Saleem Meraj’s Versatility

I can’t forget the day I met Mani and Saleem Meraj together at a theatre play at the Pakistan American Cultural Centre, when both were teenagers; they were a part of Sania Saeed’s theatre group. They were full of the right stuff and you could see it sloshing inside them. Don’t get me wrong (these are probably the effects of reading P.G. Wodehouse too much!), I am talking about their true talent that was evident that early, when they hadn’t even entered television. Some of Saeed’s other talented artistes have made their names on TV now. Mani is a major player, doing lengthy characters in drama serials, but, Meraj has really turned out to be a versatile artiste during the last decade. In Mann Mayal, for instance, one of the most popular serials of last year, he excelled himself and played an ambitious chap, who had a secret love for Ayesha Khan, while she used him for her intrigues. His job in Saawan is being appreciated, though some papers wrote that he overacted in his role. But, if that had been the case, the film wouldn’t have earned points abroad. I think that if his versatility is established, then he shouldn’t be typecast, which is the biggest malady in our serials today.