Friday, December 26, 2008

Know Faraz Inam - Alpha Bravo Charlie fame

Pakistan Television (PTV) has produced and broadcasted many great serials in the last few decades. Serials made on Pakistan Armed Forces gained immense appreciation. “Alpha Bravo Charlie” was just one of all time hits that earned huge popularity during 1998. This well received TV drama series was produced by ISPR and directed by acclaimed Pakistani director Shoaib Mansoor. It was a sequel to drama series Sunehre Din (Golden Days) with some of same cast. The series went on air on PTV during first two quarters of 1998. The story revolved around four main characters i.e. Faraz Ahmed, Kashif Kirmani, Gulsher Khan (all portrayed roles of captains serving Pakistan Military) and Shahnaaz Khan.

(a picture of A.B.C days)

Few weeks back, I had the opportunity to see Faraz Ahmed (Faraz Inam in real) in person a
nd we concluded an interview. Faraz portrayed a role where he was son of a rich landlord of Fatehkot in Punjab. He graduates from the 80th PMA Long Course with a sword of honor. He belongs to the Armoured Corps, 32 Cavalry Lahore. His disguise was confident showing him ambitious man - a Mr. Perfect who is well-built, good looking and wealthy to go along with his excellent academic record. He owns his own a brand new Mercedes Benz C130 – Jet Black. Here goes details of rapid question/ answer session:

Faisal Riaz: Tell us something about yourself, your childhood to date now.
Faraz Inam: Born in Rawalpindi on 09/10/1970, I did my initial education in various cities like Abu Dhabi, Karachi, Risalpur and Rawalpindi since my father being a fighter pilot in PAF would get posted to various PAF bases. We finally moved to Abu Dhabi in 1982. I did my Matric from Pakistani School in Abu Dhabi in 1986. Thereafter I joined PAF as an Engineering cadet in 35th CAE course (equvt. 90th GDP), since I could not join as a Flight Cadet due to weak eyesight. Although the love for fighter aircrafts had made me join the PAF, I soon realized that my dream was to become a fighter pilot like my father and rule the skies and the fact that I’d be spending my life close to the aircraft without having a chance to fly them would make me a frustrated soul through out my life. Hence I quit PAF in my semifinal term from PAF College Sargodha and continued my studies in Civil. Did B-Com in 1991, however, the result came in 1992. Thereafter I did my first MBA from PCBA, Lahore in ’94 with the intention of going abroad to achieve my terminal degree from a reputed Uni. in States. But, when I got admission at LUMS, I, on the insistence of my parents, opted to join LUMS rather than go abroad. Completed my second MBA from LUMS in 1996.

I guess my life has been led purely by destiny. A child who wanted to be a fighter pilot and did not see life beyond that in his late teens decides to go abroad for education, however by the time he reached his early 20’s, ends up doing two MBAs both from Pakistan and by 25 eventually lands in a Bank. Something he had never thought of even in his wildest dreams.

Interestingly the role offered to me in Sunehrey Din was through a friend who I had met in the PAF and who left alongside me. I would have never done Sunehrey Din had I not joined PAF and Alpha Bravo Charlie would have never followed if I had left for abroad after my first MBA as was originally planned by me. All thanks to Allah and prayers of my parents for making me what I’m today.

Being the only son of my parents and the eldest among three siblings, I always had a very responsible attitude towards everything. I was stated to be more mature for my age at all times and while this did give me important appointments in my academic life, I was never the popular one at school. But, I was friendly with most of my class fellows, coursemates and colleagues and the same trend follows to this day.

Faisal Riaz: Were you a sharp student?
Faraz Inam: My teachers/instructors termed me as “Intelligent” but my problem was lack of hard-work. My position in class used to be between 5th and 10th. I only started working hard in MBAs when realization finally dawned on me. Got second position out of 62 students in my first MBA whereas ended up in the 1st quartile at LUMS.

Faisal Riaz: Did you ever act before Sunehray Din and A.B.C?
Faraz Inam: Never as such

Faisal Riaz: How did this offer come to you?
Faraz Inam: This offer was originally made to Salaar Farooq who was a course senior to me in the Air Force. Both of us left PAF and thereafter he got offered this role. Everything was final and ready, but just a week prior to starting of shooting he got an admission call from a University in USA. Hence he referred my name to Shoaib Mansoor and asked me to do this role. Well I was invited to PTV, Islamabad, asked to read some lines from a script which I casually read and the rest is history.

Faisal Riaz: Gul Sher, Kashif or Shahnaaz. Who was closer to you than others?
Faraz Inam: Abdullah (Kashif) and I spent a lot of time together, by virtue of our nature as well, I guess we became friendlier. But the association with Qasim and Shahnaz is also very good.

Faisal Riaz: Tell us your one favorite scene each of Sunehray Din and A.B.C.
Faraz Inam: Obviously taking the Sword of Honor in the end was my favorites scene in Sunehrey Din. My father is a Sword of Honor winner in reality whereas my brother in law also won a Sword of Honor in his course. I tell them jokingly that your "Sword of Honors" are for real but only a few people know about it, whereas the whole of Pakistan got to see me winning my “Sword” be it in a Drama!

Faisal Riaz: Does fame get to your head easily?
Faraz Inam: I don’t consider myself as famous or a celebrity. It’s the kindness of people who approach me and praise the Dramas and sometimes my performance. Nothing special in me otherwise. I’m just a regular guy leading a normal family life. Thanks to Allah All Mighty.

(with his father)

Faisal Riaz: Do you remember any particular fan out of your millions of fans? Who did something unforgettable?

Faraz Inam: A lot of my well wishers have made kind gestures towards me. To single out any one of them would not be fair on the others.

Faisal Riaz: Did Shoaib Mansoor contact you for his flick "Khuda Ke Lieay"?
Faraz Inam: No he didn’t.

Faisal Riaz: What do you do in leisure time?
Faraz Inam: Spend time with family. I do what any average family oriented person would do. Nothing extraordinary.

Faisal Riaz: What are you favorite colors?
Faraz Inam: Black, Maroon and Steel grey.

Faisal Riaz: Are you a sensitive soul?
Faraz Inam: May be a little. But then I shrug myself out of such sentiments after a while.

Faisal Riaz: What does make you happy and vice versa?
Faraz Inam: Love of family makes me happy. Deception, lies, fraud and disregard for the rule of law makes me furious!

Faisal Riaz: Why are you not working in dramas anymore?
Ans: Between my professional obligations and family life I don’t have time for anything else. Besides, under my current demeanor I'd rather stay away from the screen.

Faisal Riaz: How do you define friendship?
Faraz Inam: There is an Urdu word for it “Bay-loss”.

Faisal Riaz: Are you a self-made person?
Faraz Inam: Well, I got my admissions on merit be it PAF or LUMS. I haven’t taken any financial assistance from anyone including my father since I got employed. My progress in my professional career has been on merit as well, Alhamdolillah. If this is the definition of self made, I guess then I’m one.

Faisal Riaz: What are your 3 strengths?
Faraz Inam: I don’t want to beat my own drums. It is for the others to comment on that.

Faisal Riaz: How often do you come to Pakistan?
Faraz Inam: At least once a year.

Faisal Riaz: What should Pakistanis do in foreign to portray good side of their country?
Faraz Inam: First of all stop washing your dirty linen in public. Project the positives about Pakistan and downplay all the media hype created by Local and International press. Remember, Pakistan is just not FATA or SWAT. Pakistan is a country of 165Mio people spread from Karachi to Kaghan and the positives of the country should be projected. Individually all should follow the rule of law and be honest in their dealings. Automatically they’ll start creating positive impressions about themselves and their country. Lastly they must spend foreign remittance to Pakistan through proper channel.

With Faraz Inam at his place

Faisal Riaz: What is your message to your fans?
Faraz Inam: First of all I don’t consider anyone as my fan. There’s nothing great in me to have a fan following. I consider them as my well wishers who are kind enough to know more about me even after such a long time. Message to them would be, “just be true to yourselves. A human being is always good at heart and for doing anything wrong seeks justifications. Hence if you need to think of justifications for doing an act, then don’t do that at all. Don’t do anything which you conscience does not allow you. Spend in the name of Allah and Allah will return you accordingly. Respect each other, other communities, other religions and you’ll be respected in return. Remember what goes around comes around. We have no one to blame for our current state of affairs. Hence if individually we put our house in order, collectively we’ll be able to revive our nation, country and religion. Therefore try to make your home a perfect home”.

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