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These Powerpuff girls from a renowned university are making us proud by redefining humanity

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It is about time that we realise the importance of kindness. A good deed takes you to places and that’s what these girls are teaching everyone around them. Let‘s meet Saman Iqbal, the beautiful face of humanity.

Looks like, we have a compassionate lawyer in the making.  Her first stressful year at university, difficult circumstances coupled with declining grades and lack of empathetic people around made things a whole lot worse. It is when she came up with an idea of providing people with a platform to vent openly or anonymously without having to get judged.

“I remember at the start of this year, sometime around September, I was sitting alone on the bleachers, and I couldn’t keep myself from crying, it was then when a kind stranger came up to me and asked me if everything was alright.  Although I wasn’t alright at all, but knowing a random stranger cares made a lot of difference, it made me feel less alone. I knew there were kind people around and I knew there were people around that needed to know that such people exist. I had to connect these two kinds in some way. I came home that day and made this group.”

According to her, this group has made an immense difference in people’s life. “There were multiple instances where we tried our best to help people who were at the brink of ending their lives. I’m happy to say many of those people have made remarkable progress. There was also this one time when somebody anonymously asked on the group about abortion options and people actually offered to adopt the baby. We have come together as a family. From calming someone during a panic attack to encouraging someone to seek therapy, we have each other’s back.

It is her dream to extend this facility outside her university as well.   Kindness does not have only one face. It comes in variant forms and makes an incredible change through little deeds. Here, we have another shining star, Imbesat Zaigham Meer, the founder of the startup “Dispatch Happiness.”

When she decided to write appreciation notes to her friends and instructor, it is when she came up with the idea of providing a platform to do the same anonymously or openly.

“The more I thought about it, the more the idea appealed to me. I could see that it actually led to a massive boost to mental health for some people as well, and act as a counter to stress, loneliness and sadness, which are prevalent issues in today’s time. To support mental health, I also donate 10% of the proceeds to Fountain House, Lahore.”

Her secondary purpose is to bring back the trend of writing letters.

“There is the tingling anticipation of opening the letter and then, finally getting to read a sweet message, or some encouragement, especially at the end of a tiring or bad day.” This project is a great opportunity for people who are shy or have social anxiety.

The idea gives an old school feeling and we wish that people use this service to spread happiness and kindness where it is needed. Our third boss-lady is Ronaq Usman.

She joined Serene Organics on the recommendation of a friend a year ago – when it was just a couple months old. Serene Organics was incubated by the social innovation lab at LUMS by a dear friend and LUMS alumnus Fatima Qayyum who unfortunately left us this past July.

 Serene Organics is the product of her hard-work and determination to bring about a social impact and to optimise the welfare of the society – all while providing 100% organic and natural products to consumers. It is a social enterprise affiliated with Massarat Misbah’s Smile Again Foundation via which they employ acid attack victims who stitch jute packaging for the products. The aim is to financially uplift them and provide them with a platform to stand up again on their own feet while also creating awareness.

The idea behind Serene came about when Fatima observed the difference in results in using a cold pressed oil she got extracted herself compared to oils found locally that either have scents, preservatives added or have undergone so much heat that the nutrients have oxidised. Ronaq says, “as far as the impact is concerned I feel like it has definitely helped them. Not only have we been able to garner a vast celebrity support for our cause from reputable names such as Massarat Misbah, Hina Altaf, Sajal Aly, Zara Noor Abbas, Zahid Ahmed to name but a few – it has also allowed women we’ve employed to work from home at flexible times while also being able to give time to their families and personal pursuits.” As a current CEO, Ronaq intends to continue with Fatima’s legacy. She also aims to start a fund of some sort to help not just Acid attack survivors but all women in need.

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MTV Movie and TV Awards 2019 – The winners

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The MTV Movie & TV Awards celebrated the best on-screen work of the past year this past Monday night. Netflix had a whopping 14 nominations for its TV shows and films, including the award winning “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” – Noah Centineo & Lana Condor for “Best Kiss”

“It was a who’s who of Hollywood celebrities – stars like Daniel Levy, Dave Bautista, David Spade, Elisabeth Moss, Jameela Jamil, Kumail Nanjiani, Melissa McCarthy, and Tiffany Haddish were all there.

“Shazam” star Zachary Levi hosted the show. “The Rock” was awarded the Generation Award, and Jada Pinkett Smith was honored with the Trailblazer Award.

  1. Best Movie – “Avengers: Endgame”

2. Best TV Show – “Game of Thrones”

3. Best performance in a movie – Lady Gaga (Ally) – “A Star is Born”

4. Best performance in a show – Elisabeth Moss (June Osborne/Offred) – “The Handmaid’s Tale”

5. Best Hero – Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man) – “Avengers: Endgame”

6. Best Villain – Josh Brolin (Thanos) – “Avengers: Endgame”

7. Best Kiss – Noah Centineo & Lana Condor (Peter Kavinsky & Lara Jean) – “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”

8. Reality Royalty – “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta”

9. Best Performance – Noah Centineo (Peter Kavinsky) – “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”

10. Best Fight – “Captain Marvel” – Captain Marvel vs. Minn-Erva

11. Best real life Hero – Ruth Bader Ginsburg – “RBG” 

12. Most frightened performance – Sandra Bullock (Malorie) – “Bird Box”

13. Best Documentary – “Surviving R. Kelly” 

14. Best Host – Nick Cannon – “Wild ‘n Out”

15. Best Meme-able moment – “The Bachelor” – Colton Underwood jumps the fence 

16. Best Musical – A Star is Born – “Shallow”

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NOS4A2 – Bringing the Nosferatu back

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Vampires have long been depicted in media, from Max Shrek as Count Orlok in “Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens” to Luke Evans as Dracula in “Dracula Untold

Over the years it can be seen that vampires are no longer feared as the creatures of the night by moviegoers or people in general, the image associated with them via adaptations such as “Twilight” and “The Vampire Diaries” have made the vampire more of a creature that is to be envied and coveted after rather than dreaded. However NOS4A2 seeks to change that, this show takes us back to the old days when vampires were old, destitute and creepy, without touching much of their supernatural aspects and the show goes about their story in a different way; while we’re accustomed to view vampires as blood sucking creatures, NOS4A2 gives them a welcomed change.

Featuring the talented Zachary Quinto as Charlie Manx; a hundred year old vampire that feeds on the souls of children, and collects them at a place he calls Christmasland. He cruises around in his Rolls Royce Wraith on the hunt for pre-adolescents, on the opposite side of the spectrum is Victoria McQueen (Ashleigh Cummings) a working class aspiring art student who has the supernatural ability to find lost things, in a strange twist of fate Victoria’s path crosses with Manx’s and she becomes determined to put a stop to his reign of terror. The plot of this show is gripping, it keeps you on the edge of your seats, and concludes on a cliffhanger that’ll leave you wanting more.

So if you’re looking for a show that’s bloodcurdling, interesting, ominous and engaging, NOS4A2 is perfect for you; a wholesome plot complemented by an excellent cast, what more could one wish for.

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Music, Dance and Mehwish are Chhalawa only saving grace

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Rating: 2.5/5

Chhalawa is a story of a very traditional family. Chaudhary Rafaqat (Mehmood Aslam) has two daughters and a son. The elder one is Zoya (Mehwish Hayat) who went to city for higher studies and now wants to marry the love of her life Sameer (Azfar Rehman) whom she met during her studies. His second daughter Haya (Zara Noor Abbas) is a fired up girl, who usually lives in her own fantasy world of films, desperate to fall in love and loves to dance in her room on Lollywood songs. His son Haroon (Ashir Wajahat) is another character, blunt slightly manner less but loves his sisters.

From here, the age-old story begins that Chaudhary wants his daughter Zoya to marry his nephew, as it is a tradition to marry girls in the family, Zoya resists and conflict begins.

The first half of the movie is still bearable where at least some kind of story is developing, after interval; it nosedives and leaves the audience wondering what is happening. For example, first song makes sense but second was there because someone wants it to be. No effort was made to put some sense in it.

The story is simple, it is told several hundred times before, both in Bollywood and in Pakistani Cinema, and then extra level of creativity is required to make it interesting. Unfortunately, that is the biggest issue with Chhalawa. Scenes lasting for several minutes, borderline jokes and most of all, Zoya’s letters to her mother were a big question mark.

With a star like Mehwish Hayat, if the movie is still not able to pull the audience in, then to an extent it is a crime.

Wajahat Rauf’s Chhalawa is particularly disappointing for many, because people considered it a third time charm. Surprisingly, all the actors in the film performed very well despite having a weak script and practically limited room to perform.

The biggest surprise is by far the Zara Noor Abbas who played Haya, Mehwish’s younger sister. Zara turns out to be someone who handles her comic timings well, she is sharp and witty, and yet cute enough to keep the audience engaged. She danced quite well in couples of scenes. Ashir Wajahat also performed better than expected, although his character did not have much to do except for a scene or two.

Although, Azfar Rehman looks good on screen, however I am unable to understand his character, at one time he wants to commit suicide, then he plans to win Zoya’s father heart, then he just runs away when she asked him and without making a scene leaves her when she asked him to do so.

Mehmood Aslam in his role is picture perfect until the climax where he insisted on carrying out his daughter’s Nikah after he was shot.

Mehwish Hayat as usual shines bright even in this very limited role. She did well when she was playing a lover, arguing with her father, running away from home and coming back and again succumbing to her father pressure, but her biggest wins are two songs i.e. ‘Chhalawa’ and ‘Chiriya’ where she danced her heart out. Wahab Shah’s Choreography was engaging and full of fun, that is the only positive that you can come out with in the entire saga of over 2 hours.

Only thing that can save this film is music; Shiraz Uppal did very well giving not one but two already hit songs to Pakistani Cinema.

This is the weakest ever Mehwish Hayatfilm by any standard, with films like Na Maloom Afraad, Actor in Law, Punjab Nahi Jaungi the superstar stumbles at the last ball of the over.

You can opt to watch Chhalawa if you like song and dance numbers and that too from Mehwish Hayat and if you are ready to leave your brain outside the cinema hall.

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