KARACHI: February 20 saw the crème de la crème of the Pakistani entertainment industry under one roof in Lahore. While the red carpet witnessed a lot of stars sporting elegant gowns and dapper tuxedos, the event wasn’t ‘all that’. With some highs and lows, the Lux Style Awards (LSA) ended on a strong note with a tinge of disappointment.
Practice what you preach
Huge names of the Pakistani industry such as Noman Ijaz, Hadiqa Kiani, Mohib Mirza and many others were present on the red carpet. Osman Khalid Butt, who was nominated for the Best Actor (Film) category also made an appearance. While the media was in utter frenzy over him and other celebrities for exclusive shout outs, one comment made by Butt seemed to have caught my ears. When asked by a local publication to pose for a Boomerang (a video which plays on a loop on a social media application called Instagram), in which Butt would have to pretend to punch his female colleague, Butt replied, “Absolutely not! I would not do that.” Impressed by his stance on feminism and support for women’s rights, the actor sure seems to practice what he preaches and that is what we love about him.
While the country’s socio-climate always seems to focus on tensions between saas-bahu dramas, model Saheefa Jabbar Khattak made a very powerful statement at the LSA in Lahore as well. After receiving her award for the Best Emerging Talent – Model, Khattak said that the last time her mother was present when she won an award, however this time, her mother-in-law was in the crowd to support her. Denouncing all hate that comes from banking on such self-made social issues, Khattak stated that her mother-in-law has been very supportive of her work and was attending the award show to express her appreciation and love for Khattak. Talk about a complete package!
Remembering the flag-bearers
Another nostalgic moment at the LSA was when Ali Kazmi, one of the hosts of the night, requested for all the LUX girls present at the venue to join him. Sangeeta, Nisho, Sahiba, Meera, Mahira Khan and Mawra Hocane made their way to the front of the crowd for being the only LUX girls at the Lahore Expo that night. Sangeeta mentioned that she was the first ever LUX girl in Pakistan and recalled her experience of working in two LUX commercials. She shared, “In my time, the LUX ads were shown only in cinema theatres so it was a very big deal for me to come on the silver screen.” The five beautiful women posed for pictures and reminisced about their time with LUX.
The non-highlights (!)
Local model Rabia Butt was also present at the LSA on Tuesday evening. Doning a black Faraz Manan sari, the model was asked to present an award to the Award for Achievement in Fashion. Before announcing the winner, she said, “Should I say who‘s the best or who won?” A some-what awkward silence took over the audience, hinting that the model might not agree with the choice of winner. As Sana Safinaz took to stage, Butt then made another remark – which seemed to be like a very sarcastic one – “You deserved this.”
A ‘not-so-happy’ ending
The night ended with a power packed performance dedicated to the #MeinBhi movement initiated by LSA planner, Frieha Altaf. The stage saw the likes of Amanat Ali, Mohsin Abbas Haider, Aima Baig, Kashmir The Band amongst many others singing to Shehzad Roy’s song, Kya Darta Hai. The performance featured an orchestra band and children holding signs that read “Say No To Child Abuse,” “Say No To Rape,” and etc. While the performance was very meaningful and aimed to send a message across of always holding on to hope – something that all the celebrities mentioned throughout the event – none of the artists were seen in the audience. Had they already left for the after party? Because the party is more important than the cause? Who knows? The clock ticking at around 1am, the closing act was not witnessed by most celebrities who earlier seemed to have been supporting the cause – hypocrisy much? Adding in to that, the children who had to perform on stage at this late hour, during a weekday was pure child abuse – something that the performance asked to stop.
The LSAs can be very vaguely coined as Pakistan’s Oscars, however, taking all the good and bad moments from the night into consideration, one can easily be put in a tough spot. Was this year’s LSA a hit or not, is up to you to decide. For me, the hypocrisy trumped all and made me question all the causes that the entertainment industry has ever stood for. With that, bring on the hate!