Mathira reloaded

Pakistan’s guilty pleasure returns with Baji Online.

Rafay Mahmood April 06, 2011


The girl who lured Pakistani audiences with her revealing morning exercise segment and created massive midnight viewership is back with a bang. Yes, after gaining popularity and stirring controversy through “Love Indicator”, her show on Vibe TV, Mathira is back with yet another late night show called “Baji Online” — but this time the platform is bigger and better.

With a better set and higher production value, of the new show has boosted the confidence of the ‘Guuji Guuji’ girl. That being said, however, the format of the show remains more or less the same and with Mathira sticking to her trademark moves and dialogues. And one can assume that there will be no stopping her gaining popularity and her videos going viral.

What’s interesting is that Mathira, much to her viewers’ disappointment, is now referred to as Baji. In one episode, a viewer messaged her, blatantly telling her that her name should have been “Darling” instead of Baji. An Agony Aunt of sorts, she attempts to give her viewers advice but doing so in her Mathira-esque style, she manages to provide ample entertainment. Baji tends to come on air dressed up in character. She has already alternated from a teacher to a police woman, complete with baton in hand. In one highly amusing episode, she interviewed a very awkward Dino, asking him to name some animals from the entertainment industry.

Strange stuffed toys and a cage full of purple chicks (baby chickens) are also seen on her set in her very ‘bling’ late night show.

There are a couple of things that she has learnt from her past encounters with callers who hate her, but given that she has a wider reach being on AAG TV she still doesn’t hesitate in saying the “guuji guuji muah muah” line and often couples it with a one liner saying, “If you don’t like what I do, then just cut it.”

In a time where news has become entertainment and news anchors the entertainers, shows like these come off as a welcoming change for the audience. There is not a lot of music being produced and all the local music channels are playing Indian and western music, cinema is nonexistent and theatre plays can be counted on one’s finger tips. In such an entertainment crisis Mathira’s new show comes off as a welcome escape for the audience who is suffering from news hysteria. Be it teenagers or adults, men or women, everyone watches her show. And while some watch it for the novelty Mathira has while other’s watch it to hate her, no one can watch her and not have an opinion.

Mathira has come a long way; she started off as a yoga instructor and went on to becoming a late night diva. Among her accolades is hosting the Lux Style Awards and receiving the Indus Billo Style award in 2010. For a young girl from humble beginnings, Mathira has achieved a lot. That being said, those who dislike her are likely to hate her and those who like her, are likely to love her after watching her new show.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 7th, 2011.


anon | 10 years ago | Reply Mathira is a breath of fresh air though she says silly stuff she is highly entertaining and different not to mention gutsy, much better than the hosts of other crappy shows on tv. I wish her the best of luck.
Sohail Shamsi | 10 years ago | Reply @Fareed: thank you Fareed, much appreciated.
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