The 2nd Servis Hum Awards had a lot going for them besides mere nominations and announcement of winners in various categories.
Fiery speeches, criticism of the restriction placed by government on social media, mapping the DNA of the new age in Pakistani cinema, recognising the personal style of celebrities on the Red Carpet, a nod to the men of letters that was long overdue and a return to the stage of veteran stars who shaped and moulded the showbiz industry during the formative years into what it is today are just a few of the moments that the evening embraced.
Red Carpet fashions and award presenters
To say that fashion imprinted on the awards would be a gross understatement. From fashionistas Nadia Hussain, Amna Ilyas, Sanam Saeed, Gia Ali, Nabila, Saba Ansari, Anoushay Ashraf, Saba Qamar and their male counterparts, the celebrity brigade dressed to the nines to make a lasting impression. Sure there were misfires and prominent names such as a Meera in an unflattering concoction, Ayesha Omer’s rather clumsy-looking neckline, Shagufta Ijaz and her passe jamawar-panelled shaadi ka jora, among others, certainly did not impress anyone.
Fawad Khan’s pinstripe double-breasted jacket showed off his new athletic physique magnificently and also commendable was host Fahad Mustafa in a classic dark sherwani complete with a pocket-chain.
Ali Xeeshan’s wacky self-designed head gear which drew a comment from host Wasay Chaudhry was as eccentric as the designer’s sense of style so hats off to him (literally) for carrying it off all through the night.
The surprise was Nadia Hussain in a self-designed shimmering sequined gown with trail and Rubya Chaudhry’s cascading satin number, also by Nadia, which set off her curves flawlessly.
Saba Ansari of Sabs Salon made a lasting impression in Shehla Chatoor’s ivory vintage Hollywood-cut gown with a front slit, and rose above the rest in sophisticated style while carrying it off perfectly for someone who is confined backstage — behind the scenes where her work keeps her mostly, except for rare appearances. An understated Nabila in charcoal black made heads turn.
Also doused in Shehla Chatoor’s gold weave were Sanam Saeed and Anoushay Ashraf, while Amna Ilyas’s dramatic outfit was also credited to the celebrated designer. Vaneeza Ahmad chose HSY, Maria Wasti look ethereal in Nomi Ansari and Gia Ali, Noor and Sarwat Gillani glided on the Red Carpet in Fahad Hussayn’s classic lines of style. Saba Qamar stood out as well as the lady in red. The styling, hair and make-up credits were shared between Sabs Salon and Nabila’s.
Films ka funda
Recognition Award presenter Samina Peerzada spoke her heart and mind, harking back to the days when she and Usman laid the foundations of a new age in Pakistani cinema. She said the sapling was on its way to becoming a sturdy tree — starting with Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s success with Saving Face at the Academy Awards and present-day films such as Siyaah, Josh, Zinda Bhaag, Chambeli, Humayun Saeed’s Mein Hoon Shahid Afridi and Bilal Lashari’s Waar — some of which had been screened by an Oscar Jury (which she was a part of) and which broke stereotypical imagery.
“After Zindagi Gulzar Hai, I look forward to Sultana (Siddiqui) Apa, Misbah (Khalid), Asim Reza (Best Telefilm, Behudd) now stepping into the realm of film production as well,” she said in her remarks before presenting the awards to the two best box-office films to Humayun Saeed and Bilal Lashari. “The high earnings raked in by MHSF prove once and for all that even Pakistani films can do very good business,” pitched in Humayun Saeed.
Also, HSY in his emotional acceptance speech for the Best Designer (Women’s wear) trophy said, “Getting recognition is tough with everything being shut down these days … All over the world giving is the new achieving and after over 20 years in the industry I have come to the realisation that Pakistan is the best place in the world.”
The sound of music
While receiving his Best Band award, Overload’s Farhad Humayun accepted the honour on behalf of his band, reflecting on the other two of the trio back in Lahore who couldn’t make it. “With a ban in effect on celebrating Basant and every other festival, and now even YouTube, acceptance at an event like this is awesome for it proves that people out there are watching and that they still care.” Wise words indeed.
It was viral if not airborne! Best Sitcom presenter Waqar Ali Khan literally dragged his co-presenter Sarwat Gillani by the hand to take a selfie with their backs to the audience. But long before that both celebs and audience alike kept posting selfies and inundated social media with repeated status updates as well.
Of these there were quite a few: the opening gala performance to introduce Team Hum, Bushra Ansari and Javaid Sheikh’s zany energy while performing to the golden oldies, Hum Awards favourites Ahsan Khan and Mehwish Hayat dancing to popular Bollywood item tunes, the performance by Egyptian Sufi folk Tammara dancers, Nauman Ijaz’s faux pax while accepting his Best Actor trophy in a Negative Role for Ullo Bara-i-Farokht Nahin (he claimed he was in the lounge area for a drink of water and did not hear his name being announced in that particular category) and even Sajjad Ali’s much-deserved win in the Best Solo Artist category.
But it was Fahad Mustafa announcing the Lifetime Achievement Award for NAPA Chairperson Zia Mohyeddin after a brief show reel that got everybody out of their seats to give the giant among men a standing ovation.
After he received his award from the President of Hum Network Sultana Siddiqui, he said: “Mein aap ka aur aap kay channel ka shukar guzar hoon, aur shukriya ada karta hoon kay itni dair tak mujhe bardasht kiya!” Talk about having the last word!
The recognition extended to a literary personality on a platform such as this is a welcome change from the overdose of glitz and glam, and something other award ceremonies need to look into to add more weight to their undertakings.