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By Azeem Haider
THE name Ayesha Alam brings to mind the picture of a woman who is always charged up to take control of things around her. Categorising her as a mere actor, filmmaker or an anchor would be doing her injustice as she has many other alluring facets to her personality. We are bring her on our Hot Seat to share with our readers her taste in movies, music and books.
She starts off by talking about the kind of movies that she usually likes to watch. She loves thrillers, spy, real life and political dramas and good comedies. “Every now and then, I try watching a well-made chick flick or tear-jerker. I tend to enjoy them once in a while,” Ayesha says as she starts spilling some beans about her taste in movies.
But there are certain movies that are close to one’s heart for various reason and remain so forever. Which movies are close to Ayesha’s heart?
“That’s a tough question as I don’t have an all-time favourite movie. I like different movies for different reasons. I loved Spy Game with Robert Redford and Brad Pitt and I am dying to see The Da Vinci Code as I loved the book thoroughly. I also immensely enjoyed Terminal. There was this movie that starred Bruce Willis, Billie Bob Thornton and Kate Blanchette and I can’t exactly remember its name at the moment but it was very cleverly done with brilliant dialogues and well-etched characters.”
She mentions Johnny Depp as her favourite actor because of the way he uses his eyes to convey various layers of emotions.
Commenting on Bollywood movies, she says that she watches movies from India on and off, but her all-time favourite Hindi movies is Mani Ratman’s Bombay that shot Manisha Koirala to instant fame. “I think my all time favourite is still Bombay. I just don’t know why I loved it so much. The music by A.R Rehman was fabulous. I particularly loved the way the subject was handled. Over all, the treatment of the movie was very well except for the masala number thrown in the middle of the narration.”
Ayesha’s moods determine the kind of music she listens to. She confesses that she is a very moody person so her choice of music depends on what mood she is in and what mood she desires to make a transition into.
Talking of the genres of music that appeal to her, Ayesha she says, “I enjoy jazz, classical, rock, pop — all genres except for the heavy metal variety.”
When asked if she could name some of her all-time favourite musicians, she bluntly remarks, “No Way! I can sit here all night listing such people.”
After a brief pause she mentions Vanessa Mae, Alanis Morissette and Mozart in particular as her favourite musicians. Ayesha also likes to listen to some commercial Bollywood filmi music, but declines to name any particular musician from India as her favourite.
While commenting on the recent crop of pop musicians in Pakistan, Ayesha says that Jal and Atif Aslam are the latest to come up but, according to her, no one has really blasted their way through the clutter. So, who else does she like from Pakistani music scene? “I look forward to hearing more stuff from Mekaal Hassan and Sajjid Ghafoor and Zeeshan Perwez.”
Talking of books, Ayeshah says that she used to read a lot before but now, because of obvious time constraints she can’t keep up with this activity on regular basis anymore. But once in a while, to wind down, she likes to become engrossed in books that have interesting plots and narrations. She is particularly interested in reading thrillers, exposes, spiritual, philosophies and autobiographies. Naming The Da Vinci Code” as a book that currently tops her list of favourites, Ayesha says that it forces you to question, research and think for yourself. “It reignited my desire to search for the truth,” she claims.
Ayesha is trying to get through the book, Nur Jehan’s daughter. She says that it’s an interesting book that sheds light on the different aspects of the life of the daughter of the famed beauty Nur Jehan. “She is a daughter from her first marriage with the man who was a soldier and was later killed by Shah Jehan (Saleem) so that he could get his hands on her. Unfortunately, after I had started reading and sort of got engrossed in it, the work pressure mounted up, so I had to leave it in the middle. I am still trying to get through the book and the reason why I refuse to give up on it is because of the different shades of the daughter’s personality that the book brings forward.”
So, does Ayeshah reads when she is travelling? “Usually I am travelling for work, so there is hardly any time to read.”
And what does she think of the glossy fashion magazines that seem to have mushroomed on the book stands of late? “I barely get the time to read the stuff that I want to, so I prefer not to venture into areas that do not interest me at all.”
While speaking of the kind of response that her show, Cutting Edge has garnered up till now, she says that it has its own following for people who enjoy that brand of humour and she is glad to see that the viewership is growing with each showing. Talking of the radio work that she is doing these days, she excitedly says that it is going very well. “I think they (the radio people) are relieved that I now have Cutting Edge to make some of my statements so they don’t bear the sole brunt of it...hahahahah.”
FAVOURITE MOVIE: Spy Game and Bombay FAVOURITE MUSICIANS: Vanessa Mae, Alanis Morissette, and Mozart FAVOURITE BOOK: The Da Vinci Code