Mein Sitara Chronicles Rise and Fall of Starlet of Bygone Era

Karachi(Cliff News)TV One’s popular drama serial, Mein Sitara, serves as a window into a glitzy world of showbiz where behind the flashlights of paparazzi cameras are hidden several gut-wrenching tales of aspirants who dreams to make big in tinsel town. Originally titled as NigarKhana, Mein Sitara aired in two successful seasons on TV One. It narrates Suriya’s journey to stardom – although she can’t make to the top of the film industry but her struggle shows us the dark side of the glamorous world.
It is true that glamor holds irresistible attraction but with it comes pain, miseries, physical and mental exertion. The acclaimed scriptwriter, Faiza Iftikhar, has worked on this risky idea in Mein Sitara and crafts a story that touches hearts with its captivating plot, relatable characters and power-packed performances of seasoned actors. The drama leading lady, Sitara, is shown as a strong-willed woman sans any clichéd characteristics of small screen typical heroines. Unlike the teary-eyed miserable female lead of TV, she boldly takes steps in life and always ready to face the consequences. Her inner strength serves as the valuable tool to overcome obstacles life throws at her. She responds to situations quite naturally – after a setback in career, she doesn’t give up hope and fight circumstances with vigor.
The dynamic duo of writer-director has worked on the minute details to make the characters as realistic as possible. Even the names of the characters have been intelligently chosen that goes well with the story – Jharna gives a new identity to Suriya by giving her a name Sitara – she wants to see her as a rising star of the showbiz world. The ambitious Sitara calls her daughter Falak because she thinks that there shouldn’t be any limit to her daughter’s talent. The director, Seema Tahir Khan, wonderful execution of a fascinating tale of a swanky world not only covers the struggle of an aspiring actress but it also gives valuable insight into mannerism of yesteryear film arena. Reminiscences of Lollywood thriving times
Set in a golden era of Lollywood, Mein Sitara is a brilliant depiction of filmi dunya from mid-sixties to its downfall in the 80s till the emergence of television industry at the turn of the century. The drama beautifully exposed the bad practices that have clamped showbiz world since inception – be it casting couch culture, inevitable insecurities of celebrity couple or existence and influence of ‘dancing girls’ from the questionable background in the industry. From the setting, costumes to attitude everything aptly depicted the era the story belongs to. Jharna’s puffed-up hairdo, Sitara’s winged eyeliner, and Farhad Sethi’s bell bottoms pants and silk scarves, all reminded us of stylish era of the 60s. Although the story hasn’t been inspired by any real life story of any celebrity but we still find a reflection of many struggling actors in Sitara’s journey. Just like Sitara, film star Rani’s father was a driver and she was adopted by singer Mukhtar Begum.The celebrated couple of Jharana and Farhad Sethi also reminded us of many showbiz power couples including Muhammad Ali and Zeba, Sabiha and Santosh and Robin Ghosh and Shabnam. Mein Sitara has all right ingredients to strike a chord with viewersWe have seen several women-centric stories on the small screen but Mein Sitara is a notch better than the rest presenting multi-dimensional characters in a well-knitted riveting tale. Characters are etched with precision and there is a logic behind every move they make in the drama – be it Sitara’s marriage bargain deal with Ilyas Khawaja or her decision to take revenge from him by letting her daughter work in his production house.The characters are neither holier nor painted in the darkest shades of black – in fact, they are well-crafted with a sense of realism and nuanced personalities. The director, Seema Tahir Khan, has done a splendid job in handling a complex story and managing multi-star cast with ease. The supporting actors are not added in the story just as fillers but each one of them an interesting story attached to their backgrounds. In the beginning of the first season, no one has ever imagined that a small appearance of Adnan Shah Tipu as make-up artist Pappu will become such an integral part of the script in the second season.
Film star Meera has once again surprised us with her power packed performance as a nasty Naseem Dilruba. While the promising act of Meekal Zulfiqar and Aisha Gul has been the highlight of the first season, the spellbinding act of Noman Ijaz in the second season has hooked viewers till the last. Sitara – a resilient protagonist
Mein Sitara is not only about the rise and fall of the film industry but also exposes the bitter reality of showbiz world by showing that how actors make a compromise stay in the business. Sometime they have to crush their souls to run their kitchen.
The time comes when Sitara’s life gets completely shattered but like a warrior she bounces back after every setback. When Naseem Dilruba threatens her to destroy her career on theater – at first she gets frightened but then composes herself and outclasses her in stage performance. With the downfall of industry, Sitara’s hopes to earn name and fame also get dusted. She compromises on her dreams just to make her daughter’s life comfortable – she works as an extra in industry, gets associated with voice over industry and even agrees to do an old aged character on television.
Kudos to the multifaceted actress Saba Qamar to enlivens a coming-of-age character with an engrossing act. She has worked really hard to make this role as real and depth as possible. With oodles of talent, she wonderfully portrays different phases of Sitara’s life – from an innocent teenage maid, a beaming starlet, a financially-stricken theater performer to a doting mother. A quick recap
The first season was all about the glorious period of the 60s when cinema was at the height of glory. Everyone’s dream to become a film star – and young Surya was no different. She adored stars, lived and breathed films. She wanted to become a shining Sitara of showbiz world – and her mentor Jharna Begum (ex-singer) helped her achieving her dreams. Although Jharna’s husband (Farhad Sethi(actor turned producer) cast Sitara in his upcoming film but some unfortunate circumstances never let her dreams fulfilled. The conspiracy of the small-time starlet, Naseem Dil Ruba smashed Sitara’s career before it took flight. Farhad Sethi’s interest in Sitara further deteriorated the situation – it also affected the bond between Jharna and Sitara. As Sitara doesn’t want to hurt Jharna Baji she doesn’t reciprocate to Farhad’s feelings and he suffered from a severe mental disorder. In a hurry to make things better, Sitara marries Jamal (co-actor).Due to Naseem Dilruba evil’s intention, the relationship of Sitara and Jamal didn’t go too long and ended up in divorce. A bad patch with Jamal further destroyed her career. In order to make both ends meet, she started performing in private dance parties. Renowned filmmaker Ilyas Khwaja spotted her at one such occasion and took her with him. He promised her to give a big break in films but in reality, he started using her to earn his vested interest by forcing her to perform in parties of high-profile socialites. Sitara’s dream to be a big star badly collapsed when Ilyas Khwaja ditched her. The pregnant Sitara went on roads, and her friend Pappu helped her in tough times. The birth of Falak gave a new direction to Sitara’s life. She once again gathered smashed pieces of her heart and started making effort to provide a decent life for her daughter. She even sent her to boarding school to keep her away from the dirty world of showbiz.Times passes and a teenager Falak returned with an intention to make a career in film industry. At first, Sitara strongly opposed the idea of Falak making a foray into film world but later she agreed to see the interest of her daughter. The path of Ilyas Khawaja and Sitara crossed again when Falak gets a job offer from her father’s production house. Although Falak turned down Ilyas Khawaja’s offer but Sitara insisted her to join his team.

What is the motive behind Sitara’s decision to send Falak to Ilyas Khawaja? Does she want to take revenge from Ilyas Khawaja by using her own daughter? What will happen when Falak get to know about her relation with Ilyas Khawaja? What attracts Ilyas Khawaja towards Falak?
To know this and more, watch the last episode of Mein Sitara on Thursday only on TV One.

KCCI Demands Immediate Release of Seized Cargo Containers

Karachi(Cliff News) President of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Shamim Ahmed Firpo, while expressing deep concern over seizure of huge number of containers laden with import and export consignments in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces, urged the government to immediately release all these containers in order to save the business community from suffering grave losses.In a statement issued, Shamim Firpo said that these cargo containers have been used to block all roads heading towards the capital city with an intention to refrain a political party and its supporters from entering Islamabad to stage sit-ins but it was a matter of grave concern that most of these containers were laden with import and export consignments, particularly huge quantities of perishable goods which would obviously decay if these consignments fail to reach their destinations on time.He pointed out that many of these containers were also loaded with medicines, textiles, chemicals and inflammable items etc. which pose severe threat to the lives of the masses if anything goes wrong between law enforcers and the agitators.“The concerned traders and industrialists will suffer grave losses, if these containers were not immediately released. The government must realize that any loss to businesspeople will also have a severe impact on the economic performance of the country”, President KCCI stressed, adding that the situation will also send a very negative signal abroad as the export consignments will not be delivered to the buyers as per commitment whereas the local markets may also experience severe shortage of numerous goods and commodities.”Reiterating KCCI’s clear stance of being a non-political entity, Shamim Firpo said, “We are neither in favor of the sit-in nor against it as we are purely businesspeople who only demand an enabling business environment which has to be ensured by the government.”He informed that keeping in view the tense situation, transporters were unwilling to carry goods to the upcountry and it was worrisome that around 25,000 to 30,000 loaded vehicles have been parked by transporters with fears of becoming hostage upon entering Punjab or KPK.He said that numerous Good Transporters Associations have threatened to stage strike if their container laden vehicles were not released immediately. “If transporters go on strike, it will bring Pakistan’s exports to grinding halt”, Shamim Firpo feared, adding that almost 3,500 vehicles loaded with goods leave for the upcountry from Karachi ports and the same number arrives at these Ports. In such a situation if goods transporters observe complete strike, it will be the business community which will have to face additional losses on account of demurrage and detention.He was of the opinion that instead of engaging business community’s containers, the government should look for any other mean and utilize its own resources and machinery to do whatever they want. Why the business community was being penalized because of someone else’s failures, he asked.President KCCI advised the government to seriously review the entire situation and accordingly take steps to provide relief to the business and industrial community of not just Karachi city, but also the entire Pakistan.

Pakistan Test Team Squad announced for New Zealand Tour 2016-17

Lahore(Cliff News) Chief Selector Mr. Inzamam ul Haq today finalized the 16-member Test squad for New Zealand tour. The Team has been finalized by Chief Selector Mr. Inzamam ul Haq and the National Selection Committee after consultations with the team Head Coach and the Test captain. Pakistan Team will play two Test matches in the tour. The first Test match will be played from November 17-21, 2016 at Hagley Oval, Christchurch and second Test will commence from November 25 to 29, 2016 at Seddon Park, Hamilton.“The Test team has been selected keeping in mind the conditions in New Zealand and the recent performances of players in the recent Test series against England and West Indies. The team is a fine blend of experience and youth, and the selectors have stick to the same combination of players selected against England and West Indies series earlier and believe that team will do well in the tour”, said chief selector Inzamam ul Haq.

Pakistan Squad

 1)      Misbah Ul Haq

2)      Azhar Ali

3)      Sami Aslam

4)      Sharjeel Khan

5)      Younis Khan

6)      Asad Shafiq

7)      Babar Azam

8)      Sarfaraz Ahmed

9)      Mohammad Rizwan

10)   Yasir Shah

11)   Mohammad Nawaz

12)   Mohammad Amir

13)   Wahab Riaz

14)   Rahat Ali

15)   Sohail Khan

16)   Imran Khan Sr.

Special Olympics Pakistan Unified won warm up Matches

Islamabad(Cliff News)Special Olympics Pakistan (SOP) Unified Cricket Team is departing today (1st November 2016) to take part in the 2nd Special Olympics South Asian Cricket Competition in Dhaka, Bangladesh from Nov 2nd – 7th, 2016. Teams from Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan are taking part in this tournament.
Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association Organized two warm up Matches for Special Olympics Cricket Team which were won by them.The Pakistan delegation to Bangladesh comprises of 18 members: 14 players and 3 coaches and 1 head of Delegation.To prepare for this week long event the SOP Unified Cricket Team has been practicing together for the last two months after being selected through a series of trials across the country. In its final stretch the final squad of fourteen players played two matches, first against Fahad Academy at the Naya Nazimabad ground and the second against Karachi Gymkhana Under-15 at the KG ground.The format of the tournament is very interesting and novel. From the start one pair bats for 4 overs and if one gets out they change ends. Same for the fielding side where a pair of bowlers bowl for 4 overs each. After 20 overs ten players have batted and the final score is basically an average score arrived at by dividing total number of runs divided by number of times a wicket fell. The team with the higher average wins the match.
The SOP Unified Cricket Team won both the games, first by having an average score of 30 (150-5) vs. an average score of 21.5 (237-11) by Fahad Academy. Against Karachi Gymkhana Under-15 the SOP Unified Cricket Team won with an average score of 22.6 (135-6) against KG U-15 average score of 13.1 (131-10).The team is hopeful of performing well and returning after successfully representing the country!
SOP Unified Cricket Delegation
Special Athletes: Shahab Uddin, Zakir Hayat, Azhar Bashir, Umair Ali Kayani, Muhammad Husnain, Muhammad Saad Arif, Mughees Alam, Abdullah Imtiaz.
Unified Partners: Muhammad Usman, Hasanat Ahmad, Khezeema Malik, Ikhlaq Bashir, Muhammad Tanveer Anjum, Muhammad Hashim Zahid
Coaches: Aftab Ahmad, Imran Tariq, Syed Hashmat Ali Shah
Head of Delegation:

Pakistan under 21 hockey team made a flying start at Sultan of Johor Cup

Johor Bahru(Cliff News)They had a comprehensive 5-2 victory over the formidable New Zealand under 21 side.Green shirts, who were always in ascendancy, led 2-0 at half time.Nevertheless,the Kiwis put up a gallant fight and at 1-2 and 2-3, they were twice close to equalising.But the Pakistani boys kept on looking for goals all the time and in the end achieved a big morale boasting win. The two sides played fast and attractive hockey with chances galore for both the teams.Bilal Qadir opened the scoring in the 22nd minute when he expertly deflected a strong cross from left.
Two minutes before the half time, Mubashar doubled the lead on a penalty corner with a strong drag flick on goal keeper’s left side.New Zealand reduced the margin in 46th minute. Sam Lane put it in after a melee resulting from Pakistani net minder’s rebound. Within two minutes, Pakistan restored the two goal cushion through a Sohail Riaz strike, who finished off a fine combined move Greenshirts had a scare when Mac Wilcox made it 3-2 as he pounced on a penalty corner rebound.With  10 minutes left, the black sticks repeatedly raided the opposition citadel to put it even. But the Pakistani defence held out well.  Off a counter attack, Mohsin Sabir’s diagonal cross from right was beautifully deflected by the Lahore lad Rana Sohail for his second and team’s fourth goal.Captain Dilber added his name to the scorers’ list in the last minute. He controlled a difficult bouncing ball at the top of the circle and found the right corner of the board with an angular shot.
Scorers:
Pak: Rana Sohail 2 (48′ & 65″, Bilal Qadir 22″, Mubashar Ali 33′ & Dilber 70′)
NZ: Sam Lane 46′ and Mac Wilcox 59′)
On Tuesday, Pakistan face England

Omar Trophy Inter-School Cricket Tournament reaches knockout stage

Karachi(Cliff News) The Omar Trophy Inter-School Cricket Tournament 2016, being organized by the Pakistan Veterans Cricket Association (PVCA), has reached the knockout stage upon the conclusion of 48 league matches.The tournament, contested by 32 teams, which got underway at the Karachi Gymkhana Cricket Ground on September 1, will be concluding, as per the original schedule, with the final and the prize distribution ceremony at the National Stadium, Karachi, on November 13.Both the semifinals, also to be staged at the National Stadium on November 11 and 12, alongwith the final, will be televised live. All the four quarter-finals will be played at Naya Nazimabad Lawai Stadium.In the first quarter-final, Qadri Model School has beaten St Patrick High School by six wickets while in the remaining quarter-finals, to be held during the current week, Kamran Public School will be taking on Oasis English Secondary School, Fahad Academy will lock horns with Ebrahim Ali Bhai School and Beaconhouse School System will combat Springfield School.At the end of the league matches, Beaconhouse School System, Fahad Academy, Qadri Model School, Oasis English Secondary School, Springfield School, Ebrahim Ali Bhai School, St Patrick High School and Kamran Public School had emerged champions in Groups A, B, C, D, E, F, G and H respectively to advance to the quarter-finals.Like the league matches, the knockout fixtures will also be limited to 40 overs per innings and no bowler will be permitted to bowl more than eight overs in a match whereas in order to encourage fast bowlers, the teams will not be allowed to use spinners during the first six overs.This is for the eighth time when the PVCA has successfully organized the Inter-Schools tournament in Karachi, having launched it with great fanfare in 1999. The event is being sponsored by Omar Associates (Pvt) Ltd with Bank Alfalah Ltd being the co-sponsors.