According to Anwar Maqsood, he's never seen worse times

According to Anwar Maqsood, he's never seen worse times

And he’s seen Pakistan through the ages, surviving political turmoil, wars and military rule.
Updated 06 Apr, 2020

Anwar Maqsood has always had witty observations about current affairs; a caustic comment about politics, a meaningful joke on culture, statements loaded with wordplay.

This is the first time in the many times that I have interviewed him that he doesn’t immediately joke about current affairs.

Instead, he observes, “I just get saddened when I see all these cooking oil ads on TV these days, where people are frying food and tables are laden with food. I want to request TV channels not to air such ads during this time. There are so many people in Pakistan who don’t have any food in their homes.”

He’s seen Pakistan through the ages, surviving political turmoil, wars and military rule. Has he ever seen a worse time than the present, with the country locked down in order to rein in the Corona pandemic?

“There can be no worse time than this one,” he answers somberly, “when the entire world is locked inside their homes for fear of a single sneeze, a single cough.”

“But we have to understand. The world is locked down. Sacred places of worship are closed. Then how can mosques not be closed down? How can the doors of our homes not be closed? If we take care, everything will reopen again soon.”

His quintessential wit, however, is very much in play when I mention that even local cinema and TV has stalled, with shootings left in the middle due to the lockdown.

“That’s maybe the best thing that could have happened to TV and cinema. If they are locked down, new productions won’t come out. I think that’s what will work best for our TV and cinema. For them, jawani phir nahi ani, truly.”

Also read: Is Pakistani TV going to run out of new content soon?

How is he spending his time in quarantine? “I am watching my heath. And I am painting a lot, and cooking.”

Isn’t he also writing about the present day scenario?

“Maybe I will, once all this is over, once I am able to look back upon these times. Right now, though, I don’t want to.”

He points out how despite people turning to God in these trying times, hoarding and overcharging of necessities in grocery stores defies basic humanity. “Even if I do write about this, these times are no laughing matter.”

They certainly are not. In these troubling times, jokes and witty remarks don’t come easy – even if you’re Anwar Maqsood.


Ahsan Gul Apr 04, 2020 02:24pm
Almost all people of his age has not seen. Why he is special?
M Apr 04, 2020 03:00pm
My all time favourite ❤️
Shoaib Apr 04, 2020 07:07pm
True legend and well said.
Shairu Apr 04, 2020 07:49pm
True, very trying time, hopefully this will be over soon InshaAllah This is going to change our perception on life for some time. Many of us take life very light where it is tough for many people for no fault of their own. A system that can’t take care of their weak for two weeks is not a system, need to change priorities
Mohib E Watan Apr 04, 2020 08:00pm
Surely, he is bitterly honest whatever says and write. My all time favourite and legend in literature and constructive humour.
Syed A. Mateen Apr 05, 2020 03:23am
Anwar Maqsood is right in saying that "he's never seen worst times". I don't think that any one who was born before pre-partition or after the independence have ever seen such bad times during their life time. I was wondering as what would happen when global pandemic will be over. Where would people be standing then? Prior to Coronavirus, economy of an individual, couples, families, small or big companies were not doing well, but after the coronavirus how would they be doing financially to return back to pre-coronavirus position. Though the children must be very happy that they have been given long vacations by the schools management, but on the other hand, parents are worried that the performance of their children in the annual examinations would be badly affected. Similarly, shutting down all kinds of businesses, except for the essential services is also going to affect over all economy of the country. After all, lock downs were necessary to save the precious human lives.
Bhaijan Apr 05, 2020 05:01am
Anwar Maqsood is sensible sensitive and wonderful man. He’s feeling the gravity of calamity, hence his expressions are quite pure.
Sameer Apr 05, 2020 05:07am
Anwar you are a gem!
Shahid Apr 05, 2020 06:35am
Take care of yourself, sir. You are too precious for the nation.
Hamid Shafiq Apr 05, 2020 12:30pm
Sir your words are enough to see the real picture of our society
Saira Apr 05, 2020 05:28pm
A man I always look up to, especially in grim times.
Irfan ul Huq Apr 06, 2020 05:47am
Thank you anwar maqsood for this sober timely and appropriate interview. It shall have more effect than any other medicine thank you again
Taj Ahmad Apr 07, 2020 07:11am
Anwar Maqsood and Moin Akhtar are the greatest of all time.