By: Rashid Sami

Privatization of different “slots” on PTV may have brought financial gains to the corporation but due to the absence of proper monitoring of productions scrip, direction and placement and number of commercials, our mini-screen is offering sub-standard programmes. One only hoes that the PTV officials restrict the “commercialization” of our mini-screen as it makes our viewers more vulnerable to other channels offering “between-the-line” anti-Pakistan programmes.

The much-hyped PTV drama serial Zaibunnisa was telecast last Friday. It is after a long time that Sahira Kazmi has produced a serial, Written by Azra Babar. It is a story about lower middle class family.

The play revolves around a young girl Mehrunisa (played by Nida Kazmi) recently married to a “difficult and complaining” person (played by Adnan Siddiqui), who owens his employment and accommodation to his father-in-law.

It is a after a long time that PTV may it be private or PTV production, has telecast a play which promises a sensible treatment to a script relating to social issues.

In the first episode all the actors were very impressive, especially the performance by Nida and Aadarash Ayaz who plays her brother. The story has man-aged to define the bond between a confused sister and a supportive brother.

Zaibunnisa has the potential of becoming an interesting television serial. The cast includes Sabeen Javeri, Saif Hasan, Kazim Shigri, Sajida Syed, Agha Jafar and Zeba Akbar. Sania Saeed and Safia Khairi join in the later episode.

Aan, despite innumerable commercials, is a disappointment. The whole episode telecast last Sunday revolved around just two characters who started the episode with a plan to get married and ended up making a plan for a “join-suicide” with the male carrying a pistol and the female carrying pieces of broken bangles.

Tribute to Music Legends was yet another run of the mill presentation with a rather disappointing treatment to the event. Tribute to Madam Noor Jehan, Mehdi Hasan and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan through catwalk and badly choreographed dances. These legends, who are respected and recognized internationally as icons of music, were paid tribute in a very commercial and loud manner.

Zeba Bakhtiar with a dance, Sana and Zeeshan with a stereo-type Heer-Ranjha bansuri sequence and Naeem Abbas Rufi with a “bouncy” performance paid tribute to mehdi Hasan, Madam Noor Jehan and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan respectively. There was no mention of the contributions, lifetime achievements and struggles of any of the three artists during their careers.

Mideast Time also seems to be subjected to re-runs or low-budget productions. The afternoon and late night slot, which is supposed to cater to the expatriates living in the Middle East, telecasts Top-3, a badly produced programme. The producer is ignorant of the fact that misspelling talent s “talent” and directors as “drector” has a bad impact on viewers. PTV World officials should also keep an eye as this programme is telecast on satellite representing Pakistani production and literacy standard.

Ab Yeh Mumkin Nahin has completed it’s eighth episode, and the story has taken a dramatic and emotional turn. The play, which discussed the social problems of working women, has managed to create a viewer-ship amongst the female audience.

It is a story about Saba, played by Rubina Ashraf, married to and affluent businessman played by Noman Aijaz, Samra (Shagufta Aijaz), who comes from a broken home, is a working person residing in the women’s hostel and has managed to bring a separation between Noman Aijaz and Rubina Ashraf. It is a multi-track story intelligently handled by Atif Husain, the director of the play.

In the order track Aliya, played by Sadia Husain, has given in to marrying a wadera to save her mother’s house which her step father had sold to the wadera.

Scripted by Fasih Bari Khan, the cast includes Shahood Alvi, Sehar Afzal, Roshan Ata, Tahir Ali, Badar Khalil, Javeria Jalil and others.