FRIENDS and family members of Haseena Moin pay tribute to the late writer at Anwar Maqsood’s residence on Monday. —Fahim Siddiqi/White Star
FRIENDS and family members of Haseena Moin pay tribute to the late writer at Anwar Maqsood’s residence on Monday. —Fahim Siddiqi/White Star

KARACHI: “Seven boys were in love with Haseena (Moin) when we were at university; whereas she was in love with herself!” said renowned playwright Anwar Maqsood during a memorial held at his home to remember the recently departed Haseena Moin.

The Aangan Terha creator told all in attendance that it was awkward to do a memorial for a person like Haseena Moin, who was everybody’s friend and lived life as she wanted.

It was in Anwar Maqsood’s courtyard that well-known people from the entertainment industry, as well as Haseena Moin’s friends and relatives, gathered to remember the playwright on Monday.

They not only shared their memories but also acknowledged how she affected their lives with her dramas, her characters and the message she gave through them. However, the host revealed that PTV — the institution for which she wrote so much — denied her the permission to stage Ankahi after nearly four decades, and she wasn’t very happy about that in her final days.

‘She lived life as she wanted’

Be it veteran actress Marina Khan, or Haseena’s friends or family members, everyone in attendance remembered her in their own way. While a university colleague of hers recalled that she started writing back when they were students, and her caricatures drew mixed reactions from their colleagues, veteran journalist and friend Khurs­heed Hyder shared that she was a caring and loving individual who was as innocent as a child. She recalled an incident where she put her feet down into cold water flowing from a river just because someone asked her if she could do it!

Actor/director Marina Khan reve­aled that although Ms Moin wasn’t happy with her audition in Tanhayan, she went on to cast her as the lead in four more dramas. She added that as her relationship with Haseena Moin was more professional than personal, she learned a lot from her during the time they spent together.

Actor/director Misbah Khalid also said that there was a childlike innocence to Haseena Moin, who was excited about her two upcoming web series that are currently in production. Her death was nothing short of a personal tragedy for most of the people who knew her or grew up watching her dramas.

Former managing director of Oxford University Press Ameena Saiyid also remembered her last meeting with Haseena Moin that took place earlier last month in Islamabad. She said that while they were recording a discussion for TV, Haseena Moin’s phone rang and she took her time to locate it before someone from the production team took it away so that the recording could continue. It was after the recording ended that she asked to have her phone back, without realising that it was done for their own good.

Broadcast journalist Shaheen Salah­u­ddin, music producer Bilal Maqsood and members of Anwar Maqsood’s family also spoke on the occasion. Shaheen Salahuddin recalled an incident where she asked Ms Moin whether they should switch their seats during a play at the Arts Council before they were forcibly removed. Her answer was a typical Haseena Moin reply, “beth gaye to beth gaye, chalay gaye to chalay gaye”, and that marked the end of the session, where everyone paid tribute to the departed soul in the best way possible.

Published in Dawn, April 13th, 2021

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