There’s hardly anyone in the present generation of Pakistanis who doesn’t have a favorite Moin Akhtar memory, even four years after his death.
As in Wordworth’s famous poem, The Daffodils – “For oft, when on my couch I lie/ in vacant or in pensive mood/ they flash upon the inward eye/ which is the bliss of solitude/and then my heart with pleasue fills…” – only in this case, remembrance of a prank or witticism by Pakistan’s ‘First Comedian’ is enough to lift you out of the blues any day.
Though he did plenty of slapstick, the real genius of Moin Akhtar lay in the wit behind the laughs. Satire was his forte and mimicry his medium. His collaboration with Anwar Maqsood best brought this genius to the forefront.
Akhtar could climb effortlessly into the skin of any character he chose, adding little nuances including facial expressions, hand gestures, body language and voice accents and inflections, to perfect his parody.
Like that of all creative geniuses, there was a method to Akhtar’s madness. In bringing prevalent vices to our notice, he played the role of a ‘social conscience’, which is after all, the real purpose behind all drama – and Moin Akhtar fulfilled this purpose to excellence.