Uncle Sargam is no more!
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Legendary puppeteer and artist behind the most popular character of Pakistani television screen “Uncle Sargam,” Farooq Qaiser passed away Friday, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Friday. He was 76.
He was not just an artist but a very good book writer, cartoonist, columnist, TV shows director, puppeteer, scriptwriter, voice actor, and teacher. He won the presidential award of Pride of Performance in 1983.
Farooq was born in Lahore on October 31, 1945, and graduated in 1970 from the National College of Arts (NCA). Later he received a master's degree in graphic arts from Romania in 1976.
Soon after returning to Pakistan from Romania (a communist state of that time), introduced his own TV show Kaliyan for kids with puppet character Uncle Sargam in 1976 on the TV screen first-ever that become the most popular programme of that time. It is claimed that he derived the character of Uncle Sargam in resemblance to his teacher Mohan Lal from Romania.
He was the director, writer, and puppeteer of that programme himself. Two other popular characters—Masi Musebatey and Hai Ga—were also created by Farooq Qaiser in the same program.
The legendary performer had the credit to work with Urdu legendary poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz on scriptwriting in the early 70s. Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s daughter Salima Hashmi who was also Farooq Qaiser’s teacher in NCA involved him in her children’s puppet show on television Akkar Bakkar in the early 70s.
He got his second master’s degree in mass communication from United States (US) in 1999 and also taught for some time at the Fatima Jinnah Women University in Rawalpindi.
Farooq Qaiser wrote some books with the title of Hor Puchho, Kaalam Galoch, Meethay Karelay and Meray Piyaray Allah Mian.