The death of writer Haseena Moin on Friday morning came as a shock to the showbiz fraternity in particular and the art world in general.
Talking to Dawn, poet Iftikhar Arif said, “In her younger days she used to write for children. When I became a scripts editor at PTV I requested her to write a play on the occasion of Eid. She did. The play was titled Happy Eid Mubarak. It was very good. Subsequently, the management of TV led by the late Aslam Azhar decided to do Shehzori. I suggested her name as its writer. He agreed. Haseena wrote that play. Only after a couple of episodes of the play going on air, Neelofar Aleem [protagonist] became immensely popular in the entire country.
Iftikhar Arif says Haseena Moin’s heroines challenged the social establishment of the day in her every serial
“From that point on Haseena never looked back. After Shehzori there were Uncle Urfi, Kiran Kahani and Parchhayan … one after the other they became hugely successful. The marked feature of her writing was that it was spontaneous. She never had to concoct and construct her lines. They came to her spontaneously. She used to pen small exchanges of dialogue that are usually spoken in families. And in every serial of hers, there would be a girl who would challenge the social establishment of the day, never crossing the line of decency,” said Mr Arif.
Writer Anwar Maqsood said, “Haseena and I worked together in the television industry for 40 years. Everybody used to say that she’s a good writer, but I’m telling you, she was really a good writer. A lethal disease bothered her in her last few years. She had stopped writing. She was a cultured woman and that came through in her scripts. She was also not happy with the current state of drama on TV.
“I once asked her why she didn’t write characters of feisty girls coming from poorer backgrounds (ghareeb bachian). She replied she wanted the underprivileged girls to have a future like the future of her onscreen characters. She argued that every girl is born with a skill set (hunar). You need to tap into it. Only a week ago, I met her for the last time. She didn’t look well. I asked her if she was well. She answered, to her it felt that the country was unwell (mulk ki tabiat theek nahin lag rahi hai),” Mr Maqsood said.
Actor and director Javed Sheikh said, “She was a top-notch writer and a good human being. She has played a big role in my life and career. I became famous after acting in her play Ankahi. That role changed my life. And the credit goes to Haseena Moin and Shoaib Mansoor. After that, I joined the film industry. I requested her to write a film for me. She did. It was the script for Kahin Piyar Na Ho Jaey. The project was shot in Turkey. It was a wonderful experience working with her. May she rest in peace.”
Music composer and actor Arshad Mahmud said, “I had a close relationship with her. After Ankahi, she would involve me in her projects not just as an actor. For example, I composed the music for Tanhayan. Also, she knew my family well. It’s a personal loss.”
Originally published in Dawn, March 27th, 2021