Mahnoor Baloch: The essence of inspiration
By Anis Shakur
There is no substitute for excellence, not even success.
The above proverb holds true to model-actress-director-producer, Mahnoor Baloch.
A precious link exists between acting generations. This link is which enables the human spirit to soar when comparing artists over the years. One such artist is Mahnoor Baloch. Below is a moving tribute to her courage-and the extraordinary power of love, understanding and devotion.
As a young girl, Mahnoor showed keen interest in human behavior. Perhaps, Mahnoor wore the smile of an innocent, little girl as she said that she wanted to become a psychiatrist. But Mahnoor was destined to be an artist.
That smile, those eyes, they are really something, which boldly but complacently blend to make her the center of all eyes and lenses. It is the stuff of which the dreams are made of.
She is enormously endowed with artistic talents and backs it up by really being prepared for the challenges. She is a good friend with a beautiful smile. You first notice her beauty, which is of the striking variety; the kind that makes heads turn.
Mahnoor claimed her own fame before turning twenty in the modeling world. Later, she appeared in Pakistani television commercials as well.
Mahnoor's first stab at acting was in Pakistani televisions mega hit drama serial, 'Marvi', directed by Sultana Siddiqui, commonly known as 'Aapi.' Writer, Noor-ul-Huda Shah, cast included Mahnoor, Ghazal Siddiqui, Badar Khalil, and Hussain Qazi. The story revolves around a village girl, 'Marvi'. Mahnoor played the friend of 'Marvi.' It was a touching story deftly related to the public.
Quickly thereafter, Mahnoor's identity as a performer began to emerge. Mahnoor and her teammates worked together as conceptual artists for the television.
Though drama serial 'Marvi' marked the debut of Mahnoor as a television artist. She attained stardom with her role in the drama serial 'Doosra Aasmaan', which was telecast from Pakistani television in 1993-94. In 'Doosra Aasmaan', Mahnoor was dubbed as Abid Ali's daughter who, in turn, lived and made a fortune in Dubai. Cast included Mahnoor, Abid Ali, Asad, and Sami Sani.
In her real life, Mahnoor liked Hamid Siddiqui, happened to be the son of her father's friend. Their families knew each other for years. In fact, both Mahnoor and Hamid grew up together. They remained steadfast friends through thick and thin.
Long story short, Mahnoor married Hamid with their parent's consent and blessings. Mahnoor was in her sixteenth year at the time of marriage, while Hamid was seventeen years of age at the time. By the grace of God, both Mahnoor and Hamid have had a blissful married life for the past twenty years. In a recent interview Mahnoor said that 'we are the golden couple. Everything good has been showered on us.
Perhaps, they must have understood and implemented the saying below in their practical life:
'I do not want to change you; you know what is best for you, much better than I. I do not want you to change me, I want you to accept me and respect me the way I am. In this way, we can build a strong relationship, based on reality, rather than a dream.'
Reverting to her show business career, Mahnoor became the most enchanting artist of the 1990s and she continues to make her presence felt forcefully to date. Additionally, her genius in succeeding is largely one of character-patience, self-discipline, rationality and inner resolve.
Mahnoor's acting is fraught with reality. The humane element is always present in her celluloid persona. That believability-and humanity-was powerfully manifested in the 1997 super hit television drama serial, 'Ye zindigi.' Director, Sultana Siddiqui, cast included Mahnoor, Noman Aijaz, and Humayun Saeed.
It is an enthralling tale of deception and dejection. From this, and a rarely perfected talent of wit, Mahnoor brings her interesting character 'Soha', not only to life, but also into the hearts of millions of dedicated viewers. Background song in Mehnaz's lilting voice 'Zindigi kay sub lamhay yaad gaar hotay hain' became uproariously popular. Most importantly, the last episode of 'Ye zindigi' is intent on draining our tear ducts.
Mahnoor's unique ability is that she has one of the most astonishing faces on the small screen. Expressions drift over it like mist. How, in the entertainment industry abounding in gifted performers, does Mahnoor stand in a category unto herself? Well, she is a talent machine. That is what she was born to be. Moreover, the real Mahnoor and the reel Mahnoor are very much alike, replete with life, energy and acting.
In the highly successful drama serial, 'Chandni Raatain', Mahnoor's acting is almost gushing in its admiration. While her vivid persona upholds the sentimentality depicted in the play. In 'Chandni Raatain' as the story goes; Javed Sheikh had no children from his first wife. Thus, he marries 'Maha', played by Mahnoor, who becomes his second wife.
The play is simultaneously praiseworthy and heartbreaking.
To talk of Mahnoor is to put applause on paper. Her reputation for quality work stands so high, that almost every fan admires her wisdom and judgment as a performer. It strengthens her faith in her own resourcefulness. In an extraordinarily busy life, Mahnoor has it all, or nearly so. On the personal side, Mahnoor has poured all her talents into her role as mother to a fourteen-year-old gorgeous daughter.
Today, as her teenage girl prepares to leave the nest, her mom has begun to redefine herself.
As always, Mahnoor's motivation was clear and resolute in her directional debut 'Lamhay' in January 2000. Producer-director, Mahnoor, writer, Salman Wajih Hasan, cast included Mahnoor, Noman Aijaz, Shahzad Roy, and Nighat Chaudhry. In 'Lamhay', Mahnoor played the role of Shahzad Roy's mother. The poor girl, 'Fizza', from Bangladesh, smartly dubbed by Mahnoor, did the trick. 'Lamhay' is a play of individual sensibilities.
Dwelling on her plus points, Mahnoor's independence of mind and her ability to focus on her work also serve her well in her show business career. Confidence in one's own judgment, she realized early on, is what matters most. Mahnoor's presentation always carries with it a peculiar vividness that is exclusively her own. Included in the list of illustrious plays is 'Pathjhar ki chaaon' in the year 2000, directed by Mahnoor. It is an intricate story about a mother and her daughter.
Mahnoor played the role of the eldest daughter.
Regarding her charismatic figure, the discerning viewers fall passionately in love with her at first sight. From her earlier days in working life, Mahnoor has learnt a lot, and forgotten nothing. Most of all, Mahnoor has been glorified like no other artist in modern times. The intoxication of glory, Oh! How uplifted she would be!
Mahnoor's intense and interesting performance in the romantic comedy drama 'Kabhi kabhi pyar mein' in August 2001 brought more laurels to her. Director, Afreen Baig, writer, Shahid Kazmi, cast included Mahnoor, Humayun Saeed and Adnan Siddiqui. The way 'Kabhi kabhi pyar mein' was romanticized is a feat in modern Pakistani television direction. This also proves the fact that Pakistani television crew are hard at work on sophisticated craft.
Confident, amiable and cute, Mahnoor is an artist who echoes a quality most seem to have forgotten-being real. This woman of individualism continues to exert a peculiar fascination through her acting and her direction. Day after day, Mahnoor receives critical appreciation about her accomplishment. She keeps glued to the pursuit. Sagacious as she is, Mahnoor's performance was outstanding in the television play 'Sila.' Directed by Misbah Khalid, cast included Mahnoor, Faraz Maqsood, Adnan Siddiqui and Amina Haq. The story revolves around a college student, 'Sila', played by Mahnoor.
Mahnoor's performance in the lead role vaulted her to fame.
Mahnoor is not just another artist. She holds a singular place in our heart, and this presence never leaves. Perhaps, more than any other artist of her time, Mahnoor listens to the heartbeat of her admirers.
Like every sensible person, Mahnoor also endorses the view that a mind is a terrible thing to waste. It is time to recognize that we have been wasting far too many good ones.
Remarkable people like Mahnoor inspired some of our favorite television plays. 'Unhoni' is one of them. Cast included, Mahnoor, Shakeel and Humayun Saeed. In the drama serial 'Unhoni' Mahnoor works for Shakeel's organization. She leaves the job when she learns that Shakeel intends to marry her.
Preferring quality to quantity, that is, a little less, a little better, Mahnoor only opts for selected television plays. Further, nurtured by hard work, Mahnoor spurs the younger generation to better their world. As for her performance, Mahnoor's dialogues has her trademark wit and rhythm, her outlook infallible, she possesses, to guess right, instinct experience, and recollection; she sees true, compares swiftly and understands intuitively.
Mahnoor increasingly found opportunities to show her dramatic abilities, notably in the stage show 'Hai koi hum jaisa.' Hosted by Fakhar-e-Alam, Mahnoor and Atiqa Odho. The show honors the Pakistani cricket team and singers like Jawad Ahmed and Ali Azmat.
Mahnoor's family lives in the U.S.A. While her husband's family resides in Canada. Hence, Mahnoor, too, has settled down in Canada. Lately, Mahnoor enrolled in the film school of Toronto and completed a 15-month course in filmmaking. Paradise has been relocated to Toronto!
Soon, she went back to Pakistan and during an activity-packed trip, Mahnoor produced a fabulous drama serial, 'Shiddat', in which she used some of the techniques she picked up from her Toronto's film school as well.
Most definitely, we regard Mahnoor not only as the foremost entertainer but as one of the pillars of Pakistani television, a delightful companion to the life of the twenty-first century Pakistan and an endlessly fascinating personality in her own right.
As for her future aspirations, Mahnoor is more than up to the challenge. Love and wisdom knows no boundaries. With the passage of time, Mahnoor has earned love and respect from her loyal fans. She has developed enduring friendship with her family and her friends as well. In those bonds are the strands of love, of kindness, of physical and spiritual healing. They are the strands of life itself.
In a way so subtle, so gentle, so loving, Mahnoor has given us the most precious gift that could be bestowed to her adorers. It is the gift of a free and loving heart.
Mahnoor: You are as great as the world!