Monday, January 25, 2010

Drop by drop: life passes by as Tanoli drops from tinsel town to frying pan

By Mahtab Bashir

Art - both visual and performing genre, survives in Pakistan but at a very heavy price. Musicians, painters, singers or actors live in most difficult times. The state institutions that are meant to promote art and culture ignore them. The art councils and other such institutions remain indifferent to the issues of artistes. Many artistes have passed away in abject poverty while others live in conditions that are not fit for an artiste who is protecting our rich cultural heritage.

Khalid Tanoli is one of such artists, who brought laurels working for Pakistan Film Industry and Television over the last two decades but with the slump in Film Industry, is struggling to earn living, selling variety of fried fish at his small hut along the roadside at G-9/2, adjacent to F-9 park.

Narrating his miserable story of switching profession of acting to selling fried fish, 44 years old Khalid Tanoli, told Daily Times that he started off his career in film industry in 1990 with a popular drama serial “Ajj Di Kahani” from Pakistan Television (PTV).

Born in Abbottabad, and hailing from Lahore, fair complexion Tanoli said that his professional career in Film Industry is over but he is working with zeal and zest for small tube. “My ongoing television drama serials are “Amar beil”, “Zindagi Aik Safar hay”, from ATV, while “Bus Aik Tera Intazar”, “Insaan” and Nai Nasal” are forthcoming drama serial to be telecasted from PTV,” he said adding besides these number of serials he is working for two more Drama Serial “Jaago Magar Khamosh Raho”, and “Bhaag Ali” in the pipe line.

I have worked with all the leading casts of film industry and television artists. One of my current Punjabi Drama Serial is with the title of “Sohni Mahiwal” in which I am working along side Shafqat Cheema to be telecasted on Apna Channel, Tanoli added.

Tanoli said he has played different roles from peon to police officers, from driver to villain, and as a jailer and father in number of Urdu and Punjabi films. “Sher-e-Punjab”, “Dada Badmash”, “Mulla Muzaffar”, to name a few.

Settled in the federal capital since last two years, Tanloi said because of poor scriptwriting, acting, production and Indian and western cultural onslaught, pushed Pakistani film Industry into a quagmire and now it is almost finished. “It (film Industry) could never be revive again, because every quality movie is easily available on cable networks, and internet on different websites. Why should people bother to watch Pakistani current movies that has nothing to impress audience,” Tanoli said while inserting sticks into wood stove.

Sangeeta Begum, Rao Qurban Ali, Pervez Rana, Anjum Pervez, Arshad Dar, Babar Kashmiri, Irdees Bhatti, and Ajab Gul are few of noted produced to whom I have worked, Tanoli said. Besides this in television productions, I have worked with Yawar Hayat, Ayub Khawar, Tariq Ahmed, Abdul Aziz, and Yasin Malik.

He blamed Indian soaps and films are also responsible to down Pakistani film industry but flaws that caused industry’s decline are our own, also producer is reluctant to take chances on his investment, said Tanoli, who has three school going children.

I have learnt fish frying techniques from one of my colleague producer while working in Lahore, and it clicked. Now, by the grace of Almighty, I am the only fry fish seller who has all range of fried fish in the federal capital. “Rahu, Trout, Baam, Masheer, Mushka, Simon, and Surmai are the fish, I brought from Tarbela and Mangla Dams, and also from Kaghan and Naran while few fish I imported from Karachi,” Tanoli said.

Talking about the rates of mouth watering fried fish served with sauce, Tanoli said the rates of fish vary from one to another. “I have Rs. 200/ kg to 650/- kg with Trout is the most expensive,” he said adding Trout is the only fish that is served only by him.

When asked, why don’t you avail sui gas for frying and why sticks, Tanoli said, every spark of fire makes the taste and that is my specialty, that is why people not from posh sectors of Islamabad came here to taste my fish but people from remote areas also relish. “A car running on Gas has a low pick but with petrol it swiftly passed by- likewise, fire of sticks to makes my fish more delicious,” he said with a smile. He said his business is picking up momentum these days as the space along road occupied by customer’s cars, which troubled him sometime.

Tanoli said he is looking for a better spot where he could set up his fish selling business to serve fried fish in a better ambience. “I have struggled and I am satisfied with my life.” he said.
Tanoli requested government that time is not over yet; government must do something now for the revival of film industry, for the sake of promotion of art and culture. “I have worked with commitment and devotion for the promotion of art and culture and there are thousands of artists like me, who are looking forward government institutions to something for the welfare of artists- as they are the asset of the nation,” he said.

Courtesy Daily Times Jan 02, 2010
Mahtab Bashir

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