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.

_20190424_114836.JPG

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 It talks about outdated customs and traditions that make life almoal too difficult to live.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.

_20190424_114647.JPG

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.

_20190424_114628

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

 

 

Advertisements

Top 10 Must Watch Kids Movies

Television has long been a source of entertainment and a way to wile the hours away. The prime objective of TV shows and movies has always been keeping the audience’s interest. But this platform has also been a strong proponent of positive messages, good vibes and lessons to learn. You and I have grown up watching some of the most classic children films and they remain to be some of the best movies of all time.

It’s not about the jaw-dropping graphics or the melodious soundtracks; it’s about the character development, the solid plotline and a positive life lesson that makes these movies stand out from the rest. While there are many titles that fit this description, here are top 10 children movies that have outshined through decades and must be watched with your kids before they turn twelve.

#1: The Lion King

Ah, who can forget this timeless Disney classic? This isn’t only a story of courage and how to fight for your people. This is a story that teaches children how to deal with loss and of course – how to put the past behind them.

_20180904_104541.JPG

#2: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

Adapted from Roald Dahl’s best-selling children’s novel, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is about the adventures of an unprivileged boy into a magical chocolate factory. This movie not only keeps children entertained and humming the Oompa Loompa songs for days, but it also makes them understand the importance of humility. Charlie’s patience, humbleness and kindness brought him riches in the end unlike all the other bratty kids in the movie who met a more or less dreadful end to their chocolate factory tour.

_20180904_104821.JPG

#3: Toy Story

Toy Story has seen many different sequels but the ’95 Disney film remains to be the best still. Toy Story is a fun concept with a strong message. Woodie’s dedication to protect his friends and Buzz’s show of courage are all inspiring themes that children are sure to pick on.

_20180904_105033.JPG

#4: Akeelah and the Bee

This relatively contemporary movie blew up the box office charts in 2016. Akeelah, a young girl with a broken household, find an opportunity to break free from her circumstances through a Spelling Bee competition. With the help of Dr. Larabee’s coaching, Akeelah learns how she can become someone she can be proud of.

_20180904_105219.JPG

#5: Brave

As the name implies, Brave is a story about courage and strength. Forced to marry at an early age by her parents, Meredith breaks the customs of her family tradition and pursues her passion instead – archery. Brave is a story that highlights and strengthens a mother-daughter bond and teaches both children and parents to understand the other person’s point of view.

_20180904_105428.JPG

#6: The Iron Giant

Inspired from Ted Hughe’s award-winning novel, The Iron Giant made waves back in 1999. This story about friendship and sacrifice will leave tears in your eyes but a lesson that you will remember for years to come – a perfect kids move indeed!

_20180904_105627.JPG

#7: Matilda

Another Roald Dahl adapted movie, Matilda narrates the story of a gifted yet misunderstood girl. Her struggles against the prejudice from her family and the cruelty of her school principal are short. Matilda soon realizes she has the power to stand up to all that don’t believe in her. This strong message of self-esteem, self-love and courage is extremely essential.

_20180904_105831.JPG

#8: E.T the Extra-Terrestrial

This heart-wrenching timeless movie remains a favorite for many adults still. When a young boy befriends a gentle alien, new bonds are made and new adventures are embarked upon. The powerful message of sticking up for your friends is both a tear-jerker and uplifting.

_20180904_110035.JPG

#9: Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte must do everything in her power to protect her bovine friend Wilbur from getting slaughtered– even if it means constructing an elaborate spider web. Children will learn how important it is to help out those in need from this film. They will also learn the true meaning of friendship in Charlotte’s Web.

_20180904_110336.JPG

#10: Wizard of Oz

Possibly one the most oldest and yet still one of the greatest classic children films is the Wizard of Oz. The plot follows Dorothy, a girl lost from her home because of a tornado, and her quest to return to her family. With her friends she finds embarks on the way back home but this road isn’t simple. Dorothy must act intelligently, with courage and kindness to make it through. The Wizard of Oz is truly one of the most inspiring kids’ movies of all time to date.

_20180904_110602.JPG

The star that is Humayun Saeed

Humayon Saeed is unarguably one of the biggest stars that Pakistan entertainment industry has produced over the last two decades. He is 47 and he is here to stay for a long long time.

_20180803_094756

Nowadays, its rare to see Humayon Saeed on TV and even if we do, it’s usually to promote one of his movies. I believe he always wanted to be a movie star. He tried his hands on a negative role in Inteha and then did a few other movies as well but it was his work in Television that got him recognition, fame and respect.

Now, he is the biggest movie star and one of the best producers for movies and drama serials in Pakistan.

_20180803_094730

When we think of Humayun Saeed now, we don’t think of an actor but a celebrity. However, it was not always like this. He has done some memorable roles in a lot of drama serials which are a must watch (if you haven’t already, of course).

Here is a list of some of his television dramas that are, and will always be, my favourites

1. Mehndi: Of course no surprises there. It used to be everyone’s favourite. And although there were some other big names associated with this project, people simply loved Humayun Saeed and his pairing with Ayesha Khan who debuted in that serial.

_20180808_170800

2. Uraan: Humayon Saeed is very charming and he used that quite intelligently to his advantage in this serial that deals with marriage, domestic abuse and divorce in a very novel way. Penned by Umera Ahmed and directed by Yasir Nawaz, it is actually a story of woman emancipation but its the antagonist that stands out the most.

_20180803_094533.JPG

3. Doraha: Also, penned by Umera Ahmed is a story o  love and how it becomes difficult due to family pressures. It also boasts of jaw dropping performances by Sonia Rehman and Sanam Baloch.

_20180803_094632

4. Dil Lagi: One of his recent works for Television came as a pleasant surprise. Its penned by Faiza Iftikhar and directed by Jawani Phir Nahi Aani fame director, Nadeem Baig. The best thing about it was the fact that the leading lady, Mehwish Hayat, had a role just as powerful as Humayon Saeed.

_20180803_094516.JPG

5. Bin Roye: I had huge expectations from this one but oh well, this one just makes it into the list because Humayon Saeed is looking extremely hot.

_20180803_094551.JPG

Which one is your favourite humayon saeed drama serial?

 

Birthdays made easier :)

Please note this is NOT a paid/sponsored post.

So what do you do when you have two young kids, no culinary skills, no helper, laundry still screaming for attention and your little one has her birthday coming up! You start panicking?

Well, especially yes if you are living in singapore and are on a budget.

This year I decided to celebrate Duaa’s birthday on a budget beside the pool with a few friends of both kids and perhaps 2-3 of my close friends. I wanted something very casual but the cake has to be the most important thing in a birthday party no matter how extravagant or casual the party is. The lady who I have been turning to for the past two years for all our ‘cake’ needs was travelling and that’s when I found out that a friend, Ruqaiya has recently launched her business too. The best thing about her is that she can do all sorts of desserts and you are not limited to cakes only. The next problem was I had only seen pics of her cakes, who did look pretty but I had no idea how they tasted. So, I just trusted her blindly. Or let’s say not exactly blindly because I had already tasted some stuff she had made and it was absolutely amazing to say the least.

Finally I ordered cake pops, cake and cookies from her on snow white theme.

I gave her a few pictures and a few instructions so that she would be free to use her own creativity too. The cake, cake pops and cookies all looked better than the pictures I had given her and the taste was absolutely mouth watering. To top it off her rates are just as good. She didn’t over charge and packed everything with finesse.

It’s hard to believe that she has recently started her business and is just so exceptionally talented . She has been doing various baking and decorating courses to enhance her skills.

This is what she has to say herself, “I am a mother of two daughters (4 and 2) who are crazy about sweets. I am from Pakistan and moved to Singapore couple of years back. I loved baking since I was a student. I actually made my first cake in a pressure cooker:p Looking the shine in my daughters eye as they see the cake gives me push to be more creative and try something different! Over the period, I have experimented with variety of different cakes. I love making decorating cakes with gumpaste, fondant and buttercream. I like the freedom to play with my innovative skills to put the customer’s idea into reality. I am happy to have received very encouraging feedback from my clients so far! My favourite cake so far is the Frozen Castle, which I made for my daughter’s birthday.”

Please visit her Facebook page for more pictures and support her little business to help her nurture her talent.

Sweet indulgence https://www.facebook.com/groups/1692313401087469/

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?

10 things to know before you leave for Hajj which no one talks about

Please note that this post was written a long time ago and depends heavily on my own experience in 2007.

The season for Hajj is coming up and many of you would be planning to go for this journey of a lifetime this year round so I thought I should share a few things from my experience with you people that you might find helpful.

1. If you are going with your family, its better to leave the real young ones back at home. Hajj is not farz for them, they would have to perform their Hajj once they would grow up. They would only be making things a lil more complicated.

2. This is the time to be caring towards everyone, especially your family. Hold your spouse’s hand wherever you can. Its just so crowded, you really dont want to lose each other there. Avoid heavy crowds as much as you can. You dont want to get be a part of an accident here, trust me.

3. Go as early as you can for Jumma prayers. Learn to pray Namaz-e-Janaza. You would be doing that after nearly every namaz.

4. Do not expect everything to be really simple and easy just coz you have bought the most expensive package. You will have to go through a lot of the things just as everyone else. You must be prepared for a lot of anger, anguish and pain. Dont complain, take it as a ‘patience’ test from Allah (SWT).

5. If you are planning to go as part of a private group, look for one which is run by Maulanas and knowledgable people rather than ones who are simply doing this commercially. You are going for Hajj to become a better Muslim not to discuss movies. If you do Have to discuss all this, please do so in a low voice. You might be disturdist others.

6. Walk as much as you can to strengthen yourself before Hajj. Start goigo to the gym every day at least three months before the start of Hajj.  You would need to walk a lot there, especially during the 5 days of Hajj. If you are young then prepare yourself for a ‘walking’ hajj. Its not only more satisfying, it also saves you from a lot of other troubles.

7. In Mina and Arafat, you will be living in tents. Try to identify the number and the direction of tents so that you can make it back without a lot of trouble. This is very important to do because tents and streets look identical and people can easily get lost. Keep maps with you all the time.

8. Start studying from now. DO NOT expect people to guide you. You will have to do everything yourself there.

9. It is very important to know which parts of Hajj are sunnah and which are farz. Staying at Mina is not farz, its a sunnah. Your stay at Arafat is farz and makes up your Hajj basically. If your group leader wants to leave the night before for Arafat, its very important for you to know that the facilities at Arafat are targetted towards stay during the day and thus there wouldnt be a single light bulb in your tent and you should be prepared to tolerate the mosquitos. Remember, you can neither use a mosquito repellent nor you can kill any living thing while in ehram. The best time to leave for Arafat is right after Tahajjud and reach there a little before Fajr.

10. Females must always be in a groups or be accomapanied with their mehrams. As bad as it may sound, but you may face serious harrasment otherwise.

Last but not the least, Hajj is to teach you communal living. Please keep the toilets clean, keep your voice low when talking, pick up your trash and throw it in the dustbin and try to help older people around you.

And of course, please do remember me in your prayers.