Covid-19 can dampen our spirits but it won’t deter our talent. There are four sexy Pakistani men who are bringing joy to our lonely lockdown lives these days. And no, Imran Khan isn’t one of them.
After all, Pakistan mein talent ki koi kami nahin hai.
Whenever I hear someone say this, I actually believe it. Reason? Look around, didn’t we all just watch Taher Shah’s sequel of the Angel song that recently came out as… what else but Farishta? Now if you mix this talent with Pakistan being the third sexiest nation in the world, the results will truly be explosive. Thanks to Taher Shah, I am not wrong.
Farishta in times of corona
Epitomising this grand mixture of talent with sexiness is the purple sensation who has come as a ‘farishta’ in these dark times — Taher Shah, he who didn’t shy away from becoming an angel with a hairy chest in this vain world. Only real men can become purple angels. By the way, that purple angel dress which he himself had designed was way ahead of its times. Angel would later become a go-to word for Pakistan’s establishment.
Lest we digress, Taher Shah is back among us. After keeping us waiting for four years, he has released Farishta, in an animated form this time, but every bit as funny as Angel to help us laugh as we worry about the coronavirus.
For Shah, it all began with Eye-to-Eye and the world has never been the same for our eyes since. Dressed in all white and all black suit, with long flowing hair, singing, humming, dancing to his own tunes, Taher Shah told us something that we didn’t know: “Essential, sensational eyes, My eyes and your eyes.” He warned us about the current times of coronavirus pandemic and social distancing when he sang, “Keep your love in the soul, Make love with eye to eye.”
But were we even paying attention? Life just imitated art.
Have a, have a look, one £ fish
Way before Taher Shah opened my fabulous eyes and your exciting eyes, the world had discovered Fish-and-Man. The sensational Shahid Nazir, a Pakistani fishmonger at Queen’s Market in London, would sing out loud “Come on ladies, Come on ladies One Pound Fish!” to attract customers. Someone shot a video of him and put it on YouTube and Nazir became an internet sensation overnight. Millions of YouTube views was an extraordinary achievement for an ordinary man that resonated with so many people. He was now The One £ Fish Man. The fish man went on to perform his song on the reality show The X Factor and was signed by Warner Music.
Nazir released another song in a tribute to Michael Jackson. “Michael Jackson we all love you, we all miss you.” Nazir performing as the ‘King of Pop’ was perhaps the only time we thought so deeply about what Jackson’s death meant to us. Nazir shouting Jackson’s “whoaaaaa” and his moonwalk must have made Jackson turn in his grave. Or laugh even, who knows.
Flying TikTok uncle
At a time when we can’t go anywhere of our own free will, there is a TitTok celebrity who is flying anywhere he wants to. Don’t bother if the international flights, trains, buses, motorbikes or skiing are all closed — no one can stop Jam Safdar. And what are all these modes for Safdar anyway; he can just stop a moving train to take his selfie. He is flying visa free on the wings of an airplane with a Dhoom Machale beat. He became a rocket that was launched in the sky; next he is in an air balloon basket. He can put on wings and fly like an angel too. Safdar can be our Tom Ellis in the local version of Netflix’s Lucifer.
In pursuit of his passion for travelling, he has been taking help of animals too: One time he was riding on tigers and then he was seen flying with the help of an owl. And if any of this doesn’t work for you, Safdar has just booked a premium carpet for his next travel expedition. If you are not doing what Safdar is, then you’re doing the quarantine wrong.
Aaxcuse me, aap bhi?
Waseem Hassan Sheikh is the man who brought revolution with “Aaxcuse me, aap bhi?”. An adman who changed the aesthetics of advertising in Pakistan forever. His local ads entail sharp scripts and even sharper dance moves with an electrifying wardrobe. And you can’t go without dancing in his ad-world, whether you’re selling biryani, talcum power, haleem or popsicles. It was with Kit Kat talcum powder that Sheikh became an internet heartthrob with the ad’s signature tagline Aaxcuse me, aap bhi?, implying that you also use the same product.
His ads are a laugh-riot. In Johnny & Jugnu shami burger ad, Sheikh is dressed as a snake charmer who brings out a shami burger in a basket. As soon as he takes one bite, he becomes part of Pakistan’s so-called burger crowd, his clothes change and so does his language. Who would have thought it could be this way but Sheikh knows best.
He is selling haleem with Shah Rukh Khan’s Mehndi laga ke rakhna as ‘Cozy haleem yaara, zaiqa hai iska pyara’. I mean what? Zaiqa is never pyara but those steps just left SRK and Kajol behind. In all his local brands that carry male names like ‘Nawab (biryani), Bahadur (grocery store) or Talha (photography), Sheikh acts like a jealous, possessive boyfriend. But all is fixed in the end when the couple break into a dance, of course. Don’t underestimate Sheikh as a local admaker, he can do international work from home, like in his ad for an Abu Dhabi Boti street restaurant, dressed as an Arab with a camel. Aaxcuse me, aap bhi?
The author is a freelance journalist from Pakistan. Her Twitter handle is @nailainayat. Views are personal.