I am a student of a well reputed public sector university where we get the best faculty and our mentors in addition of giving us the bookish knowledge keeps on encouraging us to get into healthy debates which has resulted in debunking many stereotypes all of us have been believing for so many years and has at least made us a better human if nothing else. I along with my fellow students always look forward to events and conferences meant for educating us in one way or another. So, on this very fine morning all of us got free after taking a class and suddenly we were made attentive by an announcement that a representative of a famous show KHABARDAAR hosted by AFTAB IQBAL on EXPRESS is here to invite us. The time duration announced was from 1-4 and they assured that we will be dropped back to our departments in time. Most of us got overwhelmed and after taking permissions from parents by calling or texting, we boarded the coach and were there on the set in a couple of minutes. As soon as I entered the studio some strange smell immediately disturbed my nostrils and it did not take long for me to identify that there have been people smoking day in and day out. Ignoring this smell I continued to walk in the studio with the expectations that I’m going to have a great time over there so all of us got seated and got busy in taking selfies. We were enjoying the whole setup lights ad were having the conversation regarding the camera work. Little did we know that we were about to experience something that will shake us from the core.
Few minutes later, the shooting began with a performance of the band and some old Punjabi song “Chaan Mukhhaya” was sung with closed mike by Baboo Bhai which still felt melodious to ears and as soon as it ended our torture began. Some young man entered the studio, all of the crew got attentive and he stood in front of audience and began to stare at each one of us. Majority of the people in studio were my fellow students and there were some other people as well including some men and a couple. This man began switching seats of audience and asked some of us to leave the seats and stood at a corner. He was displeased because he did not like the two things:
1)Majority of people were wearing black,2) They were wearing spectacles and kept on saying ,don’t know where such people have come from. Moreover, the representative of the show got to manage more people than needed so a group of girls were asked to sit in the corner just like extras. I was one of them and was pretty sad about it. One of us told the representative that it is unfair and insulting to which he replied “You guys will be adjusted in next segment, don’t worry’’ which was just a meaningless placate because we spent entire time sitting over there.
So after the audience got ready that person left and some comedians entered the studio and audience was asked to twitch off their phones, girls were given makeup touchups without even asking them. While on students asking about when will be having a meet and greet session with the host as he wasn’t there and the shooting was about to start .One of the team members told the students that for some reason, he could not make it today so we will just shoot you and a person started dictating them the directions where they were supposed to look when asked. The crew wanted to take shots of their claps, nods and most importantly laughter as it was a so called comedy show. So some comedians began cracking jokes and let me tell you the jokes being cracked there were explicit, disgusting and profane to the height. Women were made a laughing stock and jokes were so derogatory that even Indian comedy shows and stage dramas will not make up to their level. While as per the expectations and excitement, students were in a state of real shock and were forced to laugh on the FAHASH jokes .
Since most of the students were girls how could they laugh at such cheap jokes so every time they didn’t a man pointed them out telling why isn’t she laughing though she is KHOOBSURAT and JAWAAN and they kept on repeating “KYA THUNDI AUDIENCE HY AAJ” and decided to facilitate us with some GARAM jokes so that we could laugh properly. One of the comedians including the singer treated the women’s body as an object which obscene jokes could be cracked on as there was everything from a woman (actually a male actor)opening her upper buttons and asking about where the smell is coming from ,to the pregnancy jokes. One joke was regarding the woman asking the man to put on the Shalwaar as it was about to fall down. Another joke was regarding the difference of sleeping of an educated and an uneducated woman and the difference was described through acting by putting a pillow between legs as a sleeping posture of an educated woman and then there were continued jokes and the description on why an educated woman puts pillow between legs. So, there was everything which a person needs to fulfil his JINSI TASKEEN and which is needed to represent a woman nothing more than but a sex object. Yay alag baatt h k beechary sirf gandi language sy hi kaam chla skty thy. Seeing all of this happening, the group kicked out wanted to leave but they weren’t allowed to and made to sit in such ill ambiance while a girl was daring enough to let the team know, not to be a part of the audience anymore and stood up and joined the group.
Audience along with us was tortured while we were reminded time and again not to make a video and when they caught me using phone, two members immediately came to me and checked my phone twice if I was making a video. In between the comedy, some man out of blue began talking about how artists like them should be respected and also discussed that no one can give you bread and butter but ALLAH just because they wanted to take the nodding shots. All of this continued to happen until 5 although we were supposed to be at department at 4 and after making us exhausted enough we were asked to leave the studio by handing in a lunchbox and a juice which many people refused to take. As soon as we left the seats, all of them started smoking. After all this vulgarity and obscenity, we were boarded in the bus at 5:30 because they wanted us to give them the feedback which was too obvious by looking at the girls who were crying like hell in the midst of fellow guys .Till us reaching the department, girls kept on crying severely and were screaming with the words that no matter how much we think of ourselves as an equal human being, we can’t be as we have known our real AUQAAT today. Although I don’t want to over generalize but still somehow, most of us have understood the reason of why the parents don’t let their girls to join media industry. Moreover, what we see on television is just one part of reality which is deceptive for sure. Whereas, this whole experience makes me scream at the loudest of my voice:
“Yes, I Am A Feminist And Will Be One Till Death.”
P.S: This episode will be on air today at 11PM. If any one needs me to facilitate you people with the pictures of the comedians, I surely can.
Emaan Ali & Meerab Butt