THE GRAPEVINE

Published September 26, 2021

For Children’s Rights

The National Commission on the Rights of [the] Child (NCRC), in collaboration with the European Union, has funded the Huqooq-i-Pakistan project in order to protect the rights of children in Pakistan. They have appointed actor Ahsan Khan as the goodwill ambassador for the purpose. We think it’s a good choice, because Ahsan K’s popularity cuts across all segments of Pakistan society and he can do a world of good to the aims and objectives of the project.

Producing Kanye

Meet a young Pakistani music producer by the name of Aswad Asif. Not many of us know him because he doesn’t seem to be into the game of self-projection. Well, here’s what he has recently accomplished. Rapper Kanye West’s single Off the Grid, which entered the Billboard Hot 100 charts, was co-produced and written by Aswad A. Isn’t that cool? By the way, to his close circle of friends, the producer is known as AyoAA. So, way to go, AyoAA…

It’s A Jungle Out There

Ever since Shah Rukh Khan’s last film as a hero, Zero (2018), tanked at the box office, speculations have been rife as to what will be the next movie he will be a leading man in. Some believe that a project titled Pathan is in the offing. But not many were aware, up until now, that his co-production with a famous young director from South India named Atlee, is progressing pretty quickly. We know this because last week, somehow, the name of the movie got leaked. It’s Lion. Hmmm… now SRK is, of course, called the King of Bollywood. Perhaps it would’ve been appropriate if Atlee had titled it Lion King.

Spirits In A Material World

Musician and founder of the near-defunct rock band Junoon, Salman Ahmed, has announced he has made a documentary covering Prime Minister Imran Khan’s life. It’s been titled Spiritual Democracy, though some wags think Hybrid Democracy might have been a better title. The film is put together through footage taken by the musician himself and some by filmmaker Shoaib Mansoor. The soundtrack, as you might have guessed, has been composed by Salman A himself and, given the musician’s unconcealed adoration of the PM, it would be safe to assume it’ll be more of a hagiography than a critical look. By the time of filing this news item, it hadn’t been revealed as to how the documentary would be distributed. Well, we wait with bated breath to see how much spirit the documentary has.

Check, Mate

In the final episode of Netflix’s mega hit series The Queen’s Gambit, there’s a reference to a real-life Russian chess player, rather grandmaster, Nona Gaprindashvili, where the announcer says, “There’s Nona Gaprindashvili, but she’s the female world champion and has never faced men.” Well, apparently the 80-year-old woman has played and defeated many a male player. Which is why, on September 16, she filed a lawsuit against Netflix in the Federal District Court in Los Angeles, arguing it’s a “devastating falsehood, undermining and degrading her accomplishments before an audience of many millions.” The streaming service, in response, has said that her claim has no merit and it will vigorously defend the case. Netflix is probably hoping this check doesn’t lead to forking over another cheque...

Busy Bee

Say what? Actress Shilpa Shetty’s husband Raj Kundra is behind bars for his involvement in a pornography scandal. Earlier in the case, the wife didn’t seem to have much to say on the issue. Recently, however, when Mumbai’s police interrogated her, she replied she was too busy with work and did not know what Raj K was up to. Girl, you ain’t working in films, so you were too busy judging a single dance reality show? Then again, sometimes good dance moves can stay with you for days and months, so much so that you are blinded to whatever your partner’s busy producing.

Published in Dawn, ICON, September 26th, 2021

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