by HIRA SANGI
Browsing through the local television channels I noticed one trend that sadly seems to be on the rise. Brands are getting their products endorsed by Indian actresses and Katrina Kaif's face on every product imaginable is getting quite annoying. From fruit drinks and air conditioners to bleaching creams and soap, everything seems to have Kaif's face on it. The lady might be pretty but we have prettier faces in Pakistan and products that are to be sold here should be endorsed by local celebrities. All our film and television actors seem to endorse is tea and local cellular phone manufacturers. Joining the bandwagon is Humaima who was once associated with a popular brand is now all dressed up selling tea! Even local lawn fabric manufacturers are getting Bollywood actresses to endorse their products. Recently Sushmita Sen and Deepika Padukone were seen wearing the latest prints in lawn! Shilpa Shetty is also advertising shampoo when some of our local actresses and models have far better hair! Why is it that the brands that once felt proud of having Neeli, Resham, Meera and Reema as their brand ambassadors now look towards botox-ed actresses from across the border? When the fashion industry is growing at such overwhelming rates, models and actresses from our own country should be seen endorsing products that are sold locally.
Moving on to what, or rather who, was missing from our television screens, Ali Saleem has returned to his original avatar after taking part in the much publicised 'Bigg Boss'. He will now entertain guests in his drawing room, chatting, flirting and gossiping with them about everything from politics to personal life. This time however, Begum Nawazish Ali will not be alone. She will be accompanied by two other hosts, none more controversial as Ali Saleem. Begum Nawazish Ali's shows have been controversial but no other show all over the world hosted by a transgender has been able to achieve such heights. Ali Saleem might be controversial but his take on politics and society is better than many supposedly opinionated talk show hosts of Pakistan. It seems only hosts with baggage are making it big these days, be it Mathira or Ali Saleem, both have risen to unimaginable heights.
Back to the extremely dramatised, irrelevant and utterly obnoxious morning shows where so many hosts dressed up looking like they are off to some grand wedding; the morning shows have lost their informative side. Every day we see interviews of celebrities on these shows and if some day, by chance a good informative person is called, he is cut off by the non-stop blabbering of the oh-I-know-it-all hosts. A few days back the founder of Children's Cancer Society was called on Nida Yasir's morning show. She asked him how to prevent cancer in children, just when he was telling something which might have been useful for the viewers, Nida interrupted him and the topic didn't come up again. This behaviour from a media person whom a lot of people look up to is totally disappointing and unacceptable. These shows were started to create awareness and spread knowledge amongst people who don't have access to good doctors, teachers, etc, now all they focus is on gossip and fancy dresses!
Our most sought after morning show host Shaista Wahidi has now come up with a 'Saheli Week' in an attempt to stand out from the rest. This week, seems a lot like her Geo Mayray Susraal Week. As each show starts with choreographed acting, singing and dancing sequences it gets even more annoying. Our Doctor Morning Masala show host needs to set her priorities right and not try to make everything overly dramatised!
A whole new bunch of fresh dramas has hit the television channels with most of them deeming to be very interesting. The first episode of drama serial Roag, directed by Babar Javed was truly heart touching. The story revolves around a family with one bread earner (Asif Raza Meer) who lives abroad to make living conditions better for his family, but the wife who is a very ungrateful woman spends all his hard earned money on futile things. She ignores her three daughters and spoils her only son who forms bad acquaintances. Asif's mother senses her daughter-in-laws heedlessness and how her manners could lead the family to plight. Lets see what happens as the story unfolds, but keep your hankies ready as this is going to be a depressing one.
Serial 'Mera Naseeb' continues to be in the spotlight with an interesting storyline, a good cast and the actors well suited for their roles. Samina Peerzada trying to suffocate her daughter Nazia with a pillow for meeting a guy and her offensive behaviour to shoo away this guy's proposal for Nazia by telling him rudely that he didn't fit in with their social stature were the highlights of this episode. Shazia, Nazia's best friend and cousin stood up for her and told Samina Peerzada bluntly that it was better if Nazia had run off with this guy than to beer all this torture just for the satisfaction of her parent's ego. The very realistic acting of these two cousins has given this drama a tremendous boost! How the story unwinds will be interesting to watch. A melodious soundtrack by Komal Rizvi and extremely realistic acting by all the actors have made this serial worth watching.
Ayesha Khan seems to be in deep trouble no matter what her role is. As 'Parro' in Zip – Bas Chup Raho, she landed herself in a hospital after a car accident while the same happened to her in Lamha Lamha Zindagi when she tried to commit suicide. Her dramas have lost their charm, because of a very stagnant story, for instance Zip – Bas Chup Raho has nothing new in it, with Ayesha Khan still trying to get rid of Gypsy and not being too sure about it at the same time. Muhib Mirza playing the role of Sir Rayad still appears to be a mysterious character, going to extraordinary limits while doing favours for Ayesha Khan's family. It's hard for viewers to guess who he is really interested in, the very young looking, charming mother of two or her rebellious daughter Tabby. Their maid, Kishwar, who pretends to be very loyal also, has a mysterious aura around her. It is difficult to know who her loyalties are actually for. Let's hope the pace of this drama becomes a bit faster, because no one wants to watch repetition of the same incidences every week.
Lamha Lamha Zindagi too seems to be moving at a slow pace and doesn't seem to be leading towards a positive direction. Sania Saeed seems to be drifting away from her fiance and Ayesha Khan has already been divorced and grieved with no signs of getting back to her life soon.
Ladies Park too is extremely stagnant and has absolutely nothing to offer viewers, Humayun Saeed is still up to his usual tactics and hasn't got caught yet, all the others are still standing where they were on the first episode. This show has lost all hope and even with the star cast seems to have lost its charm!