Whenever I decide not to write on the insipid morning shows something always comes up that desperately needs to be mentioned. On yet another regular morning, I happened to catch a glimpse of Anoushey Ashraf on Chai, Toast aur Host and I couldn’t help think that it is way too theatric for a morning show. The set up is that of a house where Anoushey, accompanied by her irritating maid, try to entertain you with their make-believe situations. In one of the recent episodes the maid, who was making tall claims about her perfection at work, manages to spill sauce on the guest’s dupatta. And while the guest is making a hue and cry about it, Anoushey comes to the rescue with a detergent, claiming it will remove all stains. Such blatant promotion and projection of the product! As if that wasn’t enough, a caller comes on line and shares her experience of how her child spilled some food on his clothes but the caller did not admonish her child, as the same detergent powder sure did the trick. Continuing on in the same vein Anoushey’s guest also shared woe notes on how she had stained her dupatta while ironing it but now she was relaxed, as the detergent would take care of it. Unbelievable to say the least! You just cannot design an entire morning show around a singular product and its benefits, in the process boring the audience to death with unsolicited information.
What had initially seemed like an interesting, offbeat morning show with a beautiful and intelligent host, has turned out to be a dull presentation. Anoushey on her part is doing a good job for intrinsically she is a good host, and a credible one at that. I always found myself following her previous morning show, as I found that to be most refreshing of the lot at that point in time. She used to talk to people who could make a difference in our society. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of now. The show producer needs to get rid of the maid for starters and stop making it a theatrical show rather he should make it more serious and informative which in itself will be entertaining.
Talking about morning show hosts, one who has been going steady is Juggun Kazim. We see her every morning with a choice of interesting guests – from sports personalities to actors, nutritionists to models and writers, she has a good guest selection. We first saw Juggan as an actor but now we know her as a host, as well. She seems to be focusing more on hosting rather than acting currently. Her fans sure miss the petite beauty donning various garbs for characters. However, the morning show is also a good way to stay connected with one’s fans.
Juggun had been talking about her latest venture since some time and now we know what it is. She recently launched her book titled Mom Matters which guides a mother at various stages in her life. She has basically spoken about her experiences as a mother while interspersing it with tips and advice on how to be a better parent and how one should strike a balance between personal and professional life. Previously she had been discussing Mom Matters through her portal by the same name. Juggun’s better half, Faisal Naqvi, has always supported the pretty lass in all her decisions and was also seen by her side on the day of the book launch. Mother to two, Juggun is a doting parent who is always there for her children. We wish her the best in her latest endeavour.
It’s the new quarter and many a channel have introduced latest software that seem quite promising. Drama serial Ghairat is one such programme. Written by Edison Idrees Masih, it is directed by Ahmed Bhatti. Ghairat is an issue-based serial highlighting honour killing – a custom prevalent in our society. The story revolves around Usman’s (Jibran Syed) patriarchal household which comprises of two brothers and two sisters besides their ailing mother. Usman is a dominating and abusive man who has little or no respect for women, especially those in his household – his mother (Samina Ahmed) and two sisters; Iqra (Sundus Tariq) and the younger Saba (Iqra Aziz). Shagufta (Saman Ansari) is Usman’s wife who has Usman wrapped around her little finger and will go to any lengths to inflict pain on his sisters and the mother.
While the brothers have a dominant role in the house, the sisters do not take kindly to this behaviour and would give anything to get out of this system. Saba sees her chance of escape in the form of Zohaib, however, Usman does not think much of him. Iqra, on the other hand, has been interested in Junaid and finally musters the courage to elope with him. They get married under the supervision of his friend who is a policeman (SHO). Usman finds Iqra and, seeing the SHO there, he tones down his behaviour and puts on a casual front to protect his family honour. He brings Iqra back, promising to wed her in the customary manner, which is nothing but a ruse. The audience sees a skeptic Iqra on her way home with her brother. Everything seems fine but there’s something ominous about the scene. And sure enough, once home Usman sheds his calm demeanour and drags Iqra inside the house. He sends his mother away but insists on Saba being a witness to what comes of rebellion in their household. He locks Iqra in the kitchen and sets her on fire while a helpless Saba keeps on screaming for mercy. It was a bone chilling scene that convinced the audience that Usman could go to any lengths in the name of family honour. The next few episodes are said to reveal much more of the already moving plot.
On the international front, House of Cards continues to make waves once again, getting several Emmy nominations. The woman in the spotlight is Robin Wright, who it seems will finally get fifth time lucky. As Claire Underwood, the leading lady in the drama, Robin received Emmy nominations four years in a row but somehow couldn’t win the prestigious awards. Though favourable winds are blowing in her direction on screen, as she has finally come out of the shadows of her husband, US President Frank Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey. He has been forced to resign and Claire has been elevated from the post of VP to President of the United States. Hillary Clinton might have missed the chance to become the first female president in US history but where she failed, Claire has succeeded. Her ascent to the presidency means that the story will revolve more around Claire and hence, it’s the right time for Robin to win the elusive Emmy Award. However, whether she wins it or not, Robin has once again proven herself as one of the best actors in Hollywood with her portrayal as an ice-cold politician. She is one of the chief reasons why House of Cards continues to be on the top of my watch list.
Talking about politicians, one is sad to see the deterioration of our political class as seen on our news channels. There is not a single day when the public doesn’t see one story or the other on TV about how corrupt our political class is. It isn’t a good thing in a democratic society that is still struggling to find ways and means to evolve into a system which is beneficial for the people of this country. One really hopes for a positive change because what our country needs right now is political stability and that cannot be achieved in a society which thrives on crisis and upheavals.