By Er.Shafi Ahmad
One can comfortably say art runs in the veins of the family, literature supports their heart and soul, stage and celluloid keeps them standing upright, reel is their real life and screen ,big or small, is their proverbial roof to relax and sustain under it. He came into this world with a bag full of literature and a plank of support for his acting career. His brother Faruq Masoodi, an acclaimed writer had earned a name in the literary circles and was a name to reckon with in the film making arena not only on national scene but international also, particularly in UAE circuit. Faruq kissed success with serials like Dastaan, Chattan and Kasak before, subsequently, planning a series based on Quranic verses. Other sibling Khursheed Masoodi, a TV producer, waded through the arduous course of action and continued his journey of success stories. With a treasure of talent, literary acumen and artistic excellence at home he was quite comfortable to knock the doors of opportunities.
That was golden period of Tele Vision in Kashmir when he banged on the acting scene . TV with its intellectual brains manning the affairs at all levels kept the lights of art and culture shining. The producers ,directors ,writers and the actors kept the high traditions afloat. In such a situation he had direct contest with established actors like Ashraf Shawl , Tariq Javid, Chitra Sharma , Tariq Shah and others. But his legs did not tremble nor did his hands shake . His face did not blush nor did his tongue show impair. In short the landscape of art and culture favoured the boy grow up and imbibe the qualities that existed in his ghar aangan (homely atmosphere). He burst on the scene with a bang throwing direct challenge to the established lot of the time. And his charming and captivating façade added grace to his personality. He is Parvez Masudi the boy who had heartthrob appearance. “I have known Parvez Masudi for last 40 years, we were together in Amar Singh college . It was 1972-73 when Doordarshan Srinagar had just been operative and we both participated in a quiz programme produced by DD Srinagar. From their Parvez’s small screen journey started.” Says Mushtaq Bala the Filmmaker and journalist.
“Looking back at my association and relation with Parvez I recall the earliest days of Doordarshan when Parvez entered the field. His level of confidence was a statement that I know what I am.But as a friend he was so lovely and respectful towards people like me whom he considered slightly senior to him.
His soft voice for radio plays and understanding of the technical niceties of film medium made an exceptionally distinguished artist at the very start of the career.” said Ashraf Shawl a TV stalwart.
Pervez’s talent and good looks earned him the lead role in big banner G P Sippy which had very recently received unprecedented response to the blockbuster Sholay. “One fine morning Parvez received a message from his elder brother Farooq Masoodi from Mumbai to send a few photographs for GP SIPPY is looking for a new face for his upcoming film Ehsaas. Around a fortnight passed and he received a call from his brother with the instructions to cut short his hair and come to Mumbai for audition. Out of around 2000 boy from around the country which included established Film star Sons … , Sanjay Dutt ,Anil Kapoor & Kumar Gaurav , two finalists including Parvez were selected. Both the finalists were given a scene to be picturised on them with the already selected heroin Dena. The scene was judged by the GP Sippy family & some other experts. After about a fortnight Parvez was informed by his brother Mr Farooq that he was selected to play main lead in the film. It was a very emotional moment for the brothers and they hugged & tears rolled down, as revealed by Parvez to me later. And here in Srinagar it was a moment of celebration for the friends & family.” Adds Mushtaq Bala.
Pervez kept his fingers crossed as many youth, some with political connections plunged into the widely announced auditions. Pervez was lucky enough to earn the lead role for the big banner Ehsaas , a love story merely on the basis of sheer talent , grit and hard work. Interesting enough some of the big names like Amitabh Bhachan, Shammi Kapur, Amjad Khan , Simi Grewal and Shashi Kapur were roped in to appear in special appearance roles. Rotho na Rotho na song was picturized on Amitabh Bachan who was in the saddle of super star having experienced success after success. Sapnoon k Shahar hum banayen gay ghar and few other songs were picturized on Parvez Masoodi.
Mushtaq Bala recollects the events in following words , “Film was released , it did well . Parvez’s role in the film was appreciated . Parvez received one more big banner film ‘Sun meri laila’ from Raj shree Films. After shooting for about 12 days for the film Parvez refused to do the film for some personal reasons and returned back to Kashmir. After gap of some months when Parvez went back to Mumbai, he did around six films. He came back to Kashmir, his home town, for good and settled to become a successful actor, Director & producer for the small screen .”
Pervez influenced the youth to the extent that as youth icon his portraits appeared on love calendars. But luck did not favour Pervez any further as the relations between him and the Sippy clan ran into rough weather. Pervez was ignored and voice dubbing done with some voice over artist. During the premier the film got thumbs up but Parvez’s voice became subject of discussion and it was conveyed ,with derogation, that his voice has no sheen. What could have become his launching pad became his death knell as per film industry was concerned. Other production units followed Sippy’s and desisted from signing Parvez sighting many reasons. With greater difficulty Parvez finally ended up with completing just seven films.
About the film veteran actor Rakesh Bedi said in 2021, “In my case, it was more like a campus placement. I belong to FTII, Pune. Ramesh Sippy’s father GP Sippy was the chief guest at my convocation. I was a part of the entertainment team for the event. So, I was compering and acting in a play. GP Sippy came to me post my performance and said he was making a movie titled Ehsaas. It had two leads, and he wanted me to play one of them. I was on cloud nine because this was right after the blockbuster Sholay. If you ask about my audition, I believe my entire performance of three hours on stage was an audition in itself. That film became my first major break.”
Rakesh replied to another question about his relations with other co stars, “The film had several guest appearances…..There was new actors Parvez and Dina. Parvez went back to his hometown in Kashmir. The actress opposite to me was Kiran Vairale. She belonged to my theatre group IPTA.”
Parvez’ Masoodi’s love for mysticism , art of perfection and loose temper became his staunch enemies . “While shooting for serial Shanti ,written by me, he spotted photograph of Hazrat Nizam U Din Dargah somewhat tilted “ recalls acclaimed writer and poet Bashir Dada. “ Parvez was told by the man behind lens that we experienced some glare. But Parvez was of the opinion that the tilt of the photograph has negative connotations. And the blunder will convey something unpardonable. The controversy led to argument and heated exchange to the extent that shooting had to be abandoned.”
Dada recalls another incident when he was travelling in a car accompanied by Parvez. “I recited my poem Bagh e Hasti main gul hain magar……and Pervez got so engrossed into it that he wanted to listen to it again and again. May be it had touched him deep down somewhere and he related it to his personal tragedy. “ Sensitive in nature Parvez’s career was marred by certain controversies . “Shooting for serial Hosh Ha Hosh at Batote brought forth one such controversy and I even lost temper and was very rude to Parvez .” says Bashir Dada . “ He was so engrossed and deeply connected to his role that he spoke his dialogue beforehand .When asked as to why he did so his reply jolted me. ‘what would have the child thought on receiving the news of the accident.’”
Post script : “ Despite being victim of the circumstances Parvaiz Masudi ,continues to hold the distinction of being the first Artist from Kashmir who made a film industry of the then Bombay and now Mumbai.
At a personal level I have found him intellectually energised and exceptionally conscious of self respect.
He had fought big battles of life lonely.
Despite having had a star status he has not shyed doing routine kind of things to earn a respectful livelihood.He has a clear cut account of who did what to him and what for him; his attitude towards the people is commanded by his safely preserved software of past but he lives in present.
He deserves all the love and respect and he knows how to reciprocate it.Love him and be a beneficiary of his love and respect.” said Amin Bhat , a prominent theatre and TV personality.
Er.Shafi Ahmad is a writer andcolumnist.