Humayun Saeed to write, produce, direct, edit, debut and star in new Netflix series ‘Super Humayun’

Veteran actor Humayun Saeed is set to write, produce, direct, edit, debut and star in Netflix’s first-ever Pakistani superhero show “Super Humayun.”

Sources close to both Saeed and Netflix are tight-lipped about the exciting venture but rumours are Saeed will not only play the heroic vigilante crime fighter Super Humayun, but will also have a double role as the show’s main villain, Humayun Dada.

Rumours are abuzz that Saeed will also do all his own stunts as well as choreographing the show’s two item numbers, also performed by Saeed.

The first season, set in Thatta, will depict Super Humayun’s fight to save the city from alien invaders led by his arch rival and estranged twin brother Humayun Dada. Rumours are abuzz that Saeed will also do all his own stunts as well as choreographing the show’s two item numbers, also performed by Saeed.

The small cast of the show, with most of the characters being played by Saeed himself—most notably the hero, his love interest, and the villain—is a testament to his broad skills and abilities, according to casting director Humayun Saeed.  

With shooting currently being held on-location in Thatta, the series is set to debut on Eid-ul-Fitr 2020.


Sana Mudeer is a former award-winning journalist who burned out early and now has to write for the Daily Fikar. Forced to return all her awards, she can now be found sulking around the office brooding over what could have been. 


Valentine’s Day now ‘Cousin-Se-Dulhan’ Day: Punjaban University to promote local tradition on Feb. 14

NEWS BRIEF (Faisalabad)—In an effort to shun the irrelevant Western tradition of Valentine’s Day and promote the long standing local tradition of marrying cousins, Punjaban University will be celebrating Cousin-Se-Dulhan Day on Feb. 14.

“All these young boys and girls spend so much time writing love letters and buying chocolates for their so-called girlfriends and boyfriends, when in fact they’ll end up getting married to that cousin they always thought of as a sibling until after the first child,” said university president Zanana Khofiyaan. “So instead of wasting time on these false Western dreams, we want our youth to write letters to and buy chocolates for all of their cousins because statistically one of them is going to be their real jaanu for life.”

Needlessly disciplined and pointlessly stubborn: Major (retd) Yaqeen Aziz

Major (retd) Yaqeen Aziz is a serious man. Needlessly disciplined, pointlessly stubborn and filled with too much self-control, the major retired from the armed forces 15 years ago. Now at 63, he spends each day exactly the same way as the last and as a mirror image of the next.

So when I got the major’s permission to follow him along for a morning for this profile, he made it clear that he won’t make any changes to his schedule on my account. The major even suggested that I stay over in a guest room at his house the night before so I could get the full experience of his routine.

The full experience is indeed what I got when I was woken up by a violent banging at the door at 5 a.m. It was the major: a pudgy, clean-shaven man standing in the doorway—dressed in a old worn out t-shirt, blue shorts which ended right above his knees, a white sweatband wrapped around his forehead, and Bata joggers.

“Beta an early morning workout will keep you active well into old age,” he said.

We went onto the terrace where the major began his work out regimen: an assortment of push ups, jumping jacks, burpees, hip circles and booty squeezes. The major would grunt loudly like a tennis player after each exercise rep and from the terrace, I could see lights coming on in the neighboring houses, no doubt of sleepy neighbours now programmed to wake up to the sounds of this aging human rooster.

I could see lights coming on in the neighboring houses, no doubt of sleepy neighbours now programmed to wake up to the sounds of this aging human rooster.

After 20 minutes, Major Aziz sat down next to me and between gasps for air said, “When I was your age, I would do this for two hours. I was the fittest man in my family. And I had eleven brothers, two of whom played hockey for Pakistan under-19s.” The major then dived into a long list of athletic achievements of his family, dating back 200 years when his great-great-great-great-great grandfather, Yaqeen Aziz Sr., captained the first subcontinent cricket team to play the British.

It was around 6:30 a.m. when the bell rang and interrupted the major’s sporting reminisces from going back any farther. We peered over the terrace and saw the family maid. The major went inside and put on a white shalwar over his sweat-drenched shorts before opening the gate.

The major and his neighbours start each day with his terrace exercises.

“6:37. Seven minutes late. Again. Have you no sense of time? If you were in the army, I would’ve had you court martialed by now,” he said.

The maid look over at me and grinned patiently, undisturbed and apparently at ease with the daily one-sided banter. “Sorry major,” she said. The maid calling him major might seem a little strange but Major Aziz refuses to be addressed any other way, even by his three adult children. In fact, people wanting him to do them a favour often call him major-general, much to his delight. Only the major’s wife is exempt from the rule and is allowed to call him “Sir Aziz”.

Inside the house, the major sat at the head of the dining table. Putting on his reading glasses, he picked up the day’s DAWN newspaper. By the time he was done clucking in disdain at every headline on the front page—and muttering “Huh, so this is democracy”—his breakfast had arrived. Four fried eggs, three large buttered parathas and tea.

Only the major’s wife is exempt from the rule and is allowed to call him “Sir Aziz”.

“I’ve been cutting down recently,” he said.  “At your age I’d eat twice this much and finish it off with namkeen lassi. But my doctor says I have high cholesterol and you can’t find good lassi anywhere in Karachi now. It all tastes like Disprin water.”

By 8 a.m.—after breakfast and a quick shower—the major had changed into a purple track suit, but with his sweatband still on. He was now following the maid around to make sure she was cleaning the house properly, pointing out spots she was apparently missing and wiping dust with his finger to show her. Mrs. Aziz had just woken up and thankfully came to the maid’s rescue. After a tense exchange between the spouses, the major picked up his walking stick and signaled me to join him outside.

Still fuming, he strode down the street as I struggled to keep up. He pointed the stick at a neighbour getting in his car and called after him. “Daud Sahb, this car was parked on the street again last night. I saw it from my terrace. Didn’t I ask you to move it yesterday?”

The neighbour quickly squeezed into the driver’s seat, turned the ignition on, and only reluctantly lowered his window as the major approached. “It’s my car, parked in front of my house, what is it to you major?” he asked.

“What is it to me? It’s a matter of principle Daud Sahb. As chairman of the Gulshan Street Parking Association—.”

“You made up the association yourself major and you voted yourself chairman. It’s not real. Please now I’ll be late for work.”

“What do you mean I made it up?! This is the problem with Muslims today. If someone tries to do something good, no one stands with him. Nobody appreciates him. The British, gone. Zia, gone. Saddam, gone. Gaddafi, gone,” the major yelled. “I’m a concerned citizen Daud Sahb and I’ll continue doing my part.”

Walking past a mosque on our way, I read a sign outside and did a double take. It read, “No shoes or Major Aziz beyond this point.”

Neighbour Daud had decided to leave midway through the major’s rant and left him pointing and waving amid exhaust fumes. The major and I continued our walk towards the nearby park where he was meeting some of his buddies for their daily speed walking session. Walking past a mosque on our way, I read a sign outside and did a double take. It read, “No shoes or Major Aziz beyond this point.”

The major walks on spreading discipline to everyone around him.

I pointed at the sign and asked the major about it. He laughed. “Amir beta, there’s only two things I can’t stand: hunger, and people who are not punctual. The muezzin at this masjid tested my patience two years ago during Ramadan when he gave the Maghrib azaan three minutes late. I knew he was late because I memorize the Iftaar calendar every year. I waited for the muezzin to come outside after Maghrib and then thrashed him with this very walking stick. Since then, every Ramadan he gives the Maghrib azaan three minutes early just to be safe. But they banned me from the masjid for beating him. Even at my own wedding, the food wasn’t served on time because we were all waiting for my wife’s phuppo and her family to drive in from Hyderabad. I would never raise my hand at a woman so when they finally came, I thrashed her phuppo’s husband with this very walking stick. Alhumdulilah, no one has been late to our family functions since then.”

We reached the gate of the park as the major finished his story. It had been one of the more interesting mornings and interviews of my career, but it was time to say goodbye. The major’s speed walking group was private and only a few select retirees could participate. It was 11:07 a.m. as I hailed a taxi back to the office.

This profile is the first in the Daily Fikar’s Humans of Interest series where we interview and spend the day with the more interesting creatures of our society.


Amir Khabri is a staff reporter at the Daily Fikar. Brimming with more enthusiasm than talent, he strives to inform readers of the news that really matters. In his spare time he reads book covers and takes pictures of his neighbour’s dog. You can’t follow Amir anywhere because he detests social media.


Zaleela Apa: When failing your finals is the best option

Dear Zaleela Apa,

 

I’m in the seventh year of my four-year B.A. degree. If I pass all my exams next month, I might finally graduate. My whole family is looking forward to it. My mom says she’ll make sujji ka halwa and send it to the entire family, even to the phuppo she conveniently ‘forgets’ on Shab-e-Baraat. My dad is already getting his tailor to measure for a special sherwani he will wear to my convocation. He had given up hope and this will be as unexpected for him as the birth of my youngest brother.

But I’m afraid. Afraid of passing. What will I do after? My friends will get on with their lives and we’ll lose touch. My pocket money will stop as soon as my dad takes off his tailored sherwani. My girlfriend will get married to her older cousin who is completely his LLM. And on Eid when the relatives visit and find me at home, the question will go from “Beta still studying?” to “Beta still not working?”

I look at my GPA and it’s somehow lower than before I started university.

 

But who will hire me? My only work experience is opening the gate for the maid and fetching towels for my dada when he showers every third Wednesday of the month. Sometimes I think I’ll apply for a M.A. so I can delay all this for another year or two. But then I look at my GPA and it’s somehow lower than before I started university.

What should I do?

– Failing at Life

 

Dear Failure to Graduate,

 

I sympathize with the mental agony you must be going through right now. But rest assured, your problem is neither new nor unique. Statistically, every fourth child ever born in our households turns out to be a forgettable disappointment to his parents, community and country. Back in the old days when it was considered unnatural to have less than 13 children, this was the child whose age, name and existence fathers used to forget. This child had neither the smarts to be the family MBBS, nor the daring to smear the family name and be the reviled yet memorable black sheep. This child—lacking in wit, personality and character—is you.

Statistically, every fourth child ever born in our households turns out to be a forgettable disappointment to his parents, community and country.

I don’t mean to put you down. But you can’t go against statistics and God’s will. My advice to you is accept what you are and look at the bright side of your mediocrity. Shahrukh Khan, B.A. Economics, and perhaps the greatest of living actors, once said, “Success is not a good teacher. Failure makes you humble.” Your life has been one constant humbling experience. Stick to what you know best and without hesitation fail the finals again.

Stay humble.


Zaleela Apa is the Daily Fikar’s in-house expert on life. Her only passion is advising people on how to deal with life issues and maximize their happiness. Send your questions to Zaleela Apa at dailyfikar@gmail.com.


Insta Nani: The grandma of our times

Today for your daily dose of fikar, I have a juicy story absolutely slathered in drama, stereotypes, gossip and bashing said stereotypes with effortless grace.

With modernization at its peak, it’s no surprise it has managed to enfold not only the angsty, hormonal youths but the less hormonal, yet angsty elderly of our community as well! The Nani(s) and Dadi(s) of our generation are to be marvelled. For starters they haven’t your typical faces slathered in talcum powder, eyes hooded with surma stains like estranged pandas, giving sharmeelay poses in sepia-tinted photographs with itchy, karhai waley suits and gotay waley dupattey.

No, God forbid a flimsy piece of cloth hid their delicately streaked hair or they be seen without a brand label on their lively, printed kurtis. By God, they even beat the youngsters with their immaculate OOTD Instagram posts and clean, lipsticked lips.

These women are not particularly inclined to make you karak kahwah with palmsful of daar cheeni that makes your mouth feel as if you just made out with a tree. Nor are they the ones to say “Bismillah!” instinctively if someone stumbles, for of course their 21st century honed instincts immediately rely on a high-pitched “ohmygodareyouarright” if someone does fall.

Of course they may not have many totkas safely knotted in the corners of their dupattas (nor do they have many dupattas), but they do preach the benefits of organic food and veganism mostly through spamming you with infomercials and videos on WhatsApp.

Though we may miss the soft spoken tales, woven precariously with nostalgia and love that dripped down our purani Nani’s lips, we do not particularly dislike indulging in the gossip with her modern avatar about Salma who has been suspiciously spending a lot of time outdoors after her hubby leaves for work.

Anyway. No matter the era, we always love them so kudos to these new, revolutionary grandmas!


Sarah Saleem is a fried potato who potates most of the time but eventually takes out some time to write about the tyrannies of this world before dozing off to dream about potatoes again.  Find Sarah on Instagram (@sarahh.saleem).


Think you got the humour writing chops? Find out how you too can contribute to the Daily Fikar.

Rs. 5000 wedding: The ultimate budget shaadi experience is here

A shaadi for just Rs. 5000? It sounds impossible, it sounds absurd, but it’s here. A revolutionary new start-up claims to have solved the most out-of-control problem facing Pakistanis today: expensive weddings.

Since it was launched last month, Sastay Dil Studios has given new meaning to ‘budget weddings’. But how does it even work?

The magic happens in a small studio in Clifton, Karachi. The bride and groom start with renting wedding costumes from the Sastay Dil catalogue for a small fee. The groom’s sherwani is shalwar-optional since the camera is positioned above the torso.

Once ready, the bride and groom, their parents and siblings are all seated on a small stage in front of a video camera which is streaming live to Facebook and YouTube. All other relatives, friends and guests are asked to attend via tuning in to the live stream. The video stream is free but commercial breaks are taken every 10 minutes.

An in-house complementary maulvi sahab is available to perform the Nikkah. But what about the traditional choaray post-Nikkah? Sastay Dil provides a solution: the bride’s father can send a Rs. 15 easyload to all the guests watching live. At the same time, a Western Union wire number flashes on the screen so the guests can also send in their love to the new couple.

What’s a desi wedding without the food? Included in the Sastay Dil package are five studio extras who walk on- and off-screen eating from plates full of biryani, mutton qorma, seekh kabab, raita and naan. The actors will enjoy their meals so much that the guests watching will have no doubt that no expense has been spared on food.

The whole event takes just about an hour and the studio runs up to seven weddings a day. Founder Jibran Makhlooq told Daily Fikar that Sastay Dil is already a roaring success. The studio has managed 72 weddings so far and is booked straight for the next three months.

“We started off in Karachi, but at this rate we’ll be expanding to Lahore, Rawalpindi, Peshawar and Quetta very soon,” Makhlooq said. “We are getting so much love from the families that it’s just humbling.”

A final Sastay Dil invoice looks like this:

  • Guest Easyload: Rs. 3000 (Rs. 15 for 200 guests watching live)
  • Extras with food: Rs. 1000
  • Studio Rental: Rs. 500
  • Costume Rental: Rs. 500 (Rs. 450 without groom’s shalwar)

Total: Rs. 5000

So what are you still waiting for? Book your wedding with Sastay Dil today and save hundreds of thousands of rupees on all the things you can do without.

Sastay Dil for Sasti Shaadi.


Sana Mudeer is a former award-winning journalist who burned out early and now has to write for the Daily Fikar. Forced to return all her awards, she can now be found sulking around the office brooding over what could have been.


Like what you read? Giggled a little? Then share it with your friends on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram (@dailyfikar) for more laughs


Zaleela Apa advice: Dealing with parental pressure for marriage

Dear Zaleela Apa,

I am a 18-year old boy completing my O levels privately. I’m upset and writing to you because my parents are forcing me to get married. They say I’m good for nothing and should get hitched before I start looking any older. My dad told me that my age is the only thing going for me.

My mom wants me to marry my 44-year old cousin whom I’ve always thought of as an older sister and grew up calling aapi.

My mom wants me to marry my 44-year old cousin whom I’ve always thought of as an older sister and grew up calling aapi. I just don’t see her that way. Recently my parents sat me down and told me I’ll be marrying aapi in June and I should be glad any woman would agree to it, let alone one with aapi’s maturity and salary. Aapi’s two children—6 and 16—from her previous marriage, used to call me maamu but recently at Eid the youngest came up to me and asked, “Maamu, abu ban kay Eidi ziada do gay?”

On top of it, there’s a girl I love at my tuition centre. She loves me too but she’s the same age as me which means she won’t be settled for another few years. She’s also going abroad to study. My mom caught me talking to her under the comforter last night and got so angry that she threw my phone off the balcony. I’m just so upset and don’t know what to do.

— Young Male

Dear Young Male,

I’m sorry for your troubles. No one should be forced into making life decisions as big as these by anyone. That said, not all marriages are supposed to be love marriages and your parents want what’s best for you. The tuition girl is likely just stringing you on so it’s best to just forget that relationship and move on.

As for your aapi’s age, in our society everyone’s a sibling till we get married to one so I don’t think that’s much of an issue.

As for your aapi’s age, in our society everyone’s a sibling till we get married to one so I don’t think that’s much of an issue. Good luck with everything.


Zaleela Apa is the Daily Fikar’s in-house expert on life. Her only passion is advising people on how to deal with life issues and maximize their happiness. Send your questions to Zaleela Apa at dailyfikar@gmail.com.


Like what you read? Giggled a little? Then share it with your friends on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram (@dailyfikar) for more laughs

Rabri Shabri: An unexpected twist on a desi dessert

It has been a long standing dream of mine to refine the Pakistani dessert palette. And this week I’m lucky to see that dream being realized with the launch of Rabri Shabri. What is Rabri Shabri, you ask? Taking its place next to Burger Lab, Chai Wala and others, Rabri Shabri is the latest jewel on the Karachi contemporary food crown. I’m even tempted to say that it’s the crown jewel of the Karachi food scene. At Rabri Shabri, we bring a revolutionary new approach to the traditional rabri. While our full recipe is a closely guarded secret, I can say this much: it’s nothing like the rabri you’ve grown up eating. The Rabri Shabri rabri mashes the flavors of the famous Delhi Rabri House with the crispiness of Karachi Broast, the tang of limca, the bite of a plate of spicy Student Biryani, served with a hint of chilli garlic sauce.

So what are you still waiting for? Head on over to Rabri Shabri on Bukhari Commercial and treat your taste buds to a matka of delectable Rabri Shabri rabri. We guarantee it’s like nothing you’ve ever put in your mouth before.

  • Rashid Shabbir, Founder, CEO and President Rabri Shabri Ltd.

—————————————————————

Like what you read? Giggled a little? Then share it with your friends on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram (@dailyfikar) for more laughs. 

Read more:

—————————————————————

Expo set to host first-ever Maa Da Ladla Conference

The first-ever Maa Da Ladla Conference is set to run from Feb. 7 to Feb 14 at the Karachi Expo centre in the new year.

The conference is being put together mostly by mothers who feel short changed when out rishta shopping for their sweet boys, according to Nasreen Jameela Begum, mother of three sweet boys between 29 and 37, and one of the event’s organizers.

Begum is particularly upset by several girls who’ve said no to her eldest son Yasir.

“So what if he has been divorced twice before? Yasu is a heera. I’d know, he’s my son. He only wants a 21 year-old with a mole on her right cheek.”

A number of mothers have also come together after recently being arrested and banned from campuses of various medical, dental and business colleges for rishta soliciting.

Zareena Bano was arrested from DOW Medical College earlier this year after over 45 female students complained against her for leering and repeatedly asking for their parents’ contact information.

“Is it not the duty of a mother to find the best possible bride for her son? Have I committed a sin? I know what I want and I’m not afraid to ask for it,” Bano said.

When asked about her son Dilbar, Bano said he is 29 years old and tries his best at whatever he does. Currently in the seventh year of his undergrad in England, he refuses to marry anyone but a doctor.

The event will also see a tech startup present its first live demonstration of their app ‘Bahu Swipe’ to the attending mothers. Bahu Swipe is being touted as Tinder for rishta searching and several mothers we interviewed were very excited about the concept. For girls they potentially like, the mothers can swipe right to set up a formal interview or simply swipe left on the others they’re not interested in.

Meena Chungi, another organizer, said the app will bring down the number of visits larka moms like her have to make by 60 per cent.

“Dekhiye ji, I’m a straight-forward woman. All I need is are a few details of the girl and a few good pictures from all the right angles,” Chungi said. “With Bahu Swipe I can cut down on the 342 home visits I’ve made just in the last two months, where honestly I’ve gained four kg eating all those shami kababs.”

Anticipation continues to grow for the 2019 Maa Da Ladla Conference and tickets have almost sold out. Over 2,300 mothers are expected to attend the first-ever edition of the event. Stay tuned as the Daily Fikar continues to bring you more coverage of the conference.


Sana Mudeer is a former award-winning journalist who burned out early and now has to write for the Daily Fikar. Forced to return all her awards, she can now be found sulking around the office brooding over what could have been.


Like what you read? Giggled a little? Then share it with your friends on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram (@dailyfikar) for more laughs