February 02, 2020


Uncivil Aviation

You may not agree with her on some issues but this time round Mehwish Hayat has said something that is certainly food for thought for those who travel by air. In a tweet on January 24, the actress complained, “Disgusting! Had [the] misfortune to use the ladies room at Karachi Airport — dirty and stinking. Even saw cockroaches. Not only is it unhygienic but is this the first impression we want to give to people arriving here? These are the most basic amenities — let’s clean up our act.” We hope Mehwish H that those whose duty it is to make aviation as civil an experience as possible are listening to you. If they are not, we can only deduce that, with cockroaches, they’re trying to present some kind of Kafka-esque interpretation of travelling.

The Controversy Connection

Cricket and showbiz have a long-lasting link. All of us are aware of it. Here’s another piece of evidence: Kangana Ranaut went to a sports channel to promote her film Panga. There she was asked a question about the common elements between her and cricketer Virat Kohli. She pointed out that the one thing they have in common is that the more controversies they have, the more famous they get. “He got a lot of criticism for his aggressive nature and I have always said that I’m also too aggressive.” Hmmm… Kangana dear, you do realise that Virat K is also the top ranked Test and ODI batsman in the world and has turned his team into the top Test team in the world, don’t you? Any similarities beyond aggression?

Shahenshah Redux

Much to the surprise of many, a producer by the name of Sangeeta Ahir has bought the rights to the yesteryear hit and Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Shahenshah in order to remake it. Apparently, she’s already financing another remake of Big B’s old film Satte Pe Satta. Now, the problem is that Amitji has worked in way better movies than the above-mentioned two. Certainly Shahenshah is not a project that he is proud of (who can forget the bullet-stopping on the iron-clad arm sequence!). Could it be that the producer has too much money and doesn’t know where to spend it? Charity is one word that comes to mind.

Moral Police

It makes for such a heartwarming picture when a husband-wife pair shows affection for each other. Nope, not in our nook of the world. Sarwat Gillani and Fahad Mirza’s European holiday became a bit of an issue when the latter posted a picture on Instagram of the two kissing in front of Rome’s famed Trevi Fountain. It immediately created a stir and awakened the moral police from their slumber, who instantly objected to the photo. Thankfully, there were/are some who asked what the big deal was, and pointed out that the couple are married! Apparently the only kind of lip-service the moral brigade believes in is the kind it does on social media.

Sciorra’s Testimony

Once more the significance of the #MeToo movement in Hollywood came to the fore on January 23, when actress Annabella Sciorra (The Sopranos) testified in State Supreme Court in Manhattan against former Miramax honcho Harvey Weinstein. Annabella S gave a detailed account of her alleged rape in the early 1990s by the infamous Hollywood producer in a nerve-shattering testimony that had the entire courtroom listen to her in pin-drop silence. Annabella’s S’s testimony is only as a witness in two other cases being heard against Harvey W, to establish ‘a pattern of predatory behaviour’, since the statute of limitations has passed in her own case. Catharsis for those allegedly wronged aside, at the end of the day, the courtroom will be the place for justice to be meted out.

Hungry Kumail

Remember that shirtless picture of Kumail Nanjiani … with a seemingly buff body that does not go with his image at all? Well, it has to do with a character that he’s playing in the next Marvel movie The Eternals. And he’s not happy about it, as he told Jimmy Kimmel on his show, because it took him real hard work to get in that shape. “You work out every day and you sort of learn to enjoy it. But the diet is the hardest thing. I have not had pizza or a donut in over a year! I have had no refined sugar in a year. I’ve had almost no carbs at all. You know what my snack is? I get a bag or sugar snap peas and I eat them! That’s what I’ve been doing. At night, I’m like, ‘I’m a little hungry. I’m gonna treat myself. Crunch, crunch.” Oh the sacrifices we make in the name of art!

Published in Dawn, ICON, February 2nd, 2020