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28 Jun

The evil side of Ahsan Khan

Udaari is most definitely one of the only, if not only, socially responsible dramas currently airing on television. It is multi-tiered, drawing attention to class differences, social taboos and most importantly, pedophilia. While most plays cash on the weeping-willow-woman syndrome, Udaari is brave enough to present its women strong willed and independent. And while almost all its characters are portrayed to perfection it is Ahsan Khan’s role as the green eyed devious pedophile that resonates as brilliant. His presence onscreen makes you cringe; despite being bright eyed and good looking, he sends shivers down your spine when he saunters in. Ahsan Khan has effectively redefined the way we perceive and imagine villains. Imtiaz is not your usually unpleasant and predictably repulsive...
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6 Jun

Udaari takes mighty flight

It’s a very, very sensitive subject but Hum TV’s drama serial Udaari has not only managed to broach it but – in collaboration with Kashf Foundation – has managed to send out an incredibly important message: sexual predators may lurk in all shapes and sizes and parents cannot be too careful when considering their child’s security. This week’s episode was shocking and sent shivers down the spine. There were actually two points of strength in this latest episode of Udaari. The first is the attention drawn to pedophilia. Imtiaz comes as good looking, charming young man who has apparently taken Sajida (a widow) and her daughter Zebo out of the depths of poverty and insecurity. However, we have come to learn –...
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22 May

Masarrat Misbah Makeup launch

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Masarrat Misbah or Masarrat Baji, as she is fondly referred to, is a name to reckon with when it comes to beauty salons in Pakistan. I remember Depilex, a good twenty years ago, as the first professional salon in Lahore. There were others, of course, but the hygienic conditions and standard of services and the overall feel of Depilex was different. And better. I remember going to Depilex for skin polishes and spots of electrolysis (neither of which I would recommend to anyone these days) and even an occasional hair trim. The many branches of Depilex were superior. What elevated MM, beyond all of this, was Smile Again, her initiative to help, cure...
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8 Dec

My thoughts on Pakistan Idol

Airing every Friday and Sunday, two episodes down, I do feel that Pakistan Idol deserves a comment or two. And my first reaction is wholehearted approval. I did intend to avoid the cliche but cannot help myself from saying that in a country where conservatism seems to be seeping into lives and styles, it's pleasing to see parents encouraging their sons and daughters to perform on television. It's heartening to see husbands pushing their wives to sing and even for the youth, it brings on a smile to see music make their world go round. You may argue that a lot of what we see is orchestrated and perhaps it really is, but when this 'reality' is aired to millions...
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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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16 Feb

Saturday Part 1: Karachi Literature Festival

It’s Saturday night and I am rather feverish. Only it’s not the jiving type of fever. I’m baffled and have nothing coherent to say because this day has been a roller coaster of emotions, starting with a love for literature and heading out to the Karachi Literature Festival and ending with a deadly news bulletin. A sun dappled day at KLF included colourful mural 'Painting for Peace' which the kids more than enjoyed. I’d like to savour all of what I love at the end of this busy day. So, despite being a fashion journalist I do have a love for literature and books, which makes KLF irresistible. I’ve also always loved Alexander Pope and since my dad...
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