Category Archives: Media

I watched #JabHarryMetSejal first day first show and I am disappointed 

I am Shah Rukh Khan fan. I just adore him. His charizma is unmatched, although I have grown up seeing him in movies on a VCR and later on TV mostly. Just few years back Indian movies started to release in Pakistan and I went to see SRK’s charismatic persona on 70mm for the first time in my life. The movie was “My name is Khan” and I loved it. Capri cinema’s audience was generous to clap, whistle and shout during his entry and performance. It was a memorable experience. As I am already his fan, the experience was of a lifetime for me. Afterwards his few other movies got released in Pakistan but I couldn’t manage to watch them in cinema because kids happen or some other issues.

Raees was his recent much awaited release but it couldn’t make it to Pakistani cinema despite Mahira Khan being in the lead. Sad indeed. Anyway, I was excited for Imtiaz Ali’s first venture with Shah Rukh Khan. As soon as the movie title was announced the buzz was the there. Although I didn’t like the title at all. Definitely because of the vibes it gave of previous Imtiaz Ali hit, Jab we met. 

I went for the first day first show of “Jab Harry Met Sejal” at Atrium cinema Karachi as a SRK fan for an experience of a lifetime with his fanclub, “SRK universe Pk”. The show was advanced booked and a housefull one. Families flocked to watch him on screen. 

I am disappointed because I was expecting something of standard and substance from the trio but all I can remember the movie for is Europe ki locations or SRK’s button down shirts exposing half of his tattoo on his shoulder and chest. What else will I remember? Maybe Safar main raha song or the cheese fries that I had after the movie. Did I enjoy? Yes coz his appearance made me smile, his Punjabi accent and dialogues were catchy and his persona always has a magical effect. Did I like the movie? Sigh….!!! What was that Imtiaz Ali? I can’t believe that it is actually a movie made by Imtiaz. There’s no character building, no relation of the protagonist with his ancestral town established or explained, Female lead (played by Anushka Sharma) impresses with her accent and antics but why was she forcing herself on him despite being engaged? The plot is so confusing that you’ll feel bored. 

Dear Shah Rukh Khan!! You were a heartthrob, you’re still one for many but we all should age gracefully. If red chillies or Gauri didn’t produce the film it might have a different impact I believe (I could be wrong but maybe). You were adorbs in Dear Zindagi, I loved you in fan (Fabulous fan act), Raees was cool too. JHMS wasn’t.

PS: I don’t review movies and this is not a movie review either.  

#AchayiBarhneDo – A meaningful TVC 

As a mom I know the struggle of raising kids and teaching them to be empathetic towards their siblings or friends. We are living in a digital age where such sensitive messages needs to be conveyed rather subtly to young minds so that they can learn the need of inclusivity. With Achayi Barhne do themed ad, BlueBand Pakistan has done a commendable job.

My kid paid attention to the message despite being so young while watching the ad. She was intrigued that why the kids started to play like that. I think I couldn’t have taught her what she has gained from watching it. That’s the power of visuals and storytelling. 

Blueband’s new TVC revolves around inclusivity theme where a bunch of kids can be seen showing empathy towards a differently-abled friend of theirs. Afterall, disability is not inability.  They all showed unity by playing volleyball one handedly so that their differently-abled friend can feel the fair play. Much needed message, not only for kids but us adults too who often forgets that such people around us need our support more than our sympathy. 

The reaction of the mom watching all this from far was as similar as mine while watching the TVC for the first time. I wanted my kids to be raised like that. I want them to be empathetic and kind. All the reasons to keep spreading goodness around. 

Hats off to the team behind the scenes for executing the message beautifully. Keeping the brand identity intact. In the end it all sums up, Achayi Barhne do aur bachon ko bhi. 

Karachi Literature Festival goes abroad for Fisrt #KLFLondon

Like art and music, literature knows no boundaries. For the past few years annual literature festivals have become a regular source of soul nourishment for us in Pakistan and it is great to see Karachi literature festival going abroad for the very first time to celebrate 70th anniversary of Pakistan. Lomdon’s Sounthbank center hosted first KLF in May and it was a packed house of literature and art enthusiasts. Oxford university press managed to portray soft image with success through KLF London. Produced by Oxford University Press (OUP) Pakistan, KLF was organized in collaboration with the Southbank Centre, Bloomsbury Pakistan (a research collective based in London), and Rukhsana Ahmed.

Celebrating contemporary Pakistan and its rich history and culture in the context of the 70th anniversary of the country’s foundation, the Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) held at the Royal Festival Hall of the Southbank Centre, as a part of their annual festival Alchemy. Dubbed as Pakistan’s biggest literary event, the KLF brought together writers, scholars, and artists from diverse backgrounds, creative traditions, and academic disciplines to showcase contemporary Pakistani literature and writers. 

The audiences at the KLF were treated to a medley of around 20 parallel sessions encompassing talks, panel discussions, poetry readings, mushaira, and performances. A stellar cast of around 70 leading Pakistani-origin and international writers, scholars, critics, journalists, and artists participated in stimulating sessions covering a broad range of themes, ideas, and subjects pertaining to Pakistan’s literature, arts, and culture. A separate strand for children which included an immersive theatre piece by Jungly Jadoogars; an animated film by the artist Fauzia Minallah; storytelling by the children’s author, Shahbano Bilgrami; and sing-along songs by the veteran Pakistani musician, Khaled Anam, were also a part of the festival.

KLF London started off with the renowned novelist and journalist, Mohammed Hanif’s keynote address giving unique insights into Pakistan’s history, hopes, and dilemmas. Earlier, at the festival opening, Ameena Saiyid, KLF and Islamabad Literature Festival Founder and Director, Asif Farrukhi, KLF and Islamabad Literature Festival Founder, and Adrian Mellor, Managing Director, Asia Education, OUP, welcomed the guests and speakers. Pakistan’s High Commissioner to UK, Syed Ibn Abbas also spoke on the occasion.

Some of the sessions held early on in the day included ‘Transphobia and Misogyny’, a discussion on legislations around transgenders and women in Pakistan; ‘Reluctant Returners: Migrants, Refugees and Memories of the Homeland’ in which Kamila Shamsie, Qaisra Shahraz, and Mirza Waheed explored characters and fictions inspired by exile and displacement; and ‘Pakistani Renaissance? The Best in Cinema, Reportage, Theatre and Fashion’ with the television actor Atiqa Odho, filmmaker Faris Kermani, designer Maheen Khan, and journalist Cyril Almeida as speakers.

Taimur Rahman, Moni Mohsin, and H. M. Naqvi weighed up the challenge of portraying Pakistan’s gender and class divide in the session ‘Blaming the Elite: Class, Greed, and Gender in Contemporary Pakistan’. Educationists, entrepreneurs, and experts including Farid Panjwani, Ahmereen Reza, Mona Kasuri, and Ameena Saiyid were part of a stimulating panel discussion titled ‘Madrassas and Montessoris: Are Private Schools Keeping Madrassas at Bay?’ moderated by Nigham Shahid.

In a panel discussion titled ‘Against All Odds: The Price of Prosperity in Pakistan Today’ held later in the day, Shuja Nawaz, Maleeha Lodhi, Ishrat Husain, and Victoria Schofield analyzed geopolitical and internal challenges facing Pakistan. In the session ‘Urdu ki Zid Mai: At Loggerheads: Urdu vs English vs Regional Languages’ Basir Kazmi, Ishrat Afreen, and Harris Khalique, and Asif Farrukhi discussed if Urdu in Pakistan is under threat from English or the regional languages.

The evening sessions comprised thought-provoking discourses on ‘Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: Diaspora Pakistanis Caught in Post Brexit Hate-Storm’, with Ziauddin Sardar, Farooq Bajwa, and Iftikhar Malik debating the challenges faced by Pakistani diaspora in Europe; ‘Karachi: City of Lights and Gangs’ with Laurent Gayer, Nichola Khan, Mohammed Hanif, Sobia Ahmad Kaker, Omar Shahid Hamid, and Kamran Asdar Ali talking about the battle for Karachi and its resilience despite political conflicts; and ‘Tweeting for Social Change: How Social Media is Influencing the Political Scene’ in which Huma Yusuf,  Umber Khairi, and Umair Javed discussed the impact of social media on Pakistan’s political scene.

The highlight of the festival was the ‘Satrangi Mushaira’, which was an open mic session for Pakistan’s regional language poets to recite their latest offerings. Another session ‘In Their Own Words: Writers and Poets from Pakistan’, moderated by Muneeza Shamsie, featured poetry and prose readings by writers of Pakistani origin including Imtiaz Dharker, Aamer Hussein, and Zaffar Kunial. In ‘Partition Stories’ Nimra Bucha, Vayu Naidu, Shayma Saiyid, Amrit Kaur Lohia, and Sarah Ansari presented a medley of readings, film clips, recitals, dance and poetry about the Partition of India.

The evening came to a close by a kathak dance performance by Shayma Saiyid and a music concert by Khumariyaan, a Peshawar-based music band known for their fusion brand of Pashtun folk music. <!–

Sponsorship support to the KLF London was provided by Bestway, Arts Council England, Third World Quarterly magazine, Salt n Pepper restaurant, High Commission of Pakistan in London, South Asia Institute of the University of Texas at Austin, and The Pakistan Society.