Tariq Aziz, The Iconic TV Anchor from Sahiwal

Tariq Aziz, a Pakistan TV anchor, poet, and broadcaster of the previous generation, made the talk of town with his unforgettable style of language. The well-renowned “The Star of the East” personality named as Aziz remain remarkable for celebrating arts, literature, and philosophical dialogue through such as Neelam Ghar program.

The Journey Begins

The author was born in Sahiwal in 1936and the childhood of Aziz was also spent in Sargodha. For his masters in Urdu literature, the author in this wonderful book secured his degree from Government College Lahore. After he had spent some time teaching, he opted to take on a job with Radio Pakistan in 1960s. A charm character to his voice, Aziz had recited classics first in Urdu then in Punjabi on programs such as Hamdard, Bazme Sheer o Shairi; and Dastan Goi and made the listeners felt special at the sound of “Khuda Hafiz”.

The Neelam Ghar Legacy

Aziz rendered the job of a lifetime by creating the prodigious show Neelam Ghar which was aired on PTV in 1974. Diverging from common storylines, the Blue Room has redefined the Neelam House by the young man, Aziz, having a high-level of conversation with people from different fields of interest, in an imaginary setting of a blue room. The acclaimed blue book and Aziz’s delightful hosting spellbound over millions of Pakistani people whose homes he became a part of, as a result, gaining him a nationwide name. At its peak, Neelam Ghar was supported by 80% of population, and thereby, Aziz became the first Pakistani media icon.

Beyond the Screen

While Aziz had flaunted on our TV screens, he also had a fire in his stomach for Urdu poetry and had a thirst for the arts. He authored some books, including the ones which were collections of poems, travel logs and memoirs. One of the key aspects that contributed to the emergence and growth of the Urdu language was the work of poet Aziz in promoting the work of young poets; he was famous for incorporating new poets in his top rated program, Bazm-e- Tariq Aziz and his poetry symposiums. His contribution being second only to Independence itself for which he had bagged Pakistan’s second-highest civilian award, Hilal-e-Imtiaz, in 1992.

Bazm-e-Tariq Aziz

Bazm-e-Tariq Aziz, as an extended work, was a product of radio and television transmissions where poets, writers, and the intellectuals assembled and entertained the listeners with mushairas in Arabic. These occasions exhibited that Aziz’s deferent to the Urdu language and his stand of an ambassador for culture bridging a cultural gap through his poetry was very important to him. The concept of Bazm-e-Tariq Aziz held its status as a cultural phenomenon on PTV and portrayed such sensitive figures as Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Amjad Islam Amjad and Zehra Nigah.

Farewell to an Icon

In the 1990s, the final episode of Neelam House and the show was aired. Aziz was the host. For the last few years, he was undergoing depressive and mental crisis and on the 5th of June 2020, he was laid to rest at the age of 84as a permanent loss for the Pakistani media and art lovers. Pakistan, the nation where people still talk about the figure who reached millions of rural houses and make them look up to the most wonderful world of art, literature, and culture in years to come, is not mourning his death.

Legacy Lives On

It has been more than seventeen months since the death of Aziz and his influence still shines. His shows have raised the bar in art and TV programs too. The series he produced were not only stylish but also cultured. The Urdu poets, even today, desire sponsors alike Aziz whose candle will revive the glow of Urdu poetry again. Even if the blue room’s lights have long since wavered since Aziz, the recollections of those widespread mystical days still remain engraved into the minds of the generations he had captured.

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