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Awards fever: Drama, dancing and Dubai!

April 19, 2015

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Mehwish Hayat
Mehwish Hayat

After the Indian film industry and private TV networks regularly started hosting their awards shows in Dubai, it was just a matter of time before the trend caught on in Pakistan’s entertainment industry and we made our presence felt in the Arab Emirates. In order for that to happen, it would require a gargantuan effort in terms of logistics and meticulous planning, making this almost an impossibility. Team Hum deserves a pat on the back for pulling off an awards show in the face of overwhelming odds and adversities.

In all honesty, as far as awards ceremonies go, the Servis 3rd Hum Awards had its share of fun moments, a stage that was a visual masterpiece with an opening act that was at par with international standards followed by spellbinding and scintillating performances, heartbreaks, celebrations and revelations, and with only a few disappointing acts and/or hosts. The performances by some of the best entertainers Pakistan has to offer are something that we can be proud of, and it seems the right foot to start all future ambitious and adventurous undertakings of the manner.

The Sheikh Saeed Hall at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) provided the idyllic setting for the awards show preceded by a Red Carpet reception. It was a far cry from the cramped spaces of Karachi where the Red Carpet and stage areas have to be squeezed to fit into a restricted space. Inside the show area, one was greeted by a sprawling stage with LED panels that effectively displayed the event title, nominations and the winners’ details when the show got underway. The fiery opening act of dancers dressed up in the traditional costumes of the colourful and vibrant Mardi Gras performers of Rio left the audience breathless in their seats with the short yet highly entertaining welcome performance choreographed by Aamna at BNF.


To mark its 10th anniversary, Hum TV took the stars of Pakistan’s tinsel town to Dubai


Hosts Ahmed Ali Butt and Vasay Chaudhry are always a sure thing given their previous stints together. The duo never ceases to entertain and tickle the funny bone with complementing acts and deliberate faux pas. Their inherent talent is what all great international comic acts are about, and Ahmed and Vasay managed things brilliantly between them. It’s sad that the other hosting acts could not measure up by even a long shot.

Abida Parveen receives her award
Abida Parveen receives her award

Hamza Ali Abbasi and Sanam Jung’s opening act barely clicked and though none of the hosts were formally announced or introduced (maybe they are so popular in Pakistan that they thought they didn’t need to), the fact remains that even the Academy Awards announce their hosts out of sheer courtesy. Hamza seemed to go round in circles and given that it was a first for Pakistan, but all he could hark on about was what it meant for us to host such a show in Dubai besides being extra careful to graciously glorify and thank the organisers repeatedly. Point taken, Mr Abbasi! Sanam Jung as his co-host fared slightly better and even managed to raise spirits with her pep talk and calls for applause.

Sanam Saeed remained downright wooden during her time on stage as the host and when paired with Hamza things became almost unbearable, especially after Ahmed and Vasay’s candid acts of goofiness and self-ridicule.

Samina Peerzada receives her award from Javed Sheikh
Samina Peerzada receives her award from Javed Sheikh

Seen & heard

It was a somber moment when Singer Farhan Saeed dedicated his Best Music Single win for Roiyaan to the victims of the Army Public School attack followed by a verse which moved hearts.

Abida Parveen received a full house standing ovation when she was invited on stage by CEO Hum Network Duraid Qureshi to receive her Excellence in the Field of Music award. She later recited a Sufi kalam by Amir Khusrau.

Anwar Maqsood and Sultana Siddiqui
Anwar Maqsood and Sultana Siddiqui

“Pakistani dramas are the best … even in India. It’s an honour for me to present this award,” said Javed Sheikh while giving Samina Peerzada her Excellence in the Field of Television award trophy. She, in turn, dedicated her win to all the people she has worked with including stage hands, her husband Usman Peerzada (rumours dispelled!) and close family members, and especially the late PTV producer Shahzad Khalil for introducing her in Panah 2. “Sultana (Siddiqui), you had a dream and we were all there to make your dream come true,” she added.

At one point during the ceremony, Hamza Ali Abbasi obliged a screaming female fan holding a placard requesting a selfie with him.

Hosts Vasay Chaudhry and Ahmed Ali Butt
Hosts Vasay Chaudhry and Ahmed Ali Butt

Momina Duraid introduced Fawad Khan as “the king of romance who does not like to do romance!” He thanked his fans in the audience with the words: “I’m here today only because of you.”

Indian playback singer Sunidhi Chauhan did a live cover of the Runa Laila classic from the film Anjuman (1970), Dil Dharke, along with her other popular numbers.

The opening performance featuring Rio dancers
The opening performance featuring Rio dancers

Anwar Maqsood, on receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award and a standing ovation, said “Looks like the Dubai immigration counters with all you people standing!” He also mentioned that while performing Umrah after Sitara Aur Mehrunnisa went on air, a man came up to him during tawaf and said “Atiqa ka number hoga?” And “I realised just how empowered the women of Punjab really are after travelling from Sialkot to Lahore, for not once did I see a wall-chalking ad for Auratana kamzoori ka ilaj!”

Khalilur Rehman Qamar on winning the Best Writer (Drama Serial) award for Sadqay Tumharay (based on his real-life story) said, “It’s difficult to tell your own story … mistakes are never sterile, they keep producing offspring.”

Ahsan Khan and Saba Qamar dance to popular tunes
Ahsan Khan and Saba Qamar dance to popular tunes

“It’s really big of India to choose our Fawad Khan for the Filmfare Best Male Debut award over Bollywood veteran Jackie Shroff’s son Tiger Shroff who also made his big screen debut with Heropanti. And now Mahira is all set to make her Bollywood debut with Shahrukh Khan,” said Javed Sheikh, taking the opportunity to thank Sunidhi Chauhan for her impressive performance at the awards ceremony, the first by any Indian artist of her stature.

Sultana Siddiqui received a bouquet from an HBL official in acknowledgment of her services to the television industry spanning over 45 years.

Saba Qamar with her Best Actress — Jury award & Mahira Khan with her Best Actress — Popular award
Saba Qamar with her Best Actress — Jury award & Mahira Khan with her Best Actress — Popular award

An emotionally-charged Saba Qamar finally won the Best Actor Female — Jury for the drama serial Bunty, I Love You after being passed on in other categories, as the ceremony drew to a close.

Published in Dawn, Sunday Magazine, April 19th, 2015

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