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Unilever Chairman’s Lifetime Achievement Award: Veteran TV and film actress Roohi Bano

Not even the wisp of smoke that rose from Adnan Siddiqui’s cigarette (triggering off a sprinkler on the red carpet) could put a damper on the evening. It was quite the highlight to see coiffed-up celebrities run for cover when the unexpected downpour began.

And the makeshift red-carpet-camp-out in the green room was hardly adequate but it was taken in good stride. Winners will acclaim and losers will complain, but the beauty of the evening was that an overall aura of support and good faith was maintained.

The Lux Style Awards returned this year with some grace if not full shining glory, and the evening most certainly was a notch up on the ‘studio press meet’ that was organised last year. This was a much more dignified way of honouring nominees, winners and industries overall. The evening revoked good time memories even if it didn’t muster up enough moments to create new ones. But there were moments nonetheless.

Roohi Bano’s Unilever Chairman’s Lifetime Achievement Award was emotional. The montage educated a new generation as to who she was and reminded the rest us of why she was remembered so fondly. The Fashion Lifetime Achievement Award went to veteran photographer Mirza Khurshid Masood, still full of steam as he commented, “I have not retired yet and have four more decades of work in me.”

Meera’s acceptance speech for winning the Beauty Icon Award was delightfully innocent: “I have yearned for this award ever since Babraji received it in 2003,” she said. Nabila and Tariq Amin’s joint appearance as presenters for Best Pret Award went down with catcalls and wolf whistles. “We’ve never had a problem,” they said, “it’s them (the industry, media) who have had the problem.” Oh sure, it brought on smiles.

There were no grand performances, no theatrics and the LSAs that we have all become accustomed to were reduced to a formal evening with the stars. One missed the Naheed Akhtar, Nazia Hassan, Runa Laila revivals, the Saeein Zahoor enigma and the Shaan, Saima, Reema, Veena cine-magic, which is always larger than life and magnifies the event as well. The influx of new talent was a strong reminder, however, that today’s new stars are just as talented and deserve a gold studded platform too. They are ready to shine but where will they glow if a platform as significant as this one is taken away from them or reduced?

Amongst all new contenders for stardom, Sami Shah was an entertaining host. He may take another year to tune himself to the LSA crowd (the fashion industry, for one, does not always get the joke) but it was a welcome start. Humour is always preferable to long and winding philosophical speeches. And when humour fails, sex appeal succeeds which made risqué TV host Mathira such a hit with the audience. More of her wouldn’t have been a bad thing.

Fashion’s favourite icons like HSY, Aaminah Haq and Ammar Belal, Vinny and Iraj were sorely missed amongst the glitterati but then time has proved that no one is indispensable. Especially not on the red carpet. Amongst the models Fayeza Ansari, Rabia Butt, Aamina Sheikh and Ayaan sparkled in befittingly glamorous gowns. The new front line of fashionable characters — Fahad Husayn, Feeha Jamshed, Rizwanullah, Raana and Ayaz Anis, Ayesha Omar and Anoushey — amongst many others kept fashion’s spirit alive.

Major star power was missing in the absence of film and music biggies. Meera and Rohail Hyatt (a very vital sign that music is alive in Pakistan) stepped in for respective genres while Shaan, Reema, Ali Zafar, Atif Aslam, Hadiqa Kiyani, Strings and other LSA regulars were missing in action. Faakhir must have been relieved to not have to deal with Ali Azmat on the stage.

A major chunk of the evening was dedicated to handing out TV Awards while the only film worth mentioning — Nach Ke Yaar Manana — was quickly awarded for Best Director (Syed Noor), Actor (Shaan) and Actress (Saima) and wrapped up. Fashion held the spotlight, as expected, but what happened to music awards was most disturbing. From an event that has always planned song and dance around popular music, this year’s LSAs did not even play a single note from the nominated tracks. Apparently the record company owning rights to the nominated albums was demanding royalty for playing even seconds of the songs they owned.

The awards committee conveniently changed the categories from Best Album or Song to Best Artist (Mekaal Hassan Band for Saptak), from Best Music Video to Best Video Director (Zeeshan Parwez for MHB’s Waris Shah) and Song of the Year to Singer of the Year (Jawaid Bashir for MHB’s Chal Bulleya). Imagine awarding Rohail Hyatt Best Producer for the Coke Studio Sessions without actually being able to play any of that mesmerising music. Such was the tragedy this year and music suffered at large as its presence was reduced from a bang that it deserved to a whimper it most certainly didn’t.

What now? Recession, political instability and security concerns have been stripping the LSAs of their glory. Having witnessed the last two sorry years, had the show not been granted this toned down yet glitzy event this year, one would have commiserated their complete demise. There is hope now that once things stabilise, the LSAs will resume their former status in the industry. There is reassurance that the show’s 10th anniversary next year will see it revive its grandeur.

The winners of LSA 2010 (ex-fashion) are as follows…

Best Film: Nach Kay Yaar Manana (Producer Syed Noor), Best Film Actor: Shaan for NKYM, Best Film Actress: Saima for NKYM

Best TV Serial (Satellite): Ishq Junoon Deewangi on Hum TV (Producer Momina Duraid), Best TV Actor: Humayun Saeed for IJD, Best TV Actress: Sania Saeed for The Ghost on Hum TV

Best TV Serial (Terrestrial): Khuda Zameen Say Gaya Nahin on PTV (Producer Khawar Azhar), Best TV Actor: Noman Ijaz for Kaghaz Kay Nao on ATV, Best TV Actress: Maira Khan for Jee Chahta Hai on ATV, Best TV Director (all channels): Mehreen Jabbar for Doraha on Geo, Best TV Writer (all channels): Asghar Nadeem Syed for Khuda Zameen Say Gaya Nahin on PTV

Best Music Artist: Mekaal Hassan Band for Saptak, Best Music Video Director: Zeeshan Pervaiz for Waris Shah by Mekaal Hassan Band, Singer of the Year: Mekaal Hassan Band for Chal Buleya from Saptak, Best Music Producer: Rohail Hyat for the Coke Studio Sessions

Unilever Chairman’s Lifetime Achievement Award Veteran TV and film actress Roohi Bano.