By Mushtaque B Barq
Acting is a pulse of the script, the vibration of narration and above all the perception of delight. A postmodern adaptation may even drift afar the blue in verbalizing its characterization. It may be considered as ‘Indispensable Philosophy’ to project the script of a writer through performances both on the stage and on the screen nonetheless the magnitude. The aesthetic implications of performances are recorded, recommended and reflected upon to oblige much-needed purpose. Winding back may tickle the nerve ending, but then modifications and corrections can be the best option to pile up the archives. With the passage of time the techniques and technology have not only enriched the enactments but have also reinvigorated better preservation. From the archives, things either shock you for the kind of improvements under the strict inadequacy or it may also offer a few things to be reconsidered. A genuine artist always looks ahead to better his performances and as such he/she peeps down his own reservoir to escalate his progress and a movement called progression is further refreshed to be carried down the line for the generations to come. Started as a stage performer Shabir Mujahid, born in 1955 at Islam Yarbal Pather Masjid, Mujahid Manzil completed his schooling at CMS Mission School Fateh Kadal Srinagar Kashmir and graduated from SP College Srinagar. Apart from his academic degree, he has done some important courses like Production and Technical Course from Film and Television Institute of India, Pune in 1976, AIBD Production and Technical Courses in Sports at New Delhi in 1982, Production and Technical Courses from Film and Television Institute of India, Pune in 1987 and Script Writing for Television Drama (organised by Commonwealth Broadcasting Association in 2000).
He joined Theatre Movement at an early age and became a permanent member of the New Youth Cultural Organization in 1972. His inclination towards theatre encouraged him to join The Kashmir Theatre supervised by prominent actor-director and writer Makhan Lal Saraf and performed in a number of stage plays under M L Saraf’s direction.
He performed in Bas Akh Tamah and Akenandun written by Ghulam Rasool Santosh. His other performances at Abhinav Theatre include Sarkar and Seagull written by Dr. Sohan Kaul. His love for acting found him performing in Television plays in 1973. He acted in Sude Te Bode and multilingual serial Dhoop Chavoan produced and directed by Farooq Nazki and Zahid Manzoor. He also enacted in Urdu play Chaowraha produced and directed by Jai Kishan Zutshi. He was seen in H K Bharti’s Ujale Ki Dehleez.
He joined Doordarshan as Floor Manager in 1975 and was later promoted as Producer. He visualized cartoons designed by eminent cartoonist Bashir Ahmad Bashir under the title Cartoon Cartoon. His productions include Wutche Prang written by Prof. Satar Ahmad Shahid in 1981-82, tele-serial Zaal in 1984, he is also credit to produce first coloured serial Emandar and Kuner in 1988.
In his 40 years of working experience, Shabir Mujahid attained some key positions like Director DDK Srinagar, Director DDK Jammu, Director DDK Leh, and Deputy Director Doordarshan Directorate New Delhi. He covered London Olympics 2005, First Afro Asian Games Hyderabad 2003, Common Wealth Games, Melbourne 2005, Asian Games, Gonzoie, China 2013 as a Producer for Doordarshan. Apart from the aforementioned, he produced and directed Tele serials, teleplays, documentaries, Chat/ Musical shows, Sports programmes, live shows, Current affairs, Live Sindhu Darshan at Leh, star shows, live telecast of Dr Abdul Kalam, Hon’ble President’s visit to Srinagar and telecast of opening of Srinagar Muzaffarabad road.
He is credited to have achieved Doordarshan Annual Award for ‘Subhai Subhai’ in 2002, Prasar Bharti Gandhian Philosophy Award for film Kiran Kiran Ujala in 2003, J & K Sadiq Memorial Award in 2004, J & K Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad Award in 2007 and in 1988 he was awarded for a documentary film on ‘Kila Raipur’ 4th International Di Cinema Sports promo CITTA Rome Italy 1988.
Bashir Dada, an eminent actor-director and writer informs:
Shabir Mujahid started his art career as an actor. He played a minor role in a serial Parvaz Se Pehle written by Late H K Bharati and Directed by Rajesh Kaul. I was playing the major role of a Police officer and Shabir was playing a role of a student. His character was unnoticeable. Since Shabir Mujahid had no art background, I thought he would not continue with this tough art line. But after a few years, Shabir Mujahid surprised me when he joined Television as a production assistant. He looked very conventional, but he had a tremendous learning madness, which became his success story. I wrote my first serial Eemaandar for Television and I was disappointed to know that my serial was assigned to Shabbir Mujahid. But the way he directed my serial Eemaandar shocked me and many it was beyond expectations. Yes, he proved me wrong by his talent as a director. His casting sense was superb. His execution of scenes was simply a class of his own. Whosoever was cast in serial Eemandar emerged as a star. After the success of the serial Eemandar I wrote a film Shehjar which he directed with Ayash Arif. I played a negative role of Nunda which was impossible without the support of Shabir Mujahid. We developed a good understanding and Shabir later cast me in leading roles as well in Kuner. He is down earth person but when it comes to his directorial skill one has to adjust. We can’t undercut or underestimate his talent as Director. His contribution towards Television Drama is outstanding. I call him Mr. Drama.
Rajesh Kaul, Ex-Director and Head of Dept. Media Centre adds:
If there is anyone secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own. This is exactly how I found Shabir Mujahid, open-minded, ready to listen to suggestions and act pragmatically when it comes to television programming. I had a long association with Shabir. We started our career almost together in television. His immense love for sports dawned in 1982 when he was given charge of the Sports section in 1882. His passion and efficient handling made him almost indispensable in the field. The live telecast of Sports events became his métier. He tried various innovative formats within limited technical resources and was successful. He groomed young anchors like Roshan Khayal, Zahoor Zahid and Marifat Qadri which gave a sheen to sports presentations. His dedication carved a niche for him in the national sports cell and went abroad several times in connection with the coverage of Olympic Games, Commonwealth games, Asiad etc.
When any of us pursues a dream, we need friends. Friends that encourage us and believe in us. Friends who comfort us in our disappointments and spur us on to try again. But also, friends who understand our eccentricities and get why we dream the dreams we dream. Under such sentiment Shabir when tried his hand on fiction production and gave serials like Wetch Preng, Zaal, Kuner, Imandar’, and plays like ‘Weth te Aab Katre’ Tarike’and ‘Tijartuk Asan Tareeke’. All these productions were received very well by the audiences and became popular. Shabir Mujahid is a jovial person, a sincere friend with a tremendous sense of humour. I wish him good health and an active long life.
“Shabir is a dynamic personality packed with passion. Extremely resourceful and innovative. He put his soul into everything he did. When I was transferred from Radio Kashmir Srinagar to Doordarshan, Srinagar in 1980 I saw him for the first time and in no time developed an affection with him which has lasted more than 40 years. His main forte is sports, but it has been the tradition in Radio and Television that a programme officer is supposed to undertake all genres of programming that is assigned to him. He always rose to the occasion and because of his dedication, he achieved excellent results. He was the producer of the 1st and only International Cricket match between India and the West Indies held in Srinagar. It was a historical occasion and with limited technology covered this match on many cameras. Later on, he was involved in the Asian game in 82 and he was assigned as a producer to cover Sydney Olympics. DDK Srinagar during those days had to provide 4 ½ hours of fresh programming daily which was a mammoth task. Therefore, every producer other than his own assignment would be asked to produce programmes on different occasions i.e anniversaries and festivals etc.
Shabir also contributed his share and produced documentaries, features and TV reports on different occasions with experience, practice and experimentation he became an expert producer who could handle programmes easily.
In his serial “Eemandar” for the first time, he was able to persuade the doyen of the Radio drama Shri Pran Kishore to be the protagonist. All through his career, he could never be complacent as his zeal and passion for producing programming work dwindled and till the last when he retired as Director Doordarshan Kendra Srinagar, the same Kendra that had nurtured him and where he had spent most of his creative career and produced hundreds of TV programmes.” Basharat Ahmad, Producer and Broadcaster DDK.
“Shabir Mujahid is among the pioneers of broadcasting ,he has not only been the ace producer but able administrator , wonderful human being and a nice teacher. I have spent more than 40 years under his mentorship and he has played a vital role to shape my personality.
Shabir Mujahid is carrying the genes of broadcasting from his father Late Sadri ul din Mujahid who was programme executive in Radio Kashmir Srinagar during erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. Shabir Mujahid did not join broadcasting directly but he chiseled his talent in theatre where he got a chance to work under the guidance of eminent stage directors of the times and participated in number of stage plays as an actor His hard work his determination and sincerity towards his profession earned him great name in the field of broadcasting and in performing arts.
He has created history of producing first colour Teleserial for Doordarshan in the year 1985. Maximum of his drama production are big hit and remembered among the viewer’s for their content and technical niceties. He has not only been the popular Drama Producer of Doordarshan but has also earned a room for sports broadcasting . He has represented Doordarshan in many international and national sports events as sports producer . Shabir Mujahid belongs to a politically influential family ,but one great thing in him is that he never used his family influence in his professional career . It is all due to his honesty and hard work that he started his career as Floor Manager in Doordarshan and retired as Deputy Director General of Doordarshan which is a great achievement.” Dr. Ayash Arif, Director- Producer.
“When Shabbir Mujahid made his entry in Doordarshan as an enthusiastic actor, there were indications that he was not going to stop. From drama to discipline, from the floor to the top, he was an enthusiast. He is full of love and care.
Even if he doesn’t give the art world everything he could have given during his visionary career, I admit that he is still active, passionate and determined and I am proud that he directed my serial. He was not only the first director of my series but also my sincere leader and sympathizer.”
Zahid Mukhtar, actor and eminent writer.
Q:- How and why you opted for acting?
Acting was the only passion I lived for and I was much influenced and fascinated by our eminent stage performers. Acting is an inborn talent, one cannot teach acting, but the skills can be sharpened. From my college days at SP College, I was keen to play a part in cultural programmes and that encouraged me to join the Theatre groups where I was polished and chiselled. I am obliged to my parents who never stopped me to do what I was up to. I believe that one must be a dreamer. To be a dreamer reassures your confidence in yourself, it enables you to open your wings to soar higher. I followed my dream like a bird and the wind was favourable to lift me up in the blue. I kept watching and learning what was available within my limits and that helped a lot. I also worked in Musical operas at the time when such programmes were hardly performed in Kashmir.
Q:- You have worked in Black and White era, how challenging it was to handle the traditional ways of shooting?
The Black and white era was really wonderful for the reason that you had to work under limited technology. The only surveillance was creativity. We have worked under challenging circumstances, but we managed to keep pace with the time only because we had a great team of creative and innovative minds who would manage to produce something out of nothing. We had to shift the camera from set to set and everything had to go live, even musical touches. But now technology has taken over. Everything is possible, you can create effects with a click of a button, but we had to create such situations manually. This shift has added much to the cinema but creativity is the worst hit I remember I was asked to make a film on Dargah within 48 hours or so, apparently, it was impossible, but I managed to shoot and edit it within the time frame only because a lot of innovations and modifications were put to use. Nowadays you can see everyone whosoever has a cell phone can shoot and upload the content within no time, but you can understand the limitations when we had to create scenes and settings manually.
Mushtaq B.Barq is a Columnist, Poet and Fiction Writer. He is the author of “Feeble prisoner, “ Wings of Love” and many translation works are credited to the author like “ Verses Of Wahab