Smooth Sailing

Singer Asim Azhar has an aunt, Durdana Ansari, who lives in the UK. Those of us who know even a tiny bit about the media would be aware of the fact that she has worked as a producer with the BBC for a long time and, a few years ago, also received an Order of the British Empire (OBE) from the Queen — for coming up with a women’s development programme. Now, Ms Ansari has become the first Muslim and Pakistani woman to be appointed an honorary captain of the Royal British Navy. This has made the pop star super happy as it was his tweet that enabled everybody in Pakistan to read the good news. Congrats to both khaala and bhaanja! From now on, Asim A’s favourite English poem might be O captain, my captain.

The Fan

Actor Imran Ashraf has many admirers. But he couldn’t have felt prouder to know that none other than Bilquis Edhi sahiba is also a fan of his art. In a video message, shared by Imran A on social media, she has praised the way he played the character of Moosa in the drama series Raqs-e-Bismil, saying that she watches his performance over and over. It is indeed a huge compliment, one that the young actor should cherish for the rest of his professional life.

The Comeback Gal

Those of us who have seen movies made in India in the 1980s must be familiar with a name Mandakini. The girl shot to instant fame after playing the lead role, a trifle controversial because of its bold scenes, in Raj Kapoor’s 1985 project Ram Teri Ganga Maili. She went on to do a touch less than 50 Hindi and Bengali films, after which she disappeared from the scene. Now the news is that Mandakini’s planning to return to the film industry and currently reading scripts to decide on her comeback project. Insiders say she wants to do “central characters” in movies. Hmmm… We guess by that she means age-appropriate central characters.

Biopic Pick

Former Indian cricketer Sourav Ganguly, known for his silken back-foot drives, has green-lighted a film biopic on his life and cricketing achievements. Who is going to play his character? Well, the former captain of the national Indian team has reportedly suggested the name of Ranbir Kapoor. There’s likelihood that his choice is based on Ranbir K’s performance in Sanju. If that’s the case, we fear Sourav G’s life may not have been as colourful or as full of peaks and troughs as Sanjay Dutt’s was/is. Or perhaps it is, and we don’t know about it yet.

Sultana Zafar Passes Away

Renowned character actress Sultana Zafar died on July 16 in Dallas, USA. She was 66. Before leaving for the US for good, she acted in a number of popular TV plays such as Tanhaiyaan and Uroosa — the former was penned by Haseena Moin and the latter by Fatima Surayya Bajia. Sultana Zafar’s performances were always liked, not just by television viewers but by her colleagues. May she rest in peace.

Gigi’s Affection

They say fashion industries all around the world are extremely cut-throat, brimming with self-centred individuals. Not entirely true. On July 15, Gigi Hadid was roaming around the streets of New York when she spotted the young NYC model Nanga Awasum walking past her, going to the other side of the street. She immediately took her picture, despite the fact that her back was to Gigi H, and put it on her Instagram page with the caption, “Shout out to my NYC inspiration of the day: this queen.” The young Nanga A was over the moon as, after noticing her Insta post, she tweeted, “It’s the way Gigi would’ve changed my entire life, only if I was facing the right way.” To which Gigi H replied, “You were facing the right way exactly where you were headed.” Apparently, after this, Nanga A is getting more attention and gigs than before. This is fashion bonhomie!

Published in Dawn, ICON, July 25th, 2021

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