16 - 22 May, 2015

Remember the unbeatable hit numbers Albela Rahi, Dekha Na Tha Kabhi Humne Ye Sama, Dekh Tera Kia Rang Kar Dia Hai and Shaam Se Pehlay Aana? These were some of the biggest songs that entertained Pakistan back in the 70s and 80s – and the man who sung them is the legendary Alamgir. One of the pioneers of pop music in Pakistan, Alamgir returned to the spotlight, but because of health reasons more than anything else. The popular singer has been raising funds for a double kidney transplant and it is heartening to note that both the Pakistani government and philanthropists have supported the music icon. One prays that Alamgir regains his health and continues to sing more and more memorable songs.
How can we not talk about a drama serial or series in our fortnightly Telemix? This time around the serial we’re going to talk about is Kaanch Gi Gurya. The main protagonist is the young and beautiful, Manaal (Yumna Zaidi) who is born to a loving couple played by Behroze Sabzwari and Hina Bayat. They lead a lovely and content life, just the three of them. The world is the most beautiful place for Manaal with a doting set of parents. Life could definitely not get any better. Her father is a white-collared man, who won her mother’s heart to the point where Hina ended up tying the knot with Behroze against her father’s wishes. Her infuriated father Qavi Khan, an industrialist, cuts her off from his will.
Life however, takes a turn for the worst as Yumna’s mother dies leaving her father as her sole companion. This relationship is also not meant to be as soon after Behroze also meets with an accident and passes away. Yumna is now left with no one to lean on. She is vulnerable and alone. It is at this juncture that her paternal aunt, Zainab Qayyum enters her life and proves to be her saviour. Zainab had also been leading a miserable life with an uncouth and uneducated man as her husband, a spiteful mother-in-law, a divorcee sister-in-law who is mean, selfish and caustic and a callous 20-year-old son.
Zainab is barely surviving in this environment and is shattered on hearing her brother’s death. She pleads with her husband to take in the orphan, Yumna and give her a home. After putting Zainab through much agony he gives in, however, leaving her on her own to face his mother’s wrath.
Having led a cocooned and protected life, Yumna is in for a rude awakening. Life is not as she had always known it. With no one to pamper and love her, life is meaningless. And the proverbial icing on the cake is her aunt’s son who first insults her and then starts stalking her. He develops a liking for Yumna and wants her to feel the same way too. In the meantime Yumna’s aunt’s mind is at work and she tells her all about her wealthy grandfather, Qavi and how they should find him and seek help for her.
Yumna is adamant that she doesn’t want to have anything to do with her cold and heartless nana who disowned his own daughter just because he did not agree to her choice of life partner.
In the meantime, Qavi is shown repenting, having cut off all ties with his daughter, Hina. He is not happy and lives in a perpetual state of misery. Years back he had adopted a child, Daim (Sami Khan) who takes care of him and is his sole companion. Together they are leading a life of compromise. It’s at this juncture that Yumna’s aunt manages to trace her grandfather and decides to send her off as things are becoming difficult for her at home.
The story has been penned by Faiza Ifikhar and directed by Nadeem Siddiqui. The cast includes names like Sami Khan, Qavi Khan, Yumna Zaidi, Sundus Tariq, Hina Bayat, Behroze Sabzwari and Hareb Farouq.
What happens next is something you’ll have to find out by watching Kaanch Ki Gurya and we too will keep you updated in our future columns of Telemix.
Across the border in India, one single piece of news rocked the entertainment industry earlier this month. And inevitably, it also became big news in Pakistan making local TV channels to obsess over it. An Indian court decided to send Bollywood star Salman Khan to five years in jail for killing a homeless man in a 2002 hit-and-run driving incident in Mumbai in which four other people were also injured. Salman claimed it was his driver who was behind the wheel but the court declared that it believes the actor was driving under the influence of alcohol.
I have no problems with that extensive coverage but the way some channels portrayed the entire story did bother me. There were news packages in which Sallu bhai was shown as a victim. Others made us feel as if he had passed away. The fact of the matter is that a man was killed in a hit-and-run incident and even if Salman wasn’t driving, he was present in the car when the tragedy took place. That’s why making him look like somebody who is being victimised doesn’t strike a chord. Our news channels should try to be objective and if that’s a tough task in this age of sensationalism then the least they can do is over-dramatisation.
Moving to a different topic, there are times when I think about my college days when I was quite a competitive badminton player. Sport over the years has slid out of daily menu but there are times when I want to watch quality matches. But since I am not a cricket aficionado I don’t get to see much sporting action on television. That’s why a recent news item caught my attention as it suggested that there should be a national TV channel dedicated to the coverage of sports other than cricket. The idea is that the existing sports channels in Pakistan are providing 24/7 coverage of cricket matches which is why other major sports like our national sport hockey and squash, basketball, tennis and yes my favourite, badminton are almost completely ignored.
Personally, I fully support this idea and am sure that sport buffs who want to see local sporting action on TV would agree. Don’t get me wrong. I have no personal dislike for cricket. It is by far the most popular sport in Pakistan and is rightly called our national pastime. But cricket’s popularity shouldn’t be allowed to cause the demise of other games. We have a rich history in sports like hockey and squash but because of neglect we lag behind in these games. Ample coverage on TV of the various major events like national championships will certainly provide a shot in the arm to other sports as well.
Pakistan’s top officials have made an official demand for the setting up of a new sports channel dedicated to games other than cricket which is a step in the right direction.
Until next time, happy reading! •

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