THE GRAPEVINE

25 Oct 2020

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The Teaser

Judging by the images that Mahira Khan posted on Instagram of her upcoming movie Quaid-i-Azam Zindabad co-starring Fahad Mustafa, it looks like a typical, fun-filled, message-oriented Nabeel Qureshi film — as it ought to be. The actress dropped a bit of a hint about the plot of the film too by captioning it: “No nation can rise to the height of the glory unless your women are side by side with you.” Yep, right on. And it may also mean: no film can taste success unless its female lead is side by side with its male lead. Like the ones in Nabeel Q’s previous films

Shame Shame

The Amna Ilyas-Aaminah Haq issue which has caught the attention of the media has underlined the fact that celebrities need to be a lot more careful when they comment on issues –– such as body shaming –– that have acquired much more significance and sensitivity than they had, let’s say, a decade ago. In short, model and actor Amna I was castigated on social media for a two-year-old clip in which she was making fun of former model Aaminah H’s weight. In response, Amna I came out with an Insta video in which she tried to explain that she had evolved but which was again castigated for being flippant and not being contrite enough. We, in the media, also need to learn or find a better way to tell someone that they misbehaved on a certain occasion or that their tone was wrong, without making them look like perennial bad guys. Sermonising can be just as off-putting as shaming and bullying.

Case Filed

Life and art can barely be separated. Indian actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s wife Aaliya (who now doesn’t live with him and uses her maiden name Anjana Anand) has given a statement to a registrar (after appearing before the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) saying that her husband’s brother, Shamas, molested a member of the family in 2012. The actor’s family alleges she is trying to blackmail Nawazuddin S who has denied her claim, adding they’ll be approaching the Bombay High Court on the issue. Well, if there’s even a semblance of truth in the accusation, then it will take no time for the actor to turn from a reel hero to a real villain.

Ugly Audience or Ugly Celeb?

More things are being revealed about TV talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and her toxic behaviour on set which are nothing less than appalling. This time round, it’s not about her staffers who had to bear the brunt of her cocky misdemeanor; rather, it’s about the audience. A source has told the media that women and men who came to be part of the live audience on her show were ‘graded’ on their looks. As per the host’s instructions, the better looking ones were made to sit at the front so that they got on camera more, and the uglier ones at the back. What? That is disgraceful. We think no one can be called ugly. Only those can be dubbed as such who are nasty from the inside.

Journey and Destination

Kareena Kapoor has just finished shooting for a film Laal Singh Chaddha (the Indian version of Forrest Gump, in case you don’t know). Directed by Advait Chandan, she has Aamir Khan as her co-star in the movie. To celebrate the wrap, the actress posted the following message on social media: “And all journeys must come to an end. Today I wrapped my film… tough times… the pandemic, my pregnancy, nervousness but absolutely nothing could stop the passion with which we shot, with all safety measures of course.” Aamir K was quick to quip. “What are you talking about Kareena? End of journey? No way. I’ve requested Advait to write a few more scenes for us, so that all of us continue shooting with you.” Hold on, champ. The girl is pregnant. You don’t want a dangal with her hubby, do you!

Relationship Rap

Rappers Cardi B and Offset have had their issues as a married pair. Last month it was reported that the former has filed for a divorce. But now, insiders say that they’re back together, happy as ever, and that the topic of divorce never came up in their showdowns. This made one of Cardi B’s followers on Twitter claim that she’s in a “mentally abusive relationship” and that she needs to be saved. The rapper responded with a satirical jibe by first uploading a video with a fake apology to her admirers saying she “married you guys too”, and then by writing, “You want me to apologise for living my life the way that you live yours… I’m sorry. I’m not perfect, I don’t want to be neither.” Cardi B, that’s a hard rap on the cynical follower’s knuckles.

Published in Dawn, ICON, October 25th, 2020