Ali Ejaz – Dedication Personified!

There were times, when the actors were never interrupted for bad delivery. It was in those days that Ali Ejaz made his debut. This week, he celebrated his 75th birthday. I can recall his early TV serials like Lakhon Mein Teen, with Qavi Khan and Athar Shah Khan. One remembers his brilliant work in Dubai Chalo and Khwaja & Son, on television. And who would forget it? He simply immortalised the role of Khwaja. In fact, he paid for it, too, with his deteriorated health. Continuously keeping up that appearance of an old and peculiar person, throughout the lengthy TV recordings created complications for his stomach and breathing. He wasn’t that old, you see; he was working as a comic hero, along with Nannha, in films during the 80s.

Ejaz usually had pairings with Nannha from the beginning on the celluloid, like the famous Waheed and Zeba-starrer, Insaniyat. He was secondary to Munawwar Zareef, Rangila and Nannha. He was wasted in bit roles, for instance, in films like Tarana and Wadey Kee Zanjeer to name a few. It was later that he was given true recognition on the telly.

I remember one of his greatest roles in a solo play, Gumshuda. He played an old man from a village near the city, whose son has become a big businessman. It was brilliant stuff that is not seen any more on our television. Probably, his last great role was in Ataul Haq Qasmi’s comedy serial, Shab Deg.