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February 04, 2018


Shaan and facts

It took followers of actor/director Shaan Shahid a bit of time to understand the drift of his Facebook post on Jan 24.

Shaan appreciating India, seriously? How’s that possible, they might have asked themselves. Well, to be honest, he was merely putting facts across when he said that once Pakistan had the best cotton in the world and now India has taken over because of which we are buying cotton from them. He also acknowledged India giving free zones to its farmers whereas Pakistan was killing its farmers with its “policies”.

Thank you Shaan S for speaking for our farmers (though it must be pointed out that farmer suicides are far more prevalent across the border). Now if Shaan could only speak up for our actors and singers too.

Agha AutoBiography

This has mouth-watering prospects. Actress, singer and yesteryear heartthrob Salma Agha (who is still quite the looker, by the way) is writing her autobiography. She has already started penning it, and it is believed that the book is going to contain hitherto unknown accounts of incidents and events from her private and professional life.

Intriguing, isn’t it? Can’t wait to flip through (ahem) stories of the heroes and heroines from the ’80s and ’90s.

Breaking a leg

In August 2017, Hollywood A-lister Tom Cruise broke his ankle while doing a stunt (jumping from one concrete structure to another) for the sixth installment of the film Mission Impossible.

On Jan 26, the actor appeared on The Graham Norton Show and told the host that he has still not fully recovered from the injury, and is still doing all the work with a broken leg. So it’s not the Scientology cult that’s entirely responsible for the feeling that something is not right with Tom C’s chaal chalan.

The Karzai character

Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai was one of the guests at the recently concluded Jaipur Literature Festival.

On one occasion, when the host of the session that Hamid K was in asked him who he would like to play his character if a film was ever made on his life and work (not sure if he’s done anything worthwhile), he answered: Naseeruddin Shah.

Not sure if Naseer saheb would agree to the proposition.

Yes, Anupam Kher might, and probably without thinking twice.


Indian filmmakers, it seems, are now under a constant scanner for making films that have unconventional material. The Padmavati, sorry, Padmaavat row hadn’t yet subsided when last week an FIR was registered against director Ram Gopal Verma in the Indian city of Hyderabad by a social worker for “indecent portrayal of women.” This was with regards to a film which RGV is still busy shooting — meaning the movie hasn’t even been completed yet.

Apparently, the filmmaker had also made some “personal comments” against the woman who has lodged the FIR. So, if he hadn’t made any personal comments, she’d have been fine with the way women are, or going to be, portrayed in the film?

Well done Kumail

Congratulations to Kumail Nanjiani, who we can proudly call our Karachi boy, for bagging an Oscar nomination along with his wife Emily V Gordon. This was in the Original Screenplay category for the film The Big Sick in which he also starred as the male lead.

The film, for those of you who haven’t seen it, is based on the real life story of Kumail N and his better half’s (beautifully played in the movie by Zoe Kazan) love affair, stymied by the latter’s illness after they had only dated once and gone their separate ways. The hero’s khidmat of the heroine turns the tide (and her parents with a tiny bit of a racist streak in them) in his favour. Come to think of it, sounds like the story of every second desi. What the heck!

Way to go, Kumail N and Emily G!

Published in Dawn, ICON, February 4th, 2018