So, Why the Lack of Updates? Or Better Yet, a Little Lowdown on What I’ve Been Upto

swamped with work
on second thought I AM swamped with work...really

Well that’s a pretty pertinent question. And for once I have an answer other than “been exceedingly busy” or “swamped with worked” or “24 hours just aint enough”.

Ok, so it’s been otherworldly hectic trying to juggle three somewhat dissimilar duties since I joined Bakhabar Savera, the morning show at ARY News hosted by Sana Tariq, since February, especially since after a month I ended up (on my request) with the extra burden of editing the content that is played during my segment.

Now a panelist / guest editing one’s own content is a relatively unheard of concept over here (or maybe anyplace for that matter), because the norm is that the shows guest normally just pop-out at the studio about 20 minutes before their on-screen time, do their duty (either addressing politics, or matters of the skin, health, very often predicting the anxious audiences future – one things that’s become every morning show’s major draw in the last couple of years), and then get back to whatever they were doing in the first place.

Now, what makes lil’ ol me an exception: well for starters, I’ve been given this ridiculous freedom to do whatever I fancy in my on-screen timeslot – as long as it doesn’t conflict with the big bosses policies or show something that might be injurious to the health of the show’s producer (Kashif Abidi, who also happens to be an old friend of mine).

Since my segment is about films and media, it’s bound to have clips and trailers playing along with whatever I am jabbering about on the telly. So, at first I did what everyone does, I acquired the content, went to the studio to edit the stuff, lay it back to tape for the next day.

This was fine and dandy, until I found out that this is seriously affecting my work at iMAGES (for those not in the know, I have Pakistan’s first, and absolute column on film reviews, that works along the lines of actual film criticism).

To compensate this and my motion picture consultation work, I took it upon myself to edit the content, which brought back those few measly hours that I transferred back to my family. After all, what’s all the money in the world in front of spending a bit of time with the folks, right?

Getting back to the point, now that I’ve got this whole thing streamlined, I’ve found time to capitulate to the idea of that I now refer to as as “The K Initiative” (I like dressing up my projects with serious-sounding names that reek of egoism….so sue me).

If you’re asking: Now, what in hell is this “K Initiative” thingie? –  then don’t because I am not answering, suffice to say that the thing, if it turns out as my business blueprint says, then it might be big. To give you a hint, it covers the spectrum of the entire entertainment media, including the internet – a little known creature that everyone knows of, uses, but, doesn’t utilize. There are local motion pictures on the horizon as well.

Details on my upcoming blog. When I cannot say.


MKJ & ST on BKS: Lollywood, Bollywood, Bruits and Mukhtara Mai Adaptations

I really don’t get it. I really don’t. Especially when people who once sounded sane appear on the idiot box sounding more idiot than cliched storylines from daily Indian soaps. Case in point: Sonu Nigaam (no the extra ‘a’ is not a spelling mistake), someone who I’ve admired since his betime days in Sa Re Ga Ma – a long running musically inclined talent show.

Sonu Nigaam
Sonu Nigaam

 Mr. Nigam who always talked about promoting talent, whether Indian or international seemed less likely to produce this nasty soundbyte. Yet he did. I guess people change. Although the core idea of his statement may be true, he might have to agree that he did infact sing for us too. Personally speaking, I’m not in the least bit mood for a whapping match, and I personally don’t see the need to go nasty. But then again, that is something both Sana Tariq and I do three days a week on Bakhabar Savera.

Imran Abbas
Imran Abbas

Like, when we talked about the rumor mill going kooky on Imran Abbas being cast in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s now dead “Heera Mandi” project. SLB’s attitude was free from ambiguity and unprocessed. I must talk with Imran about this when we meet (the guy is pretty elusive these days with his constant shoots).

On another note, I really am looking forward to seeing ‘Gulnar’, the Indo-Pak venture immixing the talents of Gajendra Singh – the director of Sa Re Ga Ma, Voice of India and Antakshari – and Hasina Moin, the multifarious Pakistani writer. It is with unfeigned hope that ‘Gulnar’ does not unfold into a platitudinal upshot.

Then, the people of ARY Network and Jay Roach are making a movie on Mukhtara Mai. Ok. I could very well hammer out a thousand word analysis on this subject alone, and why I think this subject should not be exploited AT ALL! But then again, this project isn’t going to be major player in the revival of Pakistani Cinema. It will be a festival piece, aimed to raise an issue and create awareness. I guess when commercial cinema fails, all we have left are festival films to contend with. Yay Kara.

Ours was a pretty confined – or rather a very “safe” – performance today, when we skimmed over these topics. I had a lot of questions to answer, but our time today was short, so we ended up not asking the right questions. Then again, it is my belief that pertinent questions find a way to manifest themselves.

MKJ & ST on BKS: Diverse, Yet, Looped Conversations

Spectacular as it may have been on the telly our polar-opposite partiality on Ramchand Pakistani is something peopled looked forward to. Or so I’m told, constantly. Heck, by the look on Kashif Abidi (the senior producer of Bakhabar Savera) today, it might have been the best show we put together.

Ramchand Pakistani
Ramchand Pakistani

While I don’t condemn the movie – how can I, it was decently made – the movie was too aware of what it was going to be beforehand. And once that happens, then that movie is damned to be become something lesser than what it wanted to be in the first place. Ramchand’s avid technicality – Mehreen choreographed her camera (the filmic cinematography was by Sofian Khan) and the scenes and edited them like a pro. Her production design was spot-on. Every characters came with a pertinent back-story. Her subject about cross-border friction and discrimination maneuvered away from blatant emotional plays and the material is grounded in what can only be described as a ‘realistic portrayal’ of real-life circumstances.

Yet there was very little drama to keep an average viewer glued to their seats. Too little emotional attachment to the characters. And too predictable to be enjoyable. Ramchand has a label of showcasing a filmmaker of potential. Sadly that is the only thing it is good at. That and the score by Debajyoti Mishra. I also have an issue with the budget of the movie. $600,000 is a huge price for a Festival Movie.

Looking Forward to Spider-Man
Looking Forward to Spider-Man


On another note I really am looking forward to the upcoming Spider-Man musical. I like Julie Taymor and that is reason enough to buy a ticket. I already reviewed Valkyrie for iMAGES, so no need to waste digital ink here.

MKJ & ST on BKS: Empowering Women (and women’s cinema) on Womens Day

It is almost uncommon and atypical for a television channel to advocate (or at the least familiarize) the role of women’s accomplishments in cinema on a morning show, yet this is precisely what happened today morning on Bakabar Savera at ARY One World – the show which is in practice to shorten its hosts and guests name down to their first few letters.

For those not in the know, Kamran Jawaid is referred to as MKJ and since the last few days, Sana Tariq the host is now occasionally ST; Well at least in my Khabar Bakhabar subdivision of the show..I kinda think these little things spark the show up a little…but I’m starting to rant…let’s get back to the topic.

Women’s part in cinema is a epic subject to ponder, that as a minimum necessitates a two hour show or a three hour documentary or maybe a quick hop to Wikipedia to uncover (alas, people just don’t read books today, let alone books about films); and instead of making this event a solemn, life and death issue (which disconsolately our – as in the Pakistani – media is quite apt at), we shifted our angle to cover the issue in our own almost-random, slightly quirky fashion and I think it went quite well.

We also discussed a bit about the Tolerance Award at the Women World Award being named after the late political leader, and once Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto.

Just one thing…with all the attention to women-based events, I think we need to propagate men a little too…maybe I’m feeling a bit down with all the attention we men are not getting. I mean, who commends us anyway for anything these days? We need to think about this…seriously.

The show, like the others I have been promising, will be uploaded soon, and this gives me the reason to slide out of writing about it in detail.

Early Morning Broadcasts, Or Getting Up Early to See Kamran Jawaid

Ok, so things have been better, this year, so far. In fact they’re better than last year.There is a feeling of upward spiral in my gut.

Starting this month, I’ve begun to appear regularly (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thrusday) on Bakhabar Savera (BKS for short) as their Media Analyst. Don’t be confused if I’m labeled as MKJ. MKJ is short for Mohammad Kamran Jawaid. Five shows have aired till now.

BKS is a pretty popular morning show hosted by Sana Tariq and produced by Syed Kashif Abidi on ARY One World, and up until now it was pretty serious for an early morning show, a fact which had something to do with past demons – but I won’t go into that right now. Let’s just say that early mornings will be a tad more fun now, especially with mild face-off’s between Sana and me (our rifts come naturally and have little to do with planned programming).

To tell you the truth, I’m pretty scared about being in front of the camera. No, make that used to be. The first three-four shows were pretty lame from my end, but that’s just my opinion.

Sana and Kashif Abidi (and the wacky production team) has been very supportive and I’ve had good feedback so far, so that negates my opinion somewhat. Even if I feel secure at the back of the camera, than in front.

Segments from my shows will be put up officially on YouTube soon.

Starting this week, I’ll update the blog every Sunday, with news from the show and other bits of relevant info.