Archive for the ‘People’ Category

The weekdays Morning Show hosted by Fahad Mustafa and Kiran Khan (though Kiran wasn’t present for this specific episode) was broadcast on 30th December 2011 on Hum TV. The sensational cast of Humsafar made appearance in this JPJ’s end of the year special.

Screenshot from the show: Fawad Khan, Mahira Khan and Navin Waqar

Tell me about Humsafar, it’s been a huge hit and gained so much popularity. You have been doing work for some time now, but nothing matches the success that Humsafar has received. Are you amazed by the feedback?
Fawad Khan: Feedback has been amazing. I’m actually overwhelmed. When we started out the project, we felt it was just another drama and whilst making it we had lots of fun as well. But we had no idea that it would gain so much popularity. Now it has become bit of a phenomena.

Does it happen to you, that when you are foresee a project to do really well, it doesn’t and the one you felt not so sure about, becomes a success?
Fawad Khan: That does happen. But in the case of Humsafar, there was a positive vibe through out. More than anything else I give credit to the people I worked with. In fact during the project I felt as being the weakest link in the chain. But due to my rest of the team it has turned out so well. It’s been a sheer pleasure working with all of them.

How has been the experience of working with Sarmad Khoosat?
Fawad Khan: It’s been great. We have become really good friends and we are working together right now as well. We always have a whale of a time on the sets and that’s the best environment to work in.

The show has been well received internationally in India, UK, USA, South Africa – wherever Hum TV is watched, what do you believe was so unique about the drama that touched people’s heart?
Fawad Khan: Just now when I was thanking my team, there were two very important people – pillars of Humsafar – I should say, who I left off the list. They are Momina and Nina. I feel really close to the Hum TV’s group of working individuals, they are like family to me. But I’ll be very honest that initially when I was offered the script I wasn’t too confident about it. Maybe I’m very short sighted that way, I hadn’t a clue that it would be what it has become. However, when I heard the cast involved and the director’s name, something clicked inside me and I thought that with this combination, it could turn out to be something different.

Have you felt a change in industry’s attitude toward’s you as an actor, after this drama?
Fawad Khan: I’d tell you something, before I didn’t quite know that television viewership has increased so exponentially, all over the world. I think it has opened up a new door for the television industry. I noticed this trend in the past two years, even in the case of Dastaan. I don’t feel as under-confident about television as I used to. I feel it has become a star entity on it’s own and it’s definitely stronger than Film and Music industry in Pakistan.

And how much can one wait do to their next movie. For instance, you did Khuda Kay Liye but than we didn’t see you again on the big screen. That must be very frustrating.
Fawad Khan: Obviously it’s frustrating. Like you, me and all the other actors, if we start to pick and choose between projects we are not left with a third option, especially in television industry. Then one has to try and explore other avenues like working in Bollywood. But then again it all comes down to the quality of a project and most importantly in India, a Pakistani actor won’t have same privilege as an Indian actor, in terms of choosing the projects.

Interrupted by commercial break. Navin Waqar who’s portraying Sarah in Humsafar, joined in and so did Mahira Khan after the next break in the show.

I’d ask the same question from you Navin, people are going crazy for your first ever drama, how has the journey been?
Navin Waqar: People are loving the show and are relating to each character even with the negative person like Sarah Ajmal. I’m so overwhelmed and as the story goes forward people will enjoy it even more that how everything is about fate and if two people have to meet they will, despite having people like Ashar’s mother and Sarah to stop that from happening.

You two have worked together for the first time. Fawad how did you find working with Navin?
Fawad Khan: I don’t have to say much about it, the audience has given their verdict that she is a fantastic actor. She is wonderful to work with and doing your first ever project with so much confidence and brilliance is commendable. She knows what she is doing and it was pleasure working besides such a talent.

As you all have confessed that you underestimated the power of your performances and the show itself, why was there so much unsurity? 
Mahira Khan: I don’t know if I should say this but I had accepted the role without even reading the script.

(Laughs) That’s very honest of you. Did Momina trick you into it?
Mahira Khan: Momina was so persistent at making me play Khirad’s role. But I had seen myself in Neeyat and said to myself that I’m a terrible actress, I would do this project and that’s it. I went in half-heartedly even after reading the script and Fawad had the same reaction.
Fawad Khan: It’s always good to underestimate yourself so you would try to perform beyond the mark you’ve set for yourself.

Could it have somthing to do with the fact that you were shooting at 42 degrees? We were also shooting close to you in Ladkana which was boiling hot and our team people would lose their temper quite often because of the heat.
Mahira Khan: Our set had yummy food so that kept us busy, however Fawad didn’t eat much he’s very diet conscious.
Fawad Khan: It’s just that I’m diabetic and have to take care of what I’m eating.

Navin, what would be on your mind when you were playing Sarah, how would you prepare yourself for the intensity that was required from her character?
Navin Waqar: On my way to the shoot, I would be thinking about all the bad experiences of my life and just get into that zone, because I’m not one of those actors who come in all cheerful and quickly transform into the sad person that they are supposed to play.

Interrupted by commercial break. Atiqa Odho and Farida from Humsafar joined in.

Atiqa Odho: Thank you for the wonderful compliment Fahad and I want to say that if people are disliking the character of Farida, I take that as a good thing because it means I have pulled off the role. I believe Farida is a very complicated person since she is so passive and calm in the beginning and the audiences would be kept in suspense that she would lash out at any moment. That’s how we wanted her to be. Now she has become all aggressive. I would request the audience to keep an eye on her because as the time goes you will find what her problem really is. She is a neurotic.

Navin Waqar with Humsafar's giveaway

Have you guys read the novel, to be able to relate to the characters more?
Fawad Khan: I’m not a very well read person who reads books a lot. I hadn’t read the novel but I was told the outline of what they wanted me to play.
Navin Waqar: I was told to have a read of the version available on the internet. I read about 14 to 15 pages but there isn’t much of Sarah’s role in the novel to be honest.
Atiqa Odho: I would like to add, that adapting a novel into drama is also a good way to know how many people have read the novel. When it’s done throughout the world, dramatized version tend to be less popular than the book, but Humsafar the drama has been appreciated by the novel readers and non-readers alike.

Fawad this question is from you, Ashar thinks that he has been wronged by his wife, if this happens in someone’s life for real should they react like Ashar has done or otherwise?
Fawad Khan: People have remarked on Ashar’s behaviour by saying that are we living in 1902, where two people can’t sit together and talk like adults to sort out their matters. But in real world, a man would initially react like Ashar did. Ego is the biggest thing that drives men to do such a thing.

Atiqa you have been in television business for over two-decades now, how do you compare the type of dramas which are made now to Humsafar?
Atiqa Odho: When I see the reception this drama has receieved, I’m reminded of Sitara aur Mehrunnisa and Dasht. Back in the day, people would be crazy about those characters just as they love Humsafar’s characters today. It’s refreshing to see the audiences come back and show support.

The show continued with Humsafar’s fans joining in and asking questions to their favorite characters. Also the Bloopers were fun to watch! 😀


By Kokab Shahid Syed

Mujhay Quetta ka ghar bohaat yaad aata hay. Wahaan angoor ki bailain thein, saib aur khubani k darakht thay. Jahaan meri amma (Bibi) sardeyoon k zamanay main sweater buna kerti thein aur main un ko urdu ki kahaniyaan parh parh k sunaya kerta tha – Mohammed Ahmed

Pakistan’s most celebrated playwright and screenwriter speaks about his recent venture Dareecha, his treasured memories from his childhood and much more.

Assalam Alaikum Ahmed Sir.  I would like to start off with what you have to say about the ongoing success of Dareecha! Are you surprised by the response? Does it fulfill your expectations? Your say.

Haan main hairaan bhi hoon, aur bohat kush bhi hoon keh hamaray viewers itnay ahmaq nahin hain jitnay samjhay jatay hain. Unhain acchi aur buri cheez ki tameez hay. Mujhay ummeed hai keh iss say marketing walay bhi kuch na kuch seekhain gay aur ulti seedhi farmaeshaen kar kay likhwana bund kar daengay . Yes it does fulfill my expectation to quite an extent.

Are you content with MContent? Are the producers obliging, to be specific?

Yes i am very happy with Mcontent because they have given me a free hand and support to do anything i wanted to do aur inhoon nay kabhi mujh say nahin kaha keh hamari pasand k hero yea heroine ko cast karain.

What do you have to say about Farrukh Faiz as a director, before Dareecha you’ve worked with him in Shaista Shaista, also in short plays I’ve been told.

Hmm, ab aaya na oount pahaar k neechay. Farrukh Faiz exactly wohi ker raha hay jiss ki mujhay umeed thi. Abhi ussay aur bohat kuch sheekna hai mager mujhay yaqeen hai keh vo bohat jald sheek lay ga aur khud ko speilberg nahin samjhnay lagay ga.

Pardon me but to be honest, I haven’t yet seen all of your work before Shaista Shaista, and I’m very embarrassed about that… I did see a few telefilms but currently all I can think of is Dareecha. I am so engrossed in the story and the characters that I have kept aside your past work for the time being! And the same thing happened when Shaista Shaista was on air. So, in your opinion are there any other contemporary serials with characters having so much life that one can’t ignore them and such warmth that it connects to a viewer on a whole new level.

Ager aap meray kaam k elawah mujh say pochti hain tu mujhay Mehreen ka “Doraha” bohat pasand hay. “Uncle Urfi” bhi mujhay pasand tha. I liked the characterizations of that serial.

One very crucial situation here is that, as a veteran in the Industry; whether by experience in terms of years or by the volume of work you have done, we can’t possibly find any rock-solid listings of your work or any detailed info on ‘Mr. Syed Mohammed Ahmed’. Does that by any chance annoy you? Because it is disturbing to your fans. Is it so because, perhaps you are shy to talk about yourself on screen?

Main nahin samajhta keh mera fan page hona chahye maen nay aesaa koi teer naheen maara. Mujhay iss baat per ghussa bhi nahin aata na mujhay iss ki zarorat mahsoos hoti hay. TV pay aur bhee bohat qabil logg maujood hain, un ka koi fan page nahin tu main kiya cheez hoon.

Like I once said, Ahmed Sir, an interview is incomplete if there is no mention of the beginning! It is the happenings in an Achiever’s past which truly hold the inspiration for someone who needs Inspiration. Therefore, I require you to introduce us to the little boy Mohammed Ahmed that you have been hiding inside! Where you grew up; about your schooling and university education, and an incident that you can recall about each place.

Talking about my childhood is like talking about mohenjo daro. I don’t want to get into this and feel more older than I already think I m. Mager aik baat jo hamaysha say thi aur abb bhi hai mujhay cinema ka safaid perdah aur screen peh parha hoa curtain khulta hua aaj bhi bohat pasand hai. Mujhay white screen bohat pasand hai .

Main paidah karachi main hoa tha mager meri schooling Quetta main hui. Issi liay mujhay quetta say bohat mohabbat hay, uss k baray main buri khabrain aati hain to mera dil bohat dukhta hay. Mujhay Quetta ka ghar bohaat yaad aata hay. Wahaan angoor ki bailain thein, saib aur khubani k darakht thay. Jahaan meri amma (Bibi) sardeyoon k zamanay main sweater buna kerti thein aur main un ko urdu ki kahaniyaan parh parh k sunaya kerta tha. In fact i give all the credit to my BB, unhi ki wajah say mera rujhaan literature ki taraf huaa aur aaj jo kuch bana unn kee wajah say bana

How was your home like, the family values or a particular family tradition that you remember? Like a certain something that was restricted to your house in the neighborhood.

Jahaan tak values aur traditions ki baat hay hum ko sirf AAP aur JINAAB say baat kernay ki ijazat thi. Kabhi TUM ka lafz bhi hamain istemal nahin kernay diya gaya, khas taur peh behnoon k sath ounchi awaz main baat kernay ki ijazat bhi nahin thi. Sath he aik masla yea bhi tha filmain zaror daikhtay they, daramay zaror daikhtay thay mager un main kaam kernay ki khuahish ka tasawwar bhi nahin ker saktay thay. Meray bhai nay Aka jee aur Bibi (Father and mother) say chhup ker 2 films sign ker lee thein jiss k nateejay main aaq kernay ki dhamki di gae to vo chup kerkay wapiss apni naukri peh pohanch gaye.

How did you develop an interest in writing? Was it later in life or during school? And something about your family, your children and their talents/interests.

Mera interest writing main university k zamanay main paidah hoa. Vo bhi sirf aik khat ki waja say jo main nay BBC radio kee Urdu Service ko likha tha jiss peh mujhay first prize mila tha. Meri chaar baitiyaan yani dil k chaar tukray hain. Mujhay patha hai un maen vo sub cheezain hain jo mujh main hain, yaani vo writer bhi hain, actor bhi hain aur designers bhi hain.

Now if you had to sum up your ride so far in the Industry, what would you say? Has it been a piece of cake or a roller coaster ride?

Etna asaan nahin tha aur etna asaa aab bhi hay. Laikin choonkeh yea mera passion hai iss lye shayed etna pata nahin chala mushkilaat ka.

Is there a certain Production house or a TV Network you intend to write for, but haven’t gotten the opportunity yet?! Or perhaps, something that you have yet to get done with?. How and when did you start writing for television and what was your very first project?

Main nay Pakistan k taqreeban sub hee TV networks aur production houses k liay kaam kiya hay. Best directors aur producers k liay bhi aur worst directors aur producers k liay bhi. Iss lye koi hasrat baqi nahin reh gae hay. Bus Mehreen Jabbar k liay bohat arsay say koi kaam nahin kiya vo kernay ko dil chata hay. Main nay theater say acting shru ki thi. Offer acting ki aye thi aur bun writer giya. My first project was “Mystery theater”, jiss k main nay bohat saray plays likhay (Mera sub say favorite genre mystery he hay)

You have worked with one of the most sought after directors in the country – Mehreen Jabbar, Azfar Ali and Marina Khan, to name a few. Who do you reckon to be ‘The Best’ in the business?

Mehreen Jabber, beghair kissi soch k aur beghair kissi sawal k is the best. Mager mera bohat dil chata hay keh vo kabhi light romantic cheez bhi karay.

You once mentioned in an interview that you are very critical of your work. Who besides you, is your biggest critique?

Main khud apnay liye sub say bara critic hoon apnay kaam k baray main. Mujhay apna koi kaam pasand nahin aata. Dareecha maera likha hua aik aisa play hay jo maen daekh raha hoon, warna apna kaam daekhna mujhay bohat mushkil lagta hae. Aur acting ker k main to marr he jaata hoon. Her baar sochta hoon keh agli barr nahin karoon ga mager paisay kamanay k liay ker jata hoon aur phir shermindah hota rehta hoon.

An inevitable request to a writer, Sir would you make a few book recommendations in both Urdu and English. The ones you found to be most inspirational and thought provoking.

Umrao Jaanada by Mirza Ruswa. Everything written by Mushtaq Ahmed Yousfi, Letters of Mirza Ghalib, Letters to Alice by Faiz, Dastak na do by Altaf Fatima and many more.