Stories about drama

Remembering Ashfaq Ahmed: Through his stories, he will live forever in our hearts

On September 7, 2004, while sitting in my office and doing my routine work, I received a call from a close friend. Without the usual ‘Salam dua’ he exclaimed, “Ashfaq sahib is no more; just got the news.” It was a short sentence, but it had many aspects attached to it. The feeling of a great loss, sweet memories of so many stories, dramas and plays, of colourful travelogues, funny incidents, thought-provoking quotes of Sufis and other baabay (mystics); nostalgic recollections of a life well spent, and fully lived. So much came to mind and passed like a breeze, leaving me numb and motionless ...

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Bulbulay: When a poor man’s distress is funny

The TV-show ‘Bulbulay’ enjoys a sizable fan-following in Pakistan, but I’ve never really been a part of that base. On watching its most recent episode, my face appears to have been restructured to bear a permanent grimace. The story went something like this (needless to say, you’ll find spoilers here!): A penniless man arrives at the family’s doorstep begging for food. He stays at the door for several hours, sobbing uncontrollably about his woeful condition. The fact that the show’s writers managed to squeeze jokes into the episode with such a background story, is a remarkable feat. But wait, it gets funnier! ...

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Zindagi Gulzar Hai: I’m not impressed

After receiving countless amounts of messages from my friends to watch the new drama serial, Zindagi Gulzar Hai, I finally spared some time to catch up with the few episodes that have aired so far. Given the hype surrounding the show, I wasn’t surprised when from the outset, a similar plot was introduced- a plotline that serves the basis for many Pakistani TV series. It reminded me of the serial, Humsafar. No, not because the same actor is acting in this drama, though I have to admit it certainly added to the likeness of the two drama serials. It is primarily because, both ...

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Manahil & Khalil: Ishq ab mamnoon na raha

Amidst our fast-paced, monotonous and increasingly modern world, we need an out – some form of escapism. Between crunching numbers to seize business deals and clinging on to our precious children, each one of us craves for that moment of solitude. I find this tranquillity within the underlying fashion, love, betrayal and glamour. Devoting a couple of uninterrupted hours to soaps, on a local television channel seems to be my recipe to a sane life. A recent believer of this quick, daily therapeutic tip, I have become addicted. Try it out, if you aren’t a victim yet. A confession, the cause ...

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Mera Yaqeen: A massive letdown by Sarmad Khoosat

Sarmad Khoosat is among the most famous drama directors in our country today. He won back all those fans with Shehr-e-Zaat that he had lost thanks to the despicable Ashk. However, Mera Yaqeen ─  Sarmad’s recent offering to ARY Digital ─ wasn’t among the most awaited serials. Some insiders say that the makers had lost hope by the time they saw the end product, which is why it was never promoted the way every Sarmad Khoosat product, starring such big names, would be promoted. Nevertheless, it tells the story of a happy family, Asfand and Maha (played by Faisal Qureshi and Savera ...

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Shehr-e-Zaat and its misplaced knowledge of Islam

Is it just me or does anyone else find this drama seriously annoying? I sometimes do get the feeling that it’s just me.  The comments I see online about Hum TV’s Shehr-e-Zaat, show that the viewers applaud the lead character in the drama, Falak, for her new-found piety and shunning of the material world and its pleasures, while always looking peaceful. For those who have not been enlightened with the story of the drama (I myself have not yet watched the last episode), Shehr-e-Zaat is the story of beautiful, rich, young Falak, affectionately known as ‘Fifi’ and thus inferring the bourgeois lifestyle ...

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Aşk-ı Memnu: A must-watch for soap followers

I started following “Aşk-ı Memnu” out of sheer boredom. I had always poked fun at my sister for watching it and never had I imagined that I would become an avid viewer of the show – even more so than my sister.  “Aşk-ı Memnu” is a Turkish TV serial currently being aired in Urdu on Urdu1. It is often referred to as the next “Humsafar”, possibly because of the appealing star cast. It lists among the classics and has apparently been translated into 39 languages worldwide! Speaking of popularity, who can forget the time when TV shows featuring on Hum TV were the talk ...

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Pakistani dramas: Are women really less empowered now?

Pakistani drama culture is back with many brilliant writers and directors entering the industry and producers investing generously. However, recently it seems that our writers have run out of ideas. It is like our society has no other issues other than ‘khandani’ politics and scheming in-laws. To quote the way my brother puts it: “The women are always the most innocent creatures while men are vile, cruel and evil and are always lured away by the evil sister or evil friend and eventually they realise their loss and end up sorry. The end.” Sadly I have no choice but to agree ...

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Why I love Bilqees Kaur

The excitement and hype created by “Humsafar” still hasn’t ebbed despite the fact that the last episode aired a couple of months ago. What got us all Humsafar-ing was the beauty of the script, the flawless performances, the impeccable storyline and the mesmerising star power. Can any other Pakistani drama compete with the hype that “Humsafar” created? I think “Bilqees Kaur” is a drama serial that has the ability to match the bar set by “Humsafar”. Let’s analyse! Bilqees Kaur is actually the name of the woman played by Bushra Ansari. This drama also stars Syra Yousuf, Ahsan Khan, Sadia Imam, Saleem Sheikh ...

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Saying goodbye to “Durr-e-Shahwar”

I decided to write this post mainly in response to “Durr-e-Shahwar: Television blames working women.” I was a bit surprised at the negative tone of that post, especially when it labelled “Durr-e-Shahwar” as a “masala drama.” Currently, it is a top-rated drama serial on air, and is definitely about much more than just ‘working women’. “Durr-e-Shahwar” is a masterpiece in my opinion. It is directed by Haissam Hussain, written by Umera Ahmad, produced by Momina Duraid, Samina Humayun Saeed and Shahzad Nasib, and is backed by an excellent cast of actors. The plot revolves around two couples – each with their own ...

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