Veteran actor passes away

Tariq Malik gained nationwide popularity with the hit sitcom Guest House

There are a lot of memories attached to the classic drama serial Guest House that aired on PTV in 1991. The sitcom revolved around two lead characters: Murad (Tariq Malik) and Rambo (Afzal Khan).

Malik was basically a voice actor who had started his career with radio. Many of Pakistani TV’s great names came from radio background. They included Nisar Qadri, Firdous Jamal, Shafi Muhammad, Salim Nasir and Tariq Aziz, to name a few.

Tariq Malik was a keen listener of radio and loved to listen to film tracks which would be aired in those days. In 1963, his brother went to Britain and in view of Malik’s love for radio, sent him a tape recorder. There was nothing more precious to Malik then, than this tape recorder. He would spend his days recording his voice and mimic other radio jockeys.

Always an actor, Malik would be acting even when he went to the barber’s. He would pose in front of the mirror and rehearse his lines. It was not easy, however. Few families in those days allowed their children to join theater or films. He wanted to become an actor, but was allowed only to join radio.

The first step then was joining the radio. He rented a bicycle and went for audition. He would recall later that it was a three-stage process. One of the interviewers asked him questions about variations in the way words were pronounced. On that day, he was the best candidate.

In an interview years later, he revealed that he had been reluctant to take the Guest House role. When he was offered the role, he said, he was already part of a regional drama project. When he was called for an audition, he clearly said that he was not available for a new project. He considered it unethical to ditch the other director and producer for a role in the PTV play.

When the producer told Muhammad Nisar Hussain about Malik’s response to the offer, he called him over to find out his reason for the refusal. “I firmly believe that an actor should not forget his work ethic irrespective of how successful he has been,” he told Hussain.

Malik was used to working on his own terms and never pushed himself to do what he did not like. Guest House became one of the most popular serials of the era and opened new horizons for Malik and Afzal Khan. Both would get offers from the film industry.

It was a wish come true for him, but Malik felt that he was not doing justice to his profession. He felt that film actors had a different temperament. He was disappointed with what he was asked to do and left his first movie project half way realizing that he could never be an actor on someone else’s terms.

He denounced the approach of some so-called ‘kings’ of the entertainment industry and regretted that the portrayal of truth was changing. As a veteran artist, he continued to work in TV plays.

He loved birds and kept pigeons at his home.

He was also well known as Bawa Ji from Radio Pakistan’s programme Jamhoor Ni Awaz. His latest venture Baway Ni Chugi was in Pothwari language.

Tariq Malik who entered his fans’ hearts with his dialogue “Tip tip karta mein kamray mein ata hun,” passed away on June 11 following a heart attack.

The writer is a freelance   journalist and can be reached at [email protected]

Veteran Tariq Malik actor passes away