For me, having a great time is a night spent curled up in bed while... sleeping. So when I was told I probably wouldn't get any sleep because I had to attend the Lux Style Awards for work, I wasn't pleased — at first.
As the day loomed I soon grew excited about the show. A fancy award show with fancy decor and fancy song and dance, where everyone just flaunted their... fanciness! Maybe I'd get a photo on the red carpet and feel all fancy myself, I thought.
Since I had never gone to any of these fancy (sorry) shows before, I was nervous, even if I wasn't squealing about it. What would I wear? What if the bouncer refused me entry based on my non-celeb-ness? What if I stepped on the hem of Mahira Khan's ball gown?
I would soon find out...
The prep for the show was the toughest. Because, clothes. What do people wear? It's... fancy, right?
At an event where everyone's decked up head-to-toe in designer wear, I would stick out like a sore thumb because the fanciest thing I owned was the sharara I wore to my cousin's wedding. Based on my discussions with my team, I highly doubted a bridal look would be appropriate for the Lux Style Awards.
So it was either a sharara or a Green Lantern shirt with jeans... but good jeans, with beads on the side. Sparkly beads.
I was in a crisis until one of my helpful colleagues reminded me that designers actually loan out their clothes for events like the LSAs. Yep, practically everything you see on the red carpet is borrowed, not bought.
Armed with this knowledge, I tried to arrange my very own designer dress, using my, ahem, fabulous press credentials.
Unfortunately, the designer my colleague and I were stalking for this purpose went MIA on us. Yes. (I bet this has never happened to Ayesha Omar). So it was back to square one.
But thankfully I had the most powerful weapon ever. My striker. Mom. She remembered a dress I had worn for a play and I thought crisis averted! Until she reminded me I had to wear heels with the dress. Don't say no to a striker. Even though I have this dangerous condition where if I wear heels... I fall.
Anyway, before I knew it the big day comes along. Even though I didn't manage to borrow a designer dress I was offered a free makeover, which made me feel rather like a celeb. Yes, celebs get free stuff all the time.
And just like that, I was back on track with feeling fancy! I went to the salon, where some hair and makeup artists promised to 'transform' me.
Now, when you're a makeup junkie like myself, you know that works and what doesn't.
These guys were sweet, very nice, but they had that typical makeup look in their head that they do on almost everyone, for almost every occasion. My makeup guy suggested the smokey look with red lip, I can't argue with that much, it's a classic. But the concept of 'party wear' is a little nineties here... nineties modeling. So I ended up looking like this.
I shouldn't complain, but I couldn't handle it. This is not me! The red was too bright for my dress, the cheeks way too pink, as if all of my aunts pinched them (I have a lot of aunts). I did like the nails though. But I had to revamp the look. So heading back home, I fixed myself up.
I couldn't change it all, but I could improve it. Just toning down the blush, darkening the lipstick and contouring. In fifteen minutes I was feeling way better about myself.
So my actual transformation went three ways, from hobo to caked to just right. Very Goldilocks, I know.
But can you blame me? I actually felt proud of my damage control!
So off to the ball I go!
Arriving at the LSAs
I was lost the second I reached the venue, that is the colossal Expo Centre where the Lux Style Awards have been held for the past couple of years. Slow clap for the girl who entered the wrong door.
Thankfully, I had my entry pass in hand and no bouncers stopped me. Once I managed to find the right way inside, I was proud to realise that I was totally right about the fancy! Men in suits, ladies in gowns, one-biters being served on silver platters, celebrities posing for the camera, so hoity-toity!
It was fun roaming the set and checking out the event, feeling (yes I'll say it again) fancy. But then I saw Ali Noor in jeans and it made me miss my Green Lantern shirt because my heels were killing me.
Anyway, now I had to contend with the question: "Who are you wearing?" Yep, at an event like the LSAs the biggest news is what label you're sporting.
My dress was a random Dolmen Mall Tariq Road buy for a play. And everyone here was talking Elan and Feeha and Sana Safinaz... So I may have started telling people I was wearing a Tareeq Dolma'an original. If you loosen the r and keep the n silent, it sounds French.
Anyway, I was here to work! So I went to the red carpet to take pictures of the celebs, who turned out to be quite pleasant, by the way!
I just had to call out 'picture please!' and they'd look at me, smile and pose for the camera. I found it decent of them to acknowledge me before posing.
A fun experience with Faysal Qureshi: I called out to him for a picture and he came up to me, took my phone, put it on selfie mode and took a selfie with me! But alas, had to hold a phone for just a second so now I have blurry lines. Mr. Faysal Qureshi, you owe me a selfie!
Let's be honest, I wasn't the fancy one there, but what was awesome was when I felt special.
Taking pictures of Fuzon's Emu, my friend kept saying how he wanted to take a picture of me on the red carpet. I told him I wasn't allowed on the red carpet. Turns out Emu overheard me. He says, "Yes you are," and pulls me on the red carpet for photos! With him! Okay, so I was squealing now!
The actual awards
When the event began, it was fun. I mean it was no AC/DC concert, but I was impressed with the level of finesse with which our stars pulled off an awards show here.
I was also happy about snacks. I was sitting in the press section, which was right across the aisle from the 'celeb' section. On each chair was a small goodie bag containing chips, water and painkillers... sustenance for the six-hour show. The next five seats beside me were empty, so I took all the chips.
Ali Zafar, who was hosting, was charismatic, Yasir Hussain was funny. They had some good performances lined up with more celebs. The Amjad Sabri tribute had me emotional. But the 'Jeena joke' (you know which one) had me offended. So lots of mixed feelings there.
But you know what feeling remained? Sleepiness. The show started by around eleven and lasted till the wee hours of the night. I was there till three thirty. I had promised to toughen it out and see the whole thing.
But with Sohai coming in for a dance performance for like the third time, with the awards for film not being announced at all, and my back screaming at me while my feet soldered into my heels, I couldn't take it. Yeah, yeah I'm weak, but hey, at least I'm not this guy!
Reaching home, there was a lot of work cut out for me. I removed half a trillion bobby pins from my hair and every ounce of makeup from my face. This took a long time, and made me respect the celebs, they do this every day, and still aren't killing people!
Once I was done with all that, these thoughts bounced about my head as I drifted off to sleep:
Makeup is still a field to be explored in Pakistan. (At least get the lip shape right!)
I am an Ali Zafar fan (I realized after I was ecstatic for him winning for 'Rockstar'... it was a good song! Ugh!)
There IS such a thing as too much Sohai. (Not that I ever doubted that.)
People will believe your lies if you make the words sound fancy. (There is no Tareeq Dolma'an, I'm so sorry.)
Celebs don't eat real food. I had to overdose on the one biters to feel better.
We still have some milestones to achieve for comedy to not be insulting. (A medical problem should not be the butt of a joke.)
I was tired, My feet were sore, this was way too much out of my comfort zone. But you know what?
I had fun! I just might do it again. Only next time I'll be in my Green Lantern tshirt and will get that selfie with Faisal Qureshi coz he owes me! And Ali Zafar because I want to!
This writer can be reached on Twitter