A man, his love for Lollywood and how it’s preserving Pakistani cinema long gone.
It was in the 70’s when a young boy from Nazimabad would sneak into a famous directors home, hide behind a curtain and watch Pakistani film stars talk, laugh and relax.
Today Guddu is the proud owner of Guddu Film Archives.
His Lollywood love affair began at a young age although it wasn’t always easy for him to follow his passion.
Guddu’s family never owned a television set; the first time his mother saw something on TV she was frightened and wanted it turned off.
Coming from a strict Pathan family he could only browse through the one rupee film postcards sold in the markets, or stand outside Liberty Cinema or hide behind curtains to catch glimpses of the stars. His family never understood his passion for Lollywood but he wasn’t one to give it up.
Guddu began collecting posters, audio cassettes, newspaper clippings, old records and anything that was churned out by Lollywood to add to his collection.
The space in his two roomed apartment is over flowing with Lollywood memento’s, walls lined with video cassettes, drawers full of newspaper clippings and shelves lined with posters.
He is a man who has met Lollywood actors and actresses long forgotten, in small rooms where some stay now, unable to even afford medicine. He has handed over posters to 80 something actors from their younger days; he has sent postcards of actresses to their children and grandchildren.
Film production in Lahore began in the early 1920’s and was in full swing in Pakistan from the country’s creation until the late 70’s. Today, however, little is known about this industry. According to Guddu, even production companies don’t have any archives of their own films.
And so, over the years, Guddu has become the go-to-man for anyone looking for a past piece of cinema history. Productions houses, magazines, artists and fans will go to Guddu to find a certain poster from some film, the audio cassettes produced by companies long gone, and interview clippings from actresses now dead and unknown.
Text by Sara Faruqi/Dawn.com, video by Hussain Afzal/Dawn.com