Curtain call 2010: When fun times rolled in Pakistan

From engagements and trashy songs to fashion shows and banning Facebook, 2010 was anything but uneventful.

Laleen Khan December 24, 2010
It rained fashion weeks

It was the year of the fashion week multitude; there were two in Karachi, two in Lahore and then Bridal Couture Week - yet more announced (Islamabad Fashion Week and Peshawar Fashion Week). The world’s fashion capitals Milan, Paris, New York have one fashion week. Pakistan, however, seems way ahead of the game…or not. Do we really have that many retail buyers in Pakistan? We definitely have enough bored housewives, busy darzis and a multitude of ‘fashion’ magazines. What’s next—Sukkur Fashion Week and Head & Shoulders’ darzi Fashion Week?

Our social network

Facebook—the ‘un-Islamic’ website was temporarily banned and lonely hearts who wanted to “make friendship” with random people went in to mourning. Jokes aside, small businesses rely on social networking even more than larger ones, and this platform for bringing people closer together was sorely missed by thumbs itching to post status updates on their smartphones during traffic jams, in dentists’ waiting rooms, salons and, of course, every few minutes at work.  Mark Zuckerberg, you’re a bigger hero in Pakistan than Bill Gates.

Bringing the ‘muchh’ back with a ‘bangg’

Dabangg was this year’s surprise Bollywood blockbuster. Salman Khan brought back twirly mustachios, which never really went out of fashion in Lollywood, in addition to his youthful swagger which has been around for a few decades now. He was the first buff Bollywood actor in an era when oversized floral sweaters were still meant to signify masculine biceps, along with ‘mufflers’ and zippered white boots as accessories de rigueur. Salman changed all that and the camera lens started objectifying actors along with the traditionally objectified actresses, which is why we today see Bollywood leading men in tank tops and shiny pants dancing like Ricky Martin rather than just glaring at the filmi women  dancing around them.

Trashy songs sell

The songs we danced to, jogged to and drove to were super catchy, super trashy, and super fun. From Lady Gaga and Ke$ha to Taio Cruz and Katy Perry, we loved them all. Well, most of them.

Bangs are not just for women

Canada’s most annoying export, Justin Bieber, sends pulses racing in elementary schools everywhere, to the extent that many women with short golden-brown hair in America routinely get mistaken for him by avid screaming Beliebers.

Camera-mad for Shoania

This Indo-Pak Aman-ki-Asha celeb couple ignited cross-border media frenzy when they got hitched. News channels thirsted for their blood and hounded them ‘til they got adequate footage.

Tennis ‘playa’

Aisam, beware, you haven’t just done phenomenally well in tennis and lifted Pakistan’s public image, you’re also now among Pakistan’s most eligible bachelors. Stay clear of weddings and aunties if you want to remain one.

Maternity-like fashion

Kameezes were so voluminous that dupattas were included in the shirt fabric to create maternity silhouettes and hide bumps big enough to hold triplets.

Veteran models ‘settling down’

After lucrative careers in the limelight, veteran models Vinnie and ZQ both married this year in low-key ceremonies away from the public eye—ZQ to a mature Dubai resident and Vinnie to a guy from Islamabad.  After seeing them wearing stunning bridal outfits for years, fans didn’t get to see how they looked on their actual weddings.

Coked out on studio

Coca Cola Pakistan literally struck a chord with their audience with their successful Coke Studio show. One example of a star reborn—Arif Lohar minus the satin dhoti crooning a more effective “Jugni” sound than his ‘gangsta’ look from a previous music video, where he’d decked in a fur hoodie and gold chains.

Royal engagement

The official engagement of Prince William, golden-haired first born of Princess Diana, with Kate Middleton, dignified brunette commoner, was conveyed to the public in their first public interview as an affianced couple along with their first official photos. Within minutes, hopeful designers sketched wedding gowns and even bridal lingerie, and copycat versions of the mesh-dress-over-underwear that first caught Will’s attention at the University of Edinburgh were available for would-be princess consumers.


Yes, WikiLeaks were explosive, but what was truly funny were the Pakistani news agency contributions attributing negative remarks about the Indian army by US officials—creative and funny.

It ain’t over till the fat lady sings

And, last but not least, music heavyweights on both sides of the globe were ailing and recovering at the same time, with fervent prayers from their multitudes of fans. Abida Parveen and Aretha Franklin, you’re loved by everyone and we’re glad you’re still with us in 2011 and beyond.
Laleen Khan An international columnist and media consultant who Tweets @laaleen
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

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