Moin Akhtar - Thank you for the laughter

Sometimes you don’t realize the magnitude of one’s influence on you until their passing. I feel the passing of a legend such as Moin Akhtar has had the same effect on many across Pakistan and Pakistanis around the world.
I was perhaps no more than seven or eight when I first heard of Moin Akhtar from my father. As a comedian he was renowned for his wit and exceptional timing but more than that, my father would remark that making jokes for the family is not an easy job. With other comedians you feel sometimes that the threshold of decency may be crossed in order to deliver the punch line but with Moin Akhtar you always knew that he was going to take the entire family along for a hilarious time.
The irony of the whole situation is how much we need laughter in our country and for someone to continue to make us laugh and think at the same time. Moin Akhtar had that quality in him, he was able make you laugh, pause for a moment, think on what he had said and make you laugh some more.
Loose Talk written by Anwar Maqsood and intelligently performed by Moin Akhtar was a remarkable insight into comedy at its finest. The man of a thousand disguises was also a man of humbleness and pure patriotism. You can’t act a character if you don’t believe in what that character stands for. By way of all the different get ups and all the different looks throughout the show, Moin Akhtar did justice to every farce, skit, subtle play of words, pun and inference he made towards the situation put down on paper by Anwar Maqsood. The show was able to bring out the anger, frustration, jubilation, sorrow, disappointment and excitement of the entire nation through the comical wit of a man who knew how to be more than just one person.
When you see a comedian in real life, you expect them to be only funny; expecting something other than a joke or two is beyond belief. But with Moin Akhtar, you knew for a fact that this man was one of more than just a funny bone that defined his existence. He had a voice and you couldn’t stop him for making his voice be heard.
I had a chance to hear an interview of his a few months before his death and it was heartwarming to see that a man of his caliber was more worried about the youth of this nation then his own personal achievements and future aspirations. He had more soul in his voice than all the politicians and bureaucratic scum put together. He was worried for the future of the nation and it struck a chord in my heart, made me respect him even more. His wish was to see that one day the youth of the nation would be completely different from the rulers of our times. He made no joke about it and was as clear as day on the point that a nation is as strong as the youth is breeds.
There is no doubt in my mind that on the 22nd of April 2011, generations of Pakistanis felt the same way for one single man that perhaps they haven’t felt for a long time.
Moin Akhtar, for you I will always be praying. Thank you for all those times of joy, those moments of laughter when I could forget the pain and suffering we see around us, the number of times you’ve talked about the current world we live in, in a funny way and yet made your point on how we must change, how we must grow together as a nation, how the youth should be stronger than what it is right now. I respect you and thank you for believing in us and I pray that as a nation we learn from your messages and can be better than what we are.
Once again, thank you for the laughter.
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