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14 Mar

My thoughts on Sania Maskatiya lawn

As you may have read in my previous post, I'm not too impressed with most of the lawn out there: it's too busy, too frumpy and basically too everything. Spring/summer, for me, is about staying cool, looking minimalist (to look cool) and appearing fresh not overburdened or stuffed as a Thanksgiving Turkey. The only lawn I have bought (so far) is from Sania Maskatiya, that too because I wear and appreciate the brand's ideology. It is distinctive and the lawn, to SM's credit, was just as original. But here's an honest appraisal because unlike the outpouring of absolute glory and gushing and fawning by marketing departments (and star-struck bloggers) nothing, not even lawn by your favourite designer, is perfect! [caption id="attachment_2882"...
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3 Mar

Lend us a ‘foreign’ hand, will you?

We love to complain about ‘outside influences’ in our cinemas, our TV screens and our music but it’s high time to introspect and fix what’s wrong within. (Published in Dawn Images on Sunday, March 3 2013) The horror! The horror! The shock to see a well-known Indian face on a Pakistani billboard is absolutely scandalous. Reality check: these celebrity faces wouldn’t be so well-known if we, as a nation, weren’t so deliriously besotted with Bollywood! Indian films are released in our cinemas, Indian and Turkish TV serials are put up on our cable channels and Indian songs blare at our weddings where we dance the nights away with Radha, Munni, Sheila and Chikni Chameli. Then why the hue and cry over a...
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2 Mar

Zindagi Gulzar Hai 14

Sanam Saeed and I at Cafe 44, where I interviewed her for Herald recently. Photo: Mallika Abba Finally, an episode devoted purely to Kashaf-Zaroon interaction, with very little of their family woes as interruption. This episode took the story forward with a proposal that we could have guessed was coming. Where and who it would come from was a complete surprise though, and it took Kashaf by surprise as much as it did us. Meanwhile, the moral lesson of the story continued to interweave itself through the drama. Posted in Badin, Kashaf is well endorsed with a lifestyle that she could only have hoped for a year ago. We remember the times when she would walk miles to...
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24 Feb

Zindagi Gulzar Hai: 13

The drama inches ahead in this episode, leaving us a little frustrated with the pace but also giving us more time to ponder upon the message that must infiltrate our minds more than the obsession with the Kashaf-Zaroon love story. One of the cast members, someone I bumped into several weeks ago, confirmed that they would get married (we already know that, right?) and added that there would be no predictable romance. Kashaf and Zaroon will not stop quarreling. Perfect. Now all we have to do is wait. Meanwhile… “We were not inflicted with miseries by society but by our own father.” Kashaf, who has been posted somewhere in Interior Sindh, sums up her inability to forgive her father. She says she...
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8 Feb

An informal chat with Sanam aka Kashaf these days

Met Sanam at Cafe 44 today and she was as down to earth and focused as she was when she started out. From Roxie Hart to Kashaf Murtaza she has shifted gears effortlessly. The industry needs more like her. Why do you think Zindagi Gulzar Hai works? It works because it has Fawad. It works because his fans have their heart throb in it. Plus, my character is a very difficult person and it intrigues them to see him struggling. What do you like about your character? I like that she’s afraid of nothing. She is very conscious of herself, as any girl in her situation would be, but she’s a bold soul to attack her circumstances and her father the way...
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28 Jan

Zindagi Gulzar Hai 9

Last week passed with one question on the mind. Would Zaroon slap Kashaf? I haven’t read the book but those who have (and have been talking about it incessantly) shared that Zaroon does slap Kashaf in Umera Ahmad’s original story. When Kashaf overhears him criticizing and mocking her “middle class mentality” in the college library she confronts him and tears up his notes in fury. She hurls accusations right back at him, calling him a myopic low life who cannot respect others because he has no respect of his own. This is when he slaps her. Or at least in the book he does. We aren’t living in the Medieval times and physically assaulting a lady isn’t something any hero, no matter...
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21 Jan

Maoism and Macbeth at the Mad-Hatter’s tea party

(Published in Dawn Images 20 January 2013) Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola is an eccentric film that puts the deviousness of feudalism and modern politics into a shaker, lacing it with absurdity for easy digestion. There could be no better time to watch Matru Ki Bjlee Ka Mandola than now, as ‘feudal activism’ threatens to annihilate us just as much as it does the small Punjabi village featured in the movie. But MKBM is not a Sarkar Raj or Rajneeti; it’s more of a comic frolic that chuckles through these issues. It’s a classic Vishal Bhardwaj take on a story that has been told before, just never like this. An elderly protagonist replaces the bicep-rippling super-hero, profanities replace nuanced dialogues (and are...
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20 Jan

Zindagi Gulzar Hai: Episode 8

It takes an intelligent balance of story-telling, dialogue and characterization to ensure an effective play and that’s precisely what Zindagi Gulzar Hai is achieving more and more of as it gains momentum. There are enough sob-stories going around; stories that play up oppression and depression but here we have one that is pleasant despite being just as real as the tragedies we are fed on a regular basis. This is a love story between two hot-headed, intensely proud and intelligent people and the way Sultana Siddiqui is spinning it (with fabulous casting), every episode is turning more and more addictive. Will Zaroon slap Kashaf in the next episode? I guess we’ll have to wait and see. Till then, the plot of their...
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5 Jan

Zindagi Gulzar Hai – Episode 6

What is it about women in our society that leaves them haplessly dependent on the men in their life, even if those men continuously let them down? That’s what we’re left wondering about Rafia’s relationship with her (estranged) husband, Murtaza. He abandoned her and his three daughters and remarried for a son. He has not undertaken any economic responsibilities. He has never brought his daughters love, affection or any kind of encouragement over their academic achievements. He’s neither a husband nor a father to Rafia and their daughters. And yet some unseen tie that is inexplicable to us binds Rafia to him. It disturbs her to see any of her daughters disparaging him. The good thing is that this bond may...
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27 Dec

Here’s to Dabangg 2

Dabangg 2 has brought me back to blogging, not that I had given up. I merely had to take a break because the amount of work I had committed to finish before my winter break left me with no spare time at all. But here I am, all deadlines done (well, almost), back from snowy Murree (nothing short of paradise), wintry Islamabad and now in foggy Lahore. One day, a family reunion and a fantastic cricket match later, I ended up in the DHA cinema for Dabangg 2. And it just took my day up several more notches! It's tough not to fall for the Dabangg Chulbul Pandey - Salman Khan, his goodness, his corniness and his pure invincibility. This formula,...
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