Saturday, October 3, 2015

Aangan Tehra

If Half-Plate can be considered the best teleplay by Anwar Maqsood, Aangan Tehra (آنگن ٹھڑا) is his best TV Drama Serial. It’s an old serial, which was presented by PTV in the late 1980’s. It was directed by Qaisar Farooq.

Almost all the episode of the series are shot indoors, which is depicted as the house of Mehboob Ahmed (a retired civil servant played by Shakeel). Each episode is based around some characteristics of Pakistani society ranging from the effects of Marshal Law on the society to the life of journalists.

Several guest stars appear in this series include Moeen Akhtar, Muhammad Ali Shehki and Anwar Maqsood himself. He appears in the last but one episode to announce that the series is about to come to an end. Within this episode, he gathers all the characters and tells them which ones stay to perform for the last episode and which ones have to leave. The last episode brings a nice end to the series.

Main Cast

Shakil, Salim Nasir, Bushra Ansari, Durdana Butt, Arshad Mahmood and some guest stars

  1. Mehboob Ahmed, played by Shakeel, is a retired civil servant with meagre resources.
  2. Jehan Ara Begum, played by Bushra Ansari, is Mehboob’s wife. They don’t have any children. Jehan Ara Begum always cribs about Mehboob’s financial condition.
  3. Akbar, played by Salim Nasir, is the servant who lives with the family and is never paid his salary. Yet he remains loyal and doesn’t leave Mr. and Mrs. Mehboob. He is previously a classical dancer, and his only desire is to earn fame with his skills in dancing.
  4. Chaudhry Sahib, played by Arshad Mehmood, is Mehboob Ahmed’s neighbour. He is easily impressed by whatever Mehboob Ahmed says or plans to do.
  5. Hamsheera Sultana, played by Durdana Butt, is Chaudhry Sahib’s sister. She is unmarried and secretly admires Mehboob Ahmed for his personality and character. Of course, she isn’t liked by Jehan Ara at all.



  1. The name Aangan Tehra seems to be derived from the Urdu proverb: Naach na janay aangan tehra (ناچ نہ جانے آنگن ٹھڑا), which literary means that if someone doesn’t know how to dance, he complains that the flooring is not balanced.

Thursday, October 1, 2015


Waris (وارث) by Amjad Islam Amjad is yet another PTV classic from 1980’s. It’s a story of a feudal lord, Chaudhary Hashmat, and depicts the greed and ruthlessness of feudal lords in rural Pakistan. Despite his cruelty and cunningness, the Chaudhary ultimately gets punished by fate.

The role of Chaudhary Hashmat is played by Mehboob Alam. He lives in Sikandarpur; he has a son and two nephews, and this small family has its ways to subdue entire Sikandarpur. As the story progresses, their land is under threat of compulsory purchase by the government for a new dam. The Chaudhary doesn’t vacate the place and meets a fatal end.

Waris was directed by Nusrat Thakur. Most of the shooting has been done either indoors or in a village setting, with occasional scenes depicting the city of Lahore.

Being an old serial, this drama serial would hardly impress the later generations. However, anyone who is fond of the glorious days of PTV will surely find this a treat; all actors have performed their best.

Main Cast of Waris

Abid Ali, Mehboob Alam, Munawar Saeed, Firdaus Jamal, Khayyam Sarhadi, Aurangzeb Laghari and others

  1. Chaudhary Hashmat, played by Mehboob Alam, is the lead character of this drama.
  2. Chaudhary Anwar, played by Firdaus Jamal, is one of the two nephews of Chaudhary Hashmat. He is greedy and always at odds with his brother.
  3. Chaudhary Niaz, played by Aurangzeb Laghari, is the other nephew of Chaudhary Hashmat. He is not much interested in the land, and wants to escape away from the feudal system, but finds it difficult to do so.
  4. Dilawar, played by then young Abid Ali, is another interesting character. He wins Chaudhary Hashmat’s loyalty by stealing a dog for him and joins his ranks. Inside, he wants to seek revenge of the death of his brother.

Can I watch it online?

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Alif Noon

Alif Noon is a classical comedy series written by Kamal Ahmad Rizvi. The first season was telecast by PTV in 1965. It’s old yet it remains fresh even today. Several situations depicted in this series are applicable even to the modern times—something which is common between Alif Noon and the equally great Fifty-fifty.

The name Alif and Noon stood for Allan and Nannha, the two characters around which the whole series is based. Each episode is usually be about a business plan created by Allan, in which Nannha is used as a stooge. Allan is clever to think of ways to make quick bucks and he needs an innocent front-man for his plans, for which Nannha is suitable but sometimes he is too innocent to be of any good.

Main Cast

Kamal Ahmad Rizvi and Rafi Khawar

  1. Allan played by Kamal Ahmad Rizvi is a devious businessman with least regard to ethical values in business. He starts one business after another with the hope to get rich as quickly as possible. In each endeavour, he needs an innocent front-man to assist him. The choice is always Nannha. Unfortunately, none of his get-rich-quick schemes actually work.
  2. Nannha played by Rafi Khawar is a simple-minded friend of Allan. Sometimes he knows the devious nature of their business and sometimes he is kept completely in the dark. Even when he knows the actual plan, he has only good wishes for Allah but then his natural instincts and the desire to be an honest man overpower his desire to run a successful business. It’s usually one of the silly mistakes of Nannha which reveal the reality of their business to their customers, and thus each business they start is eventually doomed. 



  1. The initial episodes of this TV series were broadcast live as PTV didn’t use to have a recording system in 1965.
  2. Kamal Ahmad Rizvi was born in Bihar in 1930. He migrated to Pakistan in 1951. His other relatives never moved to Pakistan.
  3. Rafi Khawar worked in a financial institution before he tried his luck with movies but he could never make it into the film industry directly. Luckily, he was selected for the role of Nannha in the TV series, which opened the path to the big screen for him.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Shahnaz Khawaja

Shahnaz Khawaja rose to fame with the PTV Drama Series Alpha Bravo Charlie. Little is known about this actress as she soon got married and left the country after this drama series.

She now lives as a single mother of an 8 year old daughter. She is settled in the US since her marriage in 1998. Amongst other things, she is director of counselling services at Greensboro College.

Shahnaz was born in 1978 in Uganda. She studied at OPF and went to ICG for her inter-mediate. She completed her bachelors and masters from the US.

Interestingly, Alpha Bravo Charlie was not her first drama serial. She started her acting career on TV with Jamal Shah’s production “Kal”. She was later signed for another drama serial “Uraan” which was shot in different countries. However, it was really the 1998 drama serial Alpha Bravo Charlie which made her face known to almost everyone in Pakistan. When this drama was aired, she was 19 years old. Nobody could say that she was a beginner in acting.

Shahnaz Khawaja’s Interview by Nadia Khan

Shahnaz Khawaja was seen in Nadia Khan Show in 2010 as part of Nadia Khan’s interview of Alpha Bravo Charlie’s cast.

Shahnaz Khawaja’s Acting Career

Shahnaz appeared in the music video of the song “Let’s go get lost”.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Ankahi (the unsaid)

Ankahi PTV Drama SerialAnkahi (انکہی), which literally means “unsaid” is one of the most well-known drama serials of the 80’s. Like several other PTV drama serials of its era, the popularity of Ankahi grew out of Pakistan to all parts of the world where Urdu is spoken or at least understood.

The drama was broadcast by PTV in 1982. The play was written by Haseena Moeen and directed jointly by Shoaib Mansoor and Mohsin Ali.

Ankahi is a story of Sana Murad, a young girl with a mediocre background, who has big dreams. Her father dies when she is young, and that adds more to her problems, and consequently her desire to become rich gets even stronger. As luck would have it, she finally gets a job in a company. But she is not skilled in anything. Various hilarious situations arise due to her major blunders.

While attending a wedding, she gets liked by a young fellow who follows her to her office, and in order to get closer to her, finds a job in the same office.

Meanwhile, her aunt arrives from the US, while looking for a suitable match for her son. Sana and her family had boasted about themselves being well-off, and this causes several humorous situations when they have to live up to their claims during the aunt’s visit.

As the story unfolds, Sana has to make difficult decisions as marriage proposals start coming. The last few episodes revolve around these decisions and the complexity in human relationships which arise due to the “untold”.

Main Cast

Shehnaz Sheikh, Shakeel, Javed Sheikh, Jamshed Ansari, Badar Khalil, Salim Nasir, Behroze Sabzwari and others

  1. Sana Murad played by Shehnaz Sheikh is the lead character of the TV serial.
  2. Jibran, played by Faisal Ansari is Sana’s little brother who is a prodigy. He suffers from heart problems, and it’s partly because of his heart operation, Sana has a desire to become rich and afford his medical treatment to be carried out in the US.
  3. Taimoor, played by Shakeel is a middle-aged. He is Sana’s boss.
  4. Faraz, played by Javed Sheikh, gets to see Sana at a wedding. He falls for her, and later gets a job in the same company where Sana is working.
  5. Timmy, played by Jamshed Ansari, is Sana’s neighbour. He adds a quite humorous touch to the serial. When Sana’s aunt visits from the US, in order to impress the aunt, Timmy is convinced to play the role of a butler for the family.
  6. Zakia, played by Badar Khalil, is Sana’s aunt. She also happens to be the mother of Moby. She arrives from the US looking for a suitable match for her son.
  7. The role of Sana’s Mamoon (uncle) is played by Saleem Nasir. You might also know him due to his excellent performance in Aangan Tehra.
  8. Moby, played by Behroze Sabzwari, is Sana’s cousin. He is raised in the US and finds it difficult to adjust to Pakistani values. He has no desire to get married to Sana, yet his mother wishes the opposite.

Can I watch it online?

The drama is available in several parts on Youtube. Below is the first part of the series.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Sona Chandi

Sona Chandi (سونا چاندی) is a classical PTV drama serial aired in 1983. It’s a light comedy enacted by Hamid Rana and Sheeba Hassan. They play the role of a couple who come from a small village to a city in search for work. Their fate takes them from one home to another, and while doing their work as servants, they solve various problems faced by the house-mates.

Sona Chandi is written by Manuu Bhai and directed by Rashid Dar.

The beauty of the play lies in the innocent personalities of Sona and Chandi and the humorous touch the play has. More than once, the story makes us see the life of relatively well-to-do families from the eyes of a poor couple.

Main Cast

Hamid Rana, Sheeba Hassan, Jamil Fakhri and others

  1. Sona played by Hamid Rana is the simpleton of the two. While he is straightforward and knows what’s good, he cannot stop himself from getting advice on all matters from his wife.
  2. Chandi played by Sheeba Hassan is more intelligent when compared with her husband. It’s her opinion which usually prevails over that of Sona.

Can I watch it online?


  1. It’s said that the play was inspired by a real couple with the names of Sona and Chandi, from a place known as Kallur Kot in Punjab.

Saturday, August 22, 2015


Tanhaiyan (تنہائیاں) literally means “the loneliness”. In fact, the Urdu word is stronger than its English counterpart. Tanhayian is a Pakistan drama serial, produced by Shalimar Recording Company (SRC), and originally played on Pakistan Television (PTV) in the 1980’s. It was written by Haseena Moin.

Tanhaiyan is the sotry of two sisters who lose their parents in an accident, and are shocked to know that their family was heavily in debt. Life is further upset when their family house is sold. Fortunately, an aunt makes arrangements for them to live with her.

The elder of the two sisters becomes determined to become rich and buy back their family house, and it’s her obsession with become financially sound versus the lack of attention she gives to people closer to her which is the main plot of the drama serial.

The drama serial belongs to the era attributed to be the “golden era of Pakistan Televsion.” Having said that, at that time, there was a sheer lack of a choice with the viewers in Pakistan, and the standards of television entertainment were completely defined by PTV itself. People do have fond memories of the drama serial, but with no doubt, younger generations will have a hard time believing that the acting and direction can be thought of being “extra ordinary.”

Main Cast of Tanhaiyan

Shehnaz Sheikh, Marina Khan, Behroze Sabzwari, Qazi Wajid, Badar Khalil, Asif Raza Mir and others

  1. Zara, played by Shehnaz Sheikh, is the elder of the two sisters. She is determined to work hard and buy back her family house. She starts a business in partnership, becomes successful in that, and eventually manages to get what she wanted. But it doesn’t end the way she expected! In her quest, she distances herself away from everyone, including her younger sister. Eventually she also meets an accident and then realises how fragile it all was!
  2. Sanya, played by Marina Khan, is the littler sister. After their parents death, she is emotionally dependent on her elder sister. But as time passes by, her elder sister has less and less time for her. Sanya is lively and loud; she loves to play pranks on others, especially on Qabbacha, who is her neighbours secretary.
  3. Qutbutdin (aka Kabacha), played by Behroze Sabzwari, adds a light touch to the drama serial. He is an introvert and dry person who becomes victim to Sanya’s pranks.
  4. Faran, played by Qazi Wajid, is also a light character. He is a thoughtful businessman, living next to Zara and Sanya’s aunt’s house.
  5. Zubi, played by Badar Khalil, is the aunt who keeps the two sisters with her after their parents demise. She is eventually proposed by Faran.

Can I watch it online?


  1. A sequel of Tanhaiyan, with the name “Olper’s Tanhaiyan: Naye Silsilay“, was aired by ARY Digital and PTV in 2012. Most of the cast was replaced. This new 13-episode drama serial was co-written by Haseena Moin and Mohammad Ahmed. It was directed by Marina Khan.