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Naveen Waqar Weds Azfar Ali!! And that’s none of my business

Naveen Waqar – the femme fatale, gorgeous villain of the tele serial “Humsafar” that broke all success records and became a legend of Pakistani tv. Naveen left a mark as the ballistic, obsessed-with-Ashaar “Sarah”. But the delicate Naveen in interviews came across as quite the opposite of the psychotic Sarah……calm, elegant, pleasant. the proverbial “nice girl”.

She was next seen in Geo’s “Annie ki aayegi baraat” and the recent episodes showed her as the bashful bride.

And then, simultaneously, it happened! Firstly, hushed and cautious rumours and then full-fledged breaking news all over town.

Naveen had tied the knot with the known tv-anchor, actor and director Azfar Ali. What shocked the wits out of people was the fact that Azfar was already married to Salma Azfar, also a tv actress, for almost a decade, and has apparently divorced her before saying “I do” to the resplendent Naveen.

What followed was a frenzy of animated, passionate, fiery discussions over social networking sites, comment-wars under blogs and discussions over coffee. And essentially, everyone was and is saying the same things: That Naveen is a home breaker. That she has destroyed the life of Azfar’s children. Comments like “We will never forgive her” and “how could she do this?” flooded the blogs. Naveen had overnight become the “other woman”.

To me, this was a surprising bit of news and that’s about it. I have never been an Azfar fan but I rather like his (ex)wife Salma. She had a sweet, likable quality to her. I can empathize and feel for the children, as a home breaking is never easy for any party involved , specially the kids.

But with all the charged-up opinionated friends who are calling Naveen and Azfar names, I beg to differ. Agreed it is sad. But hello, do we really know the reality? Have we walked in the shoes of any party involved here?  In any case, whenever an engagement or a marriage break, why do we ask the inevitable “magar hua kya?”. Is it really our business and position to judge and belittle someone’s choices? What if his first marriage was already a bad marriage behind the smilie photographs? And yes, there is a very real possibility that leaving Salma is a mistake he is committing. But hey, it is HIS life and his mistake. And it is Naveen’s choice. My heart goes out to Salma, but I cannot judge without knowing details.

And the golden rule of course is to leave alone matters that we don’t concern us. There is so much more we can do with our precious time. Sign a petition in favour of the Shia Hazara. Read a good book. Read the great articles always available on the net that add value to your life. Bake something and have it with tea. Better still, have that cup of tea with your mom. Write. Pray. Walk. Love. Care………..

Why bicker and argue over what she and he did with their lives? Wish them the best, say “Shadee Mubarak” and move on. In short, get a life. After all, it’s known that gossipers don’t have much of a life of their own.

Choice is yours.

Salma, sending you strength and good vibes. May your tomorrows be much much better.

Naveen, you are no evil witch to me and your personal life is your business. So Shadee Mubarak.

And Azfar, could you improve the quality of your shows? The wit is a little run-down these days.

Of Humsafar’s Repeated Episode…….Who Was Behind This Act of Terror?

It is 8 pm and the fateful date is the 4th of February 2012. It’s a Saturday evening, but the streets of Karachi are unusually empty. The air is heavy with anticipation. Tick tock tick tock. Moments slide lazily. Finally, the moment arrives. The moment for which millions across Pakistan waited the whole week. Quratulain Baloch croons, yet again, “Who Humsafar tha”. Mahira Khan, or Khirad, smiles bashfully as Fawad Afzal Khan, better known now as Ashaar, smiles his way into our hearts with understated passion. Any and every program for the weekend has been put on hold. The women of Pakistan, and even the men under influence of the women in their lives, are having that crescendo moment of the week. Humsafar is about to begin. Will Khizar spill the beans to Ashaar? Will Sara commit suicide? Will Hareem survive the open heart surgery? Will Ashaar finally develop a spine and see reality? The questions are so many and so important.

I am sitting with my cup of tea which I specially held on to, to watch it with “Humsafar”. I am enjoying the scenes unfold till the phone rings. I refuse to take it. It is my cousin. I plan to call her after the episode is over. But her calls gain frantic pace. I pick up. She is screaming in disbelief. “They are repeating the episode!” she says, amidst tears. “What? Let me confirm it,” I say. Another friend confirms it. I open my facebook page. Yes, it’s true. My home page is flooded with status updates full of anger, disillusionment, disbelief and denial.

Some of these (and these are real ones) are:

  • “Ok Hum tv, this is not on! You can’t show a repeat of Humsafar’s previous episode at prime time….. :(”
  • “Not fair…waiting one whole week and they repeat the humsafar episode :(”
  •  “Not fair! I had my dinner table set in front of the tv. It was like pura taraddud kiya and last week’s episode? Grrrr!”
  • “What is going on hamsafar is repeated??????? Why? :(”
  • “They can’t do this to us …. Humsafar :(“

But perhaps the best one was this, from a friend in USA:

  • “Humsafar buddies hosla karain. Kaheen yeh bhi Amreeka ki koi sazish to naheen??”

As people start waking up to the horrible reality, one of them calls the collective suffering “HUM SUFFER!!!”

I realize my good fortune! I had missed the last episode due to a doctor’s appointment. I am enjoying sadistic pleasure out of it, feigning sympathy for my friends. Well, a part of me actually feels for them. But I am relishing the moment. I grab a kinnoo and some chilly chips from the kitchen in celebration, just as the last commercial break approaches. The doctor’s visit saved me the pain.

A running strip on the bottom of the tv screen announces that the channel is apologizing that the episode could not be aired due to “technical difficulties”.

And the stream of conspiracy theories begins flowing. Animated discussions begin. Was this to increase ratings? Is Humsafar playing hard to get to keep the spark alive? Were there issues with the sponsors? Is this a chaal of the extremists? The Talibaan? Are the free masons behind this, if not the US of A?

The official facebook page of Humsafar makes a lame attempt at trying to “make up” by writing “Bicharnay waale mein sub kuch tha, bewafaai na thee”. But no amount of pledges of loyalty and sweet kootchie-cooing is apparently enough to make up for the pain the fans went through.

So the classic stages of grief are in play: Denial, anger and finally resigned acceptance.

What can we do but Sabr. So we all start the waiting game yet again. Once more, we are waiting for next Saturday……for a new glimpse of the intense and dashing Fawad and the stunning miss-goodie-two-shoes Mahira.

Hang in there friends. Next Saturday you will all hopefully sleep happier and more fulfilled. Till then, here is to all the Humsafar fans (all genders included).