Friday, 12 November 2021

'Khel Khel Mein' highlights human cost of 1971 war

 
The trailer for Sajal Aly and Bilal Abbas Khan-starrer Khel Khel Mein is finally here, delving into the heart of the 1971 war and the subsequent birth of Bangladesh following the split between East and West Pakistan. The trailer opens with a flashback to the moment of the split, with a turban-clad man announcing, “Your country has been broken apart. You are no longer in Pakistan, but in Bangladesh.” The announcement is met with a sob from a young man, who then falls to his knees in despair.

According to the trailer, the film follows a group of students, led by Sajal’s character, who wish to put on a theatrical performance on the fall of Dhaka at a competition being held in the same city. The decision is met with backlash from faculty who do not wish to provoke unnecessary “controversy”. The trailer then follows the trials and tribulations the students, particularly Sajal’s character, undergo in order to put on the play in Bangladesh, which includes hostile attitudes from those on the other side on the border as well as friction from those at home. The trailer ends with a voiceover from Sajal and Bilal, “Aik jaisa hi pyaar nikle ga, dil ki lelein talaashiyan donoun. Aik ghalti hui, kisi se bhi, maang lete hain, maafiyaan donoun. [The love you find will be the same in both of our hearts. A mistake was made, by one or the other, let us both ask for forgiveness].”

The story appears to centre the people at the heart of the conflict, placing the responsibility of the split between East and West Pakistan on external factors. Judging from the trailer, Khel Khel Mein appears to employ a non-linear narrative, with flashbacks from the past constituting a large part of the film.

The teaser for the film, which releases earlier this month, starts off with the narration, “Hum men se kisi ne bhi ye nahi socha tha ke aik chingari puray jangal ko jaladegi, humen laga tha ke ye aik waqti azmaaish hai [None of us could’ve even imagined that a single spark will set fire to an entire forest, we thought that this was only a temporary test].”

According to the filmmakers, Khel Khel Mein will lift the curtain on the creative genius of youngsters that holds the power to spark change in the mindset of an entire society. Its star-studded cast also includes Marina Khan, Javed Sheikh, Samina Ahmed and Manzar Sehbai. The Nabeel Qureshi directorial will release under the banner of Filmwala Pictures.

The film was cleared by the Central Board of Film Censors (CBFC) for release in cinemas, with the Punjab Film and Censor Board (PFCB) also issuing a No Objection Certificate (NOC). Khel Khel Mein is all set for release on November 19 and will be the first local film screened in cinemas as they resume business after a pandemic-related break of around 20 months. A senior official of the CBFC told The Express Tribune, "CBFC and PFCB collectively held a screening of the upcoming film Khel Khel Mein. Both bodies have issued a NOC to the film, as well as a universal rating as the boards found no objectionable content. Khel Khel Mein will be released on November 19, and all the board members were pleased with the film during the censor meeting, believing that it will be a good start to the resumption of local cinema.”

Cinemas were allowed to begin regular operation on October 15 owing to the drop in Covid-19 cases in the country. Last month, after cinema houses were given the go-ahead to resume business, most local distributors and producers were unwilling to release films due to the uncertainty involved and fear of incurring financial losses if cinemas were to shut shortly after opening.

Appreciating director Nabeel Qureshi and producer Fizza Ali Meerza for coming forward with Khel Khel Mein despite the risks involved, chairman of the Film Distributors Association Ch Ejaz Kamran said, “Film producers and stakeholders continuously demanded a reopening of cinemas from the federal government during the days of closure. Now, when cinema houses are operational and business has resumed, it is the responsibility of every stakeholder to come forward and start releasing films to get the industry back on track. The fact that Nabeel Qureshi and Fizza Ali Meerza have come forward with Khel Khel Mein is highly appreicated.”

He added further, “Their example should be followed as they are willing to release films at a crucial time for cinemas. We all expect Khel Khel Mein to usher in a new beginning of the post-Covid era, and will hopefully attract viewers back to cinema houses.”

On the importance of the Christman season for new releases, Kamran shared, “At the moment, we are struggling to convince people to release their films, but we are hopeful that the new films will make it to cinemas in the upcoming Christmas season and business will get back on track. There are a number of films that have been completed, with producers on the lookout for the right opportunity to release them.”

Friday, 1 October 2021

Cinemas reopened in eight cities of Pakistan

After a long hiatus, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry has announced that cinemas will reopen in eight cities of Pakistan, starting October 1.

The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special initiatives Asad Umar. It was decided that restrictions due to Covid-19 would be eased in cities that have achieved the targeted vaccination rate.

These cities include, Gilgit, Skardu, Muzaffarabad, Mirpur, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Quetta, and Peshawar. Chaudhry tweeted to confirm the same, “Eight cities including Rawalpindi and Islamabad will be allowed to reopen cinemas starting October 1. We are hoping health authorities in Karachi and Lahore will increase vaccination drives so cinemas can reopen in their regions too.

Taking to the micro-blogging site, Umar went on to reinstate that the “only way out of the Covid-19 pandemic [was] to get high percentage of citizens vaccinated.” So he also announced that as part of a strategy to reward vaccinated cities, there will be “higher restrictions on cities with low level of vaccination and on citizens who are not vaccinated,” also effective from October 1.

Just yesterday, as the world welcomed another James Bond film, Pakistanis started asking whether they’ll ever get to visit their local cinemas again. And while established actors like Fahad Mustafa, who aren’t entirely dependent on their films’ getting a live release to maintain their lifestyles, seemed hopeful, filmmakers like Nabeel Qureshi appeared to be becoming restless.

“James Bond premiere today at London. Hoping to see our cinemas back in action soon [as well]. The world is getting back to normal it’s a good sign!” tweeted Fahad, while Nabeel asked, “Cinemas kab khulengay (When will cinemas re-open)?”

But even when cinemas were looking to re-open in Pakistan earlier this year, everyone seemed to be turning a blind eye to the elephant in the room: Could a box office increasingly dependent on Bollywood get a new life through Hollywood and Pakistani films only?


On that note, it was also announced in India that cinemas in Maharashtra would reopen from October 22. The reopening across comes after 18 months of the box offices remaining shut in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, followed by the series of lockdowns since March 2020.

Friday, 17 September 2021

Ayesha Omar unveils her first look from 'Javed Iqbal: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer'

After Yasir Hussain, actor Ayesha Omar has taken to social media to reveal her first look from their upcoming film based on serial killer Javed Iqbal.

Omar’s poster sees her as the cop she’s gearing up to essay, who will head the investigation against Iqbal in the Abu Aleeha film. The film titled, Javed Iqbal: The Untold Story of A Serial Killer, will revolve around the man who sexually abused and killed more than 100 children in Lahore between 1998 and 1999.

Omar, who has previously starred in films like Karachi Se Lahore and 7 Din Mohabbat In, shared the poster of her character's look on Instagram. She wrote in the caption, "The Untold Story of a Serial Killer, coming soon. InshAllah."

The film is written and directed by Aleeha and is being produced under the banner of KKFilms by Javed Ahmed.

Iqbal’s case was a particularly macabre one as he strangled his victims, dismembered their corpses and dissolved them in acid to conceal the evidence. He was found guilty and sentenced to death in the same manner that he killed the boys. Moinuddin Haider, the Interior Minister of the time had stated that such a punishment would not be allowed.

Omar, who is known for playing a diverse range of roles throughout her career, had earlier commented that this role is bound to be a challenge but one that she’s certainly looking forward to.

Saturday, 28 August 2021

Mahira Khan posts love note for rumoured beau

One of Pakistan's biggest superstars, Mahira Khan, has always kept one thing crystal clear - she would not take invading her privacy easily. The actor, who usually refrains from commenting on her personal life, has refused to speak about the 'controversies' she has been made a part of since the inception of her career

Mahira, unfortunately like many of her peers, had been linked to several men in the industry. Be it a few viral photos, some gossip, the Raees star has always kept it eerily quiet when it comes to discussing her romantic relationships. Until last year, Mahira in a tete-a-tete with veteran star Samina Peerzada shared that she is indeed in love but didn't reveal the person she was in love with.

Now, we finally have an answer. The actor recently took to Instagram and shared a beautiful excerpt on love on what seemed like her beau's birthday. She then went on to tag Salim Karim. Many, among Frieha Altaf, Aiman Khan, Areeba Habib, left heartfelt remarks on the same post.

"My love," the Verna actor captioned the post.

Last year, when asked by the veteran actor whether Mahira was in love with someone special, the Raees star smiled sheepishly and nodded her head. "Yeah, I think I am in love," Mahira smiled. When Samina went on to congratulate her, the Sadqay Tumhare actor added, "I don't know, I am so shy about it."

Samina then inquired if she would know the person Mahira has fallen for, to which the former VJ had asserted, "You might but he's not from the industry."

Samina then asked Mahira if she would want to name the person, she shared that she wouldn't. "This is one thing I would want to protect with my life. I want to protect my child," the Bol actor said, adding, "At first, I wanted to show everyone what an adorable baby Azlan is, but now I've become more cautious. If you notice, you really wouldn't see Azlan's face full front, it'd either be a side pose or a back pose."

Samina ensured her that she had all the right in the world to do that. "I know we shouldn't be so superstitious and I wasn't someone who you would call a vehmi, but now I'm just like I don't want any Nazar (evil eye)," Mahira shared.

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Saturday, 21 August 2021

PISA 2021 to take place in Dubai in November

The 2nd annual Pakistan International Screen Awards (PISA) is all set to take place at the Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, on November 5, 2021. The awards will honour the nation's most celebrated artists from the entertainment, music and fashion industries. 

According to a press release, the event will take place under the strict adherence of Covid SOPs. The nominations and jury are yet to be announced. 

The 1st PISA took place in February 2020 at the grand Coca Cola Arena in Dubai which earlier had hosted AR Rahman and Pakistan's own Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. The award show caused quite a stir when the ‘invited’ artists failed to make an appearance. The celebrities later shared that the organisers informed of not flying them out at the last moment.

The likes of Osman Khalid Butt, Ahmed Ali, Nadia Afghan, Nabeel Zafar among others took to social media and called out the mismanaged event. The actors shared how they were promised a fully accommodated trip but they were informed that the organisers had failed to make travel arrangements. 

In response to the outrage, Body Beat PR (BBPR) CEO Hasan Rizvi apologised for the whole ordeal certain nominees had to face. "There was a complete miscommitment on tickets to our respected guests and celebrities. We did not receive the tickets from the management for multiple reasons, including flights being completely full. However, as BBPR was responsible for contacting the guests please treat this as a formal apology for the mismanagement of this. Our intention was never to disrespect any of our guests. We hold each and every one of our guests with the highest regard" Rizvi told The Express Tribune.

He went on to add that PISA was a new platform with teething issues."We hope with time PISA will get bigger and bigger only to shine our country’s name," concluded Rizvi.

However, stars who attended the event included Jawed Sheikh, who had publicly praised the event and Mahira Khan and Humayun Saeed who appeared onstage together and had created a palpable buzz. Other celebrities included Asad Siddiqui, Zara Noor Abbas, Adnan Siddiqui, Ushna Shah, Umair Jaswal, Aima Baig, Sana Javed, 
and several Vloggers. 

Here's hoping under new management, PISA 2021 will be conducted smoothly. 




Friday, 20 August 2021

People criticise me day and night not knowing anything about me: Armeena Khan

Armeena Khan is known to be fairly vocal on her social media. The actor has always called spade a spade on Twitter and Instagram. When asked by a fan how the Bin Roye actor deals with negative criticism, Armeena responded with a detailed note posted on her Instagram story.

The actor explained that it is important to understand people’s intentions. She wrote, “People disguise their motivations. Look at the person criticising you. Are they coming at you from a place of helpfulness, kindness or hate/jealousy/envy?”

She went on to detail the difference between hate and constructive criticism, with the latter coming from a place of good intentions. “There is a big difference between criticism and hate. Constructive criticism is beneficial because you can work on yourself provided that they give you solutions as well.”

“Hate you do not have to deal with because people project their own insecurities onto you. So middle-finger them. If it’s strangers, ignore it. They don’t know anything about you,” she added.

Speaking about the hate she receives, Armeena shared, “If it’s someone you know then ask them for solutions too. For example, I have people criticising me day and night not knowing anything about me. They [trolls] are just envious and want what I have without putting the hard work in.”

She concluded her note with, “So, identify your well-wishers from haters, that is your first job. Good luck.”

The actor was recently honoured with a certificate of outstanding public service in the UK. While she should have been lauded for the outstanding achievement, many commented on how she wore a dress and sheer stockings. Talking about the same, the Janaan starlet shared, "I don’t understand why these nationalists, right-wingers and religious fanatics lecture me. For the last time, I do not represent you and my journey is personal.

Thursday, 12 August 2021

Yasir Hussain, Ayesha Omar to star in film on serial killer, rapist Javed Iqbal

A film on serial killer and rapist Javed Iqbal is in the works. According to a press release, the film will star Yasir Hussain as the notorious murderer while actor Ayesha Omar will essay the role of a police officer, who will head the investigation on Iqbal.

The film, apparently titled The Untold Story of a Serial Killer: Javed Iqbal, is written and directed by Abu Aleeha and is being produced under the banner of KKFilms by Javed Ahmed. The film will trace the story of the man who sexually abused and killed more than 100 children in Lahore, Pakistan between 1998 and 1999.
The case was a particularly macabre one as the killer not only tortured and murdered the children but also butchered and dissolved their bodies in acid to get rid of the evidence. He was sentenced to death in the same way.

Omar, who is known for playing a diverse range of roles throughout her career, commented that this was bound to be a challenge but one that she’s certainly looking forward to.

In 2019, actor and filmmaker Shamoon Abbasi announced a web series based on the life and consequential death of Iqbal. He was set to essay Iqbal in the series. The title of The Legend of Javed Iqbal and the Hundred Smiles revolves around his life and his victims.

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Friday, 16 July 2021

I can’t limit myself to just one genre when it comes to acting: Amna Ilyas

 

Amna Ilyas has worked hard to stand out of the crowd and carve a space for herself in the world of showbiz. Whether on the ramp or behind the screen, the Baaji actor has managed to make a name for herself despite the colourism she claims to have faced in doing so. But the dusky beauty is not one to shy away from social issues. Recently, while speaking to Urdu News, the Zinda Bhaag starlet spoke about how she didn’t believe she could make it as an actor at first. "I never thought I would become an actress. I did TV commercials and fashion videos in which I would simply do as I was directed. After I was offered a film, I felt as though I may be able to act, so I tried my luck.”

She explained how the success of her first film helped give her the confidence she needed. "I gained a lot more satisfaction after witnessing people’s response to my films Good Morning Karachi and Zinda Bhaag." Ilyas added, “I figured if people were praising my performance, then there must be something of value in it; that I must have done a good job.”

On her transition from model to actor, Ilyas explained that dialogues did not come naturally to her and she struggled quite a bit when it came to getting them right in the beginning. “When it came to acting, the situation was such that I could not get my dialogues right. They just wouldn’t come out of my mouth. I didn't know where to stop, when to start speaking, or even where to look while delivering the dialogues. I had to work very hard to get the hang of it.”

When it comes to films, the starlet makes sure to do her homework before saying yes to any offers. Ilyas explained that when she is given a script, she goes over it again and again to truly get the gist of it. “I read the script about four to five times before agreeing to play a role,” she confessed. “Reading the script thoroughly helps to understand exactly what the writer is trying to get at and what the story is truly about, as well as how you can do justice to the character.” And Ilyas doesn’t want to limit herself. She believes that a true actor is one who can play every role well, regardless of genre. "I can't convince myself to limit my options to only serious roles or just comedy characters. If I get the chance to play a character in an action film, I'll do it."

Although it has been many years since, Ilyas still gets the jitters when in front of the camera. "It feels like there is an exam that I have to give and I don't know what the result will be." When asked how she came up with the idea of ​​making videos on social issues, she said, “I used to make funny videos and upload them but when I got a good response from people, I felt that there should be regular work put into these videos and so, started working on ideas together with my team.” Ilyas went on, “Every time I make a video, the goal is to get people to learn from it. Meaningful content certainly attracts people's attention. I try to help them understand complex issues through humour.”

The multitalented star has worked very hard to get to where she is today. “I’ve always maintained a professional attitude and haven’t shied from calling out what’s wrong or standing by what’s right,” she shared.

In a previous interview with Voice of America, Ilyas had detailed her struggle with colourism, highlighting the discrimination we see in everyday dramas, where women of fair complexion are given priority over the dark ones. "This happens. Our people also want to see only those girls on the screen who are fair," she explained, revealing that her own battles with discrimination began from her very home. “As a child, I was told a few things about my deep complexion, such as by my mother and aunt, who made me realise very early on that it 'would not suit me well when I grow up’," she had said. "As a child, you may not understand the meaning of these words but when you are conscious, you understand the psychology behind these thoughts. When I realised this, I stood up against it."


Saturday, 10 July 2021

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy gives Sonya Hussyn a dressing down for 'dissing' Mahira Khan

 

A three-year-old clip of the actor's from The After Moon Show resurfaced recently, seeing her respond to a question posed by Yasir Hussain. The host inquires what film Hussyn would have turned down had she been Mahira Khan, to which the actor says she would have refused to be SRK's sidekick in Raees.

Now, the Oscar-winning director has called out the starlet over her choice of words and asserted that such remarks only reflect poorly on one’s upbringing.

In the comments section of a post made by a digital publication, Chinoy wrote, “Don’t think you’ll ever be Mahira Khan so you won’t ever get to say no. Don’t diss other women in the industry; it reflects poorly on you and your upbringing.”

 

Hussyn had shared her views during the rapid fire segment of the show. She had been given three options “Verna, Raees or Ho Mann Jahan,” to which she had stated, “I wouldn’t have done Raees since I have no interest in playing Shah Rukh Khan’s sidekick.”

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Thursday, 8 July 2021

Why Shahroz Sabzwari decided to marry Sadaf Kanwal

It hasn't been an easy road for lovebirds Sadaf Kanwal and Shahroz Sabzwari ever since the couple made headlines for their courtship and later, marriage, last year. The couple, whose romance made the rounds on social media back in 2019, tied the knot one year later in an intimate affair. While many accused Shahroz of cheating on his former wife, Syra Yousuf, the Chain Aye Na star had maintained he got romantically involved with Sadaf once he and Syra had filed for divorce.

Recently, in a tete-a-tete with Nida Yasir, the couple opened up about their relationship and how they met for the first time. Speaking about how Shahroz came to know about Sadaf, the actor shared he knew about his now-wife when she was at the prime of her modelling career.

"Her Instagram feed has always been gorgeous. We met once or twice at an event or an opening," he shared. The duo then met for rehearsals of an award show. They then flew to Norway for the event. "That's where our love story began," the supermodel shared. "Is that where the cupid struck?" Nida chimed in. To which Sadaf laughed, "Sherry [Shahroz] absolutely felt it."

Talking about what attracted him towards Sadaf, Shahroz remarked, "I was going through a very difficult time in my life and then meeting someone like Sadaf, who is so pure that you can't help but get attracted to her. We don't have to exaggerate about this."

He added, "I had honest intentions of marrying Sadaf." The actor added that the phase he was going through at that time, he "didn't want to stay a bachelor." Shahroz continued, "I am a religious person. Our religion asks us to refrain from a lot of things and I try to stay away from it. There is so much we aren't permitted to do [in Islam], but if we get married, they become beautiful."

Shahroz then remarked that he shared his feelings with Sadaf. "I told her that there would be no drama, this [marriage] is what I want to do." The actor clarified that he communicated his thoughts when the two returned from Norway. "We had this conversation when we had come back from Norway. We were only friends back then but we had clicked," he said.

When Nida inquired what qualities Shahroz saw in Sadaf as his wife, the former replied, "Purity. Even when we were in Norway, for everyone she was Sadaf Kanwal, the supermodel, who was always glammed up but I could see it. I think when there's a higher power at play, things work out. It was put in my heart by the Almighty, and I always saw a life partner in her."

He mentioned, "You can ask her about this, I told her how I wanted to marry her. I told her I work in the industry and being a bachelor, it's not easy to stay on the right path. We are answerable to our God in the afterlife. You earn Halal, you keep a Halal relationship."

The couple tied the knot in the midst of the Covid-19 lockdown in a very private gathering. Sadaf had always wanted a small wedding. Meanwhile, Shahroz asked for people’s prayers. He added, "We tied the knot in a minimal setting, as have other several renowned personalities, with a presence of 70 to 80 people only."

Previously, while talking about the trolling, Shahroz had stated, "We never really cared."

Sadaf echoed her husband’s sentiments saying, "We laugh at all the enmity; it had no impact on us. Do you think, now that you are looking at me, that I have been affected? I have a loving husband so these things do not affect me. I really don't care about the backlash that we received on our wedding since such incidents have also happened in the past."

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Friday, 2 July 2021

Full of gratitude: Mahira Khan's ten years in the entertainment industry

It hasn't been an easy journey for Pakistan's arguably most famous superstar Mahira Khan. The VJ turned actor has recently completed ten years of her acting career. Khan's first two acting projects, her debut film Bol and first-ever drama serial Neeyat, released on the same date ten years ago. Since then, she has never looked back.

The Humsafar star took to Instagram and bowed her head with gratitude as she thanked her fans for immense love and support. "So, I completed 10 years in this industry as an actor two days back. My film Bol and my drama serial Neeyat released on the same day on the 24th of June 2011," Khan penned, adding, "I bow my head in gratitude to all of you - for this magical journey I’ve had and continue to have."

She further added, "There have been many ups and downs, there have been moments of feeling broken and alone, and moments of feeling elated but my fans have been there rock-solid, behind me. My constant. I am so grateful for the love. I promise to work harder, I promise to give back. I promise that your love won’t go in vain. So much love, always.

In the video, Khan narrates, "I think you see your life in an isolated form. You cannot say that I have worked hard for something today, so I will see the results of it the same day. It's a lifelong process and somewhere along the road, God blesses you and He has blessed me with their [fans] love

She added, "I think the good in us; the successful person in us is basically equal to all our resolved issues. And I feel, I’ve always felt that the everything bad in us, the person who prevents us from really living equals to all our unresolved issues."

Many fellow actors extended love and support to the Verna actor. The likes of Ayeza Khan, Sohai Ali Abro, Mansha Pasha, Aijaz Aslam, Ayesha Omar, Ali Kazmi, Aisha Khan, Nida Yasir, Nadia Hussain among others commented on her post, congratulating the actor on completing a decade in the showbiz industry.

Khan's fruitful career has seen many highs. From walking the red carpet of the Cannes Film Festival to strutting the runway at Paris Fashion Week, the Raees star has seen it all. One of her career milestones was working with Bollywood's King Khan, Shah Rukh Khan in Raees as her debut project in Bollywood.

After a year of acting, Khan has decided to don the producer's hat with her first-ever production - a web series. The actor partnered with Nina Kashif to produce Barwaan Khiladi, which revolved around "friendships, relationships, unity, failure, success, love, and courage."

Earlier, speaking to Mira Sethi, the Humsafar star talked about dreams and her time in the entertainment industry. “Nobody tells you that there’s always that one challenge or price attached with a certain dream you wish for the most. Certainly, these hurdles came along the way when I started my journey with a bag full of dreams," she had said.

Lastly, the actor revealed why being a part of this industry has always helped her grow and heal from situations in her life. "I always had this work, industry as my backbone. I always thought what I do today will be fruitful tomorrow. I feel like I can never leave because it never left me, kept me striving for better days.

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Friday, 25 June 2021

Mathira and Sonya Hussyn reconcile after a misunderstanding went viral

For someone who made it to the mainstream by hosting a show too ‘bold’ for its time, Mathira taking trolls and bullies head one shouldn’t come as a surprise. If anything, the actor is known to call spade and spade and share her stories rather publicly. Recently, she took to Instagram and called out actor Sonya Hussyn for bullying her a few years ago.

Recently, the Saraab star made amends with her long-distant father on Father’s Day and shared the video of her call to her father on Instagram. While actors such as Feroze Khan and others lauded Sonya for burying the hatchet, Mathira called her ‘fake’. The VJ recalled how Sonya had made derogatory remarks about her a few years ago.

"I had to do get it off my chest,” Mathira wrote on Instagram. “Many people don't like me in the industry. It's a bit tough. When someone wants to give me some work, the lobby people [in the industry] stand against me but that's nothing because I think Allah finds a way to support you. You don't actually need people.

She further added that “After my divorce, there was a period where I was struggling with depression. I hated the way I looked so I cut my hair and dyed them blonde to feel better,” Mathira wrote on Instagram. During this period the TV personality was invited to attend the International Pakistan Prestige Awards (IPPA) in London along with other celebrities.

Mathira said that when she was on the bus when "other celebrities informed her about how fellow actor Sonya Hussyn thought she was a shemale." The actor added how she felt belittled even though she had been minding her business. "I still managed to help her out because she [Sonya] seemed lost and her English isn't very good. I was still kind but this woman didn't say sorry or thank you," she said adding, "Girl, you are fake. The only person who hugged me and told me to smile was Azfar Rehman."

She further commented, "I was fighting depression. I hated how I looked and people calling me names and making fun of me broke me completely. I have been through hell. All I want to say is girls like her are pretty faces with ugly souls."

In the next Instagram story, Mathira went on to thank the people who extended support. "I have been bullied before but I kept quiet because I had no confidence and didn't believe in myself," she said, adding, "The woman I was back then and the woman I am now - there's a huge difference. I am positive [towards life], out of depression, and know how to take a stand for myself."

Mathira went on by saying, "People bully people and they don't even understand the damage they do. That's why I spoke up. Maybe you are a superstar or a diva or a rockstar, but if you have an ugly personality that bullies people and doesn't even realise their mistake, then you are just trash.

No big deal

When reached out for a comment, Sonya denied all such claims and hearsay and she had herself called Mathira to clear any misunderstanding that might have occurred in the first place. "Just spoke to Mathira over the phone and glad that all misunderstandings have been cleared," she remarked. "Depression is real and very difficult to deal with. Hearing that Mathira had to deal with it alone was indeed heartbreaking. This goes without saying, if anyone ever needs to talk; I am just a call away."

The Ishq Zah-e-Naseeb star further shared, "Lack of communication only leads to housing angst and negativity. Talk it out. Don’t keep anything in your heart please, that’s the key to a healthy mind." Addressing Mathira, Sonya shared, "Mathira, you’re like a sister to me and I’ll always wish you the best."

"On a side note, my request to all…try not to pass judgments without contextualising and hearing the other side," the Meri Guriya actor concluded.

After Sonya clarified the matter, Mathira took to Instagram and lauded the actor for her call. "Yes, sisters forever. United we stand," Mathira penned, adding, "I was hurt hence I spoke up. It's off my chest, I feel better."

Mathira has time and again shared her ordeal with body shaming and image issues. Previously, many also accused her of getting surgeries while slut-shaming her once again. In response to this sudden outburst, Mathira took to her Instagram stories and had written, “I'm chubby and I'm happy like this. Who are you to shame me? Focus on yourself please.”

She went onto assert that she’d had enough of people judging her for her looks, and revealed she had only gained weight because of ‘hormonal imbalances’. "I'm so tired of people asking why I have [gotten] implants and all... Seriously, it's a shame. I have hormonal imbalance issues. Stop it."

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Friday, 11 June 2021

Mathira wants you to stop highlighting Iman Aly's blunder

Actor and model Iman Ali recently received immense backlash for inadvertently equating unattractiveness to looking being a transgender.

After appearing on a local talk show with host Vasay Chaudhry, the super model was called out for her insensitive and disrespectful remarks by popular trans actor and model Kami Sid, as well as anchor Rabia Anam. She was also schooled by numerous users on social media, despite having revealed her body dysmorphia.

Now, popular VJ and host Mathira, who’s been commenting on numerous social issues lately, has shared her two cents on Ali’s remarks. And instead of channeling her anger into her response like everyone else, Mathira has urged the public to take it easy with Ali.

Writing on her Instagram stories, Mathira said, “I don’t know why words like ‘khusra’ or ‘maasi’ are used to insult someone. They’re not swears, please. Iman is a very pretty lady and she needs help mentally. But to all the people, don’t use these words like swears; it’s not right.”

She went on, “Mental health is a major concern in our society and the people who are trolling her [Aly] in the comments section are the same people who must have used these terms to insult others too. Please stop highlighting this when it’s evident she is walking on thin ice mentally.”Mathira asserted that sometimes, it’s okay to forgive and help others forget their mistakes instead of rubbing them in their faces.

Shedding light on her body image issues and her inability to accept compliments during her interview, Aly had said, “People tell me I'm good-looking, but when I stand in front of the mirror I feel everyone is lying.”

Using a rather prejudiced and questionable language, she opened up about her inability to take pictures of herself. "I can't even take pictures of myself. Whatever angle I try, I think 'aye haye, khusra'. People should try to understand that not everyone is supposed to love themselves like I don't like the way I am, which is why I don't take selfies and am not very active on Instagram," she added.

There is no denying Aly's comments reflected her low self-esteem, but they also reflected her sheer ignorance, which would eventually influence the impressionable minds of society who look up to public figures for inspiration. Her confessions are certainly an admittance of her inability to love herself, and a vulnerable person like that should not be trolled and cyber-bullied into hating themselves further. Still, celebrities need to introspect and most importantly, think before they speak on public platforms to ensure they don't hurt the sentiments of any community while voicing their struggles.

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Friday, 4 June 2021

Saying it like Saba

The Lahore Se Agay star is known for her unapologetic personality and say-it-like-it-is attitude towards everything from relationships to her career. In a recent appearance on a local TV show, actor Saba Qamar shed light on her social media persona, as well as her experience in the entertainment industry.

Saba is known for taking on unconventional roles, those that challenge stereotypes around women, and has received an equal amount of criticism for her opinions as well. Speaking about her reluctance to give interviews, Saba spoke about how she feels more at ease on her own platform. The actor shed light on how having her own channel enables her to bypass filters that you have to respect when speaking on other platforms. “On my own show, I don’t need to have a filter. I say what I want to say. I am not scared of repercussions on behalf of the channel or the people involved. That is Saba Qamar’s channel, and that is where I openly say what is in my heart,” explained Saba. The actor added later on, “I show what I feel. You should say what the truth is. If people don’t like it, it’s their problem.”

On her YouTube channel, Saba shares a variety of videos dealing with a vast array of topics including but not limited to the toxicity of desi marriage culture. In an episode titled, ‘Breaking the Stereotypes’, Saba addressed the motivations behind bringing a bahu into a desi family. “The problem with our society is that there are two types of families that approach daughters for their rishtas – the conservatives and the liberals. But both of them want a maid in the form of a daughter-in-law who, if educated, can earn for the family and if uneducated, can work for the family,” she elaborated in the video.

Speaking about social media, the actor shared that she does not like to put too much thought into what she posts. “Isn’t it beautiful that if you have any thoughts about uploading something, you do so without hesitation?” asked the Baaghi star.

Saba also spoke about her experience working with the late Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan. She explained that she had loved his work since she was a child and that she had always wanted to work on a project with the actor. Recalling her first Eid away from home, on the sets of Hindi Medium in New Dehli, Saba shared a sweet story about her interaction with the actor. “That was my first Eid away from home and I told Irrfan that I wanted Eidi, and he gave me the note you see in the picture. I have that note to this day,” she said while referring to a picture she had uploaded on her Instagram in 2016.

She later added, “ I even said this during an interview, that if I am ever offered an Indian film I would want to work with Irrfan Khan. I was very lucky since the first opportunity I got was with him. And I’ve learned a lot from him.”

After a comment from the host about her seeming happier back in 2016, as far as the actor’s Instagram page is concerned, Saba shared that she has changed a lot over the past few years. Likening her experience in the industry to that of a traveller, Saba shared, “It doesn’t really stay the same. It’s kind of like travelling. The person who is going on the trip and the person who comes back is not the same. You collect a lot of new experiences and memories. That is what life is like.”