You know that commercialization is at its peak when an actor says the following: “Ramzan is the best month to earn.” This is what Mansha Pasha heard from a friend when the holy month of Ramzan was approaching and she was disappointed to say the least, but probably not shocked. We live in a time where celebrities go from doing item numbers in one month to donning dupattas for Ramzan shows the other. There are hardly any surprises left.
Soaring high after winning praise for her performance in Umer Adil’s Chalay Thay Saath, playing one half of a dysfunctional couple trying to keep it together, Pasha is in no hurry to prove anything to anyone. She has currently completed shooting for two upcoming TV plays as well as taken part in Pepsi’s Liter of Light campaign. “I’m extremely choosy with the roles I take so I’m going to take my time in signing my next film,” Pasha revealed to Instep in a telephonic conversation.
The CTS star isn’t just selective with the kind of roles she plays on screen but also the role she plays in the larger scheme of things. She refuses to be a part of the giant commercial circus that Ramzan has become in the entertainment world. “I have gotten a lot of offers to be part of Ramzan shows and make guest appearances but I didn’t do them because I don’t agree with this ideology. There are so many question marks in this entire thing. Honestly, it seems as though Ramzan has nothing to do with religion anymore,” she said and sadly, we agree.
Ratings, game shows, free cars, and even airplanes are now part of the equation (the last one being courtesy of talk show host, Aamir Liaquat) and people are becoming more and more materialistic with the passing of each day. “Aamir Liaquat has ruined an entire generation of people by using nationalism and theology to mislead the masses,” she claimed.
“I also question the producers who continue to approach stars who are not in a position to be preaching religion to anyone. Goes to show that there is a chink in the armor,” she concluded.
Pasha also boldly addresses the producers who send out “strange messages” even after Ramzan is over. “Our TV plays are trying to say that a woman who doesn’t stand up for herself is a ‘good’ woman.
The woman who fights for her rights is an ‘evil’ woman. I don’t understand this. If you want to highlight the atrocities a woman goes through in her life than do that by showing the woman overcoming those obstacles. There should be some closure, otherwise you’re simply perpetuating those stereotypes,” she advised.
It seems as though artists like Pasha often find themselves on a tightrope between commercial success and integrity. “It’s not just actors, this is a dilemma faced by everyone. Banks, multinationals, advertising agencies, media – everyone is being made to choose between doing what’s right and doing what’s good for business.”
But doesn’t Pasha find her work scope becoming limiting after keeping all these factors into consideration? “After a while, people start to recognize you for the kind of work you do and they start to develop certain expectations and when you live up to them, fans appreciate that from you,” concluded Pasha optimistically, claiming that work always finds you if you’re meant to do it.
That seems to be the case, even if at first it seems difficult. An artist’s work speaks for itself and if one is good, they will eventually be recognized without having to sell out. Pasha seems to be on the road to greatness and we wish her a speedy journey!
This article was originally published in Instep on Wednesday, 14th June 2017.