Saturday, December 25, 2010

About Sohail Ahmed- Azizi


About Sohail Ahmed- Azizi

Sohail Ahmed (Punjabi, Urdu: سہیل احمد), born as Sohail Akram (سہیل اکرم) is a Pakistani comedian, and stage and TV actor. He is most notable for comedy stage dramas based in Lahore. He is famous for using improvised dialogue during stage plays. He is an outspoken opponent of vulgarity and obscenity in stage dramas. He was born in Gujranwala (Satellite Town), went to school at Millat High Gujranwala, graduated from Government College GCGujranwala. His father Mian Muhammad Akram (Late) was a senior Police Officer. He is third in line of four brothers. The oldest brother Javid Akram is a journalist, the other older brother Mian Aurang Zaib Akram is an Educationist like the younger brother Muhammad Junaid Akram. He is the nephew of a great Punjabi Poet known as Baba-e-Punjabi Dr. Fakir Muhammad Fakir. He is jutt by caste. He is also the writer and director of many stage plays. Recently Mr. Sohail Ahmed has proved himself to be an outstanding director when he produced and directed his second Drama Serial SHAAM, which was written by Mr. Iqbal Hasan Khan, a known playwright and short story writer of Pakistan. This play went on air this year in Jan.

Azizi is the persona Sohail Ahmed walks into when he appears on the show Hasb e haal. The character over time has come to symbolize the voice of sanity over the apparent apathy in the society. He mocks the flagrant disregard for law, lack of policy architecture by the government and equally blatant lack of incentive from the civil society to change the squalid they occupy. The popularity of the character is understandable in a society which has lost its relevance and looks at reality through half open conduits. Where scruples are sham and morals mostly a facade to impose upon each other one's perceived dominance: Azizi brings the freshness of being unabashedly pedestrian.

Genesis of the Character
Sohail Ahmed appears on Hasb e haal as Azizi, while the rest of the crew Junaid Saleem and Najia are playing themselves. It's ironic that the only character who is posing to be a fake comes out looking as the most original and prominent voice. It is symptomatic of the collective deficit of trust in the society. Characters like Tyler Perry and Azizi, who are clearly in character - gain credence by the very fact that they are declaring the role-playing part of the appearance - the society is tired of people wearing masks - hiding behind veneers yet seeking to gain trust. When one looks at Azizi and Sohail Ahmed in the context of evolution of media and response of the viewers as they set the agenda by controlling the remote, the closest analogy to Suhail Ahmed following his journey as a stand up stage comedian and gaining respectability as a socially conscious sounding board for the collective wisdom of the people, one can compare his second coming to TV with Bill Cosby of the show bearing the same name.

Television career
The show Hasb e haal airs on Dunya TV and then is downloaded on the internet through various media portals and distributed via social media websites. It has a viewership of 100,000 viewers on the internet ( mostly in Americas and Europe). The numbers are picked from youtube and, there are surely ten times as many ( unaccounted in this study) viewers watching the show on cable tv. However if the internet numbers are seen as a sample study and a proportionate approximation is made about the larger viewer population - the raw data-points indicate that the character and the show has the highest hitrate count in the west for any show on air currently. In November, 2010 Sohail got his life-time achievement award from Pakistan Television.

Research subject for Linguistics
One of the abilities in Azizi's repertoire is his particular knack for coining novel words—words that are novel even at the atomic level i.e. he frequently introduces novel morphemes with surprising facility. He remains a subject for language researchers especially for those investigating whether languages evolve in punctuated bursts. The idea of punctuated evolution was first proposed by Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould in the context of biological evolution. Recently Atkinson et al. [2] have demonstrated an interesting parallel in the evolution of languages, but in a forensic fashion by analyzing the vocabulary bursts in the histories of languages. Characters like Azizi help language researchers in pinning down the underlying engines that feed such vocabulary bursts.

Moreover, Azizi's character is a fodder for cognitive scientists interested in finding the neural basis of word formation. Not surprisingly, Azizi is also a trope -churning machine, constantly rejigging existing idioms and metaphors by skillful juxtapositions, transpositions, and more interestingly, generating new meaning by portmanteauing apparently disconnected tropes.

A Case Study for Students of Performing Arts
Considering the extent of credibility Azizi enjoys among his audience raises a fundamental question for students of performing arts—how to handle the pressures of responsibility that such a stature of credibility demands. Azizi is a living case study of how performers may handle a role that catapults them to a pedestal of credibility.

source: wikipedia


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