Ali Zafar and Maya Ali at the music launch of ‘Teefa in Trouble’. Image Credit: Supplied

Trust Ali Zafar to turn an ordinary occasion into a grand affair, without making the whole exercise appear absurd. This was obvious recently at the music launch of Teefa In Trouble, Zafar’s much-awaited Pakistani film debut, in his hometown Lahore. The actor-cum-musician — and now movie producer — ensured that it became a lot more than just an album-unveiling routine, punctuated by odd speeches by the artistes. For one thing, an array of celebrities showed up at the event including fashion designers HSY and Kamiar Rokini, pop singers Hadiqa Kiani, Ali Azmat, Amanat Ali, and Rabi Peerzada; art curator Sanam Taseer, actors Resham and Ayesha Sana, and last but not the least, heart-throb Fawad Khan who expectedly drew the most whoops and cheers upon his entry into the hall, that lasted through his rushed walk up to his front-row seat. Of course, leading the pack was Teefa …’s main faces — Maya Ali and Zafar, as well as the supporting cast Asma Abbas, Nayyar Ijaz, and Marhoom Ahmad Bilal whose ‘Billu Butt’ is proving to be a standout character in the movie trailers. Perhaps, the biggest surprise of the night was the presence of noted Bollywood writer-director Shaad Ali who had also directed Zafar in Kill Dil (2014). It was revealed that he had flown in especially for the occasion.

Earlier this month, Zafar had stumped his worst critics by announcing what he called a “historic partnership” with the YashRaj Films, for the international distribution of Teefa … He revealed at the music launch at Royal Palm, that it would be the first Pakistani film to be released in 25 countries of the world.

Zafar was the last to arrive at the venue. Sporting an orange-red jacket and black denims, his medium-length hair styled in a neat side-puff, he looked every bit the star of the evening. He was facing the local media for the first time since the controversy around the allegations of harassment levelled by Meesha Shafi, but there was no visible sign of distress. Zafar seemed upbeat, and when he was invited on stage by host Munib Nawaz, a well-known fashion designer, to say a few words, he thanked his family and friends for being his support system, and made a special mention of his longtime companion, renowned ad filmmaker Ahsan Rahim, also the director of Teefa …, who was conspicuous by his absence.

He also didn’t miss a chance to make fun of his colleagues. “Maya, your name has Ali,” he said cheekily, “so I presume people shall see some special chemistry between us on screen.” The audience had a hearty laugh.

Maya Ali also shared some interesting anecdotes from the sets of Teefa …, before the audience was treated to the song, ‘Main item number nahi karungi’, from the film. A teaser of this peppy number had already been doing the media rounds. Composed by Naqash Haider, and sung by Aima Baig and Zafar, the track has a catchy tune that sets toes tapping. Zafar’s getup is reminiscent of John Travolta from the evergreen musical Grease (1978). Choreographed by Indian dance director Firoz Khan who also did Veere Di Wedding, and filmed on Zafar and Ali in Thailand, the video is already trending at No. 2 on YouTube. The rest of the songs are composed by Baqir Abbas and Zafar.

The evening came to a close with the unveiling of the film’s album cover. Teefa In Trouble is set for a UAE release on July 19.