The great comedian and artist who made the world laugh with his art spent the early days of his life in Liaquatabad popularly known as Lau Khet.
Today, the people of the neighbourhood were saddened by his demise and prayed for his forgiveness.
According to the residents of the area, Umar Sharif spent his youth in B Area and Liaquatabad No. 3.
He used to sit till late at night at Siraj Bicycle Shop with legendary actor Moin Akhtar and his neighbours sharing rounds of malai wali chai or creamy tea with them. He used to crack jokes and make them laugh.
They said that Sharif used to play carrom at Liaquatabad’s Jhanda Chowk and enjoy pan from Kallu Pan Wala. He was very fond of kebab paratha of Liaquatabad and “malai wali chai”. Then circumstances changed and he left Liaquatabad but he did not forget his old neighbours and friends.
He used to visit them very often. As long as Amjad Sabri was alive, it was normal for Umar Sharif to visit Liaquatabad.
Describing the events of Umar Sharif’s life, Salahuddin, owner of Siraj Bicycle Shop in B Area Liaqatabad, said that Sharif had lived in the area for more than 20 years. “Sharif was a very noble man,” Salahuddin said.
“He used to come to our shop every day. Enjoying tea with his friends was his routine. He was my brother’s friend. My relationship with him was also like a brother. Sharif used to gather people and make them laugh. He is not in the world today, but his words will always be remembered. He became the identity of Liaquatabad.”
Sharif’s neighbour Khurshid Nawab said that he lived as a tenant in house No B-22/50 of B area in Liaquatabad.
The residents considered Sharif as a family member due to his wonderful personality and his way of bringing smiles to the faces of people through his simple wit.
As long as Sharif stayed in B Area, he regularly held gatherings of friends and neighbours. Moin Akhtar also lived a few houses away from his house. They used to hang out with friends till late in the night.
Sharif’s landlord Moeez said that his grandmother had made Sharif her son. “He was like my chachu.”
Nusrat Baji, who lives on the first floor of the building in B Area, said: “Sharif lived in the same room where I live today. Though he was a tenant in this house, he was like a family member sharing joys and sorrows of everyone.”
He has left the world but he will always live in our hearts, Baji said adding that Sharif used to come here even after moving to posh localities and becoming a celebrity.
Sheikh Mohammad Javed and Shehzad, residents of Liaquatabad No 3, said Umar Sharif settled in Liaqatabad No 3 in 1986. He used to hang out in the streets here. He was interested in acting since his youth. He used to make people laugh. Sharif used to play carrom at Liaquatabad No. 4.
Umar Sharif used to meet the Sabri brothers. Amjad Sabri’s brother Talha Sabri said that he was basically a Liaquatabadi. He loved Liaquatabad very much. Even after leaving here, he used to visit Amjad Bhai. He had a lot of respect for my mother. He used to request her to prepare food for him.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 3rd, 2021.