THE GRAPEVINE

September 08, 2019

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Artists For Kashmir

It was heartening to see members of Pakistan’s showbiz community expressing their support for their Kashmiri brethren during the Kashmir Hour on August 30. Kashmiris in India-Occupied Jammu & Kashmir are, of course, facing the worst lockdown anywhere in recent history.

The Pakistani stars included the likes of Shehzad Roy, Bilal Ashraf, Adnan Siddiqui, Faysal Quraishi and Aijazz Aslam in Karachi and Shaan and Hamza Ali Abbasi in Islamabad. Others such as Humayun Saeed — who was in Frankfurt at the time — Mahira Khan and Hareem Farooq also tweeted to show solidarity with the Kashmiri people.

Good on you guys! Artists should always raise their voices for those who can’t.

Nayyar’s Plea

Respect for seasoned actor Nayyar Ejaz for trying to awaken the conscience of the authorities who have treated Karachi and its citizens with pathetic indifference in the ongoing monsoon season.

In a video message, Nayyar E has asked the government to protect the tiny bits of happiness that our citizens try to hold on to when the rains come, and not allow them to fall prey to electrocution. This can happen if we improve the infrastructural facilities in the city. Certainly, sir! But will this plea ‘jolt’ the conscience of those in ‘power’?

That’s the question.

The Lookalike

An Indian journalist who was in Srinagar on August 29 posted on social media a picture of a man named Majid Mir, who he claimed is a fan of cricketer Sunil Gavaskar.

Interestingly, what made the pic go viral was that most people noticed Majid M’s uncanny resemblance to Bollywood A-lister Akshay Kumar. To be honest, it’s a disservice to Majid M. Even if the gentleman looks like Akshay K, they’re surely poles apart politically. Pretty sure no one in Kashmir is currently an admirer of Narendra Modi like the Padman star.

Love Her Like You Do

On Aug 31, the singer of the famous song Love me like you do, Ellie Goulding, got married to Caspar Jopling in York, England.

In case you’re wondering whether the groom hails from the glittering world of showbiz too, no; he is not an actor or singer.

He is an art dealer. Congratulations to the couple! We wish them a happy married life, and hope that Caspar J will keep loving Ellie G the way he does.

The Rising Son

We all know Azaan Sami, son of Adnan Sami Khan and Zeba Bakhtiar, as a talented music composer. But last week, he impressed all and sundry with his carefully uttered words during an interview with the BBC.

When asked the tricky question about his father’s decision to live in India, the young man replied that he respects his father’s choice, but for him, “Pakistan is my home, and the industry is my family.” Well put, Azaan S. That’s precisely the kind of maturity that is evident in the music that you scored for Parey Hut Media ... sorry, Parey Hut Love.

Weight Trait

Actors work hard. And someone of the calibre of Joaquin Phoenix gives his heart and soul to his art. If the trailer for Joker is anything to go by (and the rave reviews that the international media is giving it after its preview shows) then chances are that there will hardly be any other actor this year who can top Joaquin P’s performance in Joker.

What is the price he had to pay to deliver a startling performance, you might ask? Well, he lost 52 pounds (23.5kgs) for the part, for one. According to the actor, shedding such a huge amount of body mass affected his psychology and caused him to “start going mad.” It’s no joke being a top-notch actor.

Published in Dawn, ICON, September 8th, 2019