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An open letter to Hamza Ali Abbasi

Dear Hamza Ali Abbasi,

I vacillated for couple of days that whether I should go ahead or dispel the idea of writing this letter as it may displease you. But, I succumbed to restlessness after encountering a temporary abstention in anticipation of your generosity towards my resentment.

My memory of you goes back to the moment when I was awe-struck by your handsomeness in mauve colour kurta in a Dairy Milk commercial. Your debonair looks trumped my affinity for Dairy Milk, every time, for those few seconds when I couldn’t take my eyes off of you.

Then time changed. And today, I feel a shadow of gloom over me. I am wishing that I hadn’t known you after that – ever. As more the veil unfurled, more the facets of your personality revealed, the more I found myself disappointed in you, as a person.

It would be unjust not to say that you have proved to be a refreshing entrant amongst the influx of young blood in the media industry. Your convincing talent, admirable looks and charming on-screen presence have made you Payare Afzal of many one of us.

The recent news of your resignation as a culture secretary of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf invited diverse reactions as you proclaimed yourself ineligible for the post on account of some raunchy scenes in your upcoming movie ‘Jawani Phir Nahi Aani’.

While your decision of ending this brief (political) journey left many (mostly PTI supporters) broken, it left me inspired as you chose to be among those few people who have the guts to stand up, admit their mistake and step down. I must congratulate you for acknowledging and honouring your conscious. And I deeply appreciate your vow to make your beliefs sound more genuine than hypocritical in future.

In the wake of your critical views, over the past few months, about the depravity in ‘not-so-Pakistani-cultured’ movies, I endeavor to raise few questions, that:

  • Is it still excusable to wittingly or unwittingly fell victim to obscenity, even if one is a staunch preacher of culture, ethics, morality and religious values, as erring is an intrinsic human feature?
  • If you have learnt that dancing with girls in biknis was a grave ‘mistake’, with time your respectable colleagues will also learn that their clothes in item numbers were inappropriate?
  • Like you, they attempted to wear ‘improper clothes’, in an immoral ‘item number’ as an inescapable personal favour to a friend and were obligated to honour the script with a little choice left to intervene?
  • An apology after the frequent sermons against decadence of ‘Pakistani Culture’ and expressing strong derision for something one ends up doing himself is indefensible?
  • Isn’t it justified to say that the words of yours that inadvertently poured scorn on those whom you repeatedly accused of failing at realizing the ‘religious responsibility’, today, seems even more wounding?
  • Isn’t it an undisputed truth that no one here is a paragon of virtue and as your cognition has gifted you an inner light, your associates might also be in their transitional phase of learning?
  • The gesture of giving others the space and time for making mistakes and learning from them is nobler than being self-righteous?

While breathing in a society that is already not very receptive towards the actresses who dare to perform defying all the social challenges, your insinuations are fettering their role in resurrecting the film industry and impairing the efforts of those who are trying to revive the lost glory of our film era. It would be advantageous to leave the decision to public as what ‘type’ of movies they accept to. To debase the intellect of Pakistanis, I reckon, is equivalent to their ignominy.

For that sake, I hope the way you sincerely bowed to your conscious, you will generously respect the right of others for making their own choices and even mistakes. I also dare to hope that you will understand that forgiveness should always be reciprocal.

I further hope that you will take a small respite from your sermons and pause for a while from taking a dig at others. It will also avail you in escaping the embarrassment of giving an explanation each time, afterwards, as what you actually meant and what you didn’t.

Let the right to freedom of expression and criticism not put the peers of your fraternity on spike of mockery – time and again.

And in the meanwhile, we expect to see your energies invested in quelling the dearth of ‘not-so-Bollywood-wannabe’ movies.

Wishing you success.

Once-upon-a-time a Pakistani Fan.

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