Item Number

Hamza Ali Abbasi, pretty much like Shaan, never shies away from expressing his opinion on important socio-cultural issues, irrespective of whether he’s considered things thoroughly. Take, for example, his latest statement on ‘item numbers’ in films. He says item numbers “aren’t art”; “they’re nonsense.” In support of his argument, he adds that “It’s the lowest form of art to take clothes off a woman.” That may be a religious point of view and many might support that position but the entire canon of Western Renaissance art might disagree. He goes on: “It may be my opinion, but then why aren’t strip shows art?” To be honest, Hamza AA, before offering your opinion, it might be good to first familiarise yourself, at least a little, with discussions within the art world.

Love Note

On Nov 11, singer Sajjad Ali celebrated his wedding anniversary (we don’t exactly know how long he’s been married — nonetheless congratulations to the couple!). To mark the occasion, he penned a cute little note for his wife Noreen, and posted it to his Instagram page: “Happy anniversary, my love. Thanks for tolerating such a moody artist like me all these years. You are the longest duet of my life.” That is simply beautiful. Sajjad bhai is lucky that he has such an understanding wife because, for some other artists, the wedding anniversary note could easily be any of the lines from a few famous sad ghazals he’s sung.

Tiger Force Shamoon

So actor and director Shamoon Abbasi has joined politics. He announced he had joined the ruling party, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI). We congratulate him and wish him well. News is that he wants to contribute substantially to Pakistan’s showbiz industry. The foremost target for him is to streamline payments and to encourage OTT (web-based) platforms. He is thinking along the right lines, because Pakistan’s own OTT platforms are the need of the hour. Given Shamoon A’s gutsy nature, it’s likely, and we pray, he will achieve his goal. As far as the audience is concerned, ghabrana nahin hai…

Danish Connection

Folks, the super-talented Taapsee Pannu has a boyfriend and he is not an Indian. Who is he then? Answer: he is the Danish badminton player Mathias Boe. Where did they meet? Well, know about it in her own words: “I met him during a badminton match. I was a spectator and he was a player. We ended up chatting on Twitter a bit and then we met each other. Since then, it’s been stable, nice, happy, calm. No baggage, no burden relationship.” That sounds wonderful. Her beau is Boe… and he is a player.

Another Suicide

It seems that Bollywood is under a tragic spell for the last few months. First Sushant Singh Rajput committed suicide, and his death shook the entire Indian film industry for reasons that weren’t directly related to his demise. On Nov 12, another actor, Asif Basra (who was last seen in the web series Paatal Lok and was appreciated for his work) killed himself. His body was found hanging from the ceiling of the room of his flat. It is an extremely disturbing story. This goes to show that appearances can be deceptive. The artist community in India should examine what’s causing so much sadness around them. Asif sahib, rest in peace.

March Reunion

Everyone was waiting for the Friends reunion to start as soon as HBO and its makers gave it the green signal, but the pandemic prevented the filming from being kick-started. Now, one of the principal cast members of the sitcom, Matthew Perry (aka Chandler Bing), himself has revealed that the shooting for the project will start in March 2021. “Friends reunion being rescheduled for the beginning of March. Looks like we have a busy year coming up,” he wrote on Twitter. As we all know, the one-off thing will be performed unscripted. To be fair, now that the cast members have either hit 50 (years of age) or gone beyond that, memorising lines will be a problem anyway.

Published in Dawn, ICON, November 22nd, 2020

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