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UNDER THE COVERS: With Saba Aqeel

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Saba Aqeel Ahmed has worked tirelessly to set up her home-based bedding business. She strives to deal as fairly and honestly as possible (with the help of her refund and exchange policies) and always makes sure to provide the best quality products so as not to disappoint her customers. She is the mother of four young daughters, a dedicated and honest businesswoman; and a loving wife all wrapped up into one person.

 

  • What pushed you to set up your own business?

I set up this business as a means to support my 4 daughters and husband. I realized that the extra income generated by my business could be put towards my daughters’ higher education and to improve our current standard of living. I also chose to start this business because of my inability to sit idle and my desire to become an economically productive member of society.

 

  • What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in setting up this home-based business?

There were many challenges that I came across while I was initially setting up my business. One of the main problems was transport. I didn’t have a car or driver! This made it quite difficult to commute and get things done. Moreover, my in laws weren’t very supportive of the idea of a working woman either. This became quite worrisome as I wasn’t receiving the kind of support I needed and it lowered my morale quite a bit. In addition to this, one of the hardest things to accomplish was building recognition for my brand.

 

  • There are so many different types of businesses out there. Why did you decide to take up bedding?

Originally I hadn’t decided that I wanted to produce and sell bedding. I had already been contemplating setting up a small home-based business and a close friend suggested that I should pursue bedding. Her husband already owned bedding store so I thought “why not?” I was inexperienced at the time so it was nice to be able to rely on someone who knew what they were doing. Through them I was able to learn a lot about how to grow my business and was able to expand my network of contacts too. Working in bedding textiles is also very unique as not many entrepreneurs have thought to enter this field yet.

 

  • Once you re-started your business for the second time how did you manage to expand it?

Initially, when my business launched I only circulated the news amongst my family and close friends through a Whatsapp message. Then orders started to come in, and as I sent out more products I began to receive positive feedback. From there I was recommended to potential customers outside my immediate family and circle of friends. However, I had to take a short hiatus to focus on a few family matters. Once I re-launched my business I explored new avenues of self-promotion such as online pages, Instagram, and Facebook and that is how I was able to expand my customer base.

 

  • What advice would you offer to someone looking to start their own business?

Give it your all! Don’t pay too much attention to what other people say about you, keep your head down and just keep going. Inshallah, all your efforts will be rewarded if you put in the maximum amount of effort into what you do and keep your intentions clear.

 

  • Was your family supportive of your ambition to run a home-based bedding business?

In all honesty, my family has always been quite supportive of everything I’ve ever wanted to do. I got married at quite a young age only having done my FSC at the time and was very financially vulnerable. It was a blessing to have a supportive husband that encouraged me to take up entrepreneurship and my daughters that pressed me to my get BA degree. However, my in-laws are more conservative and weren’t too keen on the idea of me setting up this business. In this case, I took the executive decisions to carry on and with the support of my husband and daughters I was able to set up a successful career.

 

  • What are some of the most important things you’ve learned as a result of managing this business?

Running this business has in fact been an invaluable learning experience. I had always led quite a sheltered life, but after starting this business my eyes were opened to some very harsh realities. I learned to observe people closely and realized the importance of being polite. People working as sales representatives or offering any goods or services are often wrongly criticized for things beyond their control. Even if they make a genuine yet minor mistake. On the other hand, I also learned how kind and considerate people can be and what the lengths people will go to support you if they care about you.

 

  • Being a working mother can be quite difficult. How do you manage all your responsibilities?

Being a working mother is quite hectic. My children are my number one priority and the whole reason that my entire business is set up at home. This way I am able to look after them while getting on with my work as well. I do all my designing first and only visit the bazaar on selected days to pick out the fabric so that my kids aren’t left alone for too long. It’s a huge responsibility to make sure your children and house aren’t neglected while you work. Especially for me, since I live in a joint family system, and need to be extra vigilant so as to avoid any criticism. At times the routine gets very tedious and work does pile up but at the end of the day, it’s also quite rewarding.

 

  • What is your main focus for the future at this point?

My main focus at this point is educating my 4 young daughters.

 

  • Is there anything you’d like to say to the audience that reads your interview?

Yes, I’d like to take this opportunity and use the Scary Ammi platform to say that every working mother has a lot of responsibilities to shoulder. So it’s important that we do our best to support the work that these mothers do because even the smallest bit of encouragement can do wonders for their morale.

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5 Models who Made it Big!!!!

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Modeling is an extremely underrated career. Walking on the ramp or posing in the sweltering heat or freezing cold weather is considered a comparatively easier task. Comments like “Oh, anyone can do that”, “she looks so different without makeup”, “damn she is so skinny” can be typed comfortably from behind the keyboard but no one knows the real struggle and diligence that is being put forward by these talented and gorgeous women in order to produce a quality work. 

These are our favorite 5 models of 2019 that quickly made their names to the list of big brands and powerful campaigns and are moving forward in 2020 at an even faster pace. 

Eman Suleman

The social media queen, known for being unapologetically honest, Eman Suleman achieved a successful career in a very short span. Not just in modeling, people have loved her acting skills in the series “Akhri Station” and her new film “Zindagi Tamasha is soon to be aired all across the country. Perfectly flaunting those short hair and quirky fashion sense, Eman Suleman has got a huge fan following on social media as well as real-world with her eccentric aura and an amazing sense of humor.

 

Saba Sarfraz

Walking the ramp so effortlessly, making her name to the biggest brands of Pakistan, Saba Sarfraz is going places. Eastern or western, she manages to rock every outfit with her magical aura and seamless talent. With her powerful expressions on the ramp and ability to carry any outfit with grace, she is likely to work her way up to the status of a supermodel real soon. Not only modeling, but she has also shown her immense talent in the field of acting as well. For her amazing skills and brilliant performances, there is a possibility that we further see her on TV screens in the coming year or so. 

 

Mushk Kaleem

 

2019 has definitely been a successful year for the model from wining a LUX style award to walking at Milan Fashion Week. She also paved her way to L’Oreal Bridal Week as a showstopper for many notable designers and is expected to be the first choice of many designers in the future as well. With her distinct style statement and confident personality, Mushk has won over a huge following on the internet and has also been recently nominated in the category of “Rising Star” at Hum Style Awards 2020. Let’s see what the year 2020 brings for this bundle of talent. 

Kiran Malik

Despite being a mother and an entrepreneur, Kiran Malik has gracefully made her name in the world of the fashion industry. known for her powerful performance in Pinky Memsaab, Kiran Malik has earned great applause from the audience as well. Such a lethal combination affirms that she is a powerhouse and a complete package adjusting into every role with sheer talent and charm. 

Zara Abid

In a world where everyone is ready to buy and sell fairness creams, Zara Abid has set standards of talent that are beyond the idea of complexion. She has proved that the color of the skin is not a parameter to measure success and abilities. The fashion icon has become designers’ favorite with her cool and quirky style sense, strong impressions and pure hard work. In 2019, Zara was also nominated for the LUX style award in the category of the “model of the year”. For the coming year, this young and energetic woman is likely to be a part of some really big brands and fashion shows across the globe. 

 

 

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Born To Be A Director

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Pakistani drama has always been the strongest medium in arts/genre of acting. Besides a muster of versatile actors we have produced, there is a lot of talented directors working behind the scenes of every successful drama. Pakistani drama has always been bifurcated in different eras like the founding era, the middle one and the modern or we can say the era of private production, which stared from mid 1990s and continues till now. The mushroom growth of TV channels in the advent of this century also gave a boost to these productions and provided more opportunities for talent in every section of drama. Pakistani drama also shifted a bit in its content because the new lot of writers and directors always wanted to experiment new things considering the vast venue opened before them. One of those talented and versatile directors is Mohsin Talat, who has been in the field of media for last 26 years. Since then, he has worked a lot, competed with all over the world and made our Pakistani drama proud. His recent notable work includes serials like Tere Mere Beech (2015), Ghar Titli Ka Par in (2018), Ki Jaana Mein Kaun (2018), Jaal (2019) and Daasi (2019). He is currently shooting a serial with Momal Production, Jaug starring Sonya Hussain and Sami Khan in lead roles.  

Here is a detailed talk with this born-to-be a kind of director and a very down to earth person at same time with Daily Paperazzi.

How did you decide to become a director?

It was all self-assessments. I started with modelling in commercials but during shoot, I realized that I was a better visualizer than a model, so there I decided to go behind the camera and became director. So sometimes, you decide it yourself what you should be while at times, your seniors guide you to the right path. I feel myself lucky in this sense.

When did you start it?

My first project in the field was in November 1993. Actually I had started working before completing my studies. I assisted in dramas just after my matriculation exams in 1994 and became a director before my graduation. Then, I did my Masters in Mass Communication from University of Karachi and a short course in film making from New York Film Academy. Besides, I did workshops from CNN and BBC. Now I teach at Arena Multi Media.

Which dram gave you a real recognition?

The drama which gave me a breakthrough was Titliyan on Indus Vision, the first ever soap of Pakistan that completed more than 100 episodes. In that period, other directors had done three to four dramas but I was content that I was making the history of doing the longest serial of Pakistan.  In those days, PTV did not believe in soaps or long serial. They even didn’t consider it a drama. But I was the one, who directed first soap of more than 100 episodes with Eveready Pictures for PTV named Jeans. 

How do you select story and cast of a drama?

In any production, ultimate decision is of director. These days there are too many other departments are also involved like content department and production development. We also get an opinion from writer being the master of the brainchild but director is the captain of the ship and responsible for the outcome of produc. Generally, when there is a hit, its credit first goes to actors, DOP, writers and in the end to the director but when it is a flop, the director is solely responsible.

Do you always read the script first?

I thoroughly go through the script before accepting it. I think, it is our responsibility to also educate public through our production, so I can never accept any script which I think can send any negative or wrong message.

What do you keep in mind when start a new project

I always try to keep my every new project different from my previous one. Usually directors work on the looks of actors to make their work different but I emphasize mostly on the novelty of different issue and stories for my each production.  

Who is your favourite writer?

To me it is more it is more important what is said than who is saying it. We are blessed with many good writers in Pakistan like Misbah Nausheen (Daasi), Sameera Fazal, Faiza Iftikhar, Umaira Ahmed, Zafar Meraj, Saji Gul, Bee Gul, Mustafa Afridi, Khalil ur Rehman Qamar and most of all Ashfaque Ahmed. I did his Tota Kahani. I also like the writing of famous actor Imran Ashraf. He has a very different point of view of narrating a story. It all depends on what type of story you want do and who has written that at the moment.

Who is your favourite actor?

It again depends on how the story and its characters are developing, which actor can act better on any specific character. We have a very few actors, who can adapt to any character. So, we have to choose the best one available for specific character.

I have been lucky in the sense that I get successful to have a new and best team for my every project. Actually a director mostly loves those actors, who surprise them and can’t be predicted for their next action. For me one of those actors is Uzma Gilani. I always enjoy working with her. She is like my mother. I have learned a lot from her. Not always in technical terms, but from her wisdom and approach to life.

What is needed if one wants to be a director?

I see a lot of difference in the approach and awareness towards the field of showbiz these days. Believe me when I told my father 25 years back that I wanted to be a director, he asked, “who the director is and what does he do”. In those days, parents wanted their children to be doctor or engineer, now they ask them to join showbiz to become an actor or director and induct them in media sciences. As far as the aptitude of being a director is concerned, one has to be very visionary, observant and most of all sensitive. Without being sensitive, one cannot excel or get the desired results in the field of performing arts.

How much lucrative is the profession of director?

To be honest, I am one of the highly paid directors of Pakistan at the moment. So yes, I would suggest those who have an aptitude and want to work in this field must join it as a profession. I think if I was a doctor or engineer, I would not be earning as much what I am earning being a drama director. I believe if you work hard, it increases your market value.  

How do you see Pakistani drama evolving in last 25 years?

I think every era of our drama had its goods and bad.  Every generation in every era tries to upgrade and experiment new things with their content. One thing I must share that senseless competition which we saw in recent years was not very high 25 years back. It has only emerged in last 20 years in the rouse of Zee TV, Sony and then Star Plus of India. Then there was Turkish content. Luckily in that competition most of us decided to stick to our own speciality, though sometimes we were asked to copy the trends from foreign content because if its popularity. Pakistani drama is still most watched and loved in the world because of its originality and the cultural, social and moral values. Our medium is steadily switching from television to digital but the content and its viewership is intact. It was actually a concern that what would happen if our first and second generations of drama industry retire but thank God we have taken it from there so well and managed to maintain the graph.

Who do you give credit for this success?

There are two things. One is to expend the industry while other is to make drama an industry. I have worked with every channel and they have their own priorities and agendas to promote them but there is only person who always thought for industry and his name is Ghazanfer Ali. He is the founder and godfather of Private production. His idea of private production actually turned our drama into an industry. In 1984, he left PTV due to some reason and started to produce dramas privately and asked PTV to buy and run them on its channel, to which PTV refused. Then he decided to establish his own channel to run these productions on while in between, provided many dramas to NTM, another prime time slot on first private channel of Pakistan. After 25 years he finally opened Indus TV. So, He is without any doubt or debate is the pioneer of making our drama an industry. All renowned directors and DOPs and other technical force are mostly trained at Indus TV.  

In this age of social media, directors have also become stars. They are concerned that they should similarly be celebrated with their cast. But it seems that you don’t like or need any attention from masses.

When we say media or showbiz, the thing which comes first into mind is being in front of camera or acting, which is not true. To be honest, I enjoy being a director as it gives me a sense of satisfaction. We have so many kings but few king makers and I want to be one of those king makers. Without a director, they would never be an artist. By the way, I am covered very often in morning shows and other talk shows but yes, I am not very active on social media because of my laziness. Now, I will try to be active there too.

What about doing a film on future?

I hope I will do a film probably with my Daasi actor Adeel Hussain.

So, is there something in the pipeline?

We both have our ideas in our own spaces. I have worked on two scripts for film, while Adeel has something different in his mind so I think, if these two ideas get together, it will be an interesting venture. We have at least reached to a point, where I think has put us in a position to announce something interesting and positive in a year or so.

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‘Pyar Ke Sadqay’ didn’t Air this Week and Fans are NOT Happy!

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If there was one thing we had been looking forward to the most this week, it was the Bilal Abbas Khan and Yumna Zaidi starrer “Pyar Ke Sadqay.” It wasn’t just us; social media had been ablaze with fans waiting to catch an eye of their favorite Bilal Abbas Khan on-screen as “Abdullah”; an exciting and unconventional new role that he has taken.

Thursday came up, and fans couldn’t wait for the clocks to strike 8 pm so they could catch “Abdullah”; the goofy and cute nerd who has excited us about his role with just the teasers of “Pyar Ke Sadqay”!

 

 

 

Though the drama was set to go on air on Thursday, it didn’t make it to our TV screens due to some technical issues, and we couldn’t have been more disappointed! Logging into twitter made us sure that we were not the only ones being let down by this news, and many of the avid fans showed their dismay on the popular site.

The Cheekh famed Bilal Abbas Khan is coming in a completely unique role with ‘Pyar Ke Sadqay’, and we are so excited to watch him stir his magic on the screen once again. Though the drama didn’t air this week, it has left us in even more anticipation for its first episode to go on-air this coming Thursday! So, how will Bilal Abbas Khan manage to steal our hearts this time? We can’t wait to find out!

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