By: Rashid Sami

Philosopher when asked to describe life states that life is like a chessboard. On each side is the Creator and the creation. The pieces are the phenomena of the universe and the rules of the game are what we call laws of nature. The player on the other side is hidden from us. We know that His play would always be fair, just and patient. But we should also know, tour cost, that he never overlooks a mistake, or makes the smallest of allowance for ignorance.

With the arena consisting of just two colours, black and white, chess is a game of patience, strategy and vision. For people who know the game, chess despite being devoid of colours and confined to a 2 by 2 feet board, is gorged with excitement and intrigue.

One such arena being brought to the mini-screen is Bisaat. Through it’s to be seen whether this television play has a similar theme of the other plays with a similar foreign backdrop, or has depth in scrip and treatment. However, the names involved in the production are impressive. Imran Aslam as script writer has made a comeback after more than a decade. Ghazafar Ali, the producer/director of the play has taken up the job after Jaal, the 92 episode soap in the early 90s. Bisaat’s claim to frame already is the debut of film star Nadeem to the mini-screen.

It was late0evening of the first Sunday of the year 2000 and the venue, a local hotel. The invitation was for 8 ‘o’ clock sharp and it was not till past 10 p.m. that the event actually started, owing to the late coming guests and the host of the evening Fakhr-e-Alam.

Humphry Bogart look like man with a black floopy velvet hat. this man turned out to be none other than Arshad Mehmood, the music composer cum actor in the play. The very next person  to greet us was equally “Sicilian” in looks and had that ‘I know everything you did last summer’ grin on his face. This was Ghazafar Ali. Bakhtiar made a sudden entry and with a mere ‘Hello’ joined the other hosts.

The stage was well designed with four musicians playing mostly filmi tunes. The guests were coming in and already present from the TV qabila were Iqbal and Bushra Ansri, Bajia, Ashfaq Ahmed. Sheharyar Zaidi and Nayyara Noor. Shamoon and Javeria Jalil. Amongst the late comers were Amir Zaki. Marina and Kuchoo. Yasmin Ismail. Tahir Khan and Seema, Sajjad Gul, Arjumand Rahim and Salma Hasan.

Fakhr-e-Alam invited actors on the stage who spoke of their experiences and expectations. The cast includes Nausheen Qureshi, Amna Hq, Faisal Qureshi, Salman Shahid, Rehan Sheikh Akbar Subhani, Mrs. Hai and Arshad mehmood A Song was presented followed by ‘not so humorous’ skits by Faisal Qureshi and Fakhr-e-Alam.

There was a brief display of clothes by Nazneen Tariq whose apparels have been used in the serial. The models including Andaleeb Rana and Sarah exhibited the formal and bridal wear featuring nets, organza and hand-worked zartooshis. Nazneen who has had fashion shows outside Pakistan including Los Angeles, New York and Dubai started her outlet in 1983 in Karachi. “I am not an extrovert and believe that work should be judged by its creative worth,” states the designer. Models exhibited six white and six coloured outfits as required by the mood of the event.

The finale of the event was Nadeem’s entry, escorted by the models. He plays a dress designer in the serial. Nadeem Spoke of his experiences and expectations and before inviting Ghazafar Ali recited Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s Heart attack. Ghazanfar Ali after his speech and conclusion of the ‘Bisaat launch’ congratulated exhausted Najm-uz-Zaman the coordinator of the event.