ATHAR Shah Khan alias ‘Jaidi’ breathed his last on May 10 in Karachi. Born in Rampur in 1943, he moved with his family to Lahore in 1947 and later settled in Karachi. He was a radio artiste, a poet, a writer, an actor and a comedian par excellence.
His radio programme Rang He Rang, Jaidi Jey Sung was aired for 19 years, a record in itself. He amused many generations through the 1970s to the ’90s.
Athar Shah Khan’s innocence in writing and acting won him accolades throughout his audience. He was a genuine craftsman whom humour came naturally.
His comic characters and the social messages he delivered were powerful. His epic play ‘Intizar Farmaye’, ‘Ba Adab Ba Mulahiza Hoshiyar’ and ‘Lakhon Mein Teen’ entertained millions of people.
An iconic figure of comedy in a country where good comedians can be counted on fingers, Khan brought smiles on the face of his viewers. His spontaneous dialogue delivery, wit and acting acumen earned him a special place in the hearts of people.
His physical appearance and comic actions were second to none. After Jamshaid Ansari, Khan had the best timing for dialogue delivery.
It is hoped that students of literature will research on his prose and poetry to acknowledge his contribution to literature. May his soul rest in highest echelon of heavens.
ACTOR, comedian, writer and poet Athar Shah Khan who was also known as Jaidi is no more. Athar was famous for his distinct comedy style and a household name in the 70s and 80s who entertained us.
Athar Shah Khan wrote the play ‘Hello Jaidi’ and ‘Intzar Farmaiye’ in which he appeared in the lead character of Jaidi. ‘Intzar Farmaiye’ brought him countrywide fame and popularity. During his interviews he always expressed joy on still being remembered as and called Jaidi.
More than an actor his vast contribution was writing and poetry particularly humourous verses. His satirical poetry was a source of immense joy for the people. For his services he was awarded the President’s Pride of Performance Award in 2001.
Kamran Khamiso Khowaja
Published in Dawn, May 14th, 2020