Bol key lab azad hain

Women are respectful no matter what family background they have, the number of years they have spent in school, their choice of profession, the size of their clothes and the kind of person they choose to be with. Finally, udaari had the guts to say all this on national TV and that too on a prime time show.

Everyone who knows me, knows I’m a huge fan of udaari. It has dared to do something no one has ever done before. And has succeeded in doing so too. It’s a story of singers from two different social classes and the behavior of people towards each. While the singers from ‘elite’ class get a lot of respect, singers from humble background (who might actually be better singers) are treated as mere ‘naachney gaaney wali’ unfortunately. A sad reality of our society.

It talks about real, strong women. The kind of women that we actually have in Pakistan. Women who do everything in their capacity to provide for and protect their children no matter how hard things might get. No, usually women in Pakistan are not ‘damsel in distress’ only waiting for their ‘prince charming’ to rescue them. Sheedan, meera, sajida, zebo, military are all very strong women in their own ways and are the kind of women I would like all Pakistani girls to aspire to be rather than mannu from Mann mayal.

It talks about the choice a girl can make in terms who she wants to get married to and when. When a guy proposes a girl and she declines, every one says that she has ‘friend zoned’ the guy. This statement takes away her right to choose a guy by her own will rather than social pressures. Udaari shows brilliantly that two people can still be friends, can still work together professionally even if the girl has rejected the boy’s proposal. It also talks about not getting married until you are completely sure of your decision and ready to settle down.

Finally, of course it talks about child abuse, domestic violence and sexual harassment. This was definitely the most important issue of all. We have been turning our faces away from it for too long. It’s only making the situation worse. Parents need to talk to their children about the difference between good touch and bad touch. Parents need to have a friendly relationship with their kids and must listen to whatever their children tell them with utmost attention. Children don’t lie and if they are scared of someone or a bit too fond of someone, it is the parents’ duty to probe further. Udaari talks about parenting and also how to legally deal with people if, God forbid, something bad happens.

It must not have been very easy to bring such a bold topic to our television screens but the team of udaari has been able to do rather marvelously. We must thank Momina Duraid and Kashf foundation to have the courage to fight against all odds to produce something like udaari. Of course, it would have been nothing without Farhat ishtiaq’s writing and Mohammed ehtishamuddin’s direction. Actors, both new and old, have given some of the best performances of their lives. Ahsan khan deserves all the awards for portraying imtiaz so well. And may God bless the little zebo and her parents for letting her being part of this project.

If you haven’t seen it yet, you must watch it now. If you have a daughter over 7 years of age, I would recommend you watch it with her. It will make it much easier to speak to her about a lot of things which are taboo in our society

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Recommended pakistani drama serials


Whenever I ask someone to recommend a drama, the usual response is Aangan Terha and Tanhaian. If I ask for recommendations from the recent ones, the response is usually just Humsafar and Pyare Afzal. Fortunately Pakistani drama industry has a lot to offer other than these extremely popular serials. Here is my list of must watch dramas of recent times (in no particular order):

  1. Kankar: domestic abuse is shown quite a lot on Pakistani TV but this one also talks about dealing with it. Loved Fahad mustafa in a negative role.
  2. Qaid e tanhai: I’m a huge Faisal qureshi fan. He is simply the best when it comes to facial expressions. Give him a story penned by umera Ahmed and a Co star like sawera nadeem and the result has got to be better than awesome.
  3. Daam: what’s not to love about Daam. Story by umera Ahmed of two best friends from different social classes, Sanam Baloch and Amina shaikh have given one of the best performances of their lives. Sanam Saeed was a new Comer back then but her performance was better than any seasoned actor.
  4. Doraha: love, love, love it. Story about love, jealousy and family politics narrated in a way like never before. And then of course, there was humayon Saeed too in it 😉
  5. Vasl: ayesha khan’s best performance in my opinion. She played the role of a much older woman and did it with aplomb.
  6. Diyar e dil: I started watching Diyar e dil because of the beautiful locations but soon fell in love with the story and it’s characters like most other people. This is also one of the few plays which forced me to read the novel too.
  7. Dil lagi: undoubtedly love story of 2016. Story of a strong woman who stayed with her husband because she fell in love and he gave her respect, not because that was something she was expected to do.
  8. Mera Naam Yusuf hai: directed by mehreen jabbar, I had huge expectations from this one and it didn’t disappoint. One of the best performances by Maya Ali and Hina bayat. This one too has a lot of strong women and lots of life lessons to learn from.
  9. Jackson Heights: story of a lot of people going to USA to fulfill their American dream told beautifully by mehreen jabbar. Nauman ijaz has outdone himself.
  10. Malal: I myself know a lot of cowards who might like someone but will get married to the girl of their mom’s choice. Beautifully portrayed by mehreen jabbar. Written by umera Ahmed and studded with awesome performances by deepti Gupta, Faisal Rehman and sarwat geelani.
  11. Rehai: Kashf foundation is an NGO that believes in women empowerment and they also like to raise awareness about social issues through television. Rehai talks about a young 10-12 year old girl getting married to a 40 year old man. Packed with powerful performances by actors like Nauman ijaz and samina peerzada, it’s definitely a must watch.
  12. Besharam: This serial is still on air and it’s like breath of fresh air. Although I didn’t like the first 2-3 episodes much, I have now fallen in love with all the characters. Of course the usp of the serial is the chemistry between Zahid Ahmed and saba qamar.
  13. Udaari: one more serial by Kashf foundation and it talks about child abuse. Written by Farhat ishtiaq and actors like bushra Ansari, samiya mumtaz, Ahsan khan and urwa hocaine have made it an unbelievably amazing serial. Must watch!
  14. Main sitara: a completely different story of a girl from a humble background wanting to become a successful movie actress. Written by Farhat ishtiaq and with not a single dull moment through out, it is an absolute must watch.
  15. Mata e Jaan hai tu: I have watched it twice and have read the novel too. It’s a romantic story but it’s not just about a boy falling in love with a girl but about importance of every relationship in life.

How many of these have you watched?

Mere Humnawa (review) episode 1

Writer: Rahat Jabin

Director: Abdullah Badini

When Dil lagi ended, I wasn’t too sure what ARY Digital’s plans were but on Monday morning, as a habit, I opened up YouTube hoping to find something useful that might have replaced Dil lagi. I was quite pleased to see that the drama serial that replaced dil lagi stars Alishba Yousuf. I know it’s not her comeback serial as such because I think one more of her plays is on air these days but as I’m not watching it,this one is the real deal for me. The last drama I watched that had Alishba Yousuf was Main Abdul Qadir Hoon and I truly loved her so I’m quite excited to say the least. There are two leading men: azfar Rehman and Nauman ijaz and by the looks of it I can see it will be a love triangle but I’m hoping it will have something new to offer.

Alishba (Alishba Yousuf) is a well educated, lower middle class girl whose widowed mother (huma nawab) has worked very hard all her life. Alishba is engaged to her khala (seemi Pasha) ka beta, Haris (azfar Rehman) who also belongs to a lower middle class family and has been looking for a job for past two years. They are both very much in love and consider themselves lucky to have each other. Alishba lands a teaching job at a college and her mum starts thinking that Alishba will be spending most of her salary on her husband and his family. She has started contemplating of marrying her daughter off to someone with a good job and a better social class. She has started taunting Haris over his joblessness and Haris is now quite worried. This has led him to take up a job in Dubai. Alishba’s mum is quite happy with this development. However, Alishba is very unhappy with this decision. In the last scene, Alishba’s mum has an accident with Nauman ijaz’s car who I think will have a big role to play in the development of the story.

From the first episode, there isn’t any great performances to talk about but I’m still quite hopeful. The story also seems a little clichéd as of now but I’m looking forward to the later episodes as I am hoping that the treatment would be a little different

Did you watch the first episode? Let me know your views

save the children

As a mother myself, its rather difficult for me to imagine another mother’s plight who might have lost her child. in fact i dont even want to imagine that kind of pain. it will be unbearable for me.
But the attack on APS and their brutal slaughtering of approximately 150 children forced me to think otherwise. i thought of the pain the mothers of all the martyred children will go through the rest of the lives. for the next 24 hours i could think of nothing else. And then i started reading about the other victims of this heinous act: children who were still alive but were seriously injured. i started thinking about the pain of their parents, standing beside their child’s bed in hospital, unsure of their child’s future. that was not any less painful to even think about. imagine the uncertainties, the insecurities these parents must have and might still feel. they dont know if their child will live and if will live, will he be able to walk properly or will he ever be able overcome this horrific incident.
i feel goosebumps every time i even start thinking about the pain.
and then each time i cant stop myself think about parents in tharparker where children are dying in front of their parents, in hospital beds due to malnutrition. is it less painful to lose your child in one blow? or to lose your child bit by bit i front of your very own eyes?
every time, i break down into tears because i dont have an answer.

khoon ke ek ek qatrey ka intiqaam

it was a news i wish i never heard in my life….an incident that would never happen in my utopia of imagination. but its a real world, a world where monsters live disguised as humans and no one is safe. not even young innocent children.
i still cant believe that the sky didnt fall when 6 barbarians entered premises of a school, handpicked children to kill, told them to recite their kalma, fired at their legs first to make sure they suffer as much as possible before dying, shot them on their eyes and head and left them to die. approximately 150 of them.
its a scene right out of a horror movie …. oh i wish it was! because its not. it happened in peshawar in army public school. it actually happened more than 24 hours ago and i still cant believe somebody could actually be so cruel that they could plan and then execute this! they didnt stop even after seeing innocent faces, they didnt stop even after seeing their blood spilled on the floor.
they didnt stop and nearly 150 innocent angels died. they will never go back to their mothers. their mothers will never be able to make their favourite meals for them, will never be able to hug them, will never be able to kiss them goodbye in the morning before school….because they will never go to school again.
everyone was quick to condemn these attacks. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif went on to say we will avenge for each drop of blood spilled by the terrorists. it sounds good….but is it good enough to comfort the mothers of victims. No, absolutely not!
we, as a nation, need to understand we are all responsible for yesterday’s attacks.
why, you may ask.
Because we supported the jihad movement in the 70’s and 80’s spear headed by zia ul haq.
Because we let the afghani refugees in and never told them to go back.
Because we let those afghani refugees smuggle everything to and from afghanistan from drugs to weapons.
Because we were sympathetic towards Taliban during the 90’s. a large section of the society still is.
Because we thought musharaf was a traitor when he tried to get rid of these terrorists.
Because we actually toppled over musharaf’s government when he took action against these barbaric monsters.
Because we wanted to talk with lunatics who do not understand anything other than bombs and money.
Because we brought someone in power and making him prime minister who calls zia ul haq (the father of these problems) his mentor, by democratically electing him
Because we dont care how many children die as we have an ever imcreasing birth rate (311 children have died only in tharparker in the first 11 months of this year)

Chokers?

With last night’s defeat, Pakistan have departed from yet another world cup after losing yet another semi final.

In the last few years, Pakistan has amazingly always been able to make it to the semi final….only not to be one of the finalists. I have concluded that we are now the new chokers, after South Africa. Talent and skill does not matter any more, the Pakistani team, just like the rest of Pakistani nation, does not have the confidence to win in situations where it really matters. Its been long since Pakistan won a BIG match. We know they are talented. Just a few days back they won against tams like South Africa and Australia comprehensively. Its like winning against India in a World Cup: not about skill or talent, but about mental toughness. We have never been able to win against India in a world cup, not in one day, not in T20. We did not win wen Zaheer Abbas and Javed Miandad batted for Pakistan, we did not win wen Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis were bowling for Pakistan, we did not win wen Amir Sohail and Saeed Anwer were opening for Pakistan…we just never won and I think we cannot win against India in a World Cup. It is a mental block and we need to find a way to tackle that somehow.

I think the team needs a psychiatrist more than anything else. They need to know how to be confident enough to win big matches without being over confident.

And I dont hate Shahid Afridi, I have always loved him as a player, always respected him. But its not his time anymore i guess. I am not even doubting his commitment. I just think that his career should end now….like all good things, this must also end. He can do well with his Kurta line. He also has a great career ahead of him as a cricket expert if he can brush up his English. But he needs to understand that he should now when there are still people who love him, respect him and wish him well.

Source: Facebook

The move

I think I completely forgot to blog about this!

Nearly 10 months ago, my husband told me about a job offer that he had from Philippines. With a nearly 5 month K in my arms, I was completely unprepared for a news like that. He had not accepted the offer by then but he told me that he was willing to move because of the perks that he would get. He was asking me for my opinion.

MY OPINION!?

What was I supposed to say? I have just settled in Singapore and dont want to move again? I have made such nice friends here and I am scared I might not be able to do this again? I have not yet gotten used to having a baby around and you are talking about moving?

In the end, I didnt say any of this. Instead, I just said that it had to be his decision and I will be happy with it. I dont know if he saw the confusion in my eyes or not but just a few days later he broke the news that he had accepted the offer.

We did not know how we would cope with the ‘moving’ hassles with K so just one month later I was on board on the plane, off to Pakistan so that at least K would be at ease. I stayed in Pakistan for 3 long months while my husband got everything packed in Singapore, sold the car, got an agent to rent out the apartment, move to Philippines, settle in his new job, find a decent place for us to live and a car. Amidst all this havoc, I remained in Pakistan, unsure of how long my stay would be and obviously with a ‘not so great’ time table for K. You know how it can get when you are with family. People have different schedules and you are kind of just expected to go along with the flow. They will never SAY anything, they will just silently EXPECT and you just know that you HAVE to oblige. K started sleeping at 1 n the morning during those 3 months!! Imagine a 6-9 month old sleeping soo late! The good thing was that she was still breastfeeding so I was not too concerned about her food. She remained a good girl and did not give me a hard time otherwise, no trips to the doctor and her chacha must have been relieved who has to see too many doctors already with the older brother’s kids wenever they are in karachi.

so finally, in March, I reached Philippines.

First impression: it actually is a lot similar to Pakistan. You reach the airport and you can just feel that! its not as organized as singapore and it can be a bit frustrating at times but usually reminds you that people have flaws and that is exactly what you should expect from them. Something which you kind of forget while being in Singapore where everything is too perfect.

Now the best things about moving to Philippines:

  1. The condo here has amazing facilities esp for Kinza with two indoor play rooms, a fish pond and plenty of space to play outside.
  2. There is a shopping mall just across the road with a super market where you can find pretty much anything under the sun. This means we are not super dependent upon the driver as we thought we would be.
  3. No, we do not live in a bunker and yes, it rains a lot here and flooding is a major problem every year but Philippines definitely deals with it in a way much better than Pakistan. May be because there is a lot more rain here than Pakistan and they have learned their lesson. I cannot compare with Singapore because for them having water on the roads as high as 6 inches is flood.
  4. The locals are easy going, happy go lucky people.
  5. It is just so much easier and cheaper. to get domestic help as compared to Singapore.

Negative points:

  1. Isolation: I had made around 6-7 really good friends in Singapore who were MY friends. Not my husband’s colleagues wives, not mommies of K’s playmates. Here i am still trying to make friends and have not yet succeeded as such.
  2. Formalities: Things are way too formal here. Back in Singapore, if you wanted to have some people over for lunch, just make something and arrange for paper plates! You could take your kids along and let them have fun. Here, you have to leave the kids with nannies because you know that your hosts would have spent the past two days just decorating the house and there would be a 5 course meal which you are afraid your kids will disturb! So you either leave the kids with the nannies, take the kids along and get stared at by everyone and not get invited later or u just decide to stay at home