Media persons and writers gathered at The Pakistan Academy of Letters on Wednesday for a condolence reference for the much-loved ‘Kasauti’ champion, Obaidullah Baig, who passed away last Friday.
An eminent Urdu writer, columnist and media expert, Obaidullah Baig first teamed up with Iftikhar Arif in the 1970s and then with Ghazi Salahuddin in the 1990s for the famous Pakistan Television (PTV) quiz show, “ Kasauti”. He regularly appeared in a similar programme on a private TV channel, “Kasauti, Master Mind” till the day he died. The programme is conducted by Kasauti’s host, Quraish Pur.
Staring over an hour late, the reference began with poet Asghar Abid praising Baig’s work ethics and his ability to evoke unity amongst the people through his writings.
Naseer Malik, former senior cameraman at PTV, shared how Baig would specially come over to his place to eat phulkas (rotis) made by Malik’s sister-in-law, Salma, whom he later married. His wife, Salma Baig also hosted programmes on PTV and was an educationist.
An emotional Iftikhar Arif, the renowned poet, said, “The 50 years of association I had shared with Baig had been priceless.”
He recounted how Baig would help him translate Urdu into various other languages late into the night during his time in Radio Pakistan.
Urdu fiction writer Hameed Shahid regretted the fact that with every passing day the country is losing its finest people “The way we don’t hear good news anymore, we seem to be losing good people too,” he said.
Television executive Agha Nasir was the chief guest at the event and was the last to pay tribute to the writer. “Obaidullah was perhaps the only person I know who despite lacking a formal elite education was more knowledgeable than anyone else,” said Nasir.
He said his favourite were Baig’s documentaries on social issues that he made throughout his career.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 28th, 2012.