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Production houses in Pakistan are raring to return to sets, but while a few have already (quietly) resumed work on their unfinished projects, a lot of them are still mulling ways to do so without putting workers’ health and on-set safety in jeopardy. All this has left actors to feel as if they are on a long (and forced?) sabbatical. But trust them not to let their inner sense of frustration or even isolation be known and bog down the spirits of their fans, especially in these times of uncertainty and fear.
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The much-loved stars, knowing full well that their social media posts impact their fans, are proving to be champions of the distressed. With every other image or quote that they put up online, they clearly mean to inspire hope and motivate everyone trapped indoors. Sheheryar Munawwar recently shared his own mantra for staying sane: “…What helps me is repeating a positive affirmation to myself when I feel stressed. Something like Aamir Khan’s ‘all is well’ [dialogue] from Three Idiots.”
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Mahira Khan tweeted, “…In times such as these (and otherwise) just remember — Sabr, Shukr and Tawakul [patience, gratitude and trust in God]. Heart.”
Image Credit: @Mahirahkhan
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It would be wrong to assume that the stars are just sitting at home and posting goody-goody things amid the pandemic; they are equally actively involved in different charitable works and COVID-19 related public awareness campaigns. The most recent one, an ensemble TV ad film, has Khan featuring alongside Mehwish Hayat, Hareem Farooq, Humayun Saeed, Adnan Siddiqui, and Bilal Maqsood and Faisal Kapadia of Strings.
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Earlier, model, actor and director Adnan Malik participated in a four-part series, titled Meaningful Conversations, with Zainab Abbas, Pakistan’s rare woman cricket commentator. Though the series, which was streamed live on Instagram, was designed to talk “all things cricket,” Malik and Abbas also discussed gender, working women and balance in relationships. Eventually, it was about “staying fit, sane and of service to others in the lockdown” (in Malik’s words). Then there are health freaks among the showbiz celebrities, who have been effectively using the social networking sites to promote their ideas of staying fit.
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Ayesha Omar’s nightly home workout sessions on Instagram Live, often with a fitness trainer guiding her remotely, are becoming quite popular.
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Fashion model Eman Suleman and her husband, Syed Jamil Haider Rizvi, a martial arts expert, shared stories of themselves cooking ‘customised’ continental and Mediterranean dishes in their home kitchen.
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Our stars have also taken to indoor sports like table tennis and badminton. Iman Ali recently Instagrammed a photo of her enjoying a game of badminton with a friend in what looks like the backyard of her Karachi house.
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Ali Zafar, a self-avowed fitness freak, loves to flaunt his healthy routine that famously begins every morning with a special herbal drink made with turmeric, ginger and honey. The Teefa in Trouble star divides the rest of the day in a variety of activities — for instance, soaking in the summer sun in his perfectly manicured garden, often with wife Ayesha Fazli in company; pumping iron with little brother Danyal Zafar in their well-stocked home gym; making time for meditation; and, locked in his super-quiet music studio, welcoming ideas for poetry and melodies.
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