Tauqeer Nasir’s style of acting can only be termed as top notch. The way he immerses himself in any role is a feat that perhaps only few can claim to master. Initially it was the ever-sulking ‘angry young man’ image that shot him to stardom. But, over the years, he has matured and has given fine performances in a variety of roles. From an angry young man of Parwaz to a rustic village Robin Hood of the blockbuster Rahein, Tauqeer Nasir has been able to dish out hit serials every once in a while. In a nutshell, he has proved his mettle as an outstanding actor with a remarkable versatility. Born in Dera Ghazi Khan, he got his early schooling from D.G Khan and Multan. Later he joined the Mass Communication Department of the Punjab University and did his masters in 1981. But journalism was not his cup of tea at the time as the army uniform used to fascinate him. “The army khaki always attracted me. So joining the army was my dream. I did try to translate my dream into a reality but to no avail,” he states animatedly. The stylish Waheed Murad mesmerized him beyond words in those days, so when he heard of an audition chance for an upcoming drama serial, he decided to turn another dream into reality. “PTV needed an actor for a lead role in a drama serial. Arif Waqar took the audition and luckily I was later selected for the main role of that serial. I was to perform the role of a son while the late Saleem Nasir played the role of my father. When I did the first scene quite confidently, Saleem Nasir exclaimed ‘Mian larka pacca hai’. He hugged me and congratulated me. Shahzad Khalil and Sahira Kazmi, who were also present there, and they too cheered me,” he reminisces jovially. The rest, as they say, is history. He performed wonderfully in Panah, Aik Haqeeqat Aik Afsana, Samundar, Dehleez, Dard Aur Darman and of course, Parwaz. However, initially he considered acting as only a hobby. “At first it was only a hobby for me. And gradually it became a passion for me,” he describes. The period from 1975-90 is in his view the “golden period” of PTV as everyone used to put in a great effort to produce something special. But he is not very disappointed about the present state of affairs of PTV, as he still believes that it is producing standard stuff. “We are far better than the Indians as far as drama is concerned. Even today they cannot compete with our plays. They are technically sound but their drama standard is not up to the mark. The Indians can only produce soaps. Soap opera is a purely commercial venture to say the least. It is sad to note that some of our private channels are aping the Indians to dish out soaps too. This unhealthy trend needs to be arrested at the earliest,” warns Tauqeer Nasir. Paying full homage to the PTV for its pioneering role, he says that even today PTV’s programmes are more impressive than that of the other private channels. Books were an integral part of his home in his childhood as his grandfather was an English teacher. So an inclination to read books was always there. He mentions the names of Iqbal, Faiz, Amjad Islam Amjad, Ahmad Faraz, John Keats, Coleridge and Wordsworth with due reverence. As for fiction, the first author whom he names is Dostoevsky. He seems to be a die-hard fan of Dostoevsky. One of his novels, Insulted and Humiliated is his all time favourite. In 1989, Obaidullah Aleem did an Urdu adaptation of this novel under the tiltle Musafir-e-Rahe Wafa. The onus of doing the lead role fell on his shoulders. He studied the novel minutely to do full justice with the character. “Dostoevsky wrote the novel to express his own miseries. It’s a sad tale of social suppression and other injustices. To perceive the feelings of the main character, I worked hard. The novel tells the story of a man who received nothing from life. Neither love nor hate was bestowed on him. I feel elated that I was selected for the main role. The drama received very positive response and not only my acting but my cough, that was an integral part of the character, was praised,” expresses the actor. Other than books, he reads newspapers, and columns of Ayaz Amir impress him very often. As the chat drifts towards the medium of films, he fondly names few local films like Heer Ranjha, Koel and Intizar. Lagan and Devdas too get favourable comments from him. In a very logical way, he analyses the Indian cinema, “Cinema is a huge medium. It creates such a vast impact that a drama can’t do that. Films have also the additional advantage of dance and songs. If you delete songs from any film, the weight of the performance will diminish. Indian actors charge a whooping sum for doing films. If you give even half of that amount to us, I am sure we would definitely surpass the acting of Shah Rukh Khan.” His peculiar style of acting won him many followers in the India too. Tauqeer claims that Ajay Devgan talked to him on phone and confessed that he learned a lot from his acting. He acted in five movies but his affair with the film industry came to a premature end due to the nasty conditions of the industry. From the English flicks, he chooses Ben Hur, Dr Zhivago, Gone With the Wind, Casablanca and The Giant as his favourite ones. The Giant is the movie that he picks up as his all time favourite. “It is a beautiful movie starring Elizabeth Taylor. It’s about the tussle of love. It haunts me a lot so I have watched it many times”, he says fondly. He prefers softness in addition to melody in music. He has developed an ear for music icons such as Mehdi Hasan, Lata, Noor Jehan, Ghulam Ali, Nusrat Fateh Ali, and also Fareeda Khanum. As for pop music, he has little praise for it. “Pop music is nothing but noise and hangama. You can dance on it or perform bhangra while listening to pop music. Other than this, it is nothing. It does not touch the inner chords of your heart at all,” he remarks casually. Recipient of both the Pride of Performance and Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, as a matter of fact he was the youngest to have pocketed Tamgha-e-Imtiaz.