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Thespian Dilip Kumar’s death on Wednesday has left the entire Indian film fraternity shocked and in mourning. The legendary actor who passed away at the age of 98 has left a void in cinema and a huge body of work behind, for future filmmakers and actors to learn from. The actor was laid to rest at Juhu Qabarastan in Mumbai with full state honours on Wednesday evening.

Popularly known as the ‘Tragedy King’ of Bollywood, Kumar was known as a method actor who was never limited to genres. In a career spanning more than five decades, the prolific legend was part of comedies, dramas, romance, and so on.

Some of his best known films include Aan, Daag, Devdas, Madhumati, Azaad, Mughal-e-Azam, Gunga Jamuna, Kranti, Karma, Ram Aur Shyam, among others.

Dilip Kumar also possessed the distinction of being the only Indian recipient of Pakistan’s highest civilian award, Nishan-e-Imtiaz.

For his contribution to cinema, Dilip Kumar was conferred with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India’s highest award in the artform. He also received the Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award of the country.

Along with Shah Rukh Khan, he held the record for winning the most Filmfare Awards in the Best Actor category: 8. He also won the inaugural trophy in the same category in 1954.

 

Personalities from cinema, politics and sports paid tributes to Dilip Kumar. Here are all the wishes and obituaries pouring in for the icon.

Udaari star Urwa Hocane took to social media to voice her frustration with the pandemic that has kept loved ones apart. She hasn't been able to meet her mother in almost two years.

In her post, she wrote, "I miss you my beautiful, brilliant, inspiring Amma!" 

 "Haven't been able to see you for almost two years now because of the pandemic — can't wait to huge you tight as soon as I see you," she said.

The pandemic has been troublesome with travel restrictions, distance and politics around vaccinations leaving many people separated from their families. Thousands of people, like Hocane, haven't seen their families in far too long and are growing tired of it. They want to be reunited and we want that for them too.

All we can do is urge people to get vaccinated and stay vigilant so that eventually, things will get back to normal.

If you look in the mirror and feel bad about yourself for your acne, or conversely, if you're done feeling bad about yourself because of your acne, Alizeh Shah has a thought for you.

Taking to Instagram, the Ehd-e-Wafa star spoke out about her insecurity inducing struggle with acne.

"Here I am putting my biggest insecurity on display," Shah began, confessing, "Yes I've been struggling with acne for quite a long time."

"A lot of us have this idea that 'clear skin' should be the goal," she noted, though then confessing one does not need perfect skin to be happy.

'The current state of your skin does not measure your worth or your beauty!" she said. 

She followed this up with a video zooming into her face, flaunting her acne marks, just the way she should.

 Acne is a common ailment, a skin condition, that affects 9.4% of the global population, making it the eighth most prevalent condition in the world. Acne usually begins affecting people as they approach puberty, though it affects several adolescents and young adults as well. Approximately 85% of the people between ages 12 and 24 experience at least some acne.

However, studies say that acne might continue affecting people into their 30s and their 40s, with the trend of acne among adults increasing. A study found that 10 to 12% of adult women suffer from acne. The same study also notes that the impacts of acne in the lives of adult women is often greater than that on the lives of younger ones.

A study published in the Journal of Ayub Medical College, Abbottabad, studied the relation between acne and depression. Their results showed that 38% (19 out of 50) of the people with acne they studied suffer from depression, with a female predominance. Between patients of acne and seborrhea, the same study found that people suffering acne problems reported greater social anxiety, 34% as compared to 10%.

As acne becomes more prominent, so should the support people suffering from it get. We're glad Shah decided to speak on this matter, as several young people put themselves down everyday when they see inflammations and sores on their faces. Even more struggle with the marks it leaves behind. We, at Images, view them more as battle scars, for the fight your skin must embark on everyday against the sun, dirt, hormones and what not.

Echoing Shah's words, we'd like to conclude the way she did, by saying, "Embrace the glorious mess that you are!"

An up and coming TV serial Doar and its star studded line-up — featuring Sania Saeed, Ali Abbas, Hina Altaf, Asfar Rehman, Iffat Raheem, Nayyar Ejaz and Saleem Mairaj among others — has got us excited.

The announcement came in as screenwriter Sajjad 'Saji' Gul uploaded an exciting new picture to his Instagram on Saturday, saying that his new drama Doar will be hitting our screens soon. No dates, just a 'soon'.

The photo features Sang-e-Mar Mar star Saeed standing as a puppeteer, above and seemingly controlling two puppets, Fitrat leading man Abbas, and Dil-e-Gumshuda sensation Altaf. All three are seen wearing black outfits, in what appears to be the set for a dark, gloomy cover shoot.

 

 

In addition to those in the picture, Gul told Images the show also features Saza-e-Ishq actor Asfar Rehman. He also hinted that Rehman and Saeed might be the antagonists of the show.

As Gul's upload indicates, the show's story is on the darker side.

"When one finds themselves threatened and backed into a corner, bringing their survival into question, they lash out at others in retaliation," Gul said of his story. "The philosophy is that at certain times in one's life, if one does not become unjust, injustice is done to them," he told Images.

The show explores the themes of how one becomes a puppet in someone else's play if they refuse (or fail) to take responsibility of their own story, or life.

 

Superstar Mahira Khan has announced her first-ever production project, titled Baarwan Khiladi, giving cricket and entertainment lovers alike a reason to celebrate.

"A coming of age story set against the backdrop of the OG of all games — cricket. A story about friendships, relationships, unity, failure, success, love and courage. A small peak into a labour of love and hard work ... from all of us to all of you," the Raees star wrote on her Instagram.

 

 

The web series is being produced for video streaming platform tapmad TV.

The actor tagged famous names including Daniyal Zafar, Kinza Hashmi, Mohsin Gillani, Saba Faisal, Sarmad Khoosat, Mira Sethi, and promising new talent such as, Shahveer Jafferi, Zarrar Khan, Khaqan Shahnawaz, Meer Yousuf, among others.

Earlier, before releasing the title of the web series, Mahira announced that this would be her first venture into production. "I would have no one better to be my co-pilot in this trip with me other than Nina Kashif."

 

 

Images reached out to actor Kinza Hashmi, who confirmed that she was the "only female with the mostly male-led cast" and that Daniyal Zafar will play the lead character.

 

 

Hashmi further revealed that “the shooting took place inside the Walled City of Lahore".

"It’s a beautiful story with cricket as its main theme, there's a hint of a love story and a mix of emotions and family drama."

Meanwhile, actor and singer Zafar and others also shared posters of the web series on their social media.

Mahira has been keeping busy it seems, despite having contracted Covid last year and spending time in isolation. She announced in December that filming for the Fawad Khan and Mahira-starrer Neelofar had finally wrapped up.

We're looking forward to the superstar showcasing her skills off screen with this new web series and wish her good luck on the venture!

The heinous motorway incident—where a woman was gang-raped in front of her children when her car stalled on the Lahore-Sialkot highway at night—has ripped the bandaid off a wound festered with gender violence, misogyny and oppressive social structures.

Women have now had enough of archaic paternalistic attitudes that plague every stratum and every institution of our society.

Recently, a woman approached a government office in Karachi to procure a car/bike license, which was a cost-effective transport option for her—but was not only given a blunt refusal but also harshly told off; the reason being, women were not "allowed" those licenses.

Taking to her social media, Shireen Ferozepurwalla, said, "Got bike riding classes last month. Was literally so relieved to be able to ride a bike. You see, I can’t really afford a car right now and with the surging rates of other transport services, it was getting a little difficult for me to stay within my budget. Imagine paying 600PKR (Sometimes even 900PKR at peak times) for a one-way ride of 7.3km. That is roughly 1200PKR every single day (to and from office)."

According to her, all was going well while the man behind the counter entered her details into the system. When she reminded him that she also needed a motorbike license, the man "lost it" and became angry.

The post continued, "He told me and I quote “Aap nikal jaye yahan se. Bike ka license nahi dete hum larkiyo ko. Aap aurat he aap gaari chalaye”. I asked him the reason for this absurd rule but obviously he gave me no response other than continuously telling me to get out."

She then proceeded to confirm this with a contact at another branch of the office, which he did.

The post ended with a million-dollar why? and asked, "Exactly what kind of law is this? Have these people decided themselves as to who should and who shouldn’t be allowed to ride a bike? Where do I complaint about this? Is anyone in this country accountable for anything at all?"

Speaking to Images, Ferozpurwalla says, "After my post, I've found out that many girls got their bike license because they pressurised the staff at the license office and stood their ground when they were refused. I'm planning to go and try again. This time I won't leave till I get one."

"However, my concern is this: Why are these people operating these offices according to their own will? Does this mean that if a man sitting behind the counter is someone who doesn't believe that women should step out of the house, will he refuse to issue licenses to women?”

“Are they not hired to do their job and not bring their personal opinions to the table? Or now are women expected to first check the officer's mood and then decide whether to ask for a motorbike license? Where are the authorities? Why are these people policing women like this? A girl even commented on my post that the officer tore up her form when she ticked on 'motorbike'. Does the officer have the right to decide what women are allowed to drive?"

She asks, "Why is everything so difficult for a woman in this country? The women who got their licenses easily were just plain lucky that they did not run into a misogynistic man. So are we women now supposed to first gauge what kind of a person the officer is and then talk about a bike license?"

The recent PEMRA notices banning repeat showings of Hum Tv’s serial Pyar Kay Sadqay, Ary Digital’s Ishqiya and now Jalan seems like a blunt instrument for a deeper problem.

Neither Pyar Kay Sadqay nor Ishqiya showed anything which was beyond the realms of public decency.

The sight of Feroze Khan standing threateningly close to his ex-girlfriend, turned sister-in-law, may have disturbed some but is nothing new. Such scenes are now part of Khan’s USP and not very different to his scenes standing up close and threatening to another heroine he is obsessed with in the drama Khaani (now on Netflix), or his scenes standing near another heroine he is (surprise) obsessed with and threatening in Gul-e-Rana.

Khan’s ability to infuse sex appeal into the equation is a tribute to his screen presence and to be fair something the situations in the story might reasonably require.

While Pyar Kay Sadqay lacked the Feroze Khan quotient, it made up for it with the equally capable Omair Rana standing up close to the heroine, his one-sided love interest turned daughter-in-law and threatening her to agree to “his terms”.

 

However disturbing to watch, no one can deny that such harassment does occur. If the purpose of the shows was to challenge viewers and open up difficult conversations on these subjects then both despite meeting with limited success, did get producer ratings.

Many boxes of soap, packets of tea and canisters of cooking oil were sold on the back of these tantalising vignettes. However as is often the case with any successful campaign, there was some collateral damage.

Social media was abuzz with criticism, questions and debates.

In Ishqiya there were elements of forced marriage due to emotional blackmail, but the main plot point was unrelenting blackmail, abuse and threats from an ex-boyfriend who marries into the family of the morally weak protagonist, Hamna, very effectively played by Ramsha Khan.

 

Hamna is not a noble character and even sacrifices her sister to hide her past from her conservative husband. Many tense episodes were spent building up the villain’s menacing presence till the ultimate collapse of his house of cards, when the truth is revealed.

Powerful lines were narrated by Rumi, the braver sister, who pointed out that women alone carry the burden of family honour, all of which works in the predator’s favour. However, most of the impact of that message was lost by stretching the story and making it little too sensational to keep viewers glued.

Pyar Kay Sadqay had more to offer in terms of messaging and impact, but that too, had a second wife track worked into it. This time when the naïve young heroine exposed the inappropriate behaviour of her father-in-law, no one believed her and her simple-minded husband threw her out of the house.

 

This is not an extraordinary scenario and yet there is a ban.

Similar notices have been sent to serials that explored sensitive issues of pedophilia, coercion and sexual assault within the family setting of drama. Dar Si Jati Hai Sila and Udaari both managed to survive, with latter in particular raising awareness of this insidious problem with a huge public campaign.

In all cases, it is incredibly disheartening to note that outrage is less over sufferings of victims and actual problems illustrated; and more about upsetting sensitivities.

Another drama which has been sent a notice from PEMRA is Jalan, which is about an affair between a girl and her older sister’s husband. It has been gaining both audiences and disapproval.

There is nothing new about such a story, but fast-paced direction, lavish production values and suggestive scenes between the illicit couple have given it a lot of shock value.

 

By international standards, the sight of a childlike Minal Khan fighting like a five-year-old over a TV remote with a distracted Emaad Irfani trying to watch a cricket match should have dampened anyone’s excitement - but combined with another, a scene of them caught together while Irfani wears a blue bathrobe, caused many complaints.

Just like the Pink Night gown in the recent hit Mere Pass Tum Ho (which also covered open adultery), the blue robe was a visual trigger.

Censorship is a slippery slope, and the idea that an Urdu drama is somehow causing a collapse of public morals is outdated in a digital world were the worst kind of content is available at the touch of a mobile phone screen.

It is also true that adultery is a fact of life, and simply disapproving of something will not stop it happening. As Sadat Hassan Manto put it, “If you cannot bear these stories then the society is unbearable. Who am I to remove the clothes of society, which is itself naked? “

However, it is also legitimate to question producers who either overreact to some issues, or ignore major criticism comlpetely.

Scenes of a relationship between a doctor and a patient have been removed from the drama Sabaat, making it look incomplete at times, but could easily have been addressed with a few conversations within the drama.

 

On the flip-side, producers have completely ignored complaints about the overwhelming use of two themes in dramas this year; two sisters competing for the same man and infidelity leading to a second wife.

As of writing, thirteen dramas are using this plot point, so viewers have the luxury of picking roughly two affairs a day to watch.

 that his productions cannot all be message-based,

“TV is not a book, I’m not your teacher, it is entertainment,” ignoring that as with any industry, a balance must be maintained between values and commercial viability.

Whether it is Europe, India, Turkey or North America; the media industry enforces codes of ethics that fit the norms of the societies producing them - and Pakistani media is no different. If channels do not want state interference perhaps, they too need to take a long look in the mirror.

While no one is asking them to stop making money, they should understand the power of their medium and use strong quality control before the script reaches the floors. The argument that such sensational content is popular, therefore this is all they will make, is completely false and intellectually lazy.

Dramas without these themes such as Prem Gali, Mushk and satire such as Ghissi Pitti Mohabbat also succeed.

 

A good step would be more stringent quality control to ensure a diversity of content and weed out plot points that might cause issues later.

Another equally important step might be for the Pakistani government to appreciate and understand the strategic importance of the media. The ban on the Pakistani film industry led to a vacuum, which was filled by bootleg copies of Bollywood movies, silencing our storytellers and stunting our cultural growth.

While we may complain about Pakistani drama content, if it disappears or is handicapped by overt censorship, audiences will quietly switch to foreign content and what societal values will we be indirectly promoting then?

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