|PTV gave Mustansar Hussain Tarar a unique respectable status in Pakistan.|
For a long time of childhood, we even didn’t know his real name and used to call him “Chacha Ji” and he had a unique respect in hearts like for someone a part of a family.
Those who had televisions at homes and were children in 1990’s, Mustansar Hussain Tarar is still Chacha Ji for them. Not even for children of that time, but in fact he is Chacha Ji of Pakistan.
When PTV started the live morning show, Mustansar was chosen as the first host for this new experiment and then that morning show “Subah Ba Khair” became a history and a lifetime tag for Mustansar himself. He served the show for a long time, for a long time all by himself and then with some co hosts as well. Mustansar’s title of Chacha Ji was so powerful that even when the young Quratul Ain Rizvi joined him as a co host, she was used to be titled as “Phupho Ji.
Born in 1939 at Mandi Baha Ud Din, Mustansar got his education from Lahore and London. He started writing during 60’s and very soon became pioneer of travelogue writing (Safar Nama Nigari). He wrote more than 50 books on different topics, basically on his travel experiences, short stories, fictions, novels and others. He wrote some famous dramas for PTV as well including Hazaron Raastey, Parinda, Shehpar, Sooraj Key sath Sath, Kailash and Faraib. He had his bright recognition as a columnist as well and served in this field for many years under the title of “Akhbar-e-Jahan”. In his early days he worked in some PTV dramas as an actor but for a short span of time. In 1992 he was given Pride of Performance Award in literature. He has been an active mountaineer for many years and also took part in promoting tourism in North Pakistan areas.
What a multi dimensional personality Mustansar had and he contributed in all the dimensions he had interest for but at the end when we think about Mustansar Hussain Tarar, his most valuable dimension, title, character, status and memory is “Chacha Ji”.
It was 90’s, when Subah Bakhair used to start right at 7am. Children were to leave for schools and colleges till 7:30 or maximum 8am. Can somebody imagine that a person could hijack a whole generation in those 30 or 60 minutes? Chacha Ji did that. Early in the start of the transmission, he used to start addressing children directly like somebody is talking in front of you. It was something like “jaldi jaldi uniform pehno aur nashta karo” …. “aao bacho cartoon daikhtey hain aur phir school chalney ki tayari” …. “ab school ka waqt ho gaya hai, aap uthain aur ghar walon ko khuda hafiz kahain” …. and many more of such kind of direct addresses can be recalled. It gave children feeling like Chacha Ji is a family member and cares for them like a real uncle.
Five or 10 minutes of cartoon watching meant a lot for many. Then Chacha Ji encouraged children to send him paintings. He used to show some paintings with children’s names and cities daily on the screen and it was a great part of the show. Parents were then to encourage children to make a painting to send to Chacha Ji and children wish to see their masterpiece on PTV screen. Around 7:30am he used to give children some good advice or tip for the day before they leave for the schools or colleges. Most of them were to discuss Chacha Ji later all the day long. Some children were “beeba bachey” and some were “baamba bachey” for Chacha Ji.
After sending children to schools, Chacha Ji has had much for the families. Many guests were to invite for live interviews, weather forecast, news, short dramas, songs, book introductions, kitchen recipes etc.
It was a big job to handle Subah Ba Khair all alone. PTV later introduced co hosts for the show. After a period the hosts were given days to run the show and then slowly a time came when Chacha Ji left this show silently and went into the clouds of memories.
Not only the morning show of PTV changed later on, but the entire base of this institution was changed and we are left with stories and memories to share with our coming generations.
The current days morning shows of all private channels are inspired by the tradition laid down by Mustansar Hussain Tarar long ago. But it is not at all equal to what he made a history. More than 80 channels have failed to produce a single Chacha Ji in many long years.
Chacha Ji of Pakistan, Mustansar Hussain Tarar is a part of the bright history of PTV and the nation.