman entered his office and introduced herself as a Jamaat-e-Islami activist. When Rauf asked her to state the purpose of her visit, she abruptly said she was her fan and wanted to marry him. It stunned him but he politely refused her offer. Rauf Khalid told this scribe that a number of female artists, especially from PTV, were willing to work and stay with him. “If you get involved in such heinous acts, then you cannot justify your work,” he said.
He was the vice chancellor of National Institute of Cultural Studies where fashion designing, embroidery and film/TV classes were in progress. Currently, a numbers of his students are serving in the electronic media. Rauf Khalid wanted Julia Roberts to work in his film. He even invited her to Pakistan to discuss the project, but she refused because of prior commitments.
Rauf Khalid was also the founder President and Chancellor of the National Institute of Cultural Studies, Lok Virsa, Islamabad. He also owned a chain of eastern restaurants — the VIRSA, the HERITAGE CAFE.
His paintings have been exhibited in the World Fine Art Gallery, New York and the Omma Art Gallery in Crete, Greece. Homage was paid to his services and humanism across Pakistan. In this connection, a ceremony was organized at Jinnah Library, Gujranwala where the participants applauded his work in the field of culture. Producer/Director Shahzad Rafiq said he used to seek his guidance for his upcoming projects as he was a profound thinker in his field.
Major (retd) Anjum Niaz narrated that when he was in army, Rauf Khalid asked him to play the role of Pakistani Army Captain that was quite fit to his personality. “I declined as it would have been hard for me to spare a long time for shootings. However, I admire his insight that how quickly he found his true character in me.”
Librarian Malik Asghar was grieved over his death. He told the audience that only once Rauf paid a visit to the library and had a chit chat with him for an hour. “He was so competent and such a humble person that I was captivated of his personality. Above all, Rauf seemed worried about the young generation’s future and wanted to do something for them beside cultural activities.” Said Asghar.
Robert Meehan, an American, wrote: “Dear Saeed, my condolences to you on the loss of a friend. From assessing your feelings, I see this man was not only a person of the arts, but also brave, courageous, and of high principles. This only makes the news of his loss harder to accept.”
Shagufta Qayyum from Defence, Lahore found him very graceful who was willing to train youth and make them competent enough to meet the future challenges. PTV Lahore PRO Hayat Shah paid great tribute to Rauf Khalid as his dramas gave great recognition to Pakistan Television. “The people were locked in homes when his drama ‘Angar Wadi’ was aired”. That is why PTV and Pakistan Film Industry are proud of his services he rendered.