THE GRAPEVINE

03 May 2020

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Short Important Message

That’s how you do it. To raise awareness about the danger of Covid-19 and how to prevent ourselves from contracting it, no less than 18 Pakistani celebrities appeared in a video released last week, highlighting the problem and urging the public to remain in their homes to stay safe. It’s a smartly worked-out concept, in which a combination of seasoned and young artists — Reema Khan, Sheheryar Munawwar, Anwar Maqsood, to name a few — relays the very important message of paying due heed to the virus. Well done, guys. Glad that our showbiz community is doing its bit in this difficult period of our collective history.

New Song

Pop star Haroon released a single called Dhundoonga on April 21. It’s been quite a while since he came out with a song, because he’s busy producing and directing a very successful animated series Burka Avenger. It’s a good song, with a nice a little video and, as you can guess, it has a great deal of cute animation in it. It may not be his best work, but it’s good enough to tap your feet and snap your fingers to — the masti is there, the peppy feel-good beat reminiscent of his old band Awaaz. You will not be searching high and low to tell Haroon off.

Irrfan Khan, Gone Too Soon!

One of the finest actors that Indian cinema has produced, Irrfan Khan, passed away on April 29. He was 53. He was admitted to a hospital in Mumbai a few days ago and was being treated for a colon infection. Earlier in 2018, he had been diagnosed with an endocrine tumour which had led him to spend an year in London undergoing treatment. The actor had displayed his brilliant art in memorable films such as Paan Singh Tomar, Maqbool, Hindi Medium, The Namesake and The Lunchbox. He was hailed as one of the modern-day masters of acting and the world of film is poorer with his loss. May he rest in peace.

Morning Show Pair

We often criticise, severely at that, the way our television morning shows trivialise conversations on important subjects. It is also our duty to point out if someone in that field of mainstream media is doing a good job. Huma Amir Shah and Abdullah Sultan host one such programme called Geo Pakistan. They have been doing it for a few years now and, to be honest, the way they pepper their chitchat with light banter and the manner in which they highlight serious issues has won them many a follower. Their efforts in the pandemic-hit period are especially praiseworthy, where the two hosts, in their ‘no-offence’ style, urge the viewers to be safe and happy.

So kudos to them. Rise ‘n’ shine!

Birthday in Quarantine

April 23 was supermodel Gigi Hadid’s 25th birthday. How did she spend the day? Answer: she’s quarantined herself with her sister Bella and mother Yolanda on their family farm house, and that’s where all the fun, albeit limited, happened. She received quite a few gifts from friends and admirers, and flowers from none other than Taylor Swift and Kendall Jenner. Her sis took pictures on the occasion and posted them on Instgram with the caption “a very farmy b-day for a very special bday girl.” No, we don’t know whether a certain Mr Zayn Malik sent any presents or flowers.

Maybe She Will

Two years ago, Hollywood hottie Cameron Diaz announced her retirement from acting. Obviously, it broke the hearts of her countless fans. Now the actress has given an interview to her former make-up artist Gucci Westman, in which she — in response to a question about her potential return to her profession — said, “I’m not a person who says never about anything.” People are construing it as a hint that they might soon see her in films. We, on the other hand, are interpreting it this way: she needs to make up her mind and not just talk to her make-up artist.

Published in Dawn, ICON, May 3rd, 2020