When whispers about trouble in Imran Khan and Reham Khan’s paradise hit my ears months back, I dismissed them as rumours, though many expressed surprise that the union had managed to limp on for even that long. For an outsider (like me) it seemed like the sudden marriage was beginning to find its feet. After all, we form our perceptions from happy images, interviews and lovey-dovey tweets by Reham. When Wasim Akram tweeted a picture from a dinner at IK and Reham’s residence, “Aww! How happy they look!” I said to myself. The reality was, of course, a far cry. Given that the marriage lasted 10 months, they obviously didn’t know each other well enough before taking the plunge.
The slew of divorce theories doing the rounds have to be heard — each version more hilarious, preposterous and scandalous than the other. The spin doctors are having a field day. Probably inspired by the circus-like Indian news channels, the Pakistani channels have also made it their preoccupation, playing sad Bollywood songs and carrying out expert analyses on the subject. Everyone has suddenly discovered the closet gossip queen in them and wants a piece of the salacious divorce pie.
Reham is being portrayed as a gold-digger with political ambitions. Whether this is true, isn’t the question. IK doesn’t have a squeaky clean image either but the fact is that if two people have decided to part ways by mutual consent and gracefully, they’re still better off than the thousands of cowards who keep their unhappy marriages going. Hopefully, we won’t see either of them wash their dirty linen in public later on. With so much new material on hand, the Indian filmmaker who was planning on making a biopic on IK must be a chuffed man.
1) The directive issued by Pemra prohibits broadcasters from covering the activities of 72 different outlawed groups. In spirit, the move conveys Pakistan’s seemingly serious intention to contain terrorism, but I’m not sure how banning the broadcast will help. Concealing news about the banned organisations will only keep the public in the dark about the goings-on and provide an easy exit to the government, which has failed to contain the situation.
2) Pakistani artists worried about being unable to work in Bollywood in the wake of political protests in Mumbai, have found support from Salman Khan, who says it is unfair to mix art with politics. Not surprisingly, Narendra Modi has been busy globe-trotting to take a stand on the matter.
3) It doesn’t matter that you’re American. When you get $5 million to bash the US, you do it, the way Jennifer Aniston does. In the latest television commercial of Emirates, the airline Aniston endorses, she cocks a snook at lousy American airlines that offer a hotel towel and peanuts, while she’s after a shower and bar that Emirates can boast of. The smart ad comes amid a testy ongoing spat between the American and Gulf carriers. The score is 1-0.
4) It must have been all too emotional for Shoaib Malik as he announced his retirement from Test cricket. Unexpected and surprising I have to say, but the 33-year-old made a comeback, improved his record and chose to hang up his boots on a high. Well played.
5) I’ve been harangued on social media by Ali Zafar’s Turkish fan, who has been ordering me to set up a meeting with the musician-turned-actor. He calls himself Ali’s twin. Going by his pictures he sent me, if there was ever a competition for delusion, the pesky bloke would win it hands down!
Published in The Express Tribune, November 5th, 2015.