The fifth edition of Hum Awards took place last Saturday — and while much of the attention has been stolen by an unfortunate joke uttered on stage, the truth is there was more to the award show than that.
Here are some of the highlights of the night:
1) The Junaid Jamshed tribute
A musical tribute to Junaid Jamshed is likely to be a contentious addition to any event — many followers of the late religious TV host/former pop icon firmly believe that music was a chapter of his life that he irrevocably closed.
Which is why even though we felt that the Lux Style Awards could have done more than just have Atif Aslam perform Vital Signs' 'Uss Rah Per' to honour the deceased singer, we couldn't really complain.
Come Hum Style Awards, we were delighted to see that one of the early performances of the night was a moving tribute to Junaid Jamshed, featuring not only his former bandmate and long-time friend Salman Ahmed but also his elder sons Taimur Junaid Jamshed and Babar Junaid Jamshed.
The trio, who were joined by Salman's son on guitars, sang a medley of patriotic numbers, including Junoon's 'Azadi' and 'Jazba-e-Junoon', closing the mix with a rousing performance of the iconic Vital Signs track 'Dil Dil Pakistan'. Our only gripe was that the medley should have featured more of JJ's own music.
Still, the theme of the performance was that JJ's musical legacy is the pride of every Pakistani — and it sent a subtle message to those watching.
Predictably, there has been some criticism of the JJ tribute, but it was nice to see JJ's sons own and acknowledge their father's musical contributions to Pakistan on a public platform. In his brief opening words, Taimur Jamshed said, "My father loved Pakistan... Until [his passing], I had no idea that he was loved by so many people. The stories I heard about the people he helped to the ones he inspired, I've never been so overwhelmed."
Taimur made no distinction between JJ the musician and JJ the 'scholar'; it's time the rest of us stop too.
2) Sajjad Ali's performance
Sajjad Ali's performance at the Hum Awards was the 1am pick-me-up everyone needed.
The performance kicked off with Ali Sethi, Momina Mustehsan and Asim Azhar, but went into full gear with the appearance of the 'Babiye' singer, who brought the house down with hits like 'Chahe Jis Sheher Main Bhi Jaye' and 'Sohni Lagdi'. Sajjad just had a lot of fun on stage, so we enjoyed his energy too.
3) Ahsan Khan's shout-out to his young co-star, Udaari's Zebo
Areesha Ahsan, who played the young Zebo in Udaari, was given the Best Child Star award and received a standing ovation when she came up on stage to receive it.
But her co-star Ahsan Khan didn't think mere applause did justice to her work.
When he came out to give Areesha her award, he told the audience a little about her personal challenges of playing the character.
"Even the word sex is taboo in Pakistan," Ahsan said, "so it couldn't be easy for a young, school-going child [like Areesha] to play [a rape survivor]. Ahsan said that she was being bullied by her classmates for playing the character and her teachers in school responded by organising a program of appreciation for her during school assembly. This is how we must continue defying stereotypes, Ahsan said.
In her short and sweet acceptance speech, Zebo said she tried her best to do justice to her role and expressed thanks to her co-star Ahsan and director Ehteshamuddin, without whom she said she wouldn't have been able to play the character.
4) Shahroz Sabzwari and Sarish Khan's performance
Shahroz Subzwari has proven his dancing chops at several Hum Awards, so all eyes were on Sarish Khan who made her Pakistani dance debut on Saturday night. We've so far only seen Sarish on the runway, and while she made a stunning showstopper for Rozina Munib and Maheen Karim at FPW last year, we hadn't seen her prove her potential to perform.
Now, we know she definitely has the chops. Sarish performed an impressive solo before matching the steps of her Chein Na Aye co-star.
The performance also had the benefit of taking place first - after that, the rest of the performances, which were pretty similar in structure/format, were a blur to an increasingly tired audience.
5) Farida Khanum gets Lifetime Achievement Award
A lifetime achievement award was given to music legend Farida Khanum, who as Hum Network CEO Sultana Siddiqui rightly observed, "has no need for an award; it's Hum who is honoured by her accepting our award."
Farida Khanum also obliged a request to sing a few lines.
6) Mawra Hocane and Osman Khalid Butt won an AC each
A lucky draw could get people excited and the live audience was promised a "chilling surprise" at the Hum Awards. Turns out that folks at PEL were only interested in gifting free stuff to the celebs in attendance.
Mawra Hocane and Osman Khalid Butt turned out to be the two lucky winners of an air conditioner from the Hum Award sponsors.
7) Ayesha Sana's 'Bright Karein' moment
Has Ayesha Sana ever attended an event where she hasn't been asked to re-enact her infamous 'Bright Karein' catchphrase?
The TV host was goaded into saying those lines at the Hum Awards again by presenter Nadia Khan — and she took the teasing in her stride.
8) Reema's dance
Can there ever be another Reema? In her trip back to Pakistan, Reema has wowed us with performance after performance, first as a surprise act at the LSAs, and then at Hum Awards where she danced to QB's 'Saiyaan'.
It was a treat for people who stuck around long enough (past 2:30am) to see it.
Photographs by M. Haris Usmani and Ahsan Qureshy