THE GRAPEVINE

May 17 2020

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Uncle Jaidi Has Departed

Renowned playwright, comedic actor and poet Athar Shah Khan died on May 10. He was 77. Although Khan Sahib penned several plays for TV and stage, including the well-remembered Intizar Farmaiyey and Hello Hello, it was his characterisation of the goofy Jaidi in one of his dramas in the 1970s which turned him into a household name. The bumbling character, whose grasp over English was inversely proportional to his insistence to speak it, became the rage at one time. So much so that he was often better known as Uncle Jaidi by all and sundry and Jaidi’s pet nonsensical phrases (“Ni na ting tong”, for example) became part of pop culture. Khan Sahib introduced a distinct style into humour writing in Urdu and also wrote humorous poetry in Urdu. He was also a regular participant in mazahiya mushairas until his health began to deteriorate. May he rest in peace.

All In Jest?

It may have been a comment delivered in a lighter vein just to please his fans, but it seems that some are taking Noman Ijaz’s views on Humayun Saeed’s and Adnan Siddiqui’s acting skills a trifle too seriously. For the uninitiated, in an InstaLive session in which Vasay Chaudhry can be seen sitting behind him and feeding him questions, Noman I said that if Humayun S keeps working hard, he might one day accidentally learn to act. He did not spare Adnan Siddiqui as well. Humayun S and Adnan S did not take too kindly to the jibes even though Noman I later claimed it was all said in jest. Talking about fun, we’re sure that Noman I, too, will one day learn how not to be monotonous in every role that he plays.

Happy Neena

We love Neena Gupta. For her, age is truly just a number. Talking of which, the ‘number’ of the 60-year-old actress’s followers on Instagram has reached half-a-million. To celebrate that, on May 7, she video-recorded a message for her admirers in which she is seen hopping around, more like dancing, thanking them by repeating the phrase ‘paanch laakh paanch laakh’. It’s such a cute thing to see her appearing full of life and zest. It’s something we can see over and over, paanch laakh times.

More of Him

Chunky Pandey’s daughter Ananya Pandey is single. So is Shahid Kapoor’s step-brother Ishaan Khatter. No, no… don’t get us wrong. There’s nothing going on between the two of them. It’s just that, while discussing her upcoming film Khaali Peeli, in which both are working opposite each other, she has showered profuse praise on him. “He has so much positivity and passion for cinema. It’s rubbed off on me. The world is going to see a lot more of Ishaan.” Yep, remember, she said ‘the world’, not ‘me’.

The Tic Tac Talk

Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis are arguably the cutest Hollywood couple, primarily because they say it like it is. On May 7, they were being interviewed by Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest about their life in quarantine, when Mila K talked about putting out videos on hubby’s “Twitter or Instagram”. At this point Ashton K chimed in, “This is, by the way, how educated my wife is on social media. She calls TikTok, ‘The Tic Tac.’ So, she’s not pretending when she’s like, ‘What is it, the Twitter or the Instagram?’” Hey, maybe That 70s Show was more inspired by real life than we realised.

Royal Mansion?

In case you were wondering where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are living after leaving their royal lifestyle in the UK, well, here’s the answer: the lovey-dovey pair has been staying in a huge, expansive (and expensive) mansion in Beverly Hills, owned by actor Tyler Perry. It’s not clear whether they’ve rented the place or are just living there because Tyler P is being a gracious host. The mansion covers an area of 22 acres with eight bedrooms, 12 bathrooms and a pool. What? Twelve bathrooms? The phrase that instantly comes to mind is ‘a royal flush’.

Published in Dawn, ICON, May 17th, 2020