Drama Title: Khuda Ki Basti
Re-telecast: 1974 and 1990Produced by: PTV Karachi
Directed by: Ishrat Ansari, Rasheed Umar Thanvi, Bakhtiar Ahmad, Qasim Jalali
Written by: Shaukat Siddiqui
Episodes: 26 for first and 13 for second recording
Actors & Characters:
Qazi Wajid as Raja
Mehmood Ali as Kaale Sahab
Zaheen Tahira as Mother
Munawwar Sultana as Sultana
Subhani Ba Younus as Mistri Abdullah
Saqib Shaikh as Salman
Shakil Chughtai as Shami
Zahoor Ahmad as Niaz
Behroz Sabazwari as Nosha
Khuda Ki Basti is a diverse story but based on the life of a family and a location of Sindh. The poor family has lost its head and the mother takes care of her children in critical financial circumstances. Her elder son is careless but starts some ordinary jobs to help the family. There he is joined by some negative hands and finally he escapes and leaves for Karachi city with his close friend in search of a new life. But unfortunately they meet with more negative people and become robbers. Back at home the mother is forced to marry a wealthy businessman of neighborhood and her daughter falls in love with a young man who failed to marry her. When after spending a long time in Karachi the son comes back to home leaving his friend there in a bad situation, his mother had died and life have had changed altogether.
Comments & Memories:
Critics and viewers claim it to be the greatest drama of Pakistan Television ever and it is probably the only drama which was telecast three times and was produced twice. The drama was based on the famous novel “Khuda Ki Basti” of Shaukat Siddiqui and the novel as a book itself has a separate history. PTV decided to make a drama based on the story of Khuda Ki Basti and it was 1969 when PTV initiated an advisory committee comprising on the big names of literature to ensure the best conversion of the novel into the drama. Great poets Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Jamil Ud Din Aali were part of the committee along with the novel writer Shaukat Siddiqui. It was an extra ordinary arrangement for the drama because such committees were and are never a tradition.
Ishrat Ansari was selected as the director of the drama who had been very active at PTV Karachi center. He produced many of the episodes but some of the episodes were also directed by Rasheed Umar Thanvi.
Those were the days of black and white telecast and PTV was the one and only channel of the country. Moreover the television was just a new phenomena in Pakistan and PTV was having its 5th year of establishment. There were not many televisions available but people were getting it fast. In such an atmosphere the drama went on air and it received an amazing response. The 26 episodes of 25 minutes each were watched all over Pakistan and people loved it. All the actors of the drama became stars and they earned huge popularity. The drama left deep impacts on the viewers and society and was discussed on a national level.
Time went on and PTV went through developments as well as the country itself. The color transmission was brought in 70’s and television became more popular in Pakistan. Nobody knew that Khuda Ki Basti had a die heart fan who would become Pakistan’s Prime Minister some day and he was none other than Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. As Bhutto became the Prime Minister he showed his interest to re-telecast the drama. PTV started the arrangements but the fact came to know was that the old recording files were erased due to technical reasons. But Bhutto wanted his favorite drama re-telecast at any cost. Finally it was decided to re-record the drama and directors Bakhtiar Ahmad and Qasim Jalali were chosen for the task this time. The did their best and 13 episodes of 50 minutes each went on air and were appreciated and liked by the people once more. Khuda Ki Basti earned same welcome and more popularity with this re-recording and re-telecast. The same recording was telecast again in 1990.
Khuda Ki Basti is now not only a drama but has become a heritage and history. With the invention of internet and social media the drama is now available on internet and old and new generations are watching it with a craze. Those who were not in 60’s and 70’s are left speechless with the standards and quality of the drama and those who were witnesses of the gone times are enjoying it like a golden memory.
Some great actors who worked in Khuda Ki Basti are no more with us including Subhani Ba Younus, Zahoor Ahmad, Qazi Wajid, Zaheen Tahira and others and some of them are still around to share the memories of the making of this masterpiece. Almost everybody who appeared in Khuda Ki Basti later became a legend for television in Pakistan and a single drama produced so many stars in Pakistan.
The vintage Khuda Ki Basti is hoped to become more and more popular with the passage of time. Time is going ahead but due to the decline of the standards of entertainment industry more people are looking back to the gone moments and memories.