A day from the life of Lehri

Published: September 19, 2012

The veteran comedian "Lehri" passes after thirty years of sharing his impeccable wit on screen. ILLUSTRATION: JAMAL KHURSHID

In the past 10 days, my thoughts were floating just like my wafting expressions in the year 1956. It was the year when the world saw the first hint of amusement in my words. No! I was not a madman running on the streets of Karachi but the famous “Lehri”.

Those were the golden days of my life and also of the Pakistani industry, but today I lay quiet at my final resting place.

There were days when I was the king of comedy ─ a king who was not entertained but was a source of entertainment. I did not have a brigade of ‘darbaris’ who would sing for me the moment I clapped, but it was me who was given a standing ovation for the words I uttered.

For thirty years, I enjoyed the fame and fortune from the seed of comedy that I planted in the Pakistani film industry. I served and ploughed the ‘filmi duniya’ with my great sense of humour. The silver screen brought tears of joys and happiness in the eyes of the viewers.

Lying on bed for days brings back those memorable moments back to life. The time that is dear to me is now just a fading history. Friends come and go, seeing me in apathy, but that is what I was destined for. Had I not been a part of a disloyal nation, I would have enjoyed more care, love and respect when I needed it the most.

I am not being a nitpicker but merely expecting too much from the last days of my life. Year after year had I not received awards, I would have not  raised the bar of my expectations. Not only did I make people laugh but also made them hate me for some of my acts, but that was only limited to the cinema.

Was my comic talent and constantly bringing a smile on people’s faces for thirty years, not enough for them to love me till my last breath?

Months passed; I lay on bed in a private hospital helplessly looking at my surroundings. I had been waiting for these days to end ─ an end to the pain that I have been suffering from. I don’t know if it is more of a physical pain or an emotional turmoil that I had been through.

On September 13, 2012, I gave my last performance ─  not on screen but on the stage of life. On Thursday, I said my goodbyes to the film industry and the world.

There will be no more “Lehri” who will spread smiles, however, his memory will stay forever; the legendary veteran comedian will continue his journey…

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Tabassum Iqbal

Tabassum Iqbal

A full-time Social Media Strategist and a habitual writer, Tabassum likes writing about social and cultural issues and tweets as @tabassumkhot twitter.com/tabassumkhot

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

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    Very well written. This has the dilemma of our nation that our heroes pass away in miseries but we do not look to help them when they need us most. Many international footballers in liari are living a miserable life in their old age. We should be paying a tribute to our heroes when they are alive not that we should wait for them to pass away and then create a hype about them. Our legends like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Moeen Akhtar, Mehdi Hasan & many more deserved all the praises during the time when they were alive. Not that once they were dead and than we started cherishing their work. In a nut shell we must look to pay tribute to our national heroes when they are alive rather than waiting for their death & than start talking their achievements. Recommend

  • hail hijab

    @Tabassum Iqbal
    madam your article would have made sense had it seen the light of day,a few days ago.in praising the departed soul after his death you are no different from those,who seem to realize the talent after the person in contention leaves for his heavenly abode.Recommend