Survived!

Singer and television host Fakhr-e-Alam recently wrote in one of his social media posts that, while travelling in his car, he had survived a collision which “would have been most certainly a fatal accident”. It happened when a milk truck made a sudden U-turn, forcing the driver of his car to take “evasive measures” that landed them on the wrong side of the road in the path of oncoming traffic. Afterwards, Fakhr got in touch with the Islamabad Police in order to take the truck driver off the road — which they did because the trucker apparently admitted he was in the wrong and didn’t even have a driver’s licence. Scary. Fakhr-e-Alam can thank his lucky stars. And we’re not talking about the kind he sometimes takes on PR trips to Gwadar.

Voice Notes

Ever since the great qawwal Amjad Sabri lost his life in a murderous attack, it seemed nobody could fill the vacuum created by his demise, simply because his style of rendition and vocal range were pretty unique. But lo and behold, in one of the Ramazan transmission TV shows, his son Mujaddid made an appearance and presented the soul-searching, famous qawwali Bhar de jholi, originally sung by his grandfather and granduncle Ghulam Farid and Maqbool Sabri. (He has made appearances in the past as well, but this time round people have taken note of his talent.) He recited it beautifully. A good number of viewers commented that his voice is just like his father Amjad’s. Well, we think, if you listen to him closely, that his style is closer to that of his grandfather Ghulam Farid. But it’s not that important. The important thing is that the young man is carrying the torch for the Sabri family.

Going International

Emraan Hashmi has slowly but surely established himself as a reliable film actor. In fact, these days, he is one of the busiest in India. The artist appears to be one who is a restless soul and doesn’t sit on his laurels. Take for example a statement he gave, that Hindi cinema is his first love and will always be, but he wants to explore something internationally. Tell you what Emran H, the thing that you’re known for and deemed good at (lip-locking) you may find countless international actors pretty adept at that. Tough competition abroad, mate.

Suspension Blues

Some say it served her right when the microblogging website Twitter, on May 4, permanently suspended the account of actress Kangana Ranaut. Her tweets had become a bit too politically controversial for any civilised reader. Her last post was about the political goings-on in West Bengal in which she implicitly called for Modi to unleash the kind of terror against his opponents that was seen against Muslims in Gujarat in 2002. Reacting to the suspension, she said, “Twitter has only proved my point they are Americans and by birth a white person feels entitled to enslave a brown person, they want to tell you what to think, speak or do. Fortunately, I have many platforms I can use to raise my voice including my own art in the form of cinema…”

Your art? Is that the art of bigotry, Kangana R?

Load Shedding

Being in quarantine can take a heavy mental toll on some people. Hollywood A-lister Channing Tatum is no different. Remaining in the confines of his house’s four walls, he gained quite a bit of weight — 10 pounds, to be precise. Soon he realised, as he told Jimmy Fallon on the latter’s talk show, it’s not healthy. And then he and one of his buddies “went really, really hard. We started training every day. And it was great.” The actor claimed he came out a completely new person. Good for you, Channing T. New person… hmmm… we’re sure some of your exes would be happy about that too.

Big Bang Union

After sitcom fans all over the world received the happy news that a reunion of Friends was in the offing, the next big question that sprang to their minds was: is a reunion of The Big Bang Theory also on the cards? Well, here’s a hint of an answer to the query given to a magazine by the cast member, the gorgeous Kaley Cuoco (who plays Penny in TBBT): “I would definitely be open to some sort of reunion show. I can’t wait for the Friends one, and so I’m definitely open to doing one ourselves as well.” Cool, na? In these pandemic times, a goofy nerd-fest would definitely help soothe our jangling nerves.

Published in Dawn, ICON, May 16th, 2021

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