Popular Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik was Mahira Khan’s guest today on The Lighter Side of Life. Unlike the living room gup shup style of its predecessors, today’s episode looked and sounded more scripted, a lets-sit-down-and-interview-you kind of a show. The questions were more organized and the transition from one topic to another, personal to professional, was quite smooth. With the help of guided questions and some gentle urging on Mahira’s behalf Shoaib gradually opened up, sharing stories of a childhood passion of kite flying and his ongoing love affair with Ludo, thus offering an up close and personal look at the little boy from Sialkot who’s now an international celebrity.
While all this was well and good and we had more substance and structure, I kind of missed the spontaneity of the earlier two shows. Shoaib, bless his heart, is a great cricketer but sparkling conversations are just not his forte. It was evident he had an agenda, to showcase his lighter side, and had many answers prepped and ready to go. Unfortunately though, the lightheartedness he wanted to showcase got lost in translation and we ended up with quite a few stilted answers. While his wit and humor failed to score a boundary with me, I will say that I enjoyed his particular brand of dorky charm. I was laughing as he plodded through a very off key version of Atif Aslam’s Pehli Nazar Mein. Sania may have loved it, but it is a good thing ke Bushra Ansari and the rest of her Pakistan Idol gang were not there … warna tau Shoaib bhai ki woh durgat banti ki poochen mat!
Unlike Koffee with Karan, where the suave host has absolutely no qualms about stirring the pot and asking pointedly leading questions, after three shows it is evident that the producers and directors of this show take the “lighthearted” part of their title very seriously. We see a conscious attempt to steer away from anything even remotely controversial. The questions are easy going, and we are yet to see Mahira pick apart her guests’ responses or make them feel uncomfortable. Today for instance, when asked about his marriage, Shoaib responded that he had always wanted a life partner who had seen the world. While a good answer in and of itself it elided over the hullabaloo surrounding his earlier nikaah, with a gharelu girl of his own choosing. Similarly, we did not see Mahira push Shoaib to talk about his place in the team and his equation with Misbah, Shoaib Akhtar, Shahid Afridi, or any of the other senior players in the team. And it is at points like this where I have to applaud the team behind this show for standing their ground and not giving in to the temptation to court controversy.
Overall, while I was not gaga about this installment I enjoyed the halka phulka banter with Shoaib Malik. What about you all? How many thought Shoaib hit a sixer here?
Written by SZ~
TUC the Lighter Side of Life ~ Shoaib Malik