Mehwish Hayat is the one, who we can say is ruling our recent film industry. She has given five hit films to Pakistani cinema as well as many super hit television dramas. Be it her films like Namaloom Afrad, Pujanb Nahin Jaungi and Load Wedding or her dramas like Man Jali and Dil Lagi, she has mesmerized the audience with her perfect looks and acting skills. Recently, she has been awarded a civil award, tamgha-e-imtiaz by the state of Pakistan for her contribution to Pakistani entertainment industry. Amidst this success and excitement, Hayat is facing too much trolling and bullying on her achievement from a section of society. We talked to this talented lady who openly expresses her feelings about getting this award and the negative propaganda that surrounds it. But here, we must clear a misunderstanding of confusing the civil decorations of Pakistan with other awards. The civil decorations and awards are given by the state of Pakistan mostly to citizen (civilians) of Pakistan for their notable work for the country in different fields, like arts, literature, sports, journalism, science, medical, social work etc. Mehwish Hayat is one of many who have been awarded in the category of arts.
How much this award has boosted your morale?
I am very excited and honoured to get this award. I have 10 years of career. I never thought I would be recognized and awarded this medal so soon. It is for my contribution to drama, theatre, music and the revival of cinema in Pakistan. When your services are recognised at State level, it is beyond explanation. Those were most memorable moments of my life and this is just the beginning. I have a long way to go. I must say that with this award comes more responsibility to do better and bring pride for my nation
With this celebration and success, a section of society is very critical and against this award given to you. What would you say on this?
Being a public figure, we are always exposed to the criticism. It is not necessary that everyone, praise you every time. But when it comes to your private life, where people start attacking on your personality and character, I think, there we have to draw the line. You can’t bash and troll someone on social media; it comes into the cyber bullying. That is why I use my Twitter to tell that one can criticize my work but not my character.
Who has given you this right when you don’t even know me?
Artists are the assets of a society. They represent their country in whole world. They entertain you; make you smile and all this need a hard work behind. We have a very small community with limited resources and we are working very hard to establish it as an industry. All we need is acceptance and respect.
What do you think should be done to stop this?
I think from here we can start this debate that what we can and should do next to protect the sanctity of our community. If social media give you access to reach to others, it doesn’t mean that you have got the right to malign anybody on these forums. People are committing suicides due to this cyber bullying. This has become a serious issue now on which we have to take measures accordingly on government level as well. I am not the first one, who is facing all this bullying. Many other prominent personalities also have been facing this baseless criticism. The only reason of all this is trolling is to put a certain person in negative light.
How so far you have got the strength during all this negative propaganda?
Despite all this negativity from certain section, the positive thing is that that my family, my friends, my fans, my colleagues and overall industry is by my side and supporting me. It makes me relief and happy and I am thankful to them for this.
You have worked in almost every genre of performing art like film, drama, theatre and even music. What do you think you have been awarded this medal on?
My work is everything for me. It is my passion. I love to perform all kind of art form, be it film, drama, theatre music or any other performance. I enjoy doing all. Every medium has its own charm. But I would rate theatre first because you have to perform everything live before audience and get their reaction instantly. That first hand response is amazing. Films? Of course! Every actor loves to be on big screen. It has its own magic. Singing has its own magic. So I can’t rate any single field. State has not given me this award just on my acting. It is my overall body of work of my 10 years career that includes my contribution to the Pakistani cinema, the drama industry.
What this achievement has a place in your career?
This medal is reward of my hard work and contribution to my country and how I have represented my country in the world. I have worked throughout my career in Pakistan. My films have generated revenue of 160 crores rupees overall at box office. No Pakistan actress has ever garnered his amount in films till now. So this is a milestone in itself for the industry as well. Similarly, my five blockbuster films have contributed a lot in the revival of Pakistani cinema. I am proud to be a part of this revival. It is wonderful that in return my work has been appreciated. Today, when there is a tamgha-e-imtiaz is with my name, it’s an honour for me and my fans. I am not the only and last one to get this award. I wish others will also get this for their hard work and performance.
4 Facebook Groups with Great Initiatives that Serve Significant Purposes
Old were the days when a review was not a “thing” and it was extremely difficult to get information about anything be it travel, food, medical issues or any problem related to everyday life. It was not common to have a forum where people would share their experiences directly with the public. Reading first-hand experiences was rare and forums like Quora and Yahoo Answers were considered the only reliable sources.
Now, everything is available on the internet and is just a click away. But, should we rely on such sources to be authentic and true? It depends and varies from source to source. It also depends on who moderates the source and how.
When the trend of having groups on Facebook started, people only used it for fun, to gather at a place to talk and share jokes. At that time, a few were trying to utilize this source for a meaningful purpose and those people gave birth to some amazing groups that, now, have a huge following and are considered reliable sources for any information related to the subject matter of the group.
Now groups have become a popular and the safest space for like-minded people to congregate and discuss specific stuff- from hobbies to pets and celebrities.
If you are still living in the stone age or looking for answers to your riddles related to food, travel, pets, allergies, mental health, etc., these are the groups that are at your service with a meaningful purpose and a great initiative to help the masses through a direct communication and dissemination of information through various posts.
Foodies ‘R U
Created in 2013, now this group has over 95k followers. This is the place where you will find reviews about any restaurant. You name it and people will share their experiences. If you are a foodie, this is surely going to be your favorite group as it has all the solutions to deal with your appetite. Not only the masses, but this has also helped a lot of restaurateurs and home-based chefs with their businesses.
The founder of the group, Asad Sheikh says “I started this group 6 years ago for one reason only and that’s the passion for food. I just want to tell and guide people on what’s good out there to try and what’s good that our country has to offer. I don’t write bad reviews of any kind but that doesn’t mean that I have not had my share of bad food. Always try to highlight the good while telling owners of the restaurant about things that need improvement.
We all are ambassadors of our city or country and others who see our posts or reviews create an image of where we are from. Over the years Foodies ‘R Us has helped many people living out of Siri or out of country to pick the trees when they visit Lahore Karachi or even Islamabad. The same passion was translated into encouraging home-based talent to post as much as they can and later encouraging them to turn this talent into a business.
Many small businesses have blossomed from this platform and we later encouraged them further to be part of our Coke Food Festival, giving them a face to face experience with their consumers.
We have never charged anyone to advertise on our platform and that’s the reason for the success of many small businesses.”
Soul Sisters Pakistan
This group is home to 212K women who interact and share their issues and experiences related to health, relationships, feminism, networking, their moments of happiness, moments of suffering or any piece of advice related to the ongoing discussion. Not only this, through the group, women were able to find their long lost friends, online jobs, solutions to their problems and a lot more. This has become a safe place for them to talk about stuff they do not normally share publicly or are afraid to talk about. Anonymous posts have become the new trend to send your message across.
“In a culture where women are often silenced and their issues trivialized, I felt that we needed a space and people to talk to, other than their immediate family and friends; a space where we could give unbiased advice as a third person, for each other’s problems and a space where we could come together to share our stories, experienced and inspire each other.
And so in August 2013, Soul Sisters Pakistan was formed, and within months we were getting scores of requests to join the group as the concept of a safe space like this wasn’t so common back then! From discussing taboos to breaking stereotypes to providing legal aid and emotional support – the community has really made a mark and become a household name. It is also one of the 115 most impactful communities in the world, recognized, supported and trained by Facebook itself!- Kanwal Ahmed (the Founder)
The Travel Diary
Earlier, it was extremely difficult to know about the experiences of people who travel. Now, you just have to post a query and hundreds will be there to assist you or guide you about a particular thing, food place, culture or about people of a certain country. All in all, this group is a complete package to know about anything related to a country. Founded in 2016 with more than 72K members, this group is a query-home for all travel enthusiasts.
Mishaal Hashmi, the founder of the group says, “Traveling is something that is an innate part of me. Ever since I was a child, I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to travel, be exposed to cultures and people. As an adult, I’m even more fortunate to be able to share my passion with like-minded individuals, who share a similar passion. The idea to create the Travel Diary arose from my desire to share my travel experiences as well as gain wisdom from the experiences of others. Never in my dreams had I imagined my passion to take on such a gigantic form and for a forum such as The Travel Diary to exist is a humbling experience and a dream come true.”
Soul Brothers Pakistan
Even though most of the posts are light-heart humor and user-generated content; the group generally talks about various topics including networking, recruitment, and counseling. Similarly, it talks about issues that surround the men’s ecosystem i.e. relationship, health, masculinity, and mental state. Moreover, It discusses these issues in depth through live talk sessions also known as #SBPGuyTalk, where group members from all walks of life come and discuss issues varying from Depression, Suicide, legal affairs, and health-related topics. Their popular segment #AnonymousSoulBrother is also widely used by members who seek suggestions and valuable insights on a variety of topics.
“We identified a need where we could create a crowd-sourced platform for men which would offer a healthy support system for Pakistani brothers here and abroad.” – Danish Javed (Co-Founder)
Gawah Rehna: An Upcoming Film Glorifying The Past
In dearth of enough content for the Pakistani Cinema and its audience, writer and director Tariq Mehmood, is ready to add something to make the numbers higher and give something different to the audience by going to floors with his first ever feature film Gawah Rehna in October this year.
Cast of this film includes Muhammad Qavi Khan, Ghana Ali, Emmad Irfani, Rabya Kulsoom, Rehan Nazim, Faisal Imtiaz and others. A Turkish actor Mert Sismanlar will also play a very important character in the film.
Talking at a presser in Karachi, Tariq Mehmood said that the film was based on a significant historical period of Khilafat Movement. The film depicts the era of 1920 when British rule was at its peak in the Sub-Continent while our forefathers defied the British rule and at the same time started a mass movement called the Khilafat Movement to help their Turkish brothers and sisters in their struggle against the imperial forces”
According to Mehmood, “Gawah Rehna pays rich tribute to the unsung heroes of our independence movement as well as to the brave Turkish nation. The film will be a source of further strengthening the people to people bonds between Pakistan and Turkey as it will tell Turkish audience what our forefathers went through while helping their Turkish brothers and sisters.”
Ghana Ali, one of the lead of the film said she could not tell much about her character but she loved the script that is why I couldn’t say no to it. She disclosed that her character in Gawah Rehna was the role that her father always wanted her to do that is why was more excited to be part of this film.
She further said “I am very honoured to be the part of this film as I always wanted to do something that could educate our new generation. Gawah Rehna is a peep into the history and our youth will get to learn about the past struggles of the Muslims of Subcontinent.”
Ghana was sure that Gawah Rehna will give us an international recognition and will be appreciated because if its topic.
Emmad Irfani, another lead in the film, said, he felt lucky to be an actor and being an actor it was his responsibility to portray his character it its true sense.
Talking about his character in the film Irfani said, “Gawah Rehna carries a very strong message. The film is about how to achieve your aim and to remain determine to get to your destination despite all challenges come in the way. My character is very challenging in the film which will go through many emotional and physical despair but will carry on his struggle to achieve the point (actually the ‘why’ of his life) that has been lost. The character will transform at that point.”
He further said that he was really looking forward to this project as he loved to take different types of roles for his professional growth.”
Veteran Muhammad Qavi Khan said we need more of these types of films where we can glorify our past struggles which further strengthens our present cause like Kashmir issue and others where Muslims are oppressed and the target of violence.
Gawah Rehna will be released in both Pakistan and Turkey as well as in other foreign markets in March next year.
Five Things We Loved about Strings’ Latest Track ‘Hum Aaye’
Iconic pop rock band Strings is an integral part of the fabric of Pakistan’s music scene. Over the course of the last three decades, Strings has established itself as one of the most massively followed bands that has produced one superb song after the other. The band’s songs range from soulful to heartfelt, rustic to nostalgic as well as earthy and contemporary. But it goes without saying that the band, which comprises of the dynamic duo of Faisal Kapadia and Bilal Maqsood, has aced the genre of pop rock music.
It’s latest offering ‘HUM AAYE’, a foot tapping, energetic number, was recently unveiled by the band, to add to their latest music album ‘30’. They performed it live at the grand finale of Pepsi Battle of the Bands and sent the audience into a musical frenzy. We loved the track, but let’s narrow it down to five things that stood out for us above everything else:
- Electrifying Music: The first thing is the blaring symphony of musical instruments that breathe life into the song. Among these, Bilal Maqsood and Syed Adeel Ali’s electrifying notes on the guitar paired with Aahad Nayani’s beats on the drum outshine everything else.
- Vocals: You can’t write about a song without talking about the vocals. We are trying to think of the last time Faisal Kapadia disappointed us with a song and we know the man can do no wrong when it comes to his music. He lends his deep, baritone voice to the track and infuses it with an energetic, passionate vibe that makes it an instant favorite. You can’t help but play it on repeat until you can sing along to the song. That’s how you know a song works: it grows on you and you can’t stop listening to it. Hum Aaye is one such song.
- Inspiring Lyrics: The lyrics are the soul of a song; without the soul, a song can easily crumple on the ground. Luckily, this isn’t the case with Hum Aaye. The song talks about the energy and with which one must face whatever life throws at us. The song is about announcing your arrival in the face of challenges, difficulties and the adversities of life, and in conquering it all. It’s a song that fills you with fervor and charges you up with the zeal that you didn’t know you had in you. This can probably help you shed a few pounds while you are working out 😉
- Rocking Appearances: The styling for the song and the way it has been presented on the stage has true pop rock stardom painted all over it. Both Maqsood and Kapadia along with their band members portray their readiness to take on the world, thanks to their aviator glasses and their devil-may-care attitude.
- Onstage Performance: The performance is befitting the vibe of the song. It’s loud without being noisy, bright but not blinding and full of expression without being in your face. It compels the audience and the viewers like to groove to the beat and tap their feet to the song
Hum Aaye is yet another remarkable addition to Strings’ sprawling resume that has one memorable song after the other. Listen to it, add it to your playlists and watch as it becomes one of your favorite songs of the season.
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