Balu Mahi brought the Pakistani out in me

Recently, Pakistan’s movie industry has been going through the process of transforming and restructuring itself. Primarily related to this change is an alteration in movie production. The era of the “gandasa” (a wooden pole) and “horse-riding dhoti-wearing heroes” is over or at least diluted to some extent. This is the time to fill the big screen with colours, fun, and relationships backed by practical stories that resonate with our society. Balu Mahi offers an assortment of feel-good moments, comic relief, and songs along with heart-warming moments between Bilal (Osman Khalid Butt) and Mahi (Ainy Jaffri). It started off slowly, and ...

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Why, in Pakistan, being a full-time beauty blogger will never count as an actual career

It’s been four months since I started blogging. I’m a doctor by profession and even though it’s been a while, I still haven’t found the courage to tell anyone (apart from a handful of people) that I’ve taken up full-time blogging in another profession. It’s because I know what they all will say. I spend hours writing, editing, and finalising my blogs, yet somehow no one actually takes what I do seriously. I literally put my heart and soul into every post I put up. I hate answering the question, ‘How much do you earn?’ I earn nothing; I can’t because I’m a blogger ...

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Is there a second amorous affair brewing in Saanp Seerhi?

For an average serial, one of the most vital moments is when cupid strikes. However, it is hard to establish such a plot in certain dramas where power and politics form the backdrop. So seems to be the case with Saanp Seerhi. With loud, ruthless socio-political commentary in the background, the love story of Mohid and Sophia is a faint thump.  Politicians stepping into puddles for footage (no points for guessing the inspiration behind this), and enforcing their progeny upon their voters as future masters and their complicated relationship with the media indicates the focus of the drama quite clearly. ...

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Why I think the PTV anchors were right to go public with their accusations

Currently, the issue of workplace sexual harassment seems to be in the national spotlight due to an on-going investigation at Pakistan Television (PTV). According to the available details, two prominent anchors had accused PTV’s current affairs director for sexual harassment. In response, the channel had initiated an inquiry to look into the matter. However, during the investigation, the two anchors decided to use other media platforms (electronic and social) to spread awareness of their case, which resulted in the PTV management imposing a ban on the involved anchors. The PTV management was of the opinion that the anchors were issuing ...

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Is Sammi the new Udaari?

In Pakistan, there has always been a social stigma attached to discussing taboo social issues such as sexual abuse, child marriage, and marital rape. These are topics that we do not discuss, but are well-aware of its prevalence in the society. People just sweep these topics under the rug and refuse to come out of their bubble and face the reality. The media has now taken the initiative to highlight these issues openly despite the opposition from some segments of the audience. Sammi, the new offering by Hum TV, addresses another social issue called ‘vani’ which many of us are not aware ...

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Is the new Vitara worth the money?

It’s said that the car you choose to buy depends on, well, your budget. But the condition you maintain it in depicts your personality and love for it. The way you drive it is a reflection of your state of mind. So who exactly would want to buy Suzuki’s latest attempt to transform itself in the eyes of the Pakistani public? Perhaps, that is the reason why it’s labelling it as a “game-changer”. After all, its signature product, the Mehran, has remained static, passing onto the next generation like a family heirloom no one wants. A comparison is unfair, though. If one could ...

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I am a die-hard SRK fan, but I won’t watch Raees

The much-awaited Shah Rukh Khan (SRK) starrer Raees, released in January 2017, seems loosely based on the life of notorious Gujarati Mafioso Abdul Latif. Latif was a gambler, a hired assassin, bootlegger and extortionist par excellence. He was also involved in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts and on the run till he was killed by the police in an encounter in 1997. Raees has, perhaps, sketched Latif’s life with all the charm and halo one expects from an SRK starrer. Like all other SRK fans, I wait for his films with bated breath. Such is my King Khan mania that I have never missed ...

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Why was Khabaristan Times blocked?

Freedom of speech is defined as “the right to express any opinions without censorship or restraint”. Seems simple enough but caught between the war between the liberals and conservatives in Pakistan – two words which mean entirely something else here – it is more about making a chutney out of it or a yoyo or rather a squishy ball that can be thrown at anyone’s face to win any argument. A certain TV show anchor/religious scholar/ Ghalib movie fan/ two-week PHD prodigy/ game show host/mango seller/actor was taken off air by PEMRA after numerous complaints were made. On his show, he ...

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Why are our advertisements advertising stereotypes and not the product?

Just recently, whilst watching a talk show on a news channel, I came across something horrific. Don’t worry, I am not delivering horrible news, we have plenty of news channels to do that already. It was just an advertisement for washing powder. What was wrong with it, you ask? Take a look and you’ll see what I’m talking about. So the advertisement, like all ads, aims to sell a product. However, the way they’re trying to sell it isn’t all that ordinary. It starts off with two women chatting: “Aray aaj kal ki larkian karti hi kya hain… yeh machine chalati ...

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Chai please, it’s not coffee

It all started with the Nestle Nescafe advertisement. The obvious commercial interest was to drive the conversion from tea to coffee. That too, to an instant coffee mix. To me it looked more like a quick brazen attempt to drive convenience. Tea requires ritual and hard work to get the right cuppa. Instead go for an instant coffee mix, which will give you a quick strong fix. Notice no comparison of taste or tradition. This is the modern quintessential person, who has no time or interest in the softness of palette. He or she is in a hurry to fix it with a strong ...

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