Recent must watch Pakistani drama serial

If you have already seen all the Recommended pakistani drama serials, then please do read on as several drama serials have aired since then which are definitely worth watching.

Here is a list of dramas that you should binge watch over next weekend.

1.  Darr si jaati hai sila: Written by Bee Gul and starring Yumna Zaidi alongside Nauman Ijaz and Saman Ansari, Dar si jaati hai sila is a must watch. It’s a story of a girl who lives in constant fear even in her own house. It’s very well written, the dialogues are crisp, very well directed, not stretched and each and every actor has done comcompl justice to their role. Just a note of caution: it can get very emotional towards the end, keep that hanky handy.

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2. Sang e Mar Mar: As a ruler I do start watching every Nauman Ijaz drama serial even if it does not look too good from the promos. This was exactly the case with Sang e mar mar as well. I was not too keen on it but decided to give it a chance for Saniya Saeed and Nauman Ijaz. Written by Mustafa Afridi and directed by Saife Hasan, Sang e Mar Mar is the story of a pashtun family headed by the strict patriarch Gulistan Khan, played to perfection by Naunan Ijaz. It talks about outdated customs and traditions that make life almoal too difficult to live. Strong performances by actors like Nauman Ijaz, Saniya Saeed and the extremely talented Paras Masroor, with a gripping story, breathtakingly beautiful locations and strong direction makes it a must watch

3. Yakeen ka safar: Oh, where do I start from? Yakeen ka safar is based on a short novel called ‘Woh Yakeen ka Naya Safar’ written by Farhat Ishtiaq. I started watching it mainly because i enjoyed readrea the novel. It’s a story of a girl who loses pretty much everything because her family does not trust her and then how she works hard to be independent and during her journey finds people struggling in their lives but not giving up. Although I knew Sajal Ali would be great as Zobia but it was Ahad Reza Mir who shined as Dr Asfandyar. If you still have not seen it, then you must make some time for it over the weekend.

4. Shayad: Have I ever mentioned that I absolutely love Nauman Ijaz? I thith I have. A d now that we have this out of the way, let me inform you that this is another drama serial with outstanding performance by Nauman Ijaz. Based on a novel of the same name written by Faiza Iftikhar is about the relationship between Saad and Hani and the ties that bind them together. The sets and editing are perfect and it’s production quality is slick. Sadia Khan looks beautiful as Hani but it’s Uzair Jaswal as Saad who really steals the show. If you are a fan of romance, this is a must watch.

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5. Aangan (ARY): Aangan started a revolrevol of sorts in Pakistani drama industry. It’s the kind of serial that although highlights a lot of social issues and gives their solutions as well, it never gets preachy and never awkward. It’s the story of a family and must be watched with your family. It talks about how families support each other, forgive mistakes and move on in life together. The best part about it is that each and every character is given equal importance and attention which makes it very easy to understand why a particular character behaves the way they do. This is rather rare in Pakistani drama serials. With great performances from industry stalwarts like Qavi Khan and Samina Ahmed to some newcomers whose names even I am not aware of, Aangan is a treat to watch. Highly recommended!

6. Akhri station: This is a 7 part mini series prodprod by Kashaf Foundation. Just like their earlier productions, namely Udaari and Rehai, Akhri Station shows reality in a brutal and raw manner. It speaks the truth, without sugar coating it. If you suffer from depression or anxiety, i will suggest not to watch this show. It’s awesome script, impact full use of imagery along with power-packed performances and great direction by Sarmad Khoosat make it a must watch.

7. Khudgharz: Although Sami Khan is an extremely good actor, unfortunately got type casted for several years and didn’t do any noteworthy project for several years. Things have changed now and he is doing some wonderful work. Khudgharz is definitely one of those drama serials where you can see him portraying an extremely complicated role effortlessly. Along with him Amina Sheikh and Syed Jibran were absolute stars of the show. The show was directed by Yair Nawaz and he proved he is an ace director. Also, if you are planning to watch it, keep a tissue box with you. You can thank me later.

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8. Lashkara: Set in interior Lahore, Lashkara is the story of one acid attack survivor. Written by Zafar Mairaj and directed by Kashif Nisar, it starts off as a fun, light hearted love triangle of sorts but it actually deals with a huge social dilemma. Imran Ashraf, Ushna Shah and Mohsin Abbas Haider make it an absolute treat to watch with their great performances.

9. Muqabil: Another Mohsin Abbas Haider starrer, Muqabil is an essential watch. Written by Zafar Mairaj and directed by Hasan Ali, Muqabil is the story of a rape survivor, played well by Kubra Khan and supported by Mohsin Abbas Haider as her husband and veterave like Asif Reza Mir and Saba Hameed.

10. Nazar e bad: Although the name of the show probably should have been Kaala Jaadu, Nazar e bad is a very well made drama serial.  Starring Azfar Rehman in a negative role along with the very beautiful Sarah Khan and immensely talented sakina sammo, Nazar e bad is the story about love, jealousy and the desire to have things your own way. Just a littli warning, while it does not get scary, it does become a little creepy and you might not want to watch it alone

 

 

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How Can Pakistan Become A Semi Rich Country Like Malaysia?

The past few months have seen a flurry of activity in both the political and economic sphere in Pakistan. The new government has yet to deliver its promise of a Naya Pakistan primarily because of the problems it has inherited. From the price of the dollar reaching new heights and the burden of debts refusing to cease, Pakistan is currently in deep waters in terms of economic stability.
Despite the ever-growing list of problems, there might still be hope for Pakistan to emerge as a semi-rich country like Malaysia.

Although many speculate the CPEC program would help in this process, critics disagree. The truth of the matter is that the success of a country doesn’t hinge on a single factor and definitely not on foreign reliance.

Take Malaysia for example. Mahathir Mohamad played a major part in the part in the development of his country without reliance on Chinese projects although being offered them. Instead, the government devised ways to use the resources available to them (palm oil and tin in this case) and focus on the export of them.

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At the end of the day, it isn’t foreign projects that can help our country flourish economically; it is the government economic and education policies. Pakistan is a country that is blessed with resources and the only way to rise to a semi-rich status is to adequately utilize them for export and trade.

Fahad Mustafa – The Man with the Touch of Gold

Fahad Mustafa is possibly the most recognised face in Pakistan. People mostly think of him as the host of the biggest game show in Pakistan and a rising movie star but as he has stopped acting in drama serials for several years, most people have forgotten how effortlessly he has portrayed some of the most difficult roles on Television.

His acting career started a little more than 15 years ago but in a very short span of time, he got noticed by the masses because of his expressive eyes and intense acting. Soon he was working in all the high budget, big projects and was the most sought actor.

Although, Fahad Mustafa has now decided not to act in Drama serials any longer, we do have some of his finest work that we can watch over and over again. These are some of my favourite serials, in no particular order:

1. Kankar: Penned by Umera Ahmed, Fahad Mustafa effortlessly turned in to a two faced charming man. The story revolves around domestic violence and how a woman must stand against abuse in any form. A must watch.

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2. Main Abdul Qadir Hoon: Fahad Mustafa was at his finest in this serial penned by Sarwat Nazeer. The story is about a young man and his journey from boyhood into someone who he was destined to be finally.

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3. Lahasil: Another masterpiece by Umera Ahmed, also starring amazing performers like Nauman Ijaz and Angeline Malik is the story of regret, redemption and self discovery.

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4. Maayi Ni: The amazingly beautiful and talented Samiya Mumtaz stars as Fahad Mustafa’s mother in this beautiful story that shows the beautiful relationshio between a son and his mother.

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5. Mera Saayein 2: Who could have thought there is an actor who can do justice to a role that Nauman Ijaz has been associated with. But Fahad Mustafa proved everyone wrong with his power packed performance.

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Which one is your favourite

The Stigma of Mental Illness in Pakistan

‘Paagal’ – isn’t that what they call everyone with a mental illness in Pakistan?

To a great percentage population of Pakistan, anyone with a mental illness is quickly labeled as ‘paagal’ (mad). It doesn’t matter what kind of illness it is – a mild case of depression or hallucinating schizophrenia – the label remains constant: paagal.

Recent studies have revealed that cases of depression and anxiety have been on the rise. Yet in Pakistan only a fraction of them actually seek professional help. The lack of awareness coupled with the taboo has left patients with an actual mental illness helpless.

A common misconception here is that depression is temporary; triggered by short-term events that cause low moods. The truth is it’s not temporary and the low moods persist for a long time even after problems have been solved.

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Depression occurs on a cellular level in the brain and is cause by low levels of a neurotransmitter serotonin.

Similarly, anxiety is much more than just stress. It is also caused by disturbed levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. The medical basis of both anxiety and depression make them actual mental illnesses that need therapy and even pharmacological intervention.

The stigma surrounding mental illnesses is imminent in Pakistan. Socioeconomic wellbeing is affected not only because of the illness itself but because of how the society reacts to it.

The solution: education.

Sadly, the answer isn’t as simple as a 9-letter word. Education needs time and shattering generations-built myths and taboos need courage. Starting from an individual level and spreading the right knowledge among those around you is what can make the stigma around mental illnesses a little less burdensome.

Next >>

 

Kya Sab English Hain?

So a video of Sarfaraz Ahmed has been going viral for the past two days where the poor guy can be seen right before a press conference, extremely nervous on seeing that all the reporters are native English speakers. It made me sad. I mean this was a time when he should have been rejoicing Pakistan’s victory, he should have been proud of himself for leading the team to semi finals just the way a captain he should. But here he was, all nervous as he would now be scrutinised for his proficiency in English rather than his skills as a cricketer.

And, man, was he right? He was unfortunately. People have been making fun of him and joking about how ‘paindu’ he is or how uneducated he is. First of all, let me clarify he is a highly educated individual. He has a bachelors degree in Engineering in Electronics. On top of that he memorised the Holy Quran and became a hafiz merely at the age of 10. This makes him more educated than most of the people commenting on the video. As for being paindu, he is far from it. He does not belong to a pind at all. He was born in Karachi and has always lived there so he can’t be categorised as a paindu.

Now coming to mindset of all the people pointing fingers at him. Please stop it. It only shows that we are still mentally slaves to the gora saab. His mother tongue is urdu and is very fluent and eloquent in it. Would you have called him a paindu if he was a Chinese and was struggling to speak English or perhaps a French or a German? No, I’m sure of that. Because they are proud of their mother tongue and they concentrate on building their nation and their athletes rather than trying to find faults in their conversational English fluency.

Next time when you see someone speaking in English with an accent or struggling with vocabulary, don’t judge them or mock them. English is not their first language and they are not claiming to be proficient in English anyway in the first place.

Finally, I have two suggestions for all pakistani cricketers:

  1. Please ask for an interpreter for your press conferences and post match presentations. No one will make fun if you when you will speak impeccably in your own language. You can then concentrate on talking about what you want to talk about rather than concentrating on how to form sentences.
  2. Please start learning conversational English. It will help you in lot more ways than you think. But the reason to learn must not be that people have been mocking you.

As for all of you, please let them enjoy the fruit of their labour.

Yakeen ka safar (review) Episode 1

Post edited by Warda moeed Siddiqui

 

Written by: Farhat ishtiaq

Directed by: Shahzad Kashmiri

Cast:

Sajal Ali, Ahad Reza mir, Shaz Khan, Hira Salman

I have been waiting for a while for this serial. The main reason being that I have read the novel ‘woh yakeen ka naya safar’ several years ago and fell in love with the romance between Dr asfand and Dr zubia. I recently read it again only because it was getting difficult for me to wait for it to start. However it’s going to be difficult but I will try my best not to compare the serial with the novel because Farhat ishtiaq herself announced on her fan page that although the serial is based in the novel, the serial will be a lot more detailed.

The first episode showed three girls from three completely different backgrounds.

  1. Noori is an educated girl in a village called Rab Nawaz Village. She is a school teacher is considered very ambitious due to the Conservative environment in the village. She is abducted and like a lot of men in pakistan, her father blames her for this. He is embarrassed and does not want to go the police because he thinks that he will become the laughing stock for everyone for letting his daughter pursue her dreams.
  2. The second one is zubia (Sajal Ali) who lives in karachi. Her father (Ehteshamuddin) is a very conservative patriarch. Her mother (fazeela qazi) has recently passed away and zubia is devastated. Her father is unable to understand the gravity of the situation as he never valued his wife ever in her life and is only doing rituals sans any emotions. Zubia’s Khala, Mahjabeen (Huma nawab) tries consoling her and also tells her brother and bhabi to take extra care of zubia as she was very close to her deceased mother. Her father, on the other hand, although considers himself very religious but he lets no chance go by where he can other people’s feelings.
  3. Finally is the beautiful Gaiti (Hira Salman) who is getting married to Daniyal (Shaz Khan) after a six year long engagement period. Daniyal was in England during this time, studying to become a lawyer. Daniyal is Gaiti’s cousin and it seems her younger sister  is also engaged to Daniyal’s younger brother Asfand who is pursuing his mbbs currently. This track was the only relief during this high intensity episode.

Over all, I quite enjoyed the first episode. Every one looks good for their roles. Sajal Ali and Hira salman look beautiful. But as far as the performance goes, Sajal Ali was definitely the best. When the serial was announced and I found out the Sajal Ali will be playing the role of Dr zubia, I wasn’t completely convinced but her performance in the first episode was beyond awesome and I’m glad she was chosen for this role.

Did any of watch the first episode?

Jannat key Pattey (overview /review)

It wasn’t until 2012 that my mom gave me a copy of Peer e Kamil that I started taking urdu novels seriously. I have read peer e Kamil twice and both times I got emotionally charged. After that, I read several novels, many of them by umera Ahmed herself but nothing came even close. Peer e Kamil was just extra ordinary and incomparable to anything else that I was reading. I realized that most authors were using Islam to attract the readers and were unable to really incorporate it into the novel. Then someone recommended  nimra Ahmed to me. I read a lot of her work and I figured she was merely a teenager or just barely out of her teens when she wrote them so a lot of them were quite immaturity in terms of story line but I could see that she wrote with brilliance with lots of details.

Then I decided to read Jannat key Pattey. something that I wasn’t too keen on as it too had Islam at its core. I was pleasantly surprised.

MAJOR SPOLIER ALERT

Haya belongs to a rich business family. she is pretty and takes special care of how she looks. her make up and clothes are always on point and she gets lots of attention from everyone every where she goes. while boys can’t get their eyes off her, all the girls are jealous of her. she herself has never taken advantage of her looks in any way and is a ‘good’ girl.

She was betrothed to her cousin (phuppo ka beta), Jehan Sikander (yes another very handsome sikander but a little irritating unlike salar sikander) when she was 1 and he was only 8. Haya has always known about it and is very sincere to her husband but every one else thinks that as the Nikah was done when they were only children, it shouldn’t be taken too seriously. her parents have started looking for a rishta for her and they also have Waleed, haya’s dad’s business partner’s son, in their mind. however, Haya is not thrilled and tells him about his Nikah. Waleed tries to take ‘advantage’ of Haya and a Khwaja sira, Dolly saves her. Haya is petrified but still doesn’t want to befriend Dolly.

One of her videos, taken secretly by a mobile phone, gets leaked and she contacts cyber crime cell for help. Major Ahmed from cyber crime cell contacts her and helps her in removing the video.

Haya has recently received a scholarship from a Turkish University and she is very keen on going as she thinks it will be her only opportunity to meet Jehan, get to know him and also finally decide how their relationship should proceed. At the same time, she starts receiving bouquets of white roses from a secret admirer who seems to know pretty much everything about her.

She travels to Turkey with Khadija/Dj and the two become very good friends. she continues to receive bouquets from her secret admirer in Turkey too. however now he has told her his name, ARP or Abdul Rehman Pasha who is an underworld Don. Haya gets scared for her safety but doesn’t know who to confide in.

She meets Jehan too but is severely disappointed because she felt that Jehan hardly knows about her. she goes back to her dorm thinking that continuing the relationship with Jehan would be useless  however she runs into Jehan the next day on underground train and he helps her in such a way that she decides to give him another chance.

Over the course of time, she gets closer to Islam and starts understanding underlying meanings of various commandments. some horrible incidents bring her close to hijab and as it is her own decision rather than something imposed on her, she does everything she can to protect and honor it in the best possible manner.

Meanwhile, she visits Pakistan and receives a puzzle box from Dolly. on opening the box, she finds out how and why certain things happened in her life for the past few months. she also finds a lot about Dolly, major Ahmed, Abdul Rehman Pasha and also about Jehan through this puzzle box. the truth about Jehan makes her respect him a lot and ultimately they do fall in love too.

Overall, the way the novel has been written is quite good. as the story is mainly told from haya’s perspective, we find more about her personality than any other character and how she views things in general. the portion which tells jehan’s story is a little too verbose and I ended up skipping some portions and not losing anything. I would have liked Jehan to be a little more expressive than he was because that was something that I loved about salar sikander and found it lacking in Jehan Sikander but over all I liked him more than Haya. I quite liked that they both had a life of their own and shadi was not the ultimate aim of their lives. of course I loved how nimra Ahmed tried to explain some of the verses in the Quran and of course visiting Turkey has become one of the things in my bucket list.

So, have you read Jannat key Pattey?  if so, who was your favorite character?