Monday July 04, 2022

Great ‘Allan’ Syed Kamal Ahmed Rizvi passes away

December 18, 2015


Syed Kamal Ahmed Rizvi — a well-known writer, director, actor and trendsetter of sitcoms in Pakistani television history — passed away after protracted illness at his residence in Karachi on Thursday evening.

His body was shifted to a cold storage morgue situated adjacent to the FTC Building on Sharea Faisal.

Zia Shahzad, a renowned author and a poet, a brother in law of late Rizvi, revealed that the funeral prayer had been planned for after Friday prayers since a few relatives would be arriving from Lahore. “But the burial might even be delayed if Kamal’s only son who lives in the United States decides to attend the funeral,” he said.

Shahzad disclosed that Kamal had been unwell since he had returned from a conference in Faisalabad about a fortnight ago. “He had been complaining of a chest infection, besides having persistent cardiac issues. Kamal had survived a serious heart attack in 1993,” he said. “He was talking to his wife and all of a sudden he fell down. Kamal’s wife called us but when we reached he was no more.”

Shahzad informed that Kamal Rizvi had been residing in Askari II project with his wife Ishrat Jehan. “I cannot recall name of Kamal’s son at the moment, he has been living in USA for quite a long time. He was born from Kamal’s first wife, Nuzhat.”

Kamal had then married Amna but the marriage was shot lived since she wanted to return to India and the actor wanted to stay here.

Despite being a very popular celebrity, Kamal Rizvi always kept a modest profile and stayed away from pompous publicity.

Shahzad said Kamal had been one of the pioneers of Pakistan Television and he groomed a whole generation of actors, directors and writers during his decades-long career.

For the past several years Kamal had stopped writing for television. But his famous work, Alif Noon, had undoubtedly been trendsetters in the field of comedy and sitcoms. His other projects, including Mr Shaitan, Adhi Baat and Sahib Bibi Ghulam, Khoya Huwa Aadmi and Hum Sub Chor, had been equally innovative and showcased his extraordinary skills of portraying the corrupted hearts of our society.

During his early days at then Pakistan Television Corporation, Kamal Rizvi had also did a series of interviews with common people. The people he had interviewed had included a popular paan seller of Lahore and the waiter of a coffeehouse.

The multitalented Rizvi was an exceptional writer, a great stage artist besides being a a very sensitive individual and a thorough intellectual. During his early days in Karachi, he lived in an apartment in Arambagh, before moving to Lahore to meet his idol Saadat Hasan Manto with whom he spent a lot of precious time.

Kamal loved reading and also edited popular digests, such as Tehzeeb, Aina and Shama. He also tried his luck with cinema but then decided not to pursue it and instead chose to be associated with Pakistan Radio.

Kamal was a true artist since he never penned down a scripts without being truly inspired. He used to say it would be impossible to create magic in the absence of inspiration, Shahzad said.

Despite being awarded with Pride of Performance in 1989, Kamal remained sceptical of the policial leadership of the country and he did not refrain from voicing it on various occasions.

His work was widely acclaimed for highlighting social evils through comedy and satire. His outspokenness shone in his work. Kamal possessed a multifaceted personality and his demise has created a vacuum in performing arts and literary circles that would be difficult to fill.