Interview by Khawaja Pervaiz Saeed
Behrooz Sabzwari made his debut into acting as a "little one" and thereafter swept his way to recognition through multifaceted performances in Radio Presentations, Stage Plays and TV Serials. Apparent has been the versatile touch in his roles and the apparent creativity has won him many fans who admire, adore, idolize and applaud him. The award of Pride of Performance in 2008 was a moment of glory for him and he cherishes this acceptance by the Government of Pakistan.
1. Share with us some significant memories of your earlier years and how you got started?
As a little one, barely nine perhaps, I managed to tackle with unbelievable confidence my first appearance on stage in a fancy dress show, wearing the attire of a Pathan Chowkidar. I still remember, with fondness, the acceptance praises showered on me and the humble way in which I digested them; but that was not enough, some very senior producers of the PTV had seen me and thereafter destiny took over. The flow and the drift swept me into the fold of show business and there I was taken over by the giants of PTV, like Ishrat Ansari and Aftab Azim, and although it did not mean much to me then, they were the ones who kept telling me that I was in love with words and not only gifted with an understanding of the poetry behind words but also knew the romance that lies within each word. You are they would say "articulate and expressive, fluent and forceful".
PTV really moved my life with a heart warming launch of the play called Khuda Ki Basti. This organization and the producers of that play are responsible for what I am today, an accepted actor with an extraordinary feel for the demands of the entertainment world.
2. Over the past few decades has the industry been good to you or have there been moments of despair and depression?
Well, the creative touch in me has always been satisfying for me and my producers. The roles have always been forthcoming and the versatile and multifaceted touch has been a big draw card; the audiences keep falling for it and adore and even revere it.
3. Along the way have you ever tried your luck at other avenues of livelihood?
Yes, for a while I did venture into car business to supplement my income needs. Infact in 1989, I opened my own showroom by the name of Motor Guide. Subsequently however show business became a full time activity and I had to divert my time and energy towards it.
4. Have you passed on your expertise to others and we understand your own son is an aspirant in this field?
I do encourage the new comers to develop themselves to the fullest if they are to realize their dreams. I keep telling them the importance of fundamentals like devotion, passion and hard work and the urge to learn, and while on this subject I am so glad to share with you that my own son SHAHROOZ has launched himself into this field. He has not opted for any shortcuts, instead he joined London School of Drama, went through a comprehensive course, learnt the basics and by virtue of this earned selection for a degree course at the Whistling Woods International in Bombay University in Film City; the course is due to start in January 2010 and I pray for his success. From the practical angle Shahrooz has been a key player in the PEPSI AD, the World Cup AD’s (five in all) and appeared in TV serials.
5. Did you get any formal training?
Working with Pakistan Television has been instructive and enjoyable. Some very knowledgeable people at PTV have showered affection on me when I was an infant in this line and they certainly aided my progress and made the difference between success and failure. I therefore treat them with respect. Along the way, also significant has been the fathering provided by Radio and Theatre. In the earlier years, Radio Pakistan, as an institution for artistes, had no parallel only the highest possible standards were accepted and when I go down the memory lane, it really amazes me to think that I went through six auditions before I was given my first chance.
6. We haven’t spoken of your parents and family. Let’s touch this important aspect.
Let me start by first paying a tribute to my father; he was an inspirer and an affectionate guide, a naval officer and a doctor. He was never harsh and hard, and for me, in particular I have no hesitation in saying that he made my life. As for my mother, I consider her a Gift of God and whenever I felt vulnerable or confused or in a state of self doubt, she was there with her awesome and colossal presence to remove and eliminate any misgiving about the uncertainties of life. As regards my brothers, the eldest one is settled in USA and the other is a doctor in Karachi.
7. Celebrities like you are likely to be sinfully trapped. Any scandals that caused a crisis at home?
I must admit that my father and mother did much to enhance many aspects of my character and when I entered the entertainment arena I was possessed of strong character mainly formed at home. The strong aspects of character revealed themselves over the years and eliminated any chance of falling into wrong doings or savagery of the evil world. Allow me to share here that I have been married for 33 years and an integral part of marital relationship has been a sense of belonging.
8. And yes we haven’t spoken about your wife and the relationship?
My wife Safeena is endowed with a lot of qualities; she is comely, competent, courteous, friendly, helpful and very caring, Indeed, fate has been kind to me and I am candid about saying that our married life has been free of bruises. She is not entirely a housewife and put her immense talent to use. As a designer her bridal wear is much sought after and the work she does is palpable. Much of her energy and nerve is taken up by the profession she likes so much.
9. Any message to the youngsters.
Love your nation, work hard and with passion, develop your mindsets, beliefs, values and outlooks.
Behrooz Sabzwari made his debut into acting as a "little one" and thereafter swept his way to recognition through multifaceted performances in Radio Presentations, Stage Plays and TV Serials.