In the annals of filmdom, it has been observed that some people show their talents right from their very first appearance on the silver screen. They are so confident and talented that the cinegoers can’t help but mesmerized by his or her charisma. In Pakistan, Waheed Murad was one such person. Similar was the case with Babra Sharif. During the 1980s, Ayaz also falls in the same category of artistes, who immediately impressed and captivated the film enthusiasts.
Ayaz had all the signs of being an artiste from very beginning. His father, Naeem A. Naik was himself a fine artiste, who worked in many plays and PTV serials, including Qurbatein Aur Fasley, which was very popular serial in the early 1970s, introducing charismatic pair of Rahat Kazmi and Sahira Kazmi. People can also recall his memorable role in Ashfaq Ahmed’s play, Dada Dildada, along with Rehan. Ayaz’s paternal uncle, Ejaz Naik was a senior bureaucrat, holding number 1 position in the foreign ministry, and also represented Pakistan as ambassador on a few occasions. Ayaz is also related to Javed Jabbar, and was once married to Mr Jabbar’s niece, Shazia Akhter.
Ayaz Naik and Faisal Rehman were literally a breath of fresh air, when they were selected for Nazarul Islam’s groundbreaking rehash of Hollywood’s Summer of ‘42 meaningfully named, Naheen Abhi Naheen. Nazi Dada altered it sufficiently, especially in the beginning to add new cinematic values to it. Ayaz and Faisal’s made a very exciting new pair of young bravados, who newly arrive in the city from their village, and are forced to face the toils and tribulations of daily life. A couple of brilliant songs were also filmed on them, including Akhlaq Ahmed’s remarkable hit by Robin Ghosh Saman woh khwab sa saman, and a male duet from A. Nayyar and Akhlaq Ahmed, titled Kuch bhee karo yeh rokein. It was a sensitively made film on a new subject, and despite a young cast with Shabnam, the film did interest the local public.
After Naheen Abhi Naheen, Ayaz had to while away his time in routine movies like Yeh Zamana Aur Hai, which was a huge hit from Shabab Kiranvi, Aik Din Bahu Ka, Saas Meri Saheli etc. Hasan Askari’s Ik Dooje Ke Liyay and Zafar Shabab’s Aaina Aur Zindagi were based on common man’s issues. In between, Aslam Dar gave him a Punjabi film with Durdana Rehman, who was new female lead then, called Ishq Nachavey Gali Gali. With a good bit of direction and some good music, the film did hugely well, and gave Ayaz some more incentive to carry on with his career. Once again, Nazrul Islam joined hands with Amjad Islam Amjad to give Ayaz and Faisal a subject that was more relevant to the times, titled Palkon Kee Chaon Mein. It was another film to remind the nation of the potential of the young generation, and how they could make a difference in radically divided society. It had some lovely numbers including Meri palkon mein ik sapna hai and Bujhnay na denge mere yaar hum roshni pyar kee. These are truly inspirational songs. Probably, Ayaz’s last film was Sangeeta’s Naam Mera Badnam. I feel that Ayaz left the fray as he saw the rot setting in, because that was the time when nothing remarkable was being done in the industry, and while Faisal stayed on and later returned from the foreign shores to join in again, Ayaz called it quits while the going was good!
Ayaz, without doubt, is a brilliant actor. In films like Ik Doojey Ke Liyay or Aik Din Bahu Ka, where he was paired with a dominating senior actress like Babra Sharif, he proved that he never cowered under her shadow, and performed on equal footings. Ayaz has highly refined tastes in literature and art, and has a good sense of humor that made him a natural partner for Babra Sharif. In a relatively short career in films, Ayaz attained quite a bit of popularity, and retained his penchant for acting, joining television after a while. He hit the headlines on the small screen too. In Dastak, a serial by Hasina Moin, Ayaz and Shazia Akhter came face to face and it was instant magic. They made a hit pair, and later got married. Sadly, some pairs are not fated to last, and eventually they separated – Zulqarnain Shahid – Mag The Weekly – Karachi