As an anchor of a morning show, Nida Yasir admits it is not easy to cater to all the segments of society. Nevertheless, reaching out to so many people is in itself rewarding.
For the daughter of television producers Kazim Pasha and Fehmida Nasreen, acting was the last thing on her mind while growing up. However, once she did take it up, her parents didn’t need to guide her much. “Papa explained a few nuances here and there but that’s about it. I suppose I have it in my genes so acting has never been a problem for me,” she says.
Then she met Yasir Nawaz in a play, Mohabbat, who promptly fell in love with her. She continued to act in TV plays after marriage to Yasir up to the point when she felt her son was being neglected, and then continued with hosting. Once her daughter was born she stopped working altogether. “For nearly two years I was doing nothing,” she explains. It was then that she decided to work again, “I did Nadanian, a popular sitcom and after that I was offered a cooking show on a channel. The same channel later offered me a morning show which I am doing now. Though I prefer acting, I chose hosting as it pays more.”
Nida says she used to make fun of morning shows as their topics were at times downright silly. “But after getting into it myself I discovered that there were so many reasons for it. To earn money the channels will show those things that get a large audience and the ratings on host shows tell the owners which topics are crowd pullers. Do you know that shaadi scenes get the most ratings as female viewers love to see the shows, and the product owners in turn prefer to give ads to such host shows? So we do what the masses want and get the ads. I am the producer of my show, and I do things I would never do otherwise. I prefer doing interviews but I can’t as they are not popular with the general audience,” she says.
Nida gives the example of a talk show which focuses on topics that have substance and though it is a good show she says it is not doing well as it does not interest the masses. “People criticise me but I tell them that the audience is important too and they have to be given what they want. Food tips, makeover classes, saas bahu, and shaadi topics which, though mundane, catch attention.” Talk shows, she says, are also very time-consuming and taxing as new concepts have to be fished around constantly to keep the show alive.
Her future plans, however, do not include doing morning shows. “This is for a short period of time, as my main focus is to get into production and that cannot be done with morning shows, as they demand a lot of time. Yasir and I started the Farid Nawaz Production House four years ago and we were doing well, but now as both of us are working it being neglected. When I am exhausted with my present line of work, which I fear is not far away, I will focus on production.”
As a third-generation TV personality, Nida says she hasn’t yet detected the telltale signs in her children, but they show confidence whenever they face the camera. “We do not want them to come on TV till they have completed their studies and then they can decide for themselves, just as our parents did with us,” she says.