Borderline Laughter

The iconic Pakistani show Bakra Qistoon Pe returns to Indian television

Written by Jaskiran Kapoor | Published:August 9, 2012 12:33 am

The iconic Pakistani show Bakra Qistoon Pe returns to Indian television

When it comes to India and Pakistan,there is a new LOC,and it’s called the Line of Comedy. While comedy shows across Indian television channels have welcomed Pakistan’s stand-up comedians,this year,Spark Punjabi drew a whole new line,one that brought in fond memories of a time when aluminium antennae would dangle precariously on rooftops of Indian households and be adjusted to catch Pakistan TV’s shows via Doordarshan’s Jalandhar station. The Indian audience lapped up dramas such as Dhoop Kinarey,Tanhayiyan and classic comedies that included Buddha Ghar Pe Hai and Bakra Qistoon Pe. Punjab,on either side,warmed up to a common love for a hearty laugh and good humour. And then came the blackout.

However,in June this year,Spark Punjabi began airing Pakistan’s hit comedy sitcoms Nadaaniyan and Bulbule. Given the encouraging response,the channel will be airing hour long episodes,every Sunday,of Bakra Qistoon Pe,the live comedy stage show starring veteran Pakistani performers such as Umer Sharif,Shakeel Siddique,Saleem Afridi,Rohi Sanam,Sikandar Sanam and Zaiba Zeba. “It’s a vibrant,comical,satire and is laced with humour that comes so naturally to the Punjabis and Pakistanis,” says Anand Chakravarty,Executive Vice President,Marketing,Reliance Broadcasting Network Limited. The show went on to spark sequels and made Umer Sharif a household name even in India. In fact,Sharif was also a judge on The Great Indian Laughter Challenge along with Navjot Singh Sidhu and Shekhar Suman for a brief period. On whether the show will serve as a peace bridge,Chakravarty has his doubts. “We brought this show along with the other two because we saw a vacuum in the Punjabi entertainment market,” says Chakravarty,who feels that the state’s viewer needs original television content in Punjabi and such shows fit in aptly.

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