The easy part is over. We must now find our own reflection in Muhammad Shueb’s behaviour and apologise for our own classist and chauvinistic worldview. In a recent viral interview, Shueb, who is a television anchor, berated internet sensation Nasir Khan Jan for his “vulgar” videos. The interview was conducted in an insufferably prudish and invasive manner, inviting comparisons to Maya Khan’s moral posse many years ago. Shueb brought up a video of Jan dancing in a bathroom towel, saying that, “For you it could be entertainment. For me, it’s not!” As Shueb made this declaration, it’s quite possible that he heard in ...Read Full Post
In conversation: Mansha Pasha and Ahmed Ali Akbar talk about Laal Kabootar and life behind the camera
This Friday, we will get to witness two new Pakistani films compete rigorously at the box office: the patriotic film Sherdil, and the thriller Laal Kabootar. I met the leading duo of the latter, Mansha Pasha and Ahmed Ali Akbar, to talk about more than just the movie. In a light, fruitful conversation, I dig deep into their personal lives. So let’s get to know them like never before! Talking about your thrilling new venture Laal Kabootar, what is the film’s premise? Pasha: The movie centres on Karachi. It is sort of like a melting pot, with our characters belonging ...Read Full Post
Drone attacks, Pakistan and its love-hate relationship with the US: In conversation with Noam Chomsky
“Professor Noam Chomsky doesn’t do documentary interviews anymore.” The office assistant told me in her soft tone, pronouncing the alphabet R in a typical Boston accent. She added that they have 500 interview requests already. “Listen. You tell him that I am his biggest fan, and if there is one person out of the 501 who deserves to meet with him, it is me,” I retorted. She laughed and before hanging up the phone said, “Alright, I will tell him exactly that.” Soon after, I received an email from Professor Chomsky’s office confirming the exact date and time of the meeting. Immediately, I flew to Boston ...Read Full Post
I remember the first time I saw an ad featuring Sadaf Kanwal. I was walking past a clothing shop, and I stared into her big bold eyes, encompassing the entirety of a wall. I was thinking about how beautiful she was, and flawless, up on that wall for the world to see. Recently, this same beautiful model spoke about the #MeToo movement on a public forum. “You know aap ke sath #MeToo jab ho, tab bol do. Baad mein aap ko yaad araha hai #MeToo, so I think jab ho bol do.” (You know when you experience a #MeToo incident, say it then. Why ...Read Full Post
In conversation with Hamza Ali Abbasi: “It is shameful if you are not political in a country such as Pakistan”
Actors may be good at what they do, but only a few stand out, and one such actor is none other than Hamza Ali Abbasi. He walks in his own truth, and exudes passion in his craft. There is no denying his presence for sure! Apart from being a great actor, Hamza is extremely political, as the nation watches him discussing matters of pertinence on TV every day. In a riveting interview, I learnt more about Hamza in his own words. Was acting always what you intended to do, or was it a different career path for yourself? I believe acting ...Read Full Post
With General Elections upon us, we took to the streets of Karachi to ask people the political party of their choice, with a twist: our very own Game of Politics (GoP). Everyone wonders who they’ll vote for, but how often do we question who we would NEVER vote for? Talking to a variety of people, across gender, age and social class, we noticed some interesting patterns in what people said, and interestingly, even what they didn’t say. Women were largely uncomfortable with answering questions pertaining to politics and being on camera as well; amidst a group of friends with both boys and girls, ...Read Full Post
Leaders and polished politicians are frequently called masters of the art of spin. They use this ‘spin doctrine’ in debates and interviews to satisfy the viewers, all the while deflecting from the real questions being asked. Similarly, even second-tier politicians know that defensive body language like hand-wringing, arms folded across the chest, clenched fists or narrowed eyes should be avoided during interviews, so as to seem collected in their responses. But perhaps Imran Khan is not a seasoned politician yet, or he simply is not good at being asked critical questions. His recent interview to Zeinab Badawi, the host of the famous ...Read Full Post
Why was Bilalwal Bhutto Zardari, a politician, sharing his limited views on “fake news” and journalism when he knows nothing about it?
By now, the news of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s short, yet significant trip to Davos has reached the ears of every Pakistani. However, not many are aware of the discussions or sessions that he has both co-hosted and participated in as a panellist. The only people who applauded his views which he shared at the World Economic Forum (WEF) were his party loyalists, who seem to revere everything that revolves around the young Bhutto, whether it is his flawed Urdu or raw opinions on his opponents, which are marvelously sugarcoated by his flamboyance and soft English accent. This charisma is ...Read Full Post
Up close and personal with the graceful and effortless Aamina Sheikh and why ‘Cake’ is going to be one delicious treat!
Actress Aamina Sheikh is set to grace the big screen with her dramatic role as Zareen in the upcoming drama film ‘Cake’, which is set to release this March. Her command on acting and dialogue delivery is impeccable! The depth of characters she portrays effortlessly on screen is unconventional for Pakistani dramas and films. I chatted with Sheikh and talked about her upcoming film, how she juggles her personal and professional life, and her experience working on Miss Veet, Pakistan. How did you venture into acting? Throughout my academic career, I did theatre as an extracurricular. I was always involved in the ...Read Full Post
I had taken a hiatus from work due to my household responsibilities, but now that my children had started school and all else was well, I decided that it was the perfect time to start working again. I had my first job interview in five years and as I sat there waiting for my turn, I couldn’t help but feel rather uneasy looking around at the other candidates. They seemed to be more qualified individuals with updated resumes and a fiercely competitive knack about them. Clouds of doubt began to mar my enthusiasm. Perhaps I should have improved my qualifications before restarting my ...Read Full Post