Google Doodle on November 1st paid tribute to the legendary Pakistani puppeteer, artist, and writer Farooq Qaiser on what would have been his 78th birthday.
Qaiser, best known as the creator of the iconic puppet character "Uncle Sargam," has left an indelible mark on the hearts of both children and adults throughout Pakistan.
From fine arts to puppetry
Born in 1945 in Punjab's Sialkot area, Farooq Qaiser's journey into the world of puppetry began during his Fine Art studies at the National College of Arts in Lahore.
His talent as a show writer and puppet maker soon led him to the children's television series "Akka Bakkar" in 1971, marking the beginning of his remarkable career.
Qaiser's thirst for knowledge and passion for the arts saw him travel abroad to pursue his education. He earned a bachelor's degree in graphic design from the University of Bucharest and a master's degree in mass communications from the University of Southern California.
These experiences enriched his creative palette and broadened his horizons.
"Kaliyan" captivates Pakistan
In 1976, Qaiser embarked on creating his own children's show, "Kaliyan" (which translates to "flower bud"). This endeavor eventually led to the show being broadcast on Pakistan Television (PTV), captivating families across the nation. "Kaliyan" was a masterpiece that artfully blended humor and satire to impart valuable life lessons to its young audience.
Uncle Sargam, the central character, proved to be both endearing and relatable, making the show enjoyable for parents who watched alongside their children.
Awards and recognition
Farooq Qaiser received widespread recognition for his contributions to both education and entertainment in Pakistan through television.
He was honored with numerous awards, including the Presidential Pride of Performance in 1993, the title of "Master Puppeteer" by UNICEF in 1997, and the PTV Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.
Beyond his significant involvement in puppetry, Qaiser was a gifted cartoonist and columnist for the Urdu newspaper "Daily Nai Baat." He also shared his knowledge as an educator at Rawalpindi's Fatima Jinnah Women's University. Additionally, Qaiser co-founded the Pakistani branch of Union Internationale de la Marionnette (UNIMA) and served as its vice president for an extended period.
Farooq Qaiser's legacy continues to inspire and educate generations of Pakistanis. His iconic creation, Uncle Sargam, remains a beloved figure in the country's cultural landscape, reminding us of the power of art and storytelling in shaping the minds of the young and old alike.
Pakistan pays homage to a true creative genius on what would have been his 78th birthday, celebrating a life dedicated to the arts and education.