ISLAMABAD: Farooq Qaiser, who was a household name for Pakistani children of the 80s and 90s as Uncle Sargam, passed away in Islamabad on Friday after suffering cardiac arrest.
He leaves behind a son and two daughters.
He was born on Oct 31, 1945 in Lahore and began his career as an artist after completing graduation from National College of Arts in Lahore. He also obtained a Master’s in Graphic Arts from Romania (1976) and another postgraduate degree in Mass Communication from the University of Southern California, the US, (1999).
He was a columnist, director, puppeteer, scriptwriter and a voice-over artist. He also wrote several humorous books and provided educational services in India for two years as part of a Unesco programme.
A man of multiple talents, he brought smiles on the faces of TV viewers
Uncle Sargam, the puppet character he created and gave voice to, became very popular in Pakistan and remained a household name for decades.
Uncle Sargam was first introduced in a television show for kids, Kalyan, when it was broadcast on Pakistan Television (PTV) in 1976. Along with another character on the show, Maasi Museebatay, Uncle Sargam achieved legendary status over the years.
Kalyan, Sargam and Daak Time were popular TV shows of Farooq Qaiser.
He had been suffering from a heart disease for some time, and his condition worsened on Friday after which an ambulance rushed him to a hospital but he could not be revived.
He was awarded the Presidential Pride of Performance award in 1993 for his craft, while earlier this year, he was awarded Sitara-i-Imtiaz during a ceremony at Aiwan-i-Sadr on Pakistan Day.
Key political figures including Prime Minister Imran Khan have expressed condolences.
Published in Dawn, May 16th, 2021