Shaukat Ali, no more

Eminent Pakistani singer Shaukat Ali passed away on April 2 in Lahore. He was 78. Recipient of the President’s Pride of Performance award, he sang a number of national songs, folk numbers and ghazals. Some of his most popular national songs were Jaag utha hai sara watan, Mera puttar Pakistan da and Apna Quaid aik hai. He was also known for his quality playback singing. May he rest in peace.

The Knot

Last week, Usman Mukhtar (who directed the short film Bench, which was well received in the international festival circuit) got married to the woman of his dreams, Zunaira Inam Khan. He looked and sounded super happy on the occasion as he posted on Instagram a romantic and emotional note for his better half, thereby informing his friends and fans of the marriage. He wrote, “I haven’t felt such happiness in a very long time. You’ve stood by me in the moments I was down and amplified the happy moments.

Been my rock and my support. I am blessed.” Congrats, you two.

He Cheated on Her

Somy Ali is an actress that some movie buffs may remember from films such as Yaar Gaddar. But Salman Khan fans would definitely know that, in the 1990s, they were going out, and were together for no fewer than eight years. Then something happened, Somy A flew out to the US and settled there. Last week, in an online chat with a journo, the former actress finally revealed that Salman K cheated on her when they were dating, and that this was the reason she broke up with him. And she just left the scene… Hmmm… we guess at least Aishwarya Rai, Katrina Kaif and Zareen Khan would not be surprised to discover this.

Jabbed!

There are a few points to mull over regarding actress Iffat Umar getting vaccinated out of turn, which created a huge uproar on social media, perhaps justifiably. First of all, we all know that it was the 60-year-olds or above that age who had priority to get the jab, and she is not that age — at least, doesn’t look so. Secondly, the response that she gave in a tweet, which she erased afterwards, that hers was a trial booster shot, only made matters worse, since it came across as a bad cover-up. Getting the vaccine in these terrible times is a serious issue, and Iffat U is nowadays known for raising her voice for serious issues through her talk show. In this context, it was thoughtful of her to subsequently realise that she had done something wrong and which had not gone down well with many. Her statement on Facebook apologising, and vowing that she will try to improve as a human, must be acknowledged. If only the federal minister who arranged the queue-jumping had as much introspection.

The Archbishop Contradicts

Meghan Markle is in a spot of bother. During her famous TV chitchat with Oprah Winfrey, the actress, and now the Duchess of Sussex, said she and Prince Harry actually got married three days before their official wedding in 2018. She claimed the marriage was solemnised by the Archbishop of Canterbury. This was one of the statements which were picked up by the press all around the world. But on April 1, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, denied her claim in an interview, saying, “The legal marriage took place on that Saturday… I’d have committed a crime if I had signed something that wasn’t true.” Alrighty then! Meghan M is now in a holy mess.

Alia gets Covid

On April 2, admirers and followers of Bollywood starlet Alia Bhatt received a disconcerting piece of news when the actress wrote on her Instagram account that she had tested positive for the coronavirus. In her words, “Hello all, I have tested positive for Covid-19. I have immediately isolated myself and will be under home quarantine. I am following all safety protocols under the advice of my doctors. Grateful for all your love and support. Please stay safe and take care.” We wish and pray for your swift recovery Alia B, and hope that Ranbir Kapoor also got tested.

Published in Dawn, ICON, April 11th, 2021

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