Fellow artists remember Talat Hussain — the late actor, radio host and luminary

Fellow artists remember Talat Hussain — the late actor, radio host and luminary

Friends and admirers gathered at the Arts Council of Karachi on Saturday evening to honour his memory.
03 Jun, 2024

Friends, admirers, colleagues and members of the family of eminent actor Talat Hussain gathered at the Arts Council of Karachi on Saturday evening to honour his memory. He passed away on May 26.

The event, moderated by Huma Mir, began with a very well-made showreel of the artist, encapsulating in a few minutes many of the memorable characters he played in his career.

General Manager of PTV Karachi Amjad Shah was the first speaker at the event. He said Mr Hussain was a loving person and an amiable teacher. He had a long association with PTV for which he did many plays such as Parchhayan, Rozan-i-Zindan and Hava’in.

“His connection with PTV didn’t ever sever. Whenever we requested him to take part in our transmission, he’d always do that. He was one of those rare artists from the subcontinent who knew how to use their eyes. His voice was distinct and became his identity. I’d like to narrate an incident here. Once during a night-time transmission, he was being interviewed as a guest by Naila Jafri. During the programme, Ms Jafri felt a bit unwell and started to cough. So much so that she was taken away for a moment. Mr Hussain sensed the situation and gave such a long answer to the question she had last asked, and it never felt that there wasn’t any host sitting next to him.”

Actor and musician Khaled Anam said during a theatre project that he was doing with the late actor Mr Hussain’s brother fell ill. “He was extremely disturbed by it. I saw love [for his brother] in him. He was constantly on the move to get medicines for him.”

He said: “The first voice that a child gets familiar with is his mother’s. After my mother’s voice, the first voice that I got familiar with was Mr Hussain’s through Radio Pakistan.”

Poet Jawaid Saba said everybody knows about the great actor that Mr Hussain was but his basic interest for the last 20 to 25 years was in literature. The reason was that he was brought up in an atmosphere [at Radio Pakistan] with literary luminaries like Qamar Jamil and Zamir Badayuni. He was fond of buying books. Mr Hussain also wrote prose poems. He understood literature because of which there was depth in his acting.

Mr Hussain’s elder daughter Tazeen said Mr Hussain was not only a good artist; he was a good father too. He made his children understand that if they treat others with affection, they’ll get affection in return.

Mr Hussain’s wife Rakhshanda said the most important thing in her husband’s life was his work. “I used to criticise his work. He would come to me to ask about his performance in a drama. I’d tell him openly where he could improve. He would say to me that ‘while everyone else praises me, it’s you who tells me the truth’.”

Mustafa Qureshi, Ahmed Shah, Sajid Hasan, Faysal Qureshi, among others, also spoke.

Originally published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2024


Sharjeel Syed Jun 03, 2024 01:13pm
We will never get another Talat Hussain on TV again. That's the quantum of loss we suffered. May his soul rest in peace. We will always miss you Mr. Hussain.
Asad Jun 03, 2024 03:08pm
Great actor, great loss.
NYS Jun 03, 2024 05:14pm
A man of substance Deliver dialogue in calculated time Unforgettable May his soul rest in eternal peace!!
Ehsan Jun 03, 2024 06:33pm
Amazing highly talented performer
Taj Ahmad Jun 03, 2024 07:12pm
Simply great and amazing artist on PTV for over 50 years. RIP to this great artist of Pakistan Mr. Talat Hussain.