This post updates the original post published July 24 on this blog. Additions include re-mastered videos – because who actually likes posts without some media, right?!
To There and Back Again – the “Dastaan” of a New Step
By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid
On my way back, about a few days into Ramadan (I don’t remember the Roza, but it was the 16th of July), I received a call from an unknown number.
The voice introduced herself as Sahar Taher (though, at the time, I didn’t exactly understand her name, or its relevance), and invited me to an informal get-together at their place. Back then, I didn’t understand the reason or the context of that conversation – mostly because I was preoccupied by trivial (actually, make that peremptory) matters.
Sahar’s call was one of the most significant steps I’ve seen someone take in today’s Internet and New Media world: the direct inclusion of blogger’s for upcoming events.
Whoa! Is this even Pakistan, we’re in – seeing that I was at her hospitality about an hour from Iftaar time, I’d say yes.
A handful of us bloggers, none of whom I am sad to say I reached out to (being the shy type, of course), were introduced to Dastaan-e-Andalus (um, Undloos, Andloos…there’s a contradiction in spelling, here and there), a Turkish import already airing on TV One Global at 9:30pm. It is a Ramadan special, Sahar told me during the Iftaari break, because its rudimentary elements (Crusades, rebellion, love, betrayal) suited the season.
And it was – despite issues with dubbing, and a storyline I didn’t understand a head or tail of (until I watched a few more episodes some days later).
Choppy as the pilot was (I was told, the next episodes were better – and they were), I guessed it was something my mother would undeniably follow (she’s into sword and sandal epics, and the historical setting helps). The Ramadan timing, alas, didn’t work out for me – ergo the 10 day later post.
What really did the trick wasn’t Andalus’ presentation (and at a big-screen projector, at that) – rather, it was Sahar’s initiative to keep the internet people in the loop.
There’s a lack of initiative from anyone – and I mean ANYONE – in the Pakistani industry. Television gets Nada-coverage, as far as traditional presses are concerned (talking about prominent newspaper’s like mine, of course) – and I doubt the ones that do get covered in the press, happen out of *cough, cough* payola.
The cinema, well, let’s not talk about it, especially since film screening invites don’t necessitate good reviews (tauba, tauba).
The type of informality at Andalus’ screening was fresher than most movie premieres, where celebs (unfeigned, pseudo, and the generally annoying), hobnob – sometimes (oft-times) because of freebies. This was about keeping it real – without strings. Now that’s what I am talking about.
Now, if only I had time to watch the show, and really comment on how it turned out…ah well, we can’t do it all, can we?!