Pakistani Serials


Pakistani Serials
Pakistani Serials

*Latest LOLLYWOOD News-Showbiz, Articles* (Page 61)

kalli IF-Dazzler

Joined: 02 August 2005
Posts: 3867

Posted: 24 August 2007 at 5:08pm | IP Logged


Edited by kalli - 24 August 2007 at 5:09pm

cutestar Goldie

Joined: 05 August 2006
Posts: 1476

Posted: 25 August 2007 at 4:58am | IP Logged
Reema steps into TV with
a stylish hop, skip and jump

Aamna Haider Isani

It's impossible to ignore Reema. First we saw her in the Lux Haute Pink advertisement, stepping out of a jazzy helicopter, her hair windblown and that perfect smile intact. Then she pulled on a pair of jeans and a cowboy hat for Ali Zafar as she grooved with some fantastic moves in the "Dekha" video. And now, one just can't get over her latest appearance, as she is seen singing "Yeh Ghar Aap Ka Hua" on cable channels. She's such a natural when she's on her feet and she looks smashing. It has intrigued everyone in watching the video from start to end, looking for credits or some kind of explanation as to what she's up to now? Footloose and fancy, has the 'new' Reema taken up singing or has she been cast in some new singer's video.

The answer is neither. Yeh Ghar Aap Ka Hua is a new game show, which kicks off next week, and Reema is hosting. In this show contestants get to spend time with Reema in the house and play for it, one room at a time. At the end, the winner wins the fully furnished house worth millions of rupees. All over eager, aspiring contestants (who are majority men) should be warned that the lovely star, however, does NOT come with the deal.

Reema is reinventing herself, and in a fabulous way. She seems to have replaced her lungi kurtas for designer gowns and considering the rage television is becoming, that's the best decision she could have made. So many film stars these days are considering TV shows an ideal platform to promote their films; Amitabh Bachchan and Shahrukh Khan agreeing to do Kaun Banega Crorepati is the best example. It's not like they needed the extra work, but if were coming to then with fabulous perks, then why not?

Since films have been on a decline in Pakistan and cable TV has so much more to offer, it's no wonder then that Reema and others from her cinema world are stepping into it to plug themselves back into the lives of their fans. And judging by the popularity of their shows - Veena Malik on Hum Sab Umeed Se Hain is a hit - they are doing brilliantly.

The golden screen lost its glitter a long time ago in Pakistan and while TV was considered the poor man's domain all over the world, it was always the most powerful medium in Pakistan.

It had the popularity, the stars, the music and the glamour. When Ankahi was playing on television, Javed Sheikh and Shakeel were bigger heart throbs nationwide, than any local movie actor. Except for Shan and Sultan Rahi, who were the heart throbs in the eighties? The cycle came full circle when a television director, Shoaib Mansoor, became the saviour of films in Pakistan when he released Khuda Key Liye.

The relationship between television and movie stars works equally well for both, and it delights the masses. Could one hope for anything better? Well yes, that would be Meera agreeing to do the reality show Kaun Banega Meera Ka Patti which was rumoured to be in production but never hit the waves. Here's to hoping it does!
cutestar Goldie

Joined: 05 August 2006
Posts: 1476

Posted: 25 August 2007 at 4:58am | IP Logged
Yeh ghar apka hoa

It is a game show which will be played on the lines of KBC but the prize structure is designed in order to give female viewers an attraction through a fully furnished apartment and a brand new car (which is a dream of every female).

Contestant will answer questions and will gradually in each stage he/she will win a room and after winning 4 rooms, questions for Car and then questions for Apartment will be asked.

If a contestant fails to answer a question after winning one room, he/she will be given the accessories of that particular room which can either be a bedroom, kitchen, living room etc.

Host: Reema Khan
Producer: Fayyaz
Director: Qaisar Farooq
Airing Date: 25th August 2007
Airing Day: Saturday
Time Slot: 09:05 pm
wini IF-Dazzler

Joined: 19 November 2005
Posts: 4603

Posted: 25 September 2007 at 11:45am | IP Logged
Local Kill Bill for mini screen
on Thursday, July 08 @ 15:10:44 PKT

Hollywood flick Kill Bill incorporating Japanese and Chinese martial arts was a big hit at the box office. Model and actress Amina Haq and Ammar Bilal have produced this 35-minute film 'Satori' for television.

Hollywood flick Kill Bill incorporating Japanese and Chinese martial arts was a big hit at the box office. A group of youngsters who have been associated with showbiz for sometime have come up with a film based on the same revenge story. Model and actress Amina Haq and Ammar Bilal have produced this 35-minute film 'Satori' for television. The duo supported by documentary maker Sikander Mufti have directed this movie which has no dialogues but carries a lot of martial arts action. Amna herself plays the lead female role, which Uma Thurman played as the bride in Kill Bill. On Monday evening a special screening of the telefilm was held for journalistsin Lahore. The cast and the crew were present on the occasion.

The producers of Satori have the given credit of inspiration to a number of Hollywood and Chinese films on martial arts. Satori was filmed in Lahore. The project took two months to complete with shooting continuing at a stretch of seven days. The film is expected to go on air on different TV channels. The film is a departure from the run of the mill telefilms being made these days. The film may appeal to young people crazy about action films. The background music is the forte of the movie. Faisal Baig, son of legendary film actor Nadeem Baig, has done a marvelous job by coming up good instrumental pieces rather than sequenced tracks. He composed all the music to go with the different segments' spirit. The film is divided into four segments. The red segment symbolizing love, golden yellow showing strength, blue segment symbolizing water and the cream one longevity. 

The cast besides Amina includes Naeem Haq, Athar Hafeez, Prof Orphaeus as teacher, Jansher as child and the Mughalpura gymnasts group. The makeup and coordination was by Depilex. "It was a dream, a vision. We wanted to do something different that people could compare to something international. The film I believe is very much entertaining and would appeal to young people. Our youngsters love to watch such Hollywood flicks and we have given them something that is in no way less. I thought why not produce such a film here that may find popular appeal among the new generation. In future with this team I am open to starting new projects but not on my own or with anyone else. This film is also about fashion and new trends," Amina said while talking to The Nation Plus. 

The idea of this short film came to Ammar Belal when he did some research for designing ABCD summer collection for 2004. "I started imagining the characters. By the time I finished designing, a short story had come up in my mind and I decided to make this film. Satori is a film that takes inspiration from all my favourite martial arts films. The story supports the philosophy of the Yin and Yang and the eternal struggle between love and hate. Satori encompasses the sudden spiritual awakening and acceptance of one's fate through the choices we make," Ammar explained. 

Sikander of Mateela group, who has experience of making some documentaries for NGOs, looked after the technical aspects of making this film. "We decided from the day one not to have any dialogue in the film but to make it powerful with expressions of actors and action scenes for which Amina and other cast members had to practice a lot," he said.
The film depicts Amina on a revenge mission. The last scene as in Kill Bill's sequel lacks the lustre of fights that go throughout the film. She too wields a Japanese style sword and her actions and style of fighting is a fine copy of Uma Thurman. She kills everyone in the film but not a single drop of blood is shown. This Amina says is because they did not want to show violence. The last scene shows Amina coming out of the ordeal successfully in the vicinity of Badshahi Mosque and Lahore Fort. The film however unfortunately has no local culture or fighting tradition to show. May be someone will else may make a film from our history. This part of the world too had great fighting warriors and skilled swordmen who remain unsung. 

-- Courtesy The Nation Plus

Edited by wini - 25 September 2007 at 11:46am
wini IF-Dazzler

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Posted: 25 September 2007 at 11:47am | IP Logged

Hassan Sheheryar Yasin

Hassan Sheheryar Yasin is one of Pakistan's leading fashion designers, if not the top designer, in bridal and formal wear. Hassan's HSY Studio has been a rage with young brides, and everyone attending a wedding for the last several years, but it has truly reached the frenzied "I am not getting married without a dress from HSY" heights in the last 2-3 years. These days, Hassan (known as Sheru to his friends) is in the US, where he has choreographed a series of fantastic fashion shows for a nonprofit, charity organization called Developments in Literacy (DIL). "I am here for DIL. When we make sales or take orders, a large percentage goes towards the charity we are supporting. DIL is a good organization! They are doing great work and have made huge changes in the educational field, especially for girls in the rural areas. I'm just glad I can help them."

Hassan brought his Virasat collection and has bowled over the US audience with class, quality, and sheer creativity that would make you want to get married all over again if only to wear one of Hassan's creations. We met with Hassan in Virginia, a couple of days before he swept over the DC residents with his fashion show for DIL at the Sheraton in Tysons Corner. This young man, barely out of his 20s, is not only a fantastic designer, but a very inspirational person, with deep thoughts and high ambitions. We are truly impressed with his creative genius and business acumen, and hope that you will enjoy reading our conversation with him.

Hassan Sheheryar Yasin

Tell us about your start in the world of fashion design...

I started in 1994 as a fashion choreographer and I have been directing fashion shows since then. Then I joined the Pakistan School of Fashion Design, which is a government sponsored school, and graduated in 2000 after completing a four year degree program. The school is affiliated with Les Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, France, which is a leading chamber of couture in Europe. I launched my label in 2000, after I graduated. So, in total, I have been working in fashion for eleven years now. I just had a show in London last week where we opened the Fashion Week; this was my 206th show! I have just been appointed by the Government of Pakistan to serve on the school's Board of Directors, which is great!

Eleven Years and 206 Fashion Shows

What made you choose fashion design - this not being the typical field for Pakistani men?

I have always loved fashion and that's something I wanted to do since the age of five! I have always had an obsession with dress designing. In 1994, when I was doing my A-levels, I got really serious about it and decided to go for it. I started directing fashion shows. When I graduated from the Pakistan School of Fashion Design, I worked for a couple of designers for a few months, but I wanted to do my own thing so I started my label at the end of 2000. I was very lucky because I had already built a name in the industry and media as a successful choreographer, so that initial media push was easy. But then you have to prove yourself as a designer! Again, it's been great and I've achieved a lot of success. I was nominated for the Lux Style Designer of the Year Award for the 3rd year in a row so that's nice. The ceremony is in October in Pakistan, so let's see (fingers crossed!)


How do you rate your experience of launching and running a retail business in Pakistan - is it easy or difficult? Did you face any hurdles?

You are constantly faced with hurdles in this field, but I don't really see them as hurdles. Challenges just motivate me to do more! I am a very competitive person, I always have been. But I have been very lucky and we have had very rapid growth. We started in 2000 with one employee and now we have over 300 people working for us and we have stores in Lahore, Karachi, studios in Dubai and London. Basically, a retail business will run anywhere in the world but just now it is difficult, economically, because the whole world is going through so many changes. Personally I try not to ponder on the negative. Also, I don't just believe in doing everything without proper management. All of our businesses and lines are set up as proper organizations, with their own management. I do what I'm best at, which is the designing and marketing, because I have a natural flair for both.

You're always faced with hurdles, but I don't see them as hurdles...they just motivate me to do more!


What is HSY Studio and what kind of clothes do you specialize in?

HSY Studio specializes in bridal wear. We started out with evening wear, but for the last three years we have become known for our bridal collections. We also have a line called R2W, which is a ready to wear line. Then we have a Studio line, with Western clothes. We do a couture line, a men's line, and we are also launching a furniture line in January. My label, HSY, is about a lifestyle and not just about clothes, and that's what we want to sell - a timeless, classic lifestyle that will fit well with today's fast paced modern life. We can easily claim to be high end because we are not off the rack designers.

"HSY is about a lifestyle and not just about clothes, and that's what we want to sell - a timeless, classic lifestyle that will fit well with today's fast paced modern life - we are not off the rack designers"

Who are your main clients?

.We have a lot of varied clients; we sell a lot to the Middle East market, and we sell a lot in Pakistan. We have a lot of clientele in India and I've have had many shows in India and actually a lot of shows in Dubai, Muscat, Prague, Greece, Poland, London, Germany, New York, LA, Atlanta, Toronto, and Ottawa. The show in Prague was for the President and the First Lady, which was a great honor and lots of fun. Max Mara (a leading Italian designer) was also in this show. We both showed our collections together on the same ramp, which was a first for a Pakistani designer. This was a big show because we were doing it for the President and it was also a charity event. The proceeds went to UNICEF. It was a lot of fun especially since we were doing it for a good cause.

Where do you get your inspiration for designing such great outfits?

My inspiration comes from traveling. I travel extensively and get to see a lot of different places in the world. It could be anything big or small. I am inspired by the colors and hues of the monsoon season (Saawan) and the feel of Saawan. I am also inspired by poetry and paintings, especially the paintings of Sadequain, the poetry of the Sufis and Mirza Ghalib. Just recently I have been exposed to this poetry because of my mom and I love listening to it. I am also inspired by jewelry (Zaiwar). I am actually obsessed with jewelry and it is something I could venture into in the near future. I am also a big believer in promoting our culture and heritage but keeping it main stream. Not making it look like a costume from the Mughal

I am a big believer in promoting our culture and heritage but keeping it main stream


When raising funds, or in your outreach programs, do you focus only on Pakistanis or the larger non-Pakistani community as well?

Actually, this is an area where we need to focus in the future. The last event we had, the fashion show, is something that non-Pakistanis would have enjoyed as well. It boils down to resources and with an entirely volunteer based organization, there's only so many areas on which you can focus without spreading your resources too thin. But we hope that next year we will broaden our focus on other cultures and faiths as well. It's a great opportunity for us to bridge the gap between the different ethnicities and faiths as well, and to promote our culture and society to them.


What kind of woman do you design for?

I design for the woman of today and that's a strong, modern, independent woman; not someone who would stay home all the time. A working woman who works hard and needs clothes that not only look like a million bucks but feel like a million bucks too. The fabric should be the best quality and the cut should be comfortable. The culture is all about celebrating your body and working out and she should be able to celebrate whatever she is doing for herself by wearing our clothes. I think Pakistani women are perhaps the most beautiful women in the world; they are absolutely stunning. They have the Eastern aura of mystery which is very hard to capture with just any kind of clothes. So I keep that in mind even when I'm designing Western clothes.

If you were to compare your style with any international fashion designer, who would it be?

I honestly cannot even dare to dream about comparing myself with global names. But if I did, I would think I lean more towards an Armani philosophy. I think if you wore something from Armani which was ten years old, it would still look current and in-style. That is what I aim for as well. I work towards a good quality product, good service, and pray for returning customers. I also don't believe in real fanatical fashion statements. Our label is more about timeless classics. If fashion is a whirlwind, a storm, we would like to be the eye of the storm where it's peaceful and calm. Our pieces are something that you can wear ten years down the line and not feel that you are stuck in a fashion moment.

Pakistani women are perhaps the most beautiful women in the world; they are absolutely stunning!

There are a lot of young people entering the fashion design world - either as designers, models, or retailers. What has caused this revolution?

Yes it is a revolution in Pakistan because before it was either the bored housewives or the failed architects who did this! Just a few years back, there were hardly any fashion shows and now this field has become really huge. We are following international trends plus we are bringing to Pakistan for the first time ever, a Fashion Week at the end of this year, where international buyers and designers come together for displaying and trading their design creations. I am directing this event so I am very excited about that and that is going to open up a lot of markets for us.

(Fashion Design) is a revolution in Pakistan because before it was either the bored housewives or the failed architects who did this!

What is the big benefit of having a Fashion Week in Pakistan?

My main aim besides fashion, which I obviously love, is to promote a positive image of Pakistan. I am in many ways a very patriotic person. I think this Fashion Week will really help us out. The world will not see Pakistan as fundamentalist and extremist nation, but a more progressive and talented nation with so much potential. Unfortunately the media over here only portrays the wrong side of Pakistan. We are open hearted and fun people. I think it's really sad that people "fix" the same kind of picture onto Pakistan and then they think that's what it really is. What they show on CNN and Fox news is a complete misrepresentation of Pakistan. With the right kind of media coverage, we can portray the softer image of Pakistan, because that is who we really are! There is a new Pakistan and it's good for people to see that.

So what is this new Pakistan and what is causing these changes?

There was a huge brain drain and now the people are coming back and giving back to the country. The new generation wants to stay; they are not interested in going anywhere outside the country. There are huge possibilities for making money and doing something for their country and I think people are interested in that. This kind of patriotic feeling has never been around since 1947. I think this change has a lot to do with president Musharaf being in power. I think he has changed the way we think about ourselves. There are more opportunities now, we have a far larger middle class economy, consumer awareness is increasing, and I think people are beginning to feel proud of the fact that they are Pakistanis. People are forgetting the Nawaz Sharifs and Benazir Bhuttos of our history and they are beginning to realize it's not just about politics; it's about our own lives, our neighborhoods, our society, and giving back to our country.

"With the right kind of media coverage, we can portray the softer image of Pakistan, because that is who we really are! There is a new Pakistan and it's good for people to see that

Is this change only economic or is it social as well?

It's the same thing socially! Before it was the haves and the have-nots but now you don't need to have a big last name to be in the social scene. There are new people coming up with new possibilities and education, who might not have a big last name, but they have the oomph and the power, and the personalities and charisma which they are mixing into our social culture. I personally think it's never been better! Of course we have our hurdles just like everyone else, and we need to go a long way to overcome them, so don't me wrong - I don't want to oversimplify our problems. But I will say that if we have crime in Pakistan, then the statistics are that a woman gets raped in the US every few minutes! So let's not just hang on the negative. If you just look at the positive side, there is so much happening there. As much as I love the US and the West, I would never give up my life in Pakistan because I think that is the future! We are a gem that has not been discovered yet, and the day we are discovered would be a great day and we would have hopefully discovered ourselves by then.

You are doing a lot for the country and for the community - tell us about it and also why you consider it to be so important?

We are involved in a lot of projects of our own, and we also do shows for charity organizations every year. We provide for education for our workers' children who want to learn job skills so they get vocational training as well as basic schooling. We enroll them in embroidery classes, for example, as well as sponsor their school education. This is something we do for our workers; there is no government involved in this and it is our own personal project. Embroidery is not the important part, it's educating them which is important. I think it's good for your soul really because you feel better about yourself at the end of the day.

"We (Pakistan) are a gem that has not been discovered yet, and the day we are discovered would be a great day and we would have hopefully discovered ourselves by then."

Would you recommend fashion designing to young individuals who want to adopt it as a career?

Yes, definitely! First of all, dress designing is one of the largest businesses in the world and I think Time magazine classified it as the third fastest growing business in the world. The need right now is pure economics. Our country is competing with China and India. Textile is our biggest business. Sure we have the cotton, we have the production, but do we have the designs and value addition capability? No! And this is where the designers come in handy. A lot of us are already working with different textile manufacturers to come up with different products so instead of selling a $2 product we can make a product that will sell for maybe $25-$100 dollars. And that's how the foreign investment and foreign currency will come in and that is where we have to concentrate the most. How long are we going to sell mooli and gaajar and how long are we going to sell the same T-shirt to K-Mart? It's time to hit the higher end market. We need to fall in step with the rest of the world. Like the New York Fashion Week has become a big event all over the world. We need to cater to the buyers who go there. We need big markets like Europe, America, and Japan. It's time to show the world that we too can design for them and we can show them designs they have never seen before. We have a cultural edge, our cotton is great, and the world is really our oyster if we just concentrate on the right products and the right marketing.

"How long are we going to sell mooli and gaajar and how long are we going to sell the same t-shirt to K-Mart?"

"The world is really our oyster if we just concentrate on the right products and the right marketing"

Edited by wini - 25 September 2007 at 11:47am
wini IF-Dazzler

Joined: 19 November 2005
Posts: 4603

Posted: 25 September 2007 at 11:48am | IP Logged


For 16 years, the music of Strings, one of the most popular duos in the Pakistani pop music industry, has struck a high note for listeners. 

Inspite of an 8 year hiatus from their existence as Strings, their songs like "Sar Kiye Yeh Pahaar" stayed on listeners' minds and with their comeback in year 2000 with "Dur", Strings has captured the top of the charts with one hit after another.

The Saturday Post met with Strings in Washington DC, during their recent US tour, dubbed the "Zinda Tour" to celebrate their latest hit "Yeh Hai Meri Kahani" from the Sanjay Gupta film starring Sanjay Dutt and John Abraham.

Faisal Kapadia and Bilal Maqsood are among the nicest people we have had a chance to interview.  They are soft spoken, articulate, intellectual, humble, and really funny.

Let us not keep you any more from reading our exclusive Rendezvous with Faisal Kapadia and Bilal Maqsood, aka Strings...

What is the story of Strings…how did it all begin?

Bilal: It goes back to 1989. We met in college. We realized we both really liked music. Faisal knew Rafeeq and Kareem, who were a part of the initial line-up. We started by jamming together. It was a time when there was a boom in the pop music industry in Pakistan; a lot of bands were being formed. Strings was one of those bands. We started with some TV shows and then went on from there.

Strings released their first album in 1990

The big break for Strings was the song "Sar Kiye Yeh Pahaar" in 1992

From 1992-2000, Faisal and Bilal took a break from Strings

In 2000, they came back and released the hit single "Duur" followed by the album "Duur" in 2002

The next big release was "Dhaani" in 2004, from which "Naa Jaanay Kyon" became part of the official soundtrack of Spiderman 2's release in India

The latest buzz created by Strings is with the song "Yeh Hai Meri Kahaani" from the soundtrack of Sanjay Gupta's movie "Zinda"

You can listen to all of Strings' songs on

You've been on the music scene for so many years and stayed really popular. What is the secret of your success?

Faisal: It's been sixteen years since we started working together, but it wasn't constant. We took a break of eight years, from 1992-2000. Maybe that was one factor; the hunger stayed there. We were in constant touch though, even though we weren't doing music. We had initially planned it to be a 2-3 year break, but we ended up taking a lot more time than we had planned. It's very hard to abandon a professional career, especially once you are married; there are a lot of increased responsibilities and you have to think about those.

Bilal: We knew that eventually we will go back to our music. The break was mainly to complete our education. In 2000 after we released Duur, we had no option but to do it full time. It was quite an effort to revive the band and Faisal's thinking was that we have to burn all our boats and do this full time. So Faisal left his business, I left my job, which was a big decision for us and our wives as well. When life is going well and you make such a drastic move, "kay music full time karna hai", it is quite difficult.

(In the 8-year hiatus from Strings, Bilal was working for an ad agency and Faisal was working with his father's business).

So how did the families react and cope once you decided to take the plunge into music as a full time career?

Faisal: Actually we never thought it would take so much traveling. Initially it was just the thought of doing music as a career, and they were very supportive. I think if they knew how much we would have to travel, maybe things would be different (laughs).

Bilal: Even we didn't know how much we would have to travel. We didn't realize how big the market had grown. Every day it is growing. The media boom on the internet has taken the market by storm. Pakistani music has reached everywhere. India has suddenly become the biggest market for Pakistani music. We spend as much time in Bombay as we do in Karachi. But it's great. Our families have gotten used to it. They also travel with us whenever there's an opportunity. Plus, it's not a 9-5 job, so when we are with them in Karachi, we are at home all day! So we get to spend that quality time with them; in fact maybe it gets to be a bit too much for them (laughs).

You did the theme song for Spiderman 2's release in India and now a song for the movie Zinda. How did the Bollywood connection come about?

Faisal: The first break we got in India was actually from the unofficial release of Sar Kiye Yeh Pahaar. Then in 2000, we officially released Dur, followed by our album Dhaani. A little bit before the release of Dhaani, Columbia Tristar got in touch with us. They were releasing Spiderman 2 in India and wanted a song to accompany the release, because they felt that India is a huge market. They thought that we are from India, and they got in touch with our label there. The label told them we were from Pakistan and set the whole thing up for us. That was our first song for any film and it was huge for us. Spiderman is a big movie all over the world, so it was quite exciting. After that the next movie song we did was for Zinda. We got other offers in between, but we didn't want to do something for the sake of doing film music. We like doing the music our own way.

Zinda was an ideal project. The team and cast were great. Plus the storyline was such that it almost called out for Strings' music. So it went off very well and everyone was really happy about it; the song's been a great success.

Bilal: I think the video did the trick. In a lot of songs, you see that the star cast gets a lot of coverage but the singers make a short appearance, if any. The way Sanjay Gupta did it, Strings, Sanjay Dutt, and John Abraham were all really well mixed and given equal airtime. It just ended up giving the song a lot of prominence and importance, which was just amazing.

How did Sanjay Gupta choose you guys for Zinda?

When we met him he told us that he'd been a big fan of our music since the very first songs we released in India. He had always wanted to get us to do a song for one of his movies, but he said that none of the movies he had made up to Zinda had the right place for a song by Strings. When he conceived Zinda, he knew he wanted us to do a song.

How was it working with the Zinda team - did you find them to be more professional than teams in Pakistan, and what struck you the most about working with the Bollywood stars?

Faisal: They are all extremely professional. Sanjay Gupta knew exactly what he wanted to do with the video and when, so from a work standpoint, it was all very high standard. But the really great thing about working with them was that they are really good hearted people. They are all very nice and down to earth. Sanjay Dutt and John Abraham never make you feel like they are such big stars and you're working with them. It's become a really good friendship, actually.

Bilal: Usually one does projects and moves on, but here we are 8-9 months after the song was shot and we are still in constant touch. Every time we go to Bombay, we have to have dinner at Sanjay Dutt's house, just like you would be invited to a close friend's house. Then we recently heard that while touring the US for his Rock Stars show, John Abraham was promoting our concert tour to his audience by making an on-stage announcement. As for Sanjay Gupta, once the project was done, he took us to Goa for a 3-day vacation. He didn't really need to do that, because once the work is done, it's done. So what we were really taken by was not just the professionalism but the warmth and friendship that they've extended to us and we really value that the most in this whole experience.


Was the song "Yeh Hai Meri Kahani" written and composed specifically for Zinda??

Bilal: Yes. Sanjay Gupta narrated the whole story to us in our first meeting. When we came back to Karachi, we narrated the same story to my father (Anwar Maqsood). And if you look at the movie and hear the song, it's one and the same.

Faisal: The way Sanjay Gupta narrated the story was so strong that we've never witnessed that in any other project. He knew each and every one of the scenes, the camera angles, zoom ins and zoom outs, etc. It was just fascinating.

Bilal: We first did the music; that's how it always works. We first do the music and then the lyrics. It took me about fifteen minutes to do the chorus (Chubhtay kaante yaadon kay..). I was really inspired by the story and it just came very quickly. The song was maybe done in 4-5 days. But the whole project with the final version and the video took between one and two months. In fact, when I sent the rough cut to Sanjay Gupta, and then sent him the final one, he said "woh pehlay wala zyada acha tha!" (laughs). He had grown accustomed to hearing the rough cut while shooting, so when he got the final one it was just different.


How do you like the way the song turned out?

Bilal: I love this song. Normally one doesn't like one's own songs. But this one and the one for Spiderman, I just love them. Maybe I like darker songs.

Faisal: I like other songs as well. I like Dur and Sar Kiye Yeh Pahaar. At the end of the day, all the songs in our albums are the ones we like the best. But it's true that the Zinda song and the Spiderman song have a different feel.


What about the next album - when is it coming out and will we hear more of the traditional Strings music or something different and darker?

Bilal: The way it's coming up, it's very different. It's definitely more along the darker lines. But it will take time. We have not been getting enough time to focus on it. But we are hoping that it will be done by January or February of 2007.


What about other projects - and how is your work with the UNICEF HIV/AIDS program going?

Faisal: We are doing songs for a couple of Indian films. There's a UNICEF project we are working on. For UNICEF, they basically rely on us to create awareness about HIV/AIDS. We are the Pakistani Ambassadors for UNICEF's AIDS/HIV awareness program. We do workshops for homeless or street children, who don't have any guardians or responsible adults to educate them about these issues. Plus we go to schools and colleges to start talking about this subject, because people aren't very open about it. So we want to encourage dialog and discussion of this topic, behaving nicely with AIDS/HIV patients and their families, e.g. children who have lost a parent to HIV/AIDS should not face any negative attitudes. We will be doing concerts and a special video on this topic.

Strings are the UN Goodwill Ambassadors for HIV/AIDS in Pakistan

How do people respond to a couple of young pop stars talking about such difficult subjects like HIV and AIDS? Are they receptive or shy?

Bilal: They are receptive. It is really difficult to talk about these issues but if you use the right language and talk about it maturely, people are very responsive and receptive to this discussion. There's a lot of ignorance about this topic, especially in rural areas. They would have no idea if someone is dying of AIDS in front of them. But we have to be careful and we are given guidance on what kind of language to use so it's not offensive to people.

Faisal: It also helps that we are not asking for donations. We have no monetary interest in talking to them and it's just about discussing the problems and issues associated with identifying and coping with HIV/AIDS. We've gone to educational institutes for women and talked to them. We've gone to schools and talked to children. You just have to handle it maturely.

What would you say to people who say that celebrities involved in charity work are doing it for self promotion?

Bilal: If you have the kind of power over the public, you should channelize it and use it to give back to the society. Give back to the fans! But celebrities or singers shouldn't become politicians. When a singer starts making bureaucratic or political statements, it may look a bit strange!
How do you balance all the concerts and travel with composing new music?

Bilal: We can't balance it. We really enjoy traveling and concerts but the album suffers. People who don't go to concerts start wondering where Strings has gone. And concerts aren't just about the money. There's a certain kick to doing a concert. Once albums are done, they are done. Unless you are on stage, in front of a screaming audience, it just doesn't cut it.

Faisal: You have to be careful with how many and what kind of concerts you do. Like we prefer not to perform for smaller audiences except if we really feel like entertaining a specific segment of our fans. Plus, we don't want over exposure either.


All about Faisal...

Born June 29, 1971

Married? Yes. Wife's name is Seema.  "I met her 18 years ago when I was in college. She lived in the same apartment complex as us. That's how we met, and we got married 8 years ago."

Children? "Two boys, 6 and 2. I thoroughly enjoy spending time with them.  I used to have a huge circle of friends and play cricket and video games with them. But now, my time is mostly spent with my kids."

Parents and siblings? Faisal's late father was the one who nudged him towards music.  "He bought me a harmonium and appointed a music teacher for me when I was younger.  He passed away in 1995, but I'm really glad he saw the first phase of Strings.  Ammi passed away 3 years ago, while we were actually on a tour of the US. So she actually saw the second phase.  They were both really supportive of our music."  Faisal has three brothers and one sister, all of whom have lived in the US for the last 20-25 years.

All about Bilal...

Bilal is an artist of the "painting" kind as well...he has held several exhibitions in Pakistan.  He describes his style as "not abstract, but more of a cubist style."

Born March 23

Married? Yes. Wife's name is Tina.  " We met at Indus Valley (school of art), we were studying there together."  What fans may not know is that Tina figures in almost all of Bilal's compositions..."I've composed a lot of songs for her like Sar Kiye Yeh Pahaar, Aaj Din Bhar Bekaar Tha.  If you look at the video for Sar Kiye Yeh Pahaar, there's some sea shells in them. I had brought those sea shells from Tina because she used to see sea shells in her dreams. She didn't know then that I was shooting a video.  In almost all of my songs, there's something about her or for her." Then Bilal adds with a smile, "It's not a junoon like it was before, but there's still some little touches."

Children? "Three kids, Mikail 8, Khizer 6, Zehra 3.  They really don't care about my music (laughs). They consider it my office work. I'm not a celebrity for them!"

Parents and siblings? Bilal is famous TV playwright and author Anwar Maqsood's son. "I'm very close to him. He's been my best friend as long as I can remember. Right from school days when I remember him hurriedly polishing our shoes in the morning, helping us get ready, or making us breakfast.  My friends and I played cricket with him."  Bilal has one younger sister, who is married.
"She'd also taken classical music lessons, but didn't pursue it as a serious interest or career."

Edited by wini - 25 September 2007 at 11:49am
Khobsurat_11 IF-Rockerz

Joined: 04 January 2006
Posts: 6040

Posted: 25 September 2007 at 6:02pm | IP Logged
A Dazzling Night celebrates Pakistani Talent

The Awards office of the LUX Style Awards formally announced the nominees for the "Viewers Choice Awards" for the year 2006. Pakistanis all over the country will vote and select the winners for six television and three music categories. The 5th LUX Style Awards will be held in Karachi on 2nd September2006.An independent board of jurors, comprising individuals of high professional standing and a reputation for integrity evaluated, and short listed nominees for the music and television categories.

Music jury members Cecil Chaudhry, Faizan Agha, Marian Sharaf, Muniba Kamal and Sami Shah and TV jury members Adeel Hashmi, Sahira Kazmi, Sherezade Samiuddin and Sumera Jajja met in Karachi.As it has been the practice in the past, an audit firm Ferguson Associates Pvt Ltd. is again being assigned this year to ensure transparency and to maintain the secrecy of the results till the night of the event.
isha1022 Goldie

Joined: 13 January 2006
Posts: 1440

Posted: 27 November 2007 at 5:48pm | IP Logged

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