Murtaza Hassan, more popularly known by his stage name Mastana, was a celebrated Pakistani stage actor.  While we are much aware of his life on stage as he performed his impeccable acting in various plays, the story of his later years is often left forgotten.

A prolific performer with a penchant for making just about anyone laugh with his comedy, he gave nearly 45 years of life to his passion. However in 2005, he finally parted ways with Pakistani theater after an unpleasant incident that happened in Naz Theatre. The incident involved him being publically humiliated by police personals during a crackdown on racy dances. Disheartened and disgraced, the experience deeply changed him and he grew more religious; visiting various shrines in the country.

He grew terribly ill in the years that followed and eventually became hospitalized. His family appealed to the government for financial assistance but their pleas were only met with a deaf ear. They pleaded for help on a news channel but no one stepped forward to help.  The great comedian’s story met a tragic ending of neglect as he succumbed to his illness.  The wretched irony here is that a man who brought a smile to so many died himself died without one.