Carving a name in the field of comedy is rather a difficult job, but it's quite satisfactory to see that Faisal Qureshi has never disappointed the viewers.
Faisal, who hails from the beautiful city of Hyderabad, wanted to become a G.D. pilot, but his colour blindness couldn't let his dream come true.
His elder brother Imran Qureshi who is quite a renowned artiste and a teacher at NCA encouraged him to join NCA. Faisal who used to paint quite well, decided to get himself enrolled.
There he got a chance to direct a play 'Dracula Kee Wapsi' which proved his first attempt at drama. "I have never been into acting before. I was quite an introvert.
Ab tu flow main ker layta hoon but I never had that sort of confidence, which is important for acting. Ahsan was in NCA too. Once he came to me and said 'lets do something for television', I asked him not to do what others are doing, let's do something unusual.
And I gave him ideas about a musical programme and he found them quite interesting. So, we began with a music programme. He went but three days later, he came back and said that he had auditioned a number of people but no one has appealed him. He convinced me to host it.
I agreed inarguably. But I wasn't aware of that it wouldn't prove less than a nightmare to me. When at the shooting studio lights were opened and I came across 6000 watts of powerful lights, I fainted.
I felt as I had lost my potential. But somehow it was recorded. It took a lot of time though, but when it was edited it came out in a reasonable good shape, and the producer desired to do more work with me."
Music has played a convincing role in Faisal's showbiz career. He proceeded with the music programme called 'Video Junction', which became an instant hit due to the fact that the product offered was different and new.
"I feel that whenever you come up with something really different you get a good share of attention. The same happened with us when we started off with 'VJ', which came at a time when people were looking.
for some new style and taste 'cause in an monopolised environment of PTV, they were quite bored with the usual stuff. Their craving for something totally 'hut kay' (different) was well feasted by the 'Video Junction'.
Viewers who regularly watch local music channels will agree to the fact that Faisal has made himself quite an important element of the music equation as every other video seems featuring him.
Be it an Abrar's 'preeto' or Shahzad's 'shehzaday', Faisal has proved that he isn't less than a shehzada to have kaneez like preeto. "Yeah! I have often heard people saying that but that's not true." Faisal clarifies the situation, "infact due to more private channels the same product is repeated many times at a certain channel.
Secondly, people keep switching over the channels and when they find the same thing on another channel as well they start thinking on these lines. I haven't worked a lot as they think."
Isn't it bad for an artiste's career as the work he is doing today would naturally be better than what he has done a decade before due to the experience he has amassed over the year and a natural process of personality development.
"Yes, definitely it does look bad," Faisal agrees with the point raised and continues with reasons, "its because everybody grows with the passing time. He learns from his mistakes and tries to do his job more effectively in the times to come.
But being an artiste we can't do anything to avoid this." But PTV also telecasts old plays. "Yes, but they handle it professionally as they telecast them under a special label like 'nashre muqarrar or 'PTV old classics". Only this small label gives so much stir that an ordinary concept starts sounding something special."
Doing comedy is not a piece of cake. The most important thing is how to give an old concept a new look, so that it may sound fresh. But seeing Faisal's ways of doing it, it feels as doing comedy is not really a big task for him 'cause the way he conceives the subject is rarely found among other artistes.
So, where has he got this niche? And what does help him to conceive a subject to that level of perfection. "I guess this is what you get by birth. This talent comes in your genes.
It is only that you modify them to your own level of requirements. Secondly, there are a number of things, which motivates or fascinates you in life, which soon turns to be your source of inspiration, which eventually help you to understand the character and their active contribution in life.
The past work may also help you to understand things better and this is how I conceive a subject. "Koi bhi achee cheez kerna bohat hee mushkil hota hai," but one should materialise his efforts to his fullest capacity, and this is what that makes your work different with a convincing margin.
Talking about his experience of 'Agent X', Faisal says that "it was quite a new thing for the people, though it was difficult for viewers to chase the fast pace, however, after the thirteenth episode we changed it into a sitcom.
Then we did 'Teen Bata Teen' which became a real public property. It proved to be one of the trendsetters and later hordes of people copied our style. Today, when we see the sitcoms we get the same feeling as if the producers are sharing the same wavelength thus creating a similar product. Then we did 'College jeans', which was a series based on real college life."
Talking about his dream ambition Faisal expressed his desire that he wants to do a project worth presentable in the international market. "It may be a film or some other project but I want the quality meeting the international standards as I feel that it's the time we should extend our attention to the international market to make enough space for ourselves and the products we offer."
Keeping the low quality and standard that we have in our country, Faisal replied, "I fully agree that the quality that we are presenting to our audience is not meeting even the basics.
It is due to the hassles that the new channels have created. Every mind is focused on money making and quantity, whereas, the quality is the only thing they seems to be least bothered about.
Quality starts declining when people start producing low budgeted softwares. Getting famous for new artiste has become very difficult in these circumstances.
Previously, he used to get an over night fame with his debut play, because of the quality, but now even after doing a dozen he still wishes to meet one person who can recognise him with his real name.
Faisal feels that the best work in performing arts was done when there was not liberty. "During the president Zia's marshal law television has produced master pieces that we still have pride for.
That was the time when there were a lot of restrictions on the media, but even in those limitations we produced the marvelous plays and programmes. Now, when there is a lot more freedom and liberty to do anything, we are giving absolutely nothing.
Freedom doesn't mean showing a girl in jeans, no matter how powerful her role is. We have glamour, but there is no freedom of expression," prophesises Faisal.
Faisal is busy in the recordings of a new comedy cooking show for Geo called 'Saas Bahoo Ki Handi', which will show competition between a saas and bahoo and "Ulta Seedha".
Among other projects that Faisal intends to do in future is a film with Ahsan in an action comedy style... "What we are discussing nowadays is whether to make the film according to our imagination or the audience's demand. Paper work of the film has already been completed. Its not an alien concept.
it will prove to be a visually different film." In the busy life of Karachi, Faisal gets little time to relax. But whenever he is free he likes to share it with his family. His wife being his old companion of NCA is a constant support and critic at the same.