The Expo Centre Lahore was lit up for the 5th HumTV Awards and, oh, how it glistened. The glamorous mix of the grand setup and the stars gave the show an almost fantasy-like feel.
The new energy was infectious, with the likes of Kubra Khan, Ali Rehman, Sajal Ali, Mawra Hocane, Osman Khaled, Maya Ali and more. Our veteran artistes also showed us why the limelight will continue to follow them. The illustrious Meera looked gorgeous in a white gown (which her mother mistook for the carpet), Sahiba and Rambo looked every bit the Lollywood couple they are, Bushra Ansari made her presence felt just by walking in and belle of the ball, Reema Khan stunned in her beautiful white-and-pink embroidered lehenga, a fresh contrast to the Western gowns most of the other ladies chose to wear.
A variety of hosts introduced different segments, including Hareem Farooq, Mekaal Zulfiqar, Ali Rehman, Nadia Khan, Sanam Jung and Yasir Hussain. They did a great job, save for the appalling joke by Yasir undermining the seriousness of child abuse, which is already taking the internet by storm. Some Pakistani artistes clearly need to learn more about the fine line that turns humour into something absolutely unacceptable.
Ahmed Ali Butt entertained successfully with his funny comedy skit, taking jabs at Noman Ejaz, Hamza Abbasi and Humayoon Saeed. A surprise performance in the form of a tribute to the late Junaid Jamshed by Salman Ahmed and his two young sons had the audience on their feet, with moist eyes.
Mehvish Hayat did a sizzling dance number, with other dance sequences by Shehroz Sabzwari, Kubra Khan, Ahsan Khan and, last but not the least, Reema Khan. It would be an absolute understatement to say the audience was gushing.
The award winners weren’t much of a surprise.
Best Supporting Actress: Saania Saeed for a character based on the writer’s own mother.
Best Script: Sang-e-Marmar for a play written from the heart.
Best Newcomer: Promising new talent Kubra Khan.
Best Direction: My personal favourite Udaari.
Noman Ejaz and Bushra Ansari received what, in my opinion was an award just to placate them (well deserved nonetheless), the Most Impactful Character Award.
Best Negative Role: Masroor Paras (Torah Khan) – looking forward to more from him.
Best Actor and Actress Popular Choice: Hamza Abbasi and Mahira Khan – disappointing amidst much better nominees but, hey, who am I to argue with the Popular verdict?
Best Actress Jury Choice: Great young talent Sajal Ali.
Best Actor Jury Choice: Ahsan Khan – nobody in their right mind can argue.
Farida Khanum honoured audiences by humming a raag when she received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
All in all the show was a pleasure to watch. The only question in my mind, shared also by the maker of Mah-e-Mir, was why the show was held predominantly in English when it was meant for a Pakistani audience. Point to ponder, readers!