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Hot Seat

By Abid Iqbal



“IT’S been a nice experience working with Indian actors,” says Mekaal, who had been busy filming Godfather lately. The movie, which is a Dubai-based Pakistani production, features a star cast from both sides of the border and has Mekaal starring against Preeti Jhangiani (Mohabbatein).

Mekaal, who has established himself as a renowned fashion model in just a matter of few years, is now busy doing plays for television. His ongoing projects include a sitcom Red’s Magazine on ARY Digital and a Barkat Siddiqui play Kath Jorh. Mekaal, usually known for his good looks, has also got some new plans to share for his future. We got him to talk about his likes and dislikes, particularly relating to his own field of showbiz, and he revealed his choices in a very casual style.

Mekaal says he is not particular when it comes to music. “It all depends on my mood. At times I would be listening to dance tracks or rock music, and at times I would be enjoying classical,” reveals the good looking fella.

But when asked about preferences, he thinks for a while and replies, “I would prefer soft rock.”

Mekaal appears to be an avid Dave Mathews fan, an artist whose compositions have been his all time favourite. “He is a music genius,” says Mekaal who sounds like a typical fan when talking about Dave Mathews. He says he has been listening to Dave Mathews Band for a quiet a long time and therefore feels no hesitation in calling DMB (Dave Mathews Band) his favourite band.

Apart from DMB, Mekaal is also a great follower of the Pakistani pop music. “Our guys are really doing great,” says Mekaal. Among the contemporary artists, he says he loves to listen to Mekaal Hassan Band (MHB), Fuzon, Strings and Ahmed Jahanzeb.

He takes me by surprise when he reveals that he is planning to get into singing too. And keep your fingers cross as you might hear something great from this model in the near future.

Talking movies, interestingly he says that although he likes to watch action and comedy ones, he tries to avoid fiction as much as he can. “Basically, I am not a fiction lover. I would rather prefer true stories,” he remarks. He says he usually opts for knowledgeable movies that deliver some message to the audience in the end. For the same reason, he has also developed a taste for documentaries.

When I ask him about his favourite artists, he gives a long list of actors whose work he admires a lot, most prominently Tom Hanks, Bard Pitt, Johnny Depp and Leonardo De Caprio. Apart from these big names, he happens to be a great fan of Anthony Hopkins too. And, according to him, “As Hollywood is home to a lot of great artists, it’s very difficult to choose your favourite one.”

Among the actresses, he says he is a beauty admirer and rates Scarlett Johansson as his favourite actress. His favourite movie is Shaw Shank Redemption.

Mekaal’s taste for Bollywood fare is rather selective. He usually goes for movies that have done a good business at the box office or have a good market reputation. He appears to be a Tabu fan, whose work he likes a lot.

And when I ask him about his favourite Indian actor, his immediately says, “Amitabh Bachchan”. He has great respect for Big B.

Among the movies he says that he loved watching Company, Sathia and Sarkar. He also recalls Bunty aur Bubblie as an entertaining flick.

Continuing with our discussion of cinema, I ask him about Pakistani movies. “Unfortunately, I have watched only a few Pakistani movies.” He refuses to mark any present Lollywood work as his favourite because he thinks that there is still a lot to be done to revive our cinema.

“The movies have a low budget, then there is a lack of interest with nobody willing to make huge investments in the industry — all these are among the many other reasons why our cinema is in the present state.”

But Mekaal is not disappointed. He seems very enthusiastic when he says, “It’s on us now to work for its improvement. Because if we do well today, then better work is likely to follow later on. After all, it’s our own industry, it’s our own asset.”

Finally, I ask him, “Are you a regular book reader?”

What I hear for a while is a short pause and then a straightforward reply, “Not at all!”

Mekaal further goes on to say, “I know it sounds unfortunate, but I am not very much into book reading.”

The model says that he remember reading books when he was completing his education, and can only recall books and authors from that period. So, he won’t like to comment on any book or author.

However, one book that has caught his eye recently is President Musharraf’s autobiography In the Line of Fire. Mekaal says that he has read a “bit” of it and has found it very interesting so far.

“You always learn from experiences of great people,” he explains.

So this was Mekaal for you. He has earned a good name in modelling and acting so far and is now all geared up to start singing. Let’s see what he comes up with!


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