Granted, the decade is a mere two years old, but so far this year has proved to be more exciting, revolutionary, and to be perfectly honest, just less depressing than the sad and subdued 2021, and the absolute dumpster fire that was 2020.
In the last couple of years, we became acclimated to living a largely digital life, consuming everything from new music to new fashion online. It seemed as though we would never, ever, walk down a mall again, or see a live show, or eat some of that really sweet caramel popcorn in a cinema again. We couldn’t dine out as we once did, and at the risk of sounding very first-world-problem-ridden, didn’t you all just miss good bread served before a great dinner, at your favorite restaurant?
With the arrival of 2022, we’ve seen some good things happen in the entertainment, lifestyle, and culinary industries.
First up, there were film releases, preceded by incredibly interactive promotional tours featuring casts and major crews, really generating excitement for the movies that were to go up over Eid ul Fitr. From Ghabrana Nahi Hai to the murder mystery Chakkar, we were excited to have access once again to a range of genres and actors at local theaters. Of course, then there was Kamli, an utter critic’s choice work of cinema, and Joyland, which won over Cannes. Bravo, and well done, to everyone involved in Pakistan’s film industry.
Then, we had loads of new music, released digitally, mostly, and because the world at the moment can’t afford to be a chooser, we actually gave newer artists a chance and discovered we really did like them. We know these are not entirely new names, but Maanu, Hassan Raheem, and Abdullah Siddiqui have won hearts and women in music have put their strongest voices and musical talents forward. We are grateful to have Shae Gill, Natasha Noorani, Justin Bibis and Meesha Shafi, Arooj Aftab and Naseebo Lal in our midst.
Theater sparked stages again. The National Academy of Performing Arts showcased work by new directors at the Young Directors Festival. The NAPA Repertory Theater later put up sold-out shows of Romeo & Juliet, directed by Zia Mohyeddin.
While we enjoyed everything new that came our way, e.g. Islamabad’s newest Italian resto, Fuoco, and the ambience – if not the food – at the now defunct Joy’s and Mario’s Pizzeria in Karachi, there were clear stars. Here’s whom we think is winning at 2022 right now: