It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness.
” A quote once written by Charles Dickens for A Tale of Two Cities, serves masterfully in representing the media industry in Pakistan today.
Interweaving political and personal events in such a manner that the audience can’t help but be engrossed in every moment seen on the television screen, what could be a bigger example of the holier-than-thou syndrome than our very own Ramazan televangelism?
Served to the audience on a golden platter full of gifts, games and humour, undertones of misogyny, intolerance, and hate remain undetected and unhindered. As if almost declaring quietly to the audience about the fact that it’s their way or the highway. However, this got us thinking. Do we finally have the perfect recipe for the best Ramazan show ever? We think so.
Follow these three simple steps from HIP to have a TRP-laden show of your own:
Enter the Celebs of Piety
A simple reminder for anyone looking for that perfect recipe to make a hit Ramazan show, find yourself a celebrity and make them look as pious as you can. Once the half-baked idea is ready for the airwaves, add in two or three clerics, who act more as silent observers, and then wait. Your instant hit-show-in-a-can is ready. While this should be enough to keep the audiences’ hunger pangs down pre-Iftar, serve them with gifts of all kinds to diminish any need for intellectual satiety, post-gluttony hour.
Don’t forget, you have to take all Ramazan celebrities seriously. Whether it’s a mish-mash of stars previously seen performing item-songs, quickly donning a dupatta or any luminary spreading the message of peace, they have changed forever. In fact, please forget that they may be considered liberal outside of the 30 days of Ramazan; these two things obviously can’t go hand-in-hand.
Of course, if you do accidentally end up having an actual celebrity who cares about the real issues faced in Pakistan? Ban him! Anyone who does the opposite of taking Santa Clause’s position in Pakistan needs to stop existing on air. After all, it’s all about the month of giving. Hamza Ali Abbasi should’ve known better, right?
Lastly, remember, Pakistani’s love their celebrity culture and touting nearly everything the celebrity does on this show, is important. Thus remember if Fahad Mustafa gives you a bike or car on Jeeto Pakistan, don’t forget to take a #RamazanSelfie or if its Aamir Liaquat'sInaam Ghar, don't forget to dress up like an angel! For a country that claims that it is not fascinated by the instantaneous gratification of the mundane, we sure love our hashtags.
There once was a time when shows like Kasoti hosted by Obaidullah Baig on PTV served as a milestone for intellectual satiety. That’s so old fashioned. Who cares anymore? When it comes to Ramazan transmission, remember you are here to spread happiness and to get your channel as much TRP as you can. For all we care, intellectual conversations can go take a hike! Free bike please.
After all, that’s the trend we want to set. Isn’t that right, PEMRA? It’s simple. If the show does not distribute gift hampers from sponsors every five minutes, the show is a flop. Hence, if you want to talk about misogyny, persecution, or freedom of speech, try your luck online.
After all, there’s likely more of you liberal sorts out there. Are you listening Mr. Abbasi? Facebook is the most we’d like you to be at.
Mine is bigger than yours
The unmistakable reality about statistics is that there are no false pretenses. While no statistical results can nuance the fine details of any given survey, they provide the framework for people to make some judgment calls. And here, the rise of TRPs’ for Ramazan transmissions in the holy month serves true. The message remains clear, bigger is better.
If you want your show to be buzz-worthy, don’t forget your show needs lots of sponsors and gifts. It doesn’t matter if the level of greediness topples the very concept of the holy month, less can never be more. Plus, if that doesn’t work, you can always end up singing to Bollywood tunes, bring Taher Shah to your show, dress like an angel, air suicide scenes on a live transmission, or the best yet, blindfold women and make them guess which reptile they are touching. PEMRA are you listening?
These guaranteed anecdotes are sure to teach you more about Ramazan than anything else. So remember, more drama equals more spiritual awakening. If anyone asks, just tell them it’s all about glitz and glamour, intelligent discourse to open minds of the audience is so PTV of the 1970’s!
You’ve done it!
Congratulations! Now that you have read our pointers on making your own show, you can also join the plethora of celebrities on air in telling the world the true meaning of the month; entertainment, entertainment, and entertainment.
*This article is a piece of satire mixed with actual events, which happened this Ramazan.