Our favourite bachelors of 2013

Our completely unobjective list of the single men that made 2013 worthwhile for us.

The one who’s Pakistan’s answer to Hrithik Roshan, the one who can always make us laugh, the one who was born to Rock and Roll and the one who single handedly revived a dying industry.

KARACHI: Below is our completely unobjective list of the single men that made 2013 worthwhile for us, and gave us something to talk about.
The one who can always make us laugh: Osman Khalid Butt


There is an intensity to Osman Khalid Butt that is quite unusual for a comedian, and it is mainly because he is anything but a goofy wise guy. Butt is primarily a theatre actor, and an accomplished one at that.  A co-founder and poetry editor for the Desi Writer’s Lounge, an online writers’ community committed to furthering literary awareness and providing a platform for South Asian writers, and the owner of his own production company, The Living Picture Productions, there is much more to this 27-year-old Orlando Bloom look-alike than off-colour jokes and an alter-ego named Skippy Warszawski. He was most recently seen on stage at Kuch Khaas in Bright Lights Big City, an ode to Broadway that he co-wrote and choreographed, but his most notable stint in the last year was his lead role in the TV drama Aunn-Zara, based on Faiza Iftikhar’s much-loved novel Hisaar e Mohabbat, for which he scooped up his first ever acting award nomination at the 4th Pakistan Media Awards for Best Drama Artist (Male).  Of the drama, Butt says, “It’s incredibly rare to be part of a project where everything just seems to click into place, from performances to chemistry, from the direction to the writing. Haissam Hussain directed the serial in a way only he can, and Faiza Iftikhar wrote a fantastic character in Aunn.” As for the nomination, all he has to say is, “Mind = Blown.”

His Ideal Woman

The Ideal Woman is a 1959 German drama film directed by Josef von Báky. Ah, so that wasn’t movie trivia (shuffles feet). I suppose a woman without pretension. She’d have to be a bit crazy, a bit patient, considering who she’d be dealing with.

What he looks for in a significant other

Wit, spontaneity, and a love for horror (fiction and film).

One thing that no one knows about him

There are only four words in the world that can calm me down, no matter how angry I get. (He didn't say what they were.)
The one who proved to be an acting heavyweight: Hamza Ali Abbasi

There’s an undeniable charm to Hamza Ali Abbasi, a characteristic which is immediately apparent when you meet him. With back-to-back box office successes, it’s safe to say that Abbasi is here for the long haul. His role as Maulvi Majeed in Main Hoon Shahid Afridi had the audience rolling in the aisles, and his brilliant portrayal of a soldier in Waar was tear-jerking. The 29-year-old actor-director has amassed quite a portfolio, appearing not only in movies and on TV, but also in commercials and plays. He is grounded nonetheless and is definitely determined to be all that he can be.

His Ideal Woman

I don’t really have one; I think I can find absolutely anyone ideal. There’s no set definition for the ideal woman. I might find someone perfect who isn’t ideal at all.

What he looks for in a significant other

There’s just one thing, and that’s honesty. Anything else is acceptable, as nobody’s perfect, but one thing I’ve learnt in my life is that there’s no justification for being dishonest.

One thing that no one knows about him

If there’s something nobody knows about me then I don’t think they should. I am emotionally retarded though! I tend to act like a 12 year old. I sometimes take for granted the people who are closest to me, but it’s something I’m working on.
The one who’s the Prince of Polo: Hissam Hyder

It is a pity that polo doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Hissam Hyder was born into the royal family of Pakistani polo in 1982 and began his professional career in 2001. Now, 12 years later, he remains not only Pakistan’s No 1 jockey, but is also amongst the top 5% of polo players worldwide. He has represented the nation at numerous international events, and played alongside legendary personalities from across the world at the prestigious Royal Windsor Cup this year. Needless to say, all this travelling and exposure has moulded him into the perfect combination of down-to-earth and dignitary. A little known fact about the polo player, in addition to his sporting endeavours, Hissam is currently running an agricultural project alongside his father in support of Pakistan’s largest industry.

His ideal woman

An independent, career-oriented girl with her own interests and hobbies.

What he looks for in a significant other

Someone focused and with a good heart, and of course everyone appreciates a good sense of style.

One thing nobody knows about him

I’m a closet Bollywood fan, and can listen to Indian music for hours on end.
The one who’s fighting for a cause: Jibran Nasir


Lawyer by profession, independent politician by passion, and an activist at heart, Jibran Nasir is a man who doesn’t believe in talking about change, but going ahead and making it happen, singlehandedly if he has to. His political activism raised his profile in the last year, but has been quietly working behind the scenes from as early as 2010, when he returned from the UK, engaging in what he terms as “freelance social work” under his first philanthropic venture ‘Pehla Qadam’ and the Humanitarian Response Karachi movement. Idealistic by nature, and with an inborn drive to do everything in his power for what he believes in, he filed nomination papers from NA-250 and PS-113 as an independent candidate, saying, “If the hunger, poverty, injustice, illiteracy and the tyranny in my country cannot change the mind of the parliament for the better, then it is better that we change the parliamentarians.”

His honest and earnest campaign won him many ardent supporters, just not enough to win — this time. “My biggest achievement was getting over my own fears. I can look myself in the mirror and say I am a free man after being able to get over my fear of losing my livelihood and life, and handling the burden of speaking the truth in public.” Enlightened and humbled by his first political experience, this 26-year-old’s idealism is untarnished and he is undeterred from pursuing a future in politics, potentially at the head of his own party. His stint as an independent candidate did give us perhaps the most quotable phrase of election season 2013: Is halkay ko halka mat lou.

His Ideal Women

Someone who has a sense of self worth and tries to explore the potential she has but has the grace to stay humble and true to her roots.

What he looks for in a significant other

Someone who can intellectually challenge me and keep me on my toes and has the patience to tolerate my adventurous nature.

One thing that no one knows about him

I’m not certain; I keep discovering new things about myself every day. Live to learn and explore your abilities.
The one who sees the world through a different lens: Izdeyar Setna

A graduate of the Parsons School of Design, Setna is known for the gritty and raw stories that he captures into moving images with his lens. This internationally renowned photographer doesn’t turn his lens on just any subject though, preferring instead to capture moments that he knows are fleeting and won’t be there the second after he has taken the picture that he needs. Setna has photographed Ben Affleck, had his work auctioned by Christie’s in Dubai, and will have two of his images featured in the 2014 edition of Identities Now — a collection of the best contemporary portrait photography selected from across the globe. The selection committee for the compilation includes David Harris (Vanity Fair), Laurie Kratochvil, Sam Shahid, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, David Schonauer & Peter Hay Halpert. When he’s not busy taking powerful photographs, this 34 year old prefers to catch an episode of Top Gear or relax with a quick game of football. His energetic persona conceals a sensitive soul and an honest heart underneath. He also appears to be a man of very few words, perhaps preferring instead to let his photographs do the talking.

His Ideal Woman

Someone who is caring, takes pleasure in looking good and has a natural charm and charisma.

What he looks for in a significant other

Intelligence, compatibility and humour.

One thing that no one knows about him

I don’t have a particular favourite photographer, but I admire the work of Richard Avedon and Helmut Newton.
The one who has a different agenda: Moin Khan


Moin Khan is the adrenaline junkie who rode his motorcycle all the way from San Francisco to Lahore. The 27-year-old’s journey, titled ‘A Different Agenda’, made headlines the world over, and Khan hasn’t slowed down since. The biker has since then starred in a number of Mountain Dew commercials, doing daring death defying stunts and has proved himself to be a risk taker. The biker claims, “I love motorcycles more than I should, and I love Pakistan more than I love motorcycles, and that’s a whole lot of love.” Khan is, like every typical biker, equal parts funny and confident. He tells The Express Tribune about two American bikers that he took around the North from, Chitral to the Khunjerab pass/China border and to the Skardu/Deosai plains. “Later, I was invited over to speak at a bunch of events in California at different universities and motorcycle clubs. I had the opportunity to show Americans a different side of Pakistan, my way. I got an amazing response and I have over 20 people coming from the States to ride around Pakistan on motorcycles with me,” says Khan. It was two in 2013, and will be 20 in 2014.

His ideal woman

There’s nothing like an ideal woman, nobody is perfect. You’ve just got to strike a balance and hope somehow it works out. However, honesty and confidence are two things I look for the most in a woman.

What he looks for in a significant other

She’s got to be strong and not worried about what others have to say about her.

One thing nobody knows about him

Kosmimaphobia is a very rare phobia that I have to deal with on a regular basis, go figure! (Kosmimaphobia is a fear of jewellery, does this mean he's terrified of wedding rings?)
The one who’s Pakistan’s answer to Hrithik Roshan: Shehryar Munawar Siddiqui

Shehryar Munawar Siddiqui is a well-known  (and oh so handsome) face. Not only is he a staple on TV, the actor has appeared in a number of TV commercials for brands such as Q Mobile, Lux and National foods. The 25-year-old heartthrob, known for his high-profile roles in serials such as Zindagi Gulzar Hai and Aasmann Pey Likha, didn’t always want to act. Instead of just going the normal 9-5 route after completing his Bachelor’s degree, Shehryar decided to spend a year doing the kind of stuff that he’d reminiscence about when he’d turn 40. Acting turned out to be one of those things. Within the last year, he not only managed to work on multiple drama serials, he scored a role in the upcoming Pakistani film Kambakht, which will also star Hamza Ali Abbasi, Saba Qamar and Humayyun Saeed.

His ideal woman

Someone who is opinionated and at the same time can articulate her thoughts well. Someone who’s confident and self-assured, can keep a conversation going and is genuinely interested in what I have to say rather than just waiting for her turn to speak. She’s got a beautiful heart but is tough on the outside. She loves watching movies and has the weirdest taste in music. She reads and isn’t afraid of starting a sentence with a ‘did you know that’. She knows how to dress well and how to carry herself well. She’s polite but assertive when she needs to be. She’s wonderful...

One thing you didn’t know about him

I wear a shiny spandex suit under my clothes at all times. Yes, I’m Superman.
The one who sees the world as his canvas: Komail Aijazzuddin


Some people march to the beat of their own drum, and Komail Aijazzuddin is one of them. While everyone else is in a rush to achieve success or stardom, Komail is on his way to quietly becoming the next big artist in Pakistan. Upon graduating from New York University with a triple major in Studio Art, History of Art and Journalism, the 29-year-old began showcasing his paintings at various galleries around New York, London and Paris, ultimately deciding to pursue his painting career in Pakistan. His latest exhibition, Forgetting a Friend, has drawn much praise, and it’s safe to say Komail is on top of his game. Upon graduation, Komail briefly tried his hand at journalism with a local magazine in New York before working in human rights with Amnesty International. This debonair artist is a true intellectual in every sense of the word. Komail seeks a higher purpose in life and ponders over everyday issues such as religion and spirituality a great deal; something which reflects in his work. He is deeply interested in scriptures, mythologies, history and different faiths, all of which serve as inspiration for his paintings. As for his ideal woman, Aijazzuddin prefers to keep tight-lipped about his personal life.

One thing you don’t know about him

Komail used to be overweight up until his teens and lost all his weight through regular gym sessions.
The one who was born to Rock and Roll: Farhad Humayun


The founder, front man and drummer for Overload needs little introduction. He is one of the most talented musicians in Pakistan, possesses a lethal charm and has the confidence and force of personality that one would expect a rocker to have in spades. Humayun has spent the last year producing Pepsi Smash, a culmination of almost ten years of experience in the production field, which was recorded and shot at his very own Riot Studios. He also flew to Washington DC to represent music entrepreneurship in Pakistan, presenting alongside the President of the World Bank and NASA engineers. It appears that his jam-packed year is ending on a high note, as the 35 year-old feels that 2013 was when the world was finally able to catch on to what he was trying to say through his music. “I’ve managed to curb my anger and resentments with people but not with the government of the world and I want to keep it that way. I can safely say I’m happy with my life. I realised that anything is possible and quite easy to achieve. I know who I am and where I’m heading.”

He also makes a mean Moroccan chicken, is a nomad at heart and can talk about British Indie music for hours.

His Ideal Woman

Fearless, Witty, Transparent, Believer, Decisive, Understated

What he looks for in a significant other

A woman who smells good will earn my eternal respect. I like fragrances that make you feel like you’re in an open field. Someone with a thirst for life and the sparkle of truth in her eye.

One thing that no one knows about him

I’m anti-social. I love my solitude.
The one who single handedly revived a dying industry: Bilal Lashari

Bilal Lashari was the man behind the megaphone for a small, low-budget independent film that you might have heard of  — does the name Waar ring a bell? No? Well, it breathed new life into an industry that many had written off completely, broke one record after another at the box office, impressed a guy named Ram Gopal Varma across the border, and set the bar ridiculously high for Pakistani cinema. We have it on good authority that this in-demand director is not only talented and driven, but he’s also cerebral, well-read and has a self deprecating razor-sharp wit about him. The director-cinematographer maintains his biggest achievement of the last year was “having an honest answer to a question that’s haunted [him] for three years: when is Waar releasing?”So he’s modest too, despite being the man behind a film that has grossed Rs220,000,000 (and counting) at the box office. Given that he is now looking to revamp Ghandasa films with his version of the cult classic Maula Jatt, expect this one to be on all our lists from now on.

His Ideal Woman

A woman who is passionate, respects herself, graceful, needs space and knows how to give space, gets what she wants but also gives you what you need.

What he looks for in a significant other

She has to be an absolute chiller. Mutual respect and mental and emotional stimulation are key.

One thing that no one knows about him

I may look calm but in my head I’ve killed you thrice already.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 29th, 2013.

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Natalie | 7 years ago | Reply

@Major Iqbal:

Yeah. Most of us know that Pakistan is burning but these people seem to be living on another planet:


Zara | 7 years ago | Reply

What about Tahir Shah?

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