Gulab Chandio
Gulab Chandio

KARACHI: Well-known actor Gulab Chandio passed away on Friday at his home in Karachi after a long illness. He was 61.

According to his sons, Mr Chandio was a heart patient with chronic diabetes. His family rushed him to a hospital from their house in Gulshan when his condition deteriorated. However, on their arrival at the hospital, the doctors pronounced him dead.

Mr Chandio first attained fame for his role in Sindhi plays during the television’s golden era in the 1980s.

Born in Shahmir Chandio village of Benazirabad district in a farmer’s house in January 1958, Mr Chandio completed his school education in the village and passed intermediate from the Government College in Nawabshah.

In 1976, he moved to Karachi where he got a clerk’s job in the food department.

Performer had hundreds of Urdu, Sindhi plays to his credit

Mr Chandio was among the hundreds of people whose service was terminated after military ruler Gen Ziaul Haq took over the country by ousting then prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s government.

The actor had done brief stints in various private firms and returned to Nawabshah in 1978. He was among the people who had been jailed for taking part in protests after Mr Bhutto’s execution.

According to his family members, Mr Chandio was confined in the district jail of Nawabshah for over three weeks and was freed after paying a fine imposed by a martial law court.

Upon returning to Karachi, he decided to become an actor.

He got his first lead role in 1982 against Sakina Samo in serial Biyo Shakhs (The Other Man) penned by Sindhi fiction writer Kehar Shaukat.

“After that there was no turning back for him,” said Hameed Bhutto of the Sindh Fankar Welfare Trust.

Mr Chandio acted in several plays and serials, including Sindhi dramas Talash, Saam, Jangal, Jiyapo, Mittia ja Manhoo, and Ghulam, and Urdu serials Zeenat, Rawish, Noori Jam Tamachi, Tipu Sultan, and Saagar ka Aansoo.

He rose to fame for his roles in drama serials Chand Girhan and Marvi.

Mr Chandio also performed in theatre plays, one of them written by Rasheed Sabir at the Adamji Auditorium in Karachi.

His first feature film was Dushman in which he played the role of an actor. He also played the protagonist in another Sindhi flick, Muhib Sheedi (1990).

In 1991, Mr Chandio went to Lahore where he performed in Syed Noor’s film Sargam along with Nadeem, Zeba Bakhtiar and Adnan Sami.

Later, he contested in the general elections from Nawabshah and Karachi twice but lost both times. Recently, Mr Chandio had joined the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf.

In 2016, he was awarded the President’s Pride of Performance Award for his services in art and drama.

He is survived by four daughters and two sons. According to his family, the actor would be buried in their ancestral graveyard in Nawabshah on Saturday (today).

Published in Dawn, January 19th, 2019