• A touch of drama - By Peerzada Salman

    To jog one's memory and think of plays that have stood out in the last ten years and made their mark in the ever-burgeoning world of show business is an arduous task. One says this because with the advent of satellite television, the choice of flipping channels and watching programmes of one's own choosing is endless. And herein lies the problem. A great many people opine that as soon as the phenomenon of cable TV took root, a large number of men and women, who never had the faintest notion either of drama production or artistic leanings, jumped onto the showbiz bandwagon and began churning out plays - single as well as

    serials. The private channels needed to fill in the daily transmission time, usually from six to eight hours, and accepted whatever that was being offered without vetting the content or analyzing the technical goof-ups of productions. Hence, the quality of drama that was once the hallmark of PTV plays, suffered and spiralled downwards at a brisk speed. The argument is not insubstantial, though one could take issue with it. But, yes, television drama in Pakistan today cannot measure up to the plays that one witnessed on a regular basis in the '70s or the first half of the '80s. However, to see the glass half empty would not be a wise idea.

    It was but natural that as soon as the quantitative demand for drama went on the higher side, the qualitative aspect of it received a dent. Today drama-making, not to mention writing, is going through a lean patch. But with so much to pick from and with a large quantity of serials and tele-films being thrown at us, things will filter out. Pretty soon, one will be able to distinguish between the meaningful and the vapid.

    Still, in the last decade or so Pakistani TV junkies were treated to a reasonable amount, if not in abundance, of top-notch dramas. Let's start off with PTV. It is generally thought that when compared with satellite channels, PTV is not as slick when it comes to presentation. It has yet to adopt modern editing techniques and graphic displays. But there is also no denying the fact that in the last 10 years no other channel has come up with more quality plays than PTV.

    Haider Imam Rizvi's socially incisive effort Hawaen immediately springs to mind. The play garnered such huge viewership that it is said when the last episode was aired, roads in the country were found absolutely desolate. Master thespian Talat Hussain's perfect performance in the last episode of Hawaen, among other important factors, can never be erased from memory; particularly when he is heading towards the gallows with fear in his eyes.Another PTV serial that received critical acclaim was Sahira Kazmi's Zaibun Nisa. It was also a poignant sociological study of human relationships. Zaibun Nisa highlighted the plight of a middle class household, where sometimes norms dictate values. Sania Saeed's role attracted a lot of interest in which the minuscule master performer played a dead woman who visits the protagonist Zaibun Nisa, played by Sahira's daughter Nida Kazmi, to help her out vis-a-vis societal problems.

    Kazim Pasha is another of PTV's top producers. With the passage of time almost all of his offerings have achieved their commercial and artistic goals. In the past decade three of Kazim Pasha's plays were watched by a large number of viewers. They were Uljhan, Kaffara and Aanchal. Kaffara was especially liked by all and sundry, primarily because of its subject matter and proper treatment, which included attention to detail.

    Qasim Jalali is a producer who is easily in the league of Haider Imam Rizvi and Kazim Pasha. Those who would have thought that Dada, as Qasim sahib is fondly known, would have given in to modern times, would be utterly mistaken. The seasoned PTV director made a play a few years ago, Daam-e-Rasai, which dealt with the issues related to the ever-increasing influence of information technology in our lives.

    However, the drama that Qasim Jalali made that truly lived up to audience's expectations was Tipu Sultan. The historic venture was a difficult task to undertake, needing a foolproof script. And Khan Asif provided Qasim Jalali with just that. Some private channels have tried to come up with a serial of historical or literary significance, yet they weren't up to the mark when it came to research work or a powerhouse script. One feels that Tipu Sultan could have been a much better endeavour had the makers gone for a little more technical finesse.

    In the last decade, PTV's private production policy paid dividends to a certain extent. For example, last year a serial, Mehndi, directed by renowned film-maker Javed Fazil, did huge business. The play was a mega commercial success and was widely watched, primarily because of its deft marketing strategy. Marketing in recent times has become an integral part of drama-making.

    When it comes to plays produced by satellite channels, one feels there isn't much to write home about. But ever since it was uplinked, Indus Television Network has tried its utmost to entertain the audiences with quality projects. In this regard a serial, Nasl scores high. The play underscores relations between the different socio-economic strata. No other serial, in the recent past, has boasted as much viewership and critical appreciation than Indus Vision's Harjaee. One knows that in these times, when an overwhelming majority of Pakistani women and TV viewers are addicted to the schmaltzy soaps of Star Plus and Zee TV (Kyun Kay Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki, etc), Harjaee had them glued to Indus. Mehreen Jabbar's play explored issues that are usually not the fodder for our creative pursuits. For example, in the play, Atiqa gets married no less than four times and has affairs with a father and his son.

    ARY Digital, like the Indus Network, is no mean media centre. They try to bring something fresh to their viewers and their dramas normally succeed in gaining attention. In this regard ARY's soap Rabia Zinda Rahey Gi comes to mind. The play, directed by none other than S. Sulaiman, was a worthwhile commercial hit. Though it lost a bit of its poise in the last few episodes, the soap is still fondly remembered.

    One look at the above-mentioned serials may suggest that things are not that bleak, even though the bulk of drama productions in the last ten years has been substandard. One hopes that the likes of plays like Harjaee and Hawaen are an inspiration to new drama-makers who are able to bring back the quality that we once took immense pride in.

    As far as sitcoms are concerned, it would be difficult to jog one's memory to point out worthwhile comedy plays. Save for PTV's ground-breaking Family Front and Indus TV's true-to-middle-class life Sub Set Hai. Family Front's speciality was its home-grown zaniness, whereas Sub Set Hai ribbed us with street-urchin humour - qualities that were once unheard of in Pakistani showbiz. So all in all, not a bad decade of drama-making.

  • A mother's story - By Atif Khan

    Zulfiqar Sheikh's latest drama serial Maa was launched at a star studded gala in Karachi recently. A rich selection of the TV world's who's who were present to see the cast and the personalities involved in the making of the serial. From veterans of television like Uzma Gilani to the young stars of today like Aijazz Aslam, that Sunday evening was indeed a gathering of the high and mighty of tele-entertainment. Also present was the small-screen siren of yesteryear, Mahnoor Baloch, who is now a Canadian national.

    The evening got off to a late start with Ashraf Khan serving as host. Maa, the trials and tribulations of motherhood, has been written by Shakeel Adnan Hashmi and directed by Zulfiqar Sheikh. His wife Tasmina produced it under the banner of Elysee Productions

    International while Waqar Ali composed the serial's music. The drama is composed of a strong 16-man (and woman) cast. It has been shot on location in Karachi, Lahore and Scotland, first doing the rounds in Pakistan with the crew wrapping up work in the rolling hills of bonny old Scotland. The serial is spread over 20 episodes. Speaking on the occasion was media mogul Tahir A. Khan, who had nothing but praise for Maa and couldn't emphasize enough the quality of the serial. However, he devoted the better amount of his time on stage encouraging PTV, on whose PTV World the serial will be telecast, to revise it's overall policies, specially suggesting that the state run channel should encourage the private sector. He was of the opinion that PTV World needed a good serial and Maa fit the bill. "This serial will definitely help improve its ratings," Tahir claimed.

    Thereafter it was Zulfiqar Sheikh's turn to thank his mentors. Zulfiqar in particular pleaded to the advertisers who, he said, should be fair to the serial. But the emotional part of his speech was devoted to thanking his seniors, including Haseena Moin, Kazim Pasha and Zaheer Khan.The writer said that he had penned the serial along the lines of Quaid-i-Azam's golden words, "Give me good mothers and I'll give you a good nation." Shakeel, who is also considered a good cameraman in television, wanted to highlight the social corruption of society with a mother's struggle to survive.

    And then it was time for the cast to wax eloquent about Maa. Aijazz Aslam climbed onto the soapbox and did the usual round of thanks. One is quite sure he must be nervous about the whole serial as his is a negative character. Nevertheless, he did confess to taking special horse-riding lessons, one of the requirements of his character. And in between praising everything that the drama stands for, he did take special time out to thank Kazim Pasha for giving him his break in television.

    Asad, another main player in the serial, considers his character as a positive one. However, there was contradiction between the director and the actor as soon after, Zulfi declared Asad's contribution as that of a negative role, and that too in a Scottish accent!

    Others present included Javed Fazil, Hasan Kazi and Sajid Hasan who were all praise for the script. Hmmm. Good job Shakeel? We'll find out soon enough. Uzma Gilani plays the title character. Zulfiqar was all praise for Javeria Jalil for whom it was her third project with the director. Zulfiqar Sheikh had nothing but admiration for Javeria's memory who, it seems, not only remembered all of her lines, but also other actors' lines as well!

    Those missing at the event were Ismat Sufi, Talat Hussain and Tasmina who, according to Sheikh, was in England. On the whole, the evening went well, if one forgets the late start. But everything still hung together till the end. Maybe it was the post-midnight dinner that had everybody in their seats. The one ugly incident of the evening was the city's electricity department's incompetence that remained a constant problem, as power breakdown's disrupted the evening's proceedings no less than three times. Thank God for generators, or the audience would have been hearing hoarse actors shout out their thanks and having dinner by candlelight. Not a good thought if you're alone!

  • Broken dreams - By Erum Alee-Adnan

    Many young people harbor dreams of making it big in far-off lands. But often the dream is elusive, and reality far from what the migrants expected. Sometimes, new migrants fall into the clutches of the Mafia, which exploits them for its own profits. These desperate souls either end up in incarceration or are conveniently deported, and all the money invested into moving to their Promised Lands goes down the drain. The corollary is that the migrants' country of origin is calumniated and the hands behind the whole set-up are never exposed. Using this grim circle of events as the main theme, Qasim Jalali has produced a serial that focuses on the harsh realities that exist behind the

    veneer of greener pastures. Razia Fasih Ahmed, winner of the Adamjee Award, bases Abla pa, currently on air on PTV, on the novel. The serial is different from others of the same genre in more ways than one. Firstly, all the scenes that depict the United States have been shot in America, but then re-rendered with the cast in Pakistan through technical assistance. Qasim Jalali comments in this regard.

    "I shot the scenes myself during a visit to the States. When I came back, I merged them with the cast through technical assistance giving them a touch of reality. The scenes appear to have been actually shot in America!"

    Most of the performers that played the roles of Americans are new faces who, despite being greenhorns, did complete justice to their roles. The most outstanding of them are Yousuf Khan, Omar, Patricia and Mama Deluxe, who played the role of a black American. The new faces worked in complete harmony with the veteran performers, namely Zeba Bakhtiar, Ali Afzal Khan, Rizwan and Tahira Wasti.

    Another positive aspect of the play is that special attention has been given to costumes. The uniforms worn by the police officers seem no different than the originals. Yusuf Khan, the novice who performed the role of the inspector, wrote the English version of the play and is actually a graduate from America.

    "PTV is not what I had perceived. Not for a single second did I feel I was in Pakistan and not in America while performing the role. It was my first experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it." Yusuf Khan's performance won plaudits and Qasim Jalali extended it despite the fact that the scenario was not in the original novel.

    Another feature of the play is that apart from the other new faces, Zeba Bakhtiar's son Azaan is also performing for the first time. Praising him, Jalali says, "He is a talented young boy who performs like his father."

    The team, which was all geared up to record the final episode of the play as it is approaching its climax, was anxiously waiting for Zeba, who arrived an hour late. The set, designed by Aijaaz Ahmed, was a complete replica of a country club rest house. The cameras were ready to roll and the performers well rehearsed, as the leading lady sat in the make-up room getting ready for the shot. When asked about her role in the serial she replied, "I am only doing it because of Azaan. He was so anxious to work in a play and when Qasim Jalali approached me, I took up the project because there was a role for a kid."

    The day's work began a good couple of hours late and though the man at the helm seemed a bit uneasy, he remained calm and cheery as his serial is the talk of the town - and that is all that matters.

  • Mera Ghar Meri Jannat - Most Cherished Paradise!

  • So much has happened in this world of countless TV channels that developing new concepts is a rare happening. With literally hundreds of family soaps being mass produced on all the Indo Pak channels especially after the popularity of Kyunke Saas Bhee Kabhi Bahu Thee and Kahani Ghar Ghar Kee, from India, the quality has suffered to the extent that most of the times you don't know whether you are watching a sitcom or feasting your eyes on a serious drama serial! But hats off to Syed Mukhtar, the man has produced some thing of note in Mera Ghar Mori Jannat, which is running house full shows in every living room and lounge these days. Directed imaginatively yet superbly by Bachchal (a fictitious title, perhaps), and acted out impressively by excellent artists as Sanam Iqbal, Akbar Subhani, Suhail Asghar, Rizwan Wasti, Mona Lisa, Imtiaz Taj, Farhan Ali Agha, Sharqa Fatima, Ishmal, Rehana Akhter, Zaheen Tahira and others, the 100 episoder is going great guns on GEO and is perhaps the most cherished serial on the tube these days.

    As far as I have seen, Mukhtar is a very dedicated maker, and one thing that I appreciate with my deepest regard for this young man is that unlike other producers, he doesn't interfere in the making of the serials. He hasn't taken over direction as others of his ilk have chosen to do on impulsive propositions, with disastrous results. He respects the jurisdiction of the director and doesn't disturb him at all. While we were talking about this serial he said, "Ever since making my production house, the Gold Bridge Media, I have been very busy. You know this is my 14th continuous serial, and most of my work has been successful. The reason for this is that I have stuck to some basic principals. Direction is a full time, professional job, and I feel that suits others who have been successful directors better than me. They understand direction better, so I leave it to them to make my serial the best they can and I must look after the production details and the monetary aspects of the production. I concentrate on the test facilities and resources that I can provide to the director, so that f may never have any flaws in my ventures. Whatever the director wants from me to make the serial the best, he will always get my full cooperation in that regard. Another thing that I know is that because I am acting in the serial myself, I must concentrate on my role, instead of directing myself, which will only disturb my performance, and will also affect the overall production of the serial. So, I believe that acting and direction are fulltime jobs and need professional ethics to deal with. Moreover, I have always been prompt in payments to the artists, and lnsha Allah I will always strive to remain so. With the artists totally relieved from the tension of getting their dues, they do the best on the screen, which is evident from the work you see in Mera Ghar Meri Jannat and that’s why we are getting such an excellent response from the people.


  • Lab-e-Darya - A Sensitive Drama

    There's glory for those who work on creative scripts still, although such people are few and far between in this lopsided commercial world today. Ali Rizvi is one such person, whose contribution towards the individual plays on PTV cannot be forgotten. His work stands alone in the fact that he treated intellectual material with brilliance, which is unique. While it can be said that there are many directors on television, who have created powerful serials, Ali Rizvi has made himself prominent with thought provoking single plays. Apart from that, his name in recent times became known for such big budget serials as Des Pardes and Aansoo, constructed in foreign countries. Nowadays, he is busy shooting Lab e Darya, a studio based KTV serial, which looks like sensitive drama. I attended its shooting recently, and had the pleasure of talking to the unit people and the artists, amongst whom; Sadia Imam and Saqib Sheikh were prominent.

    Sadia is now a much mature and versatile actress than what she was some five years back, and canned her scenes brilliantly. Of course, Saqib Sheikh is a seasoned artist, whose life has been spent working in theatre and television. He has performed brilliantly on many occasions. In the scene they were doing, Saqib was needed to portray a fickle married gentleman, while Sadia was reacting strongly on his pleadings, saying that he could not change his attitude no matter what happens. After a few takes, the scene was completed and I had a chance to talk to the artists. Sadia felt that good scripts are hard to come by and not many roles come up for detailed performance, which is very frustrating for the artists. Saqib Sheikh told us that he has done TV serials before but his experience on stage is way ahead in satisfaction percentage than what he achieved on television. I still remember his early work in Khuda Kee Basti with Zooni Butt and Raju Jamil.

    A part from Ali Rizvi, cameraman Haseeb, Tanvir Malik and others were on the set too and it was nice to meet them and observe them while working after a long time.


  • Jaisey Jantey Naheen - Silver Myths On Reality TV!

    If ever two silver screen giants came together in a TV serial, it is Jaisey Jantey Naheen, a new serial by that man with the magical wand, Javed Fazil. Moreover, it is being run on GEO channel, which also sounds a jay! So, with all the Js in the top burner, there is every possibility that the jaunty jalopy will drive quite joyously. Javed Fazil is the one man in this arduous channel circuitry, whose work speaks for itself. He is a brilliant director, and there are no two things about it. With channels desperately peering down creative corridors to find a winner amidst dozens of dull, unimaginative episodes, Jaisey Jantey Naheen is a surefire formula for success. Although there have been many instances in which a producer and director has collected great names of TV drama and have put them together to churn out a big budget drama serial, but there have been few instances when that has necessarily brought out the real drama of life around us. That's the reason that most such serials have dropped down the ravine of hopelessness and corporate bankruptcy. Yet, Javed Fazil is amongst those chosen few in this land of private enterprise, who has always brought forth a champion image whenever he has cast top names together. Chandni Ratein, with Javed Sheikh and Faryal Gauhar together, was the top digit of the local channels, and now he comes up with another scorcher, Jaisey Jantey Naheen, with giants of the silver screen, Javed Sheikh and Nadeem in collaborative drama sequences for the first time in almost a dozen years of private productions.
    It's the Silver myths on reality TV!

    Javed and Nadeem have worked in quite a few films in the past, with massively popular results. Hardly a couple of those movie bombed on the box office. They make a great combination. Probably, Javed Fazil’s own rehash of the famous English film, Duel In The Sun, called Lazawal in 1984 was the first such film, where they got together with Ghulam Mohiuddin and Shabnam to create what is known as one of the most viewed1980s. Then they joined hands in Faisla, which was also Fazil’s direction, and it is still considered the most stunning action film from the two masters of the silver screen. Faisla is an evergreen film indeed. Although Fazil’s next movie with the two, Ustadon Ke Ustad, Syed Noor's pen staking reinvention of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels wasn't as successful as Faisla, they again hit the popularity switch with enough volts to fry the screen for Sajjad Gul’s trend- streakier, Jo Dar Gaya Who Mar Gaya. So, there's lots of encouraging history behind their coming together. This re union promises to be celebrity stuff all the way.

    Written by Seema Ghazal and produced by Shamim Khursheed, another film man himself, things couldn't have been better proportioned than Jaisey Jantey Naheen. The factor of competitive egos between these two giants only stokes the embers, and doesn't really create the negative usual stuff with other film actors. That's why JJN could spell great things in favor the local channels. The other cast includes Humayyun Saeed, Shugafta Ejaz, Laila Zubeiri, Qaiser Khan, Naheed Shabbir, Zaheen Tahira, Amna Hussain, Natasha D'Souza, Aneei Chaudhry, Mubassar Khanum, Bheroz Sabzwari etc.


  • "Sangam"
    Starring: Talat Hussain, Qazi Wajid, Sohail Asgar, Addan Siddiqui, Aisha Khan, Zeba Bakhtiar, Shabbir Jan, Zaheen Tahira, Sajida Syed, Naila Jaffrey, Ghazala Javed, and Khalid Anum.
    Written by:Zahida Hina.
    Directed by: Nasir Danawala.

    'Sangam' is a word of Hindi language, which means confluence or meeting, however, in this drama serial, it was hard to make out any conceptual relationship between the title and the screen play. Arif, the poor hero of the drama and the
    heroine Meher had to walk barefooted on the banks of the river that never meets because of the betrayal
    of the truth and some strange event; still the edges were lost in haze.

    Zahida Hina had picked up a fairly suggestive theme with enough meat, but the screenplay was shallow and weak causing the drama to fall back. A little imagination, concentration on the script by the director Nasir Danawala and an effort to widen its horizon could have put the drama on rails. The theme itself was very productive, more of an inquiry into the dynamic social changes that
    had impacted the Pakistani society and forces of urbanization, generation gap that have unleashed new processes.
    It was a familiar idea of conflict between traditional values and the modern world dogma of generation gap. Ashraf Ali Khan (Talat Husain) - the leading character of the serial had a rigging
    mental barrier when it comes to family affairs like the movement of the children, especially marriages. He is a dominating macho man, constantly at loggerhead with son Arif (Adnan Siddiqi) and wife Shamim (Sajida Syed) and sister Farah (Zeba Bakhtiar) over something or the other. However, Shamim always tried to make him understand that his stiff attitude with everybody is creating more of a repulsive feeling and attitude.
    Arif secretly married Zareen, a friend of his, out of sympathy as she had no one to look after her since the death of her father, without going into the consequences of his in-house mess. Not knowing about Arif's marriage, Ashraf Ali Khan sets up his marriage with Meher, the daughter of his closest friend Mansoor (Qazi Wajid) as a matter of his commitment. Arif tried to evade this but could not stand the wrath and tedious sermons of this father coupled with the apprehension of loosing everything needed for good living in case of a blunt refusal. However, a guilty Arif had to disclose the truth of his earlier marriage to Meher, who kept him away from herself till the rolling of the last episode of the serial, wherefore she was shown to have packed for abroad.

    Things between Arif and Zareen also turned from bad to verse when she came to know of his second marriage through newspaper photograph. Here too Arif had to bear bitter and stinging sentences, remarks and words of jealousy as Zareen's pride and faith was equally hurt. Without going into the details, it is enough that both Zareen and Meher left Arif in lurch to tread their own ways. It seems that the world has modernized and excelled at the expense of detaching ourselves from the traditional values and principles when obligation to the family traditions used to be main commitment. Zahida Hina had attempted to pick a twig of our cultural past. It is pertinent, not out of context, that this concept of generation gap and marriages of own choice is becoming more common in rich and sophisticated sector of the society.

    There was another story of love and riches of Raza Shirazi (Shabbir Jan) and Farah (Zeba Bakhtiar) along with his self-made guardian Agha (Sohail Asghar) following behind the main story not with enough blood.
    Raza was victimized by Ashraf to the extent that he had to undergo jail sentence for sometime. For what it could not be ascertained. Raza and Farah were in love and even
    had secretly married before his conviction. It was again a repetition of an identical story like that of Arif and Nadra against the wishes and desires of Ashraf Ali Khan.

    A thing that came into our ears was a new biological terminology coined by Agha i.e. 'Khoon Shareek Bhai' since he had donated blood to save an injured Raza.

    It appears that the character of a cynic Ashraf Ali Khan was specially created for Talat Hussain, an artist who can use the screen as his canvas for addressing the issues like generation gap in most lucid way. Out of anything it is kudos to the director for pitching the two divergent and contradictory personalities i.e. Ashraf Ali Khan and his wife Shamim against each other. The incessant bickering between the mismatched dads was a fun to watch.

    'Sangam' can not be classed as mainstream serial with weather-beaten actors of mini screen. Despite of being serious in nature, it had bits of moments to lighten up the things. A major problem with the drama was the poor quality of sound recording making the dialogues unintelligible. While 'Sangam' with it’s out of norm premise actually brings out the message that marriages are made in heaven and they overcome all odds.

  • Thori See Mohabbat
    Watching drama unfold on the screen and to note its progress during recordings, are two different things altogether. And when it is a senior person like Sultana Siddiqui, who is handling the whole situation, then certain aspects of presentation and production are specially underlined. Nowadays, she is busy recording Thori See Mohabbat. Wherever vibrant artistes like Samina Peerzada and Javed Sheikh come together, they create a great sense of camaraderie and equation. Samina and Javed have rarely crossed paths apart from an odd film like Shadi Mere Shauhar Kee and perhaps a solo play, but they are old colleagues and sterling artistes. This serial is based on romantic and social
    angles of family life, and the emotional upheavals that shake the basis of households.

    When I barged into Sultana's dramatic hideout recently, to witness how she is faring after doing a superb serial with Hasina Moin, called Bahaar Aaney Ko Hai, I found her in the grip of inspirational creation. "Good scripts still spur you on, despite having done so much production," Sultana told me. "This is how Noorul Huda Shah unfolds her story. It's incredible how her gradually revealed details can create such an impact. There are various climax points in her work. It gives you quite a bit of room for treatment as a director. This one is also full of intense frames."

    Sania Saeed was pacing the floor with a view to go over a few lines that she had to deliver in front of the camera, along with Javed Sheikh. While the director of photography, Mehmood Mirza focused his camera, Sania indulged in a bit of low humming and singing in the hall. By Jove, she seems to have a decent voice. But acting is her passion, and she excels in it, as she shows in Bahaar Aaney Ko Hai. In this particular scene, she and Javed traded dialogues and expressions in a very well done take. I must admit that Javed has improved over the last couple of sensitive serials. He seemed a little stony in Haider Imam's Dhool, but his powerful work in Javed Fazil's Chandni Ratein proved that he was coming around to the small screen once again, and here, in Thori See Mohabbat, he okayed a superbly done scene. His expressions were so natural and relaxed that one feels Javed is evolving into one of the best in the game now. But, there's one thing that always perturbs me, and that is the average notion to cancel a take when an actor has missed a single gesture or dialogue during recording. I thought Javed was brilliant in the first take, talking with the natural flow of a guy in his living room one fine afternoon, but just at the end of the scene, he stuttered on a sentence, and that was stopped midway and done again. I felt the second take wasn't as relaxed as the first one, but it was okayed because it was done in one go. That, I thought, has been the outcome of so much work crammed in a small time space.

    Thori See Mohabbat is a Moomal Production, and it is written by Noorul Huda Shah, after a good lapse of some two to three years, and her masterpiece details and the building up of climax is undoubtedly a thing of wonder.

  • Umrao Jan Ada
    She was a maiden constructed out of ordinary wood. But, her hands delved in worlds made of pink light and poetic avenues. Her hands fashioned dreams out of something as troublesome as political unrest.
    Dreams of durbars and Kings. Dreams of classical music and courtesans. Dreams of men who were too dreamy to be real, and men who were too real to understand dreams.

    Umrao’s feet danced on the glazed floor of the kotha, as well as the carpeted farsh of the durbar. She danced on the head-nodding rhythms of the table and the heartstrings of the sarangi. With her lithe and Lustrous movements, and her golden-laced dresses of pleasant hues, she caused a commotion amongst the pleasure islands of gao- takyas. The mujra she performed won over the hearts of nawabs and the tajdars with a flourish. Her tinkling ghungroo, her perfectly aligned nirit bhav, her irrepressible nakhras, all made her a riveting object of fancy. Her thumkas made tremors rise in the courts of the kings and the hearts of men alike, and her salams and Kornish were the country tantrums designed to disarm. Ti was a face that launched a thousand ships of dreams and desire in the hearts of men. Her magical eyes denoted stars in motion and her eyebrows corresponded with the tradition of royal courts and the waves of arches. Her soft and poignant voice left the words and musical notes aloft in the sunlit domes full of flamboyant colors and pigeon flights. The songs remained in the atmosphere for weeks, lilting tsarinas of romance and royalty odes to her own finesse and her peacock pirouettes.

    But hwy did the men come to watch her sing and dance?

    Whether they admitted it or not, their appreciation of Umrao’s dance prowess, her perfect flourish her ideal manners and her overwhelming beauty was on indication that the royal gentry saw her as somebody with a modicum of freedom in her movement. Unlike the formally turned out begmats of the, all full of the high-browed splendor and impeccable manners, Umrao was a woman, who attempted wilder movements and complicated, yet heart arresting twirls. Wasn’t it ironic? A woman so chained in her existence, and yet thought of as more free than the well-to-do, authoritative begmats of the court? So, then, there was another woman residing in Umrao’s bosom. Was she? Yes.

    A poetess, an artiste, a sensitive and emotional woman. A woman full of sorrow and love. That was a treasure she shared with only a few.

    Mirza Hadi Ruswa’s classical tale, Umrao Jan Ada is something that has had many adaptations and several films and TV serials made out of it. It is, literally, an evergreen novel. It’s beauty and its longevity is its language and its atmosphere. Now, GEO TV has tele-ported the tale on to the small screen with enough research and enough efforts to make the classic alive again on TV, something that the coming generations will savor with every passing moment.

    After watching in unfold, one serial, Umrao Jan Ada, have not just scratched the surface, but went deeper to the heart of treasure. The language, the mannerism, the dresses, the make-up, the whole paraphernalia of the royal durbar. It all adds up to history. It is not just a tale of a girl forced into prostitution, but the saga of a crucial period in the history of the sub-continent, hemmed in from both sides of the divide by such heart-rending events as the struggle of independence in 1857 that eventually led to bigger consequences.

    The serial has been directed by Rana Sheikh, while the dialogue and language department has been in the very able hands of a woman steeped in traditional culture of Lucknow and Oudh, Zehra Nigah. Her research has ensured that the idioms and the characterization remain true to the period. Amina Bano, a girl selected from amongst many aspirants, plays Umrao. She was given lessons in elocution by Zehra Nigah for almost a month, while Nighat Chaudhry worked on perfecting her dance movements. Other artists in the serial include humayyun saeed, Bushra Ansari, Shabbir Jan, Faisal Qureshi, Adnan Siddiqui, Sadia Imam, Mehmood Aslam, Jamshed Ansari and Badar Khalil. Apart from them, such arc lights as Meera, Resham, Gia Ali and Nighat Chaudhry have been included in classical mujra items that are the high points of Umrao’s saga. Shakeel saigol and Naheed Azfar have been assigned the research consultants, their project started 14 months before the actual start of the recording of the serial. Their research was then supplemented by the actual costume designing by Asma Akbar and the jewellery designing by Rehana Saigol. The seta have been designed by Asma Akbar in consultation with the renowned architect, Habib Fida Ali, the concepts and features of these sets were derived from the miniatures and other paintings of the period called the Company Period in the history of the subcontinent. The make-up was done by Tariq Amin.

    The music has being composed by the Sanjan Nagar Institute of Musicology, established by Raze Kazim, who is himself a living heir of the Avadh culture. This institute conducts the undergraduate classes of musicology at the National College of Arts (NCA). Mehnaz, Frieha Parvez, Iqbal Bahoo and Sara Zaman. Nighat Chaudhry has choreographed all the 18 dances in the true kathak traditions of the period called the Wajid Ali Shah period. As far as the script is concerned, for the first time the story is told by Umrao to Mirza Ruswa. Mirza Mehmodd, the cameraman and the lighting director of the serial has concentrated on the soft and mellow moods and ambience of the era. He created the atmosphere with the help of soft-focus filters, gels and range of other techniques. The Making of Umrao, a documentary to show how the whole effort was in place, was managed by Server Moosavi. The story is seen every Monday, only on GEO. Let’s see hoe is unfolds.

  • Aapus Ki Baat
    is a social saga peppered with hilarious events. The 13 episode, 25 minute comedy serial is scripted by Riaz ul Haq Siddiqui and helmed by the veteran Syed Ameer Imam. The story of Aapus Ki Bast revolves around a spunky girl, Zoha (played by Azra Siddiquij who hails from the upper stratum of society. As the tale progresses Zoha falls for a boy, Aamir (the evergreen Behroz Sabzwari) who comes from a totally dif. ferent class of people, ghareeb load. But Zoha is not aware of Aamir's social status.

    As the relationship blossoms, Aamir tries to tell Zoha about his real self, but remains cautious so that he doesn't lose his love interest. In order to keep his mistaken identity intact, he does everything he's capable of, which makes the play a hilariously rib tickling one – so the makers say.

    The cast of Aapus Ki Baat is: Behroz Sabzwari, Khalid Anum, Azra Siddiqui, Ghalib Kamal, Rabia Naureen, Sheni Azeem, Lala Saleem and Moazzam Ali. The play is produced by Combine Media (Pvt) Ltd for PTV.

  • Aik Mohabbat Hi Kafi Hai
    The situations and incidences change to quickly in human life, but certainly those who fight the hardships with mettle and resolve, are successful. These live characters have been presented by director Ehsan Ali Zaidi in his new drama serial, Aik Mohabbat Hi Kafi Hai in dramatic colour and style. AMHKH is he story of hate, love and treachery.

    The script written by Seema Ghazal, Humayun Saeed is playing dual role for the first time in his life. Other notable actors are Atiqa Odho, Vaneeze Ahmed, Nabeel, Shafi Mohammad, Uzma Gillani, Shahood Alvi, Sajid Hassan, and amny more.

    Most of filming of the serial has been completed in Karachi, but it also has picturesque scenes of Malaysia, Kualalumpur, Lankawi & Ganting Island. The latter is the site where the famous Hollywood venture titled “The king & The Anna” filmed.

    The story is such that producer and director had to go to Malaysia. The story revolves around love & hate, and brings a bad turn in Atiqa Odho’s life, for which her father sends her to Malaysia where she meets Humayun Saeed. It is Humayun Saeed (in double role), who has snatched joys out of Odho’s life. But she finds that Humayun Saeed of her present are totally different persons. But, again she finds that both are similar and that they are just deceiving her by acting differently and thus getting rid of his past personality.

    Atiqa Odho’s curiosity persists while Humayun Saeed is unware of her past, but due to her odd questions , she about to leave her past, but due to her odd questions, she is about to leave her and this is where the story takes a unique turn.

  • Bay Ssay Bachieay
    The pick of the Eid plays could be Aliya Imam's production of Faysal Qazi's slapstick comedy Bay Say Bachiay. I was on location at 32nd street of Defence Phase V the other day where a well maintained house of Anila Ali was the venue of Raju Jamil (as Professor Iqbal) and Parveen Akbar (as Mrs. Iqbal) house where they were exchanging spicy dialogues with their screen daughter Saadia Imam (Bushra) and the leading lady. Raju clad in black silken shirt with a yellow tie and black trousers, looked sober in almost fully white hairdo. He said he has decided to let his hair loose this time. "Actually I let it remain while since July due to some scenes of continuity for Humayun Saeed's Chahateen we recorded in Malaysia. My well wishers like Vinnie, Atiqa, Talat Hussain and Sajid Hasan and specially my wife Mona, say that I should let it remain like this permanently hence I have decided that it's no more black hair dye now!" Faysal Qazi, the writer of the play, needs less introduction and more appreciation for his wonderful and punch dialogues, some of which I fear, may have a cast of censor's shadow upon them.

    Bay Say Bachiay is a comedy where there are two families whose lady folks are friendly with each other, but the men don't get along. Their children one's daughter and one's son get along so well that they have plans to many, but end a hard time convincing their dads. Shafi plays Bush a person who strongly believes in Stars and Palmistry.

    Cameraman Lala has done a good job and seems to have the required talent to win successes in this world of showbiz.

  • Beychain
    Beychain is another drama serial, which has barely anything to entertain the viewers. The story revolves around complex situations.

    This sensitive script is .penned by Seema Ghazal, and directed by the well known Mohammad Jawaid Fazil, while Ejaz Nazeer Warriach, Sher Asfand Yaar and Fawad Raja are the producers. Beychain includes names like Mustafa Qureishi, Saleem Shaikh, Vaneeza Ahmed, Humayun Saeed, Aisha Khan, Sana Ali, Zeenat Mangi, Qazi Wajid and Raja Ghazanfar.

    Salaam Shaikh and Vaneeza Ahmed portray a happily married couple, but Saleem Shaikh's father, Mustafa Qureishi is a billionaire, who never accepts his daughter in law. He plays the dirtiest of tricks, and at this point the story takes a turn for the suspenseful climax. Beychain is a riveting examination of a man in crisis.

    The characters are all strongly defined and nearly all the performances are great with Saleem Shaikh, Mustafa Qureishi and Vaneeza Ahmed.

    Beychain is ready to go on air soon.

  • Bus Phir Piyar Ho Gaya
    The biggest achievement that the makers of forthcoming drama serial Bus Phir Piyar Ho Gaya can boast of is that for the very first time in the history of Pakistan television one of the actors is playing a double role (performed by film star Babar Ali) in the best form of realism that one can

    imagine. Director/writer Naveed Umar Thanvi has used, what he calls "a realistic double role technique" by virtue of which the twin characters

    can appear on the screen with as close a proximity as the viewer would require to believe they're actually two people and not one. Meaning: the drama lovers could see in Bus Phir Piyar Ho Garya the twin characters of Babar Ali touching and crossing one another as one could witness Mark and Steve

    Waugh patting each other's shoulders during a long and unending partnership between the brothers. The real stuff, that is. According to Naveed Umar Thanvi, the technique that he has employed has been in use in Bollywood and Hollywood for long. Hence, it is very important to highlight this accomplishment in the best possible manner.

    Bus Phir Piyar Ho Gaya has a mul tidimensional story. The chief track of the tale revolves around the friendship of retired Colonel Wajahat Ali Khan (Munawwar Saeed) and barrister Jehangir Saif (Khayam Sarhadi). As the play begins the barrister is seen living in Shogran with his wife (Saiqa Khayam) and a grand daughter (Mona Lisa). Reason being he had, by a tragic quirk of fate, lost his son and his wife (daughter in law) to an accident. Adding woe to Jehangir's already grief stricken life, Samaan (Mona Lisa) is infected with an illness related to kidneys called PKD. The only cure is to find matching kidneys for them.

    Barrister Jehangir Saif has an old friend Colonel Wajahat Khan, played by Munawwar Saeed with his trademarik panache. Owing to some domestic issues Colonel sahib decides to sever his ties with his family and shift to Shogran. He brings one of his twin grand sons (Sohail) along.

    On the other hand Sohail's judwan brother Rohail lives with his mother and is diametrically opposed to Sohail in disposition. He's more flamboyant and a compulsive flirt. His antics and youthful activities add a different color to Bus Phir Piyar Ho Gaya. As the story unfolds, the serial takes one interesting turn after another, and the viewers, as the makers say, will be glued to their seats in anticipation of next incident.

    Most of the shooting of Bus Phir Piyar Ho Gaya has been done in the breathtaking locales of northern areas.

    So far as the cast of the play is concerned it comprises stellar names such as Babar Ali, Mona Lisa, Veena Malik, Khayam, Sarhadi, Munawar Saeed, Saiqa, Qaiser Naqvi, Aslam Latar, Kamran Jeelani, Khursheed Shukat, Aslam Sheikh and Nargis Rasheed.

  • Daddy Maan Jao
    A ijaz Buriro seems all set to launch his latest venture Daddy Maan Jao with a berg. It is a kind of a mix masala to suit the taste of drama viewers serious as wed as comedy. Those who have seen him working on the floors say that he has all the potentials to give a tough time to the established producers.

    He has started producing and directing plays after giving a couple of hits as an actor. Naturally his experience as an artiste is helping him create a real neat and highly absorbing play. He is a dynamic person and knows the art of extracting the best from his players. His team members say that working with him is undoubtedly an exhilarating experience.

    Khalid Anum in the title role has done a wonderful job. He is undoubtedly one of those versatile artistes who can perform any kind of role with equal expertise. He has proved his worth in a variety of roles. Be it a serious, comedy, children's programme, singing or even compering. He is one of those artistes who are genuinely versatile.

    Up and coming Zafar Jaferi is the executive producer of this serial. He is being assisted by Allah Bachaiyo. The team is energetic and has a commitment with art. Thus this serial is bound to create waves in the coming quarter.

    The crisp script of this serial has been written by Sharjil Ahmed. The cast include Tamanna Begum, Khalid Anum, Saima Qureshi, Ghalib Kamal, Saima Tahir, Agha Sherai, Sabahat Bukhari and Aijaz Buriro.

  • Diwaney
    Creators of powerful images, Khaliq Productions have been churning out big-banner serials like Ghulam Gardish, Khwab Azab and Gharib-e-Shehr. Their serials if the viewers recall, are not only script-wide brilliant, but also constructed on classical footings of drama. This is exactly why they have great following over the years. Now, they are coming up with another such serial, Diwaney which we have been hearing about for a longish time now. If you ask me what is the highlight, of this serial, it is undoubtedly, its male cast. Yes, surprisingly, it is not fully concentrating as much on female glamour, than the matching of male decibel and drama. That is a surefire sign of intellect and script power. Otherwise, those who have weak-need or wobbly drama, take the crutches of vacuous supports like glamour and film artistes. But, real drama always fascinates, how ever much marketing side takes precedence. This obvious example today in Lunda Bazar, which is going on and on, basically on the powerful elevation that the competing male artistes have provided. In this case, there are enough men to complete for brow magic and decibel duel, to send it to the highest rung of the ladder.

    Diwaney boasts of tried and trusted artistes like Shahid, doing a vital role in the serial, Afzal Ahmed, a master at using words to pump emotions, Khayyam Sarhadi, another stalwart on the small screen, Sohail Ahmed, the versatile caliber and Mehmood Aslam, the fabulous face changer with the hero’s swagger. Apart from these character-artistes, we have younger Smart Alecs like Kashif Mehmood, whose projection to the top raft has been pretty, quick Faisal Qureishi, the darling boy of PTV these days, and Saleem Sheikh, the ever-pleasant kid broterh of Javed Sheikh. The sniff-e-nazuk department is with Janan Malik, Raheel Bati’s delectable daughter, and Saira Khan, the delicate tuberose of LTV.

    Naghma Begum, Kodo, Neelam Chaudhry, Kamran Mujahid and oterhs are also in the cast. The insiders, who have seen the glimpses of this drama serial, are all praise for it. Its sole producer in Adnan Khaliq, while the team of twin directors, Usman-Zulfiqar always delivers, as it has shown in the past.

    Diwaney has been written by Dr Abdul Khaliq, the camera-man is Suhail Hussain, while the musical score has been provided by Jawad Ahmed.

  • Eid Se Phalay Eid
    PTV's maiden venture Eid Say Pehlay Eid is a story of a rusted lad, who works in the city sends almost everything he learns to his family in the village. His father spends this money mostly in helping the village folk. The idea is to be popular in the village.

    Since the son remits almost every penny to his father, he is left with no choice but to apply for some advance from his organization to meet the fresh demand of his father. This time he applies for a loan on the pretext of getting married.

    The head of the organization is a very dignified lady and has a soft corner for this man. Thus, she instantly approves the loan. But when his lady boss wants his wife, he gets confused and presents one of his neighbors a girl called Maheen as his wife. The story moves on with a neat situational comedy and comes to an end with the marriage of this man with Maher. The script is very crisp and has all the ingredients to keep the viewers' interest alive, till the last frame. Both the lead characters have a done good job. It seems that they have all the potential to grow into stars. All they need is some assistance from good directors.

    Shajil Ahmed has penned the story, while S.A Hussain! has directed the play. The cast includes Faisal Qureshi, Arooj Chawla, Sameera Hasan, Pervez Siddiqui, Saeera Moghal etc.

  • Gehri Dhund
    Gehri Dhund has Ali Afzal as the principal performer. The drama serial unfolds when Ali Afzal's wife, Zeba Bakhtiar, passes away at a rather early age. This leads him to remarry. And this time Shehla Qureshi emerges as his second wife. Shehla, prior to her marriage, was in love with a boy, Tahir Ali. Her marriage to Ali Afzaf saddens her. The nuptial tie never takes root and the play Gehri Ohund takes one tragic turn after another. The serial has another track, which is of a young boy who is head over heels in love with a singer. He pursues her interest assiduously. But as soon as he is able to win the girl over, he finds her totally opposite to what he'd thought her to be. So basically Gehri Dhund (written by Naveed ,laffery) entails the stories of common people ensnared in the web of their personal ambitions and aspirations. They run after certain dreams that never come true. Or do they? For that, one has to see the drama serial.

  • Hawa Pe Raqs
    Hasan Nisar is a renowned Urdu columnist. I've been reading his columns for long, and it has to be mentioned that he's one of those writers who genuinely care about the ever oscillating socio political scenario of Pakistan. So when I came to know that Abid Ali had finally persuaded the hassaas aadmi to pen a television serial for him, the feeling was more than that of elation.

    Hawa Pe Raqs is a 26 episode serial, directed by the veteran actor/director Abid Ali. The play is about a journalist who never succumbs to any kind of temptation. His sincerity to his job is exemplary. During the course of the play, this imandaar sahafi, owing to his uncompromising disposition, undergoes a lot of turmoil which is but natural. At the same time, Hawa Pe Raqs is also the story of an actress who falls for a politician cum landlord. In order to save him from many a legal woe, she goes out of the way and herself gets involved in a crime. As the tale unfolds, she's finally able to redeem herself.

    But that's not it. Hasan Nisar has played with multiple plots here. His story also delicately handles the tug of war between a wadera and his revolutionary son. Ail in all, Hawa Pe Raqs tries to cover most of the sensitive subjects that one confronts while living in a society like ours. How successful the team behind the serial has been can only be gauged once all of its 26 episodes hit the small screen.

    For the very first time, it has been reported, that a concerted effort has been made to bring actors from the world of film and television together. If on one hand there are names like Momy Rana (appearing for the first time on TV), Humayun Qureshi, Deeba and Naghma representing the silver screen, on the other, the TV celebrities comprise of Abid Ali, Firdaus s Jamal, Shagufta Aijaz, Savera Nadeem, o Mehmood Adam, Ghuyur Akhtar, Rasheed fa Naz and Azra Aftab.

    A couple of weeks ago, the premiere show of Hawa Pe Raqs was organized. Luminaries from the world
    of politics and showbiz attended the high profile event The invitees included former Prime Minister,
    Malik Mairaj Khalid, former Governor Punjab Mian Azhar, Nazim e Ala Lahore, Mian Aamir Mehmood, Javed Iqbal, Munno Bhai, Mohammad Ali Durrani, film pro ducer Mian Amjad Ali also the producer of (HPR) and Asif Ali Pota.

  • Hum Hain Tumharey Rishtadar
    Very seldom do we see plays in a lighter vein that tackle the somewhat sensitive issue of nagging relatives. Hum Hain Tumharey Rishcadar promises to be one such endeavor.

    The sitcom, which is under production these days, delineates the uncertain ups and downs of life. At the same time it also discusses issues that confront the upper stratum of society But the basic premise of Hum Hain Tumharey Rishtadar pivots around people who want to become filthy rich overnight.

    Danish lqbal has written the crisp script of the sitcom, whereas Asif Jamal has held the reins behind the camera.

    The casting of HHTR has been done rather meticulously. Parts haven't been offered to the first set of actors and actresses that came across the director and producer of the play. Rather, actors who fit the bill have been chosen to do the job. For instance, Qazi Wajid has been assigned the role of a witty fellow who can take anybody for a ride at the drop of a hat. The rest of the cast is Faisal Qureshi, Shehla Qureshi, Mubasir Khan, Adman Jilani, Naeema Garj, Aftab Alam, IGran, Tabassum and Barkat Ali.

  • Humsafar
    These days PTV is showing a reveting drama serial Humsafar, which has been written by Afshan Abbasi and Directed by Najam Saeed. The cast includes Adnan Siddiqui, Suneeta Marshall, Nighat, Ali Hassan, and Shahriyar.

    Humsafar is a very touching story of girl’s struggle against the restraints of the society. The backdrop of this serial is the country of hevenly beaches, Sri Lanka. Well-known model, Suneeta Marshall plays the lead charrole in this serial.

    Complete with social issues and hidden agendas, “the story is based on an ordinary plot, which is brought alive by brilliant dialogues and dramatic sequences,“ says Najam Saeed “Adnan and Sunita have done a good job,” he replied.

    Humsafar has a cast that looks invincible from all angles, and interestingly, the colourful characters contribute to the situation. Afshan Abbasi says: the drama is a mixed bag in terms of performances”.

  • Jeet
    On the drawing board of life, drama is an ingredient that sells your identity to the commercial world. That is why TV channels all over the world, communicate more and more drama to their audiences. PTV also DOES THE SAME. NOWADAYS, PTV’s literature-loving producer, Mohammad Bakhsh Samejo is recording drama serial Jeet, which is based on the repressive traditions of Vatta Satta, which have undermined many Sindhi families over the years. In these traditions, the young girls are betrothed to the man of the parents’ choice, even before they are born. This sort of cruelty has been fully dealt with in this serial. Writer Aziz Kingrani has written this serial with lots of sensitive prose, and Samejo, as always, comes up trumps with his powerful portrayal of the of the affectations of the people of the most vital province.

    Jeet has a cast that looks invincible from all angles. Mustufa Qureishi and Tanvir Jamal lock expressive horns, while Tahir Kazmi, Aiman, Shagufta Bhutto, Hum Mir, Ayesha Khan, Qaiser Naqvi. Yaar Mohammad Shah, Qamarunnisa and others are the remaining cast.

  • Khushboo
    A KH and Cine Mark International `s new serial "Khushboo" a sonic cultural romantic story based on the love of humanity and intellectual as well as cultural interaction among the people and Pakistan.

    Khushboo is directed by Veteran Director Qasim Jalali, who has a long list of successful television serials, series and solo plays to his credit. The cast includes; Izhar Qazi, Sewera Nadeem, Adnan Siddiqui, Farhan Ali Agha, Maria Jalali, Aslam Latar, Uzma Tahir, Mohammad Zaidi, Ayesha Khan and many more.

    Khushboo is a gripping story set in the heart of Germany. It explores the richness of love between two people coming from different worlds, though the emotions involved are love hatred, jealousy. These are the same every where on Earth!" explains Qasim Jalai.

    Khushboo is Qasim Jalai's first drama serial shot outside Pakistan. The serial is penned by Farheen Choudhry who is a new screenwriter. But she is a renowned author of short stories under the name of Shahaiia Gillani. The serial is produced by Nasir Danawala and S.M Zaidi intends to be another sensitive and simply story.

    S.M Zaidi himself is among the cast along with co producer Nasir Danawala. Danawala says, "2002 is the year Great Poet Allama Iqbal which is why Khushboo's story is of an intellectual touch of Iqbal mixed with Goethe. It is a tribute to those who believe in the "Khushboo" (fragrance) of love irrespective of race, sects, nation and humanity. Khushboo is scheduled to aired very soon on PTV 1.

  • Reet
    During the 1980, there started on PTV a number of serials and plays, which questioned the basic fabric of the society and inhuman traditions in the name of culture. Such serials were very powerful and educated the people about the harmful sides of our custom and traditions. But, today, such serials are taws and far between. Basically today, the subjects irked concentrate on glarnorization of every thing, no matter if the subject is serious and wants to draw attention to some very important aspect of the society. Therefore, it was nice to see somebody once again: pointing towards the wrong tradition, when producer and writer, Mubsar Khanum and director, Anwar Khan started work on a serial called Reet. It is about the young marriage, when children are too yoing to decide for themselves and when they grow up they refuse to comply with the decisions of their elders.

    This drama serial has a mixture of young and old stars, which will give the viewers some new faces to see and their tent. Beet is an MK Production, with a cast comprising Sanam Igbal, Jamshed Ansari, Ghazal, Mubassir Khanum, S. M. Ejaz, Shehzad Mughal, Akhter Hasnain and others. This serial brings into focus the unholy traditions that only create chaos in the society and make the youngsters part ways with their elders, breaking the family and the house that their elders took so much pain to build and establish. Sin is a seasoned artiste and she has acted very well, with Jamshed Ansari also doing his role wisely. Mubassir Khanum, who hams also worked in, a number of serials, has written the story with logy of one situations. It will have to be seen if the direction hate done justice to the sensitive script. The serial will sin appear on PTV.

    There are some screen pairs, which don't look compatible. Till today, one heard of just two men in showbiz, Humayyun Saeed and All Azmat, who made good pairs with Vaneeza. Now, it was interesting to note that Kamran Jllllani was given the lead with her, in Sahar Ke Seher Mein, shown last week, and they just plain didn't gel.

    But, wasn't that what the director wanted to show?

    One of the plays of a new drama series, Sahar Ke Seher Mein was a Nomi Khan Production, which was an otherwise clean production, but Kamran and Vinny just couldn't match looks or the expressions. Kamran is just another sort of chap, with another set of expressions, while Vaneeza is now in the top category. In the lingo of the showbiz, Kamran is a much better actor. Vaneeza's face has lesser reflection potential, but the whole thing is that today, showbiz is a game of category. One artiste, who is in the 'A' category, doesn't come anywhere near the artiste of 'B' category. It is undoubtedly, very sad, but there it is. It has come to such a pass that now there is a definitive margin between the two categories, and producers and directors don't cast the two types of artistes together. That's why the two artistes have grown complexes about the categorization.

    And what's the reason behind this accursed type fiction? It is due to the new channel hierarchy. Richer channels have payed artistes on a bigger scale and the other artistes, who may be better artistes, aren't able to compete due to this classification. Therefore, the categorization has taken shape.

    The story of Sahar Ke Seher Mein is about a romantic boy, Kamran Jillani, who is obsessed by this pretty model, Vaneeza. He finally wakes from his open eyed dream, and he confronts reality. Apart from Kamran and Vaneeza, the play had new artistes, Zeba Ali and Imran Khan. Sharjeel Ahmed has written the story, while the producer is Sarfaraz Hussain. M. Hantf is the cameraman.

  • Singhar
    This is no more certificates necessary for the infallible caliber of the master crafter, Javed Fazil than to see what has been the ratio of his success on the small screen and the quality he has maintained throughout. An auteur, who could
    Produce such powerful serials as Chandni Ratein, Mehndi and Singhar with incredible regularity, must be considered some body with superb technical expertise and remarkable dedication. None of the other directors have this bind of record, no matter how well known he or she may be. Right from the beginning, when he ventured on to the tube , and gave us Ghar Gaiiyan Aur Rastey and Manjihdar he has never looked back. Janey Anjaney by Hasina Moin was another powerful hit and Nadia Jameel, despite Fazil Sahab's reservations about her, became a household name. In Manjhdhar, he brought together the unlikeliest artistes together, with Mazhar Ali, Shaista Jabeen and Shahida Mini doing their roles to perfection. Shaista was considered by many in the LTV as sheer bad luck for any seri al, but Fazil Sahab gave her a vita( role and the serial was mas ter stroke. Similarly, Mazhar getting together with a screen siren, Shahida Mini, was unthinkable, but it turned out that Fazil had
    made the right choice. And now, it is evident that in Singhar, Fazil has another champion drama serial, which ended its last episode just a week ago.

    It is interesting to note that while most critics haven't been convinced of Vaneeza's caliber as an emotive, artiste, but she continues to be included in emotional episodes. The reason for that could be her good pairing with Humayyun Saeed, which producers claim that have been liked by the viewers. Only God knows if that is true, but Fazil definitely brought out the best in her and other such artistes. Both Saleem Sheikh and Humayyun did their jobs well, although, Saleem himself is not considered a perfectly emotive artiste. It is Fazil's calibre that drew out the best from the artistes. The serial is the most viewed one in recent times, while its rating is liable to increase once its re run for the international 24 hour service. Humayyun and Vaneeze have a romantic equation, which could also be seen in other serials previous to the transmission of Singhar. They gel perfectly in this serial too, although one feels that Saleem does better than what was expected of him in such an emotionally charged serial. That shows that Fazil has a grip of the whole serial from the very beginning. The others in the serial are Mustafa Oureshi, Badar Khalil, Qazi Wajid, Dr S. N. M. Shehzad, Sadia Imam, Zeenat Manghi, Mohsin Khan, Uzma Gillani, Farah Shah, and Ayesha Khan. Seema Ghazal has written this impressive story.

    In a recent conversation, Fazil Sahab told me that "it pays to be original in various aspects of the serial. If you discuss the script with the writer and then embark on the making, it is always a fine beginning. In Chandni Ratein, in the very first episode, we saw Javed Sheikh's second marriage with Mahnoor. Most people were outraged and asked me as to what is left in the serial. All climax points have been reached in the first episode? taut, the viewers saw that the serial was an unmitigated success. It pays to give unpredictable scripts.

  • Tum Mere Ho
    In Pakistan, the small screen is home to many brilliant artistes. Amongst them Gulab Chandio is known for his characteristic smile and his fascinating facial expressions. It is really quite sad that such a fine artiste has been limited to the roles of Sindhi wadera and a base villain. But, whenever he has been asked toto portray roles that are on a different gesture-scale, he has performed amicably and with a born star’a flourish, as he showed in Chand Girhan once. Most people don’t know that Gulab adjusted to the Sindhi cinema with such ease and finesse that his film, Mohib Sheddi became a classic, and his characteristic performance became a byword for cinematic claibre.

    Well, Gulab Chandio is again playing the villain, with Urooj Chawla being his victim, in Sikander Shah’s Tum Mere Ho. In Chand Girhan, if you remember, it was the ravishing Faryal Gauhar, who got hit by Gulab’s queer demeanour. Here, is Tum Mere Ho, he makes life miserable for Urooj, with all his trickery and ambitdextrous skullduggery.

    The serial has been written by that most powerful pen-weilder, Khan Asif. He seemed to have gone into his shell for sometime, but I am sure no rust can roughen up his ink prowess.

    Beautiful Aiman, though trimmed down too much, plays a vital character opposite Saleem Sheikh. Apart, form them, the artiste in the cast are senior film actor, Kamal, Mubassir Khanum, Akbar Subhani, Mahjabeen, Badar Khalil and Shah Mohammad.

  • Wada
    Human life can be regarded as an uneven and unpredictable journey. One encounters sor rows, happy moments in additon to problems and obstacles. These varying attitudes of life have been presented in the drama serial Wada in a beauitful way. This serial is the very first effort of actor Nabeel as a director, being made under Bird's Eye View.

    This serial comprises of a fabulous cast namely, Talat Hussain, Sania Seed, Humayun Saeed, Jawaria Jalil, Jana Malik, Sajida Sayyed, Nayyer Ejaz, Faisal Oureshi, Rubina Ashraf, Mahmood Aslam, Farhan Ali Agha, Shamil Khan, Sabhat Bukhari, and Zaheen Tahira, and artists from Lahore and Karachi, including TV Producer Tariq Meraj's daughter Hina Meraj, who is making a debut in this serial. The serial is written by Fasih Bari Khan, and produced by Hasan Zia.

    "it took us four to five months only for finalising the script, while we completed the drama itself in minimum recorded time." says Nabeel who looks very excited about his serial. "Instead of filming abroad, we shot at locations in Hyderabad and Karachi, and I'm sure this drama will touch the hearts of viewers.

  • Zindagi Khubsurat Hai
    Musical drama is a genre, which hasn’t been very much dealt with through the same amount of professionalism on our various channels. Now, Jarrar Rizvi, the dexterous image-maker of stars over the years, has put forth a truly melodious juggler in the shape of serial, Zindagi Khubsurat Hai, which has a tremendous list of starry names. The cast includes many film stars like Sana, Ahsan Khan, Faisal Qureishi, Nisha and Nawaz Khan, while others are Rashid Mehmood, Afshan Qureishi,Farieha Jabeen, Kanwal, Alishan, Salina, Mohsin Ali, Safir and Khwaja Saleem.

    Zindagi Khubsurat Hai, is another serialon the sort of repressed life that men impose on women. Most women lead lives in this country, which doesn’t free them from the bondae of household, and their inner voice don’t find any expression anywhere. This leads to complications and then separation or divorce. But, most women don’t realize throughout their lives would be much more meaningful and goal-oriented.

    Director Jarrar Rizvi has been known to delay the launching of his productions. One just hopes that this serial, Zindagi Khubsurat Hai, sees the light of day sooner than most of the others serials that he promised in the past, including a big-budget serial, Rait Ka Mehal.

  • Shayad Ke Bahaar Aaey
    Combinations work wonders. When Hasina Moin writes the script, Rana Sheikh directs it and Sultana Siddiqui produces the serial; it is definitely something to look out for. This is pretty evident from the making of the latest presentation from these three ladies, Shayad Ke Bahaar Aaey, which is about to grace the screen. It is pretty obvious, through treatment, that this production has been done with relevance to the women, who live and tackle the male dominated society at every step, where suppression and denials are the only bywords.

    Shayad Ke Bahaar Aaey is a story of three women, Bibi Jan (played by Parveen Malik), Sarah (portrayed by Sania Saeed), and Sasha (handled well by Tuba), who are faced with different sets of circumstances, which are not only exploitative, but also crushingly monotonous: Ever since Aahat, Hasina Moin has angled her scripts on the reflection of the aspects of female exploitation and suppression. At first, she wasn't thought to be a natural in that field, but over the years, Hasina Moin has made her mark for the better, and her work in this serial takes her to the top of her caliber, with such a talented director as Rana Sheikh with her. It is quite obvious that Rana is an intensely creative director, whose forte is generating the atmosphere, which can be viewed so movingly in Umrao Jan Ada. It is also quite evident that this type of script from Hasina needed Rana's involvement, as against the type of commercial scripts that she wrote for Zulfiqar and Tasmina Sheikh in Des Pardes, Aansoo and others, or Janey Anjaney, which was done by Javed Fazil, for that matter. When it comes to delivering this kind of social drama, with values that differ from the commercial canvas, Rana Sheikh seems just the right person for the job.

    It is a story of three generation of women, which is imploringly fascinating and touching. The script pits Bibi Jan with Baba Jan, done by Shafi Mohammad, shown to be a rich and arrogant landlord. Bibi Jan doesn't have those romantic emotions for this strict man, whose world is driven by the sole element of narrow mindedness. Sarah emerges out of a cocoon of love and harmony to enter the life of Humayyun Saeed, who is the second son of Baba Jan, and has come down from foreign lands to practice his surgical skills. Sarah is a lawyer. They fall in love and marry. But, as tides turn, Humayyun has to shoulder the responsibilities of her father, Baba Jan, when he dies. Things become ugly for Sarah, because she sees her husband change his lifestyle and take on a mask that doesn't become the modern concepts that he used to have. Sarah's dejected life takes on another aspect to be happy, and that is her daughter, Sasha. Like her mother, Sasha is also a lawyer, and starts a war against injustice with victimized women. She extricates her mother from the network of deception and suppression, and delivers her in a situation where breathing freely is easier. It is an engaging story and its treatment will hopefully interest the viewers.

  • Aik Aur Aik Gyara
    Comedians are a dime a dozen today. But to name a sees on the title of a recently released Indian comedy film, is really unbelievable. Apart from that one little irritating detail, director Arshad Khan's Aik Aur Aik Gyarah is quite a fun chapter: With a cast boasting of Shehzad Raza and Faisal Qazi, the 13 episoder is sure to be a great laughing stock. Shehzad is a known and most talented artiste, whose entry into any serial means something entertaining. He is not only a great actor, who is versatile beyond belief, but he is also the finest comic this side of Keemari! Faisal Qazi is fast becoming a banker for the younger section of our TV artistes, Amongst the others Ghaza'la, Faisal Qureshi, Mehmood Akhter, Adnan Jillani, Ghalib Kamal, Parveen Akbar, Saima Khan, Uzma Tahir,Javiria Abbasi figure in interesting personas.

    The script of this serial has been penned by somebody called Ghulam Mohammad with someone named Syed Ansar: Aik Aur Aik Gyarah has been produced by Tahir Younus and Production Manager is Asif Kalam. The Associate Producer is Noman Khan.

    The story revolves a two families, who have humble beginnings, but re aces of prominence while going through different se
    of circumstances.

  • Khud Ba Khud
    Khud Ba Khud narrates the tale of the people who wish to harm their fellow beings, but invariably shoot themselves in the foot. For them, other people's success is their failure. However, those who treat everybody even handedly never shy away from any task and in fact help people prosper in their respec tive fields of endeavour. It is believed that the part that veteran actor Akbar Subhani is playing in Khud Ba Khud is something that will be reckoned as one of his most outstanding performances in years to come. Apart from Akbar Subhani, Shahood AM and Suman Agha have also been given challenging roles. This 13 episode, 25 minute serial is penned by Shahid Masroor and directed by Syed Asad Raza Rizvi. And the rest of the cast includes Ishmal, Sanam Iqbal, Shehzad Raza, Aftab Alam, Aysha Khan, Imtiaz Neem and Kashif Siddiqui.

  • Soaps On PTV
    Pakistan Television, in its history of more than three decades, never aired any plays that would fall into the category of 'soap operas.' The classic definition of soap opera is that any daytime radio or television serial drama, characterized by sentimentality. Usually they can stretch to many an episode. It is called 'soap' because a host of soap companies originally sponsored soap operas produced in the west when television was going through its teething period.

    From 20th August, Filmex (Pvt) Ltd has introduced a slot entitled Family Time on PTV World, every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 4.00 pm to 5.30 pm. Two soaps and quiz show for children will be shown during the slot.

    On August 16, the launching ceremony of these programs was held at a local hotel, in which many a showbiz person, pressmen and officials of Filmex took part. Actress Sadia Imam and a new entrant Kashan hosted the show.

    First of the two plays that were introduced was Sheeroza. Sheeraza is a tale of a man who becomes wealthy using all kinds of means. In order to build upon his capital he takes certain steps that prove counterproductive. During the course his friends let him down and he confronts many difficult situations.

    The cast include the likes of Shakeel, Sajida Sayyed, Saleem Sheikh, Behroz Sabzwari, Akbar Subhani, Zahin Tahira, Ayaz Nayek, Qazi Wajid, Latif Kapadia, Ayesha Sana, Shazia Akhtar, Humayun Saeed and Nahid Shabbir. The story, which will cover 200 episodes, has been penned by a team of four writers (something that has never happened in Pakistan before) headed by Amjad Islam Amjad. Haroon Rashid, who was also one of the speakers on the occasion, has helmed the Sheeraza.

    The second play is called Apney Apney Khwab (spelt Khawab in the leaflet). It is a story of the ambitions and dreams that often drive the youth of Pakistan. Written by Shariq Naqvi and directed by Rubina Haroon, this soap, one feels is inspired by a play once shown on Zee TV, called Campus. The cast boasts of seasoned performers like Sajid Hasson, Noman Ijaz, Rizwan Wasti, Sadia Imam, Farheen Raja and Rosheen Raja.

    The third show that was launched on the occasion was Quizzery. I’m still trying to figure out the meaning or the implication of the word 'quizzery' the show anchored by Behroz Sabzwari, is a quiz competition between various children, representing different: hoots. Well I wouldn't like to comment on that because one look t the clips of the show only brought one word to my mind: tacky. Perhaps the program is inspired by Bourn vita Quiz Contest. Naql ke liyey bhi uql ki zuroorat hoti hai.