Skip to main content

I first saw bodyguards around Fahad Mustafa when he entered the press conference for Sarmad Sehbai’s film, Mah-e-Mir. I thought to myself, this is now the new way to identify yourself as someone important. Politicians have been doing it for years and now actors are following the same VIP mindset as well.

Then, I saw Fahad at the Actor-in-Law music launch and yes, he was again surrounded by a band of men, ‘protecting’ him from the crowd. The crowd was made up of reporters and photographers who like pushing and shoving for some reason so fine, the use of bodyguards in such a situation seemed a little justified. I have considered hiring a guard myself for such events.

Still, I thought, “Fahad Mustafa is no Shahid Afridi. What is he trying to achieve having so many men around him at public events? Is this a gimmick?” So when I attended the 3 Bahadur 2 premiere at Nueplex, I was wondering what kind of entry Fahad was going to make this time, considering it’s a film for children and therefore the crowd present at the premiere is very family oriented. He came late, as all big stars do, so I eventually saw him when the film ended. And that’s when I discovered something.

Fahad was with his wife and children; there were no guards or men escorting him. He was trying to make his way towards the exit with his family and people had sort of attacked him from left and right, asking to take selfies or just to say hi. And with gritted teeth, between unnecessary pushing and shoving by crazy fans, I saw an ordinary man trying to leave with his family but being unable to do so.  His face seemed agitated but he tried putting on a smile for the photos.

I realized then what a star Fahad has indeed become in Pakistan. There are no gimmicks. This isn’t a PR strategy. People truly are going crazy over him and the poor guy does indeed need guards to protect him. And I say poor because what I saw at the premiere wasn’t glamorous or exciting. Turns out, fame doesn’t have an off button. You are famous every day of the week and it doesn’t matter if you came to watch an animated film with your children and wife, you belong to the public first.