Monday Jul 04, 2022
LAHORE: After conquering digital media, comedian Tabish Hashmi has entered the mainstream media with his show “Hasna Mana Hai”. And even though the show is garnering good ratings, many social media users allege that Hashmi stole the idea from India’s Kapil Sharma show.
In a recent interview with Geo.tv, however, the comedian revealed that it was, indeed, Sharma who copied a Pakistani concept and based his show on that and it was not the other way around.
Hashmi said that it was easy for people to say that “Hasna Mana Hai” was similar to Kapil’s show as the sets of both the shows were based on cities which look like each other — Lahore and New Delhi.
“On Kapil's show, the set depicts Delhi. Our set portrays Lahore, and both cities are identical. have been to both cities. Delhi looks like Lahore, and Lahore looks like Delhi,” said Tabish.
Clapping back at his critics, the comedian-turned-host said that the concept of the set as well as the type of comedy projected on the show was a Pakistani concept.
“This is Umar Sharif's concept. This is Amanullah's concept. This is our concept,” said Tabish, adding that no one pointed out that Kapil stole Pakistan’s idea because India spent millions on it and marketed the show as if it was their original idea.
To further prove his point, Hashmi also juxtaposed Indian actor Amir Khan’s “Laal Singh Chaddha” with the Hollywood flick “Forest Gump”. He explained that millions of people would not have watched Tom Hanks’s Oscar-winning film, therefore, many would assume Amir Khan’s work was an original idea.
Tabish said the comparison was “unjust” as Kapil’s show was aired once a week, whereas his show is broadcast thrice a week with unscripted guests.
“In 2007, a show used to be aired on Geo, called “Chouraha”. It was made exactly on Sharma's show format, but the Indian comedian’s show was introduced in 2011. No one said that Sharma copied Chauraha's idea,” argued the comedian.
Despite the criticism, Tabish said he wanted his fans to “be by his side” as building a show was a “long haul process”. He added that he will not rest until “Hasna Mana Hai” hit its peak like his last venture.
Even though “Hasna Mana Hai” has multiple storylines, in essence, it is based on Tabish’s real life.
“[Hasna Mana Hai] shows Hashmi as a Karachiitte who went to Canada. Now, he has come back to Pakistan and settled in Lahore, which is an original story,” said the comedian.
The show also features a society in the old city of Lahore where the residents see Tabish suspiciously as they were previously scammed by a person in hopes of getting a Canadian citizenship. Apart from the storyline, the show also features some recurring characters.
The comedian also shared that initially, he and his team had developed the characters in their mind but the real struggle was to match his “frequency” with that of the team.
“It is a process. After doing a few episodes, they have eventually started understanding what they have to do,” said Tabish.
He added that his show was in the game for the long haul, unlike digital media, where a season was made of a few episodes.
“This is going to run for years, so things will evolve,” assured Tabish.
The comedian, who has recently returned to Pakistan after living in Canada, said that it was an obvious choice for him to migrate from his homeland in the first place.
“In Pakistan, unfortunately, being rich or from the upper middle-class is not sufficient. You also need to have the ability to afford your socio-economic status,” said Tabish. He explained that when he used to live in Karachi, he could afford a car and have luxuries like air conditioners but did not have the money to maintain those things.
The comedian-turned-host said that security and lack of basic necessities was also a factor for him to take such a decision.
“There was no electricity, no safety. You need all these things [especially when] you are staying in a city like Karachi. This used to irritate me because I filed taxes, I was a law-abiding citizen, but even then, I needed to spend more on every basic need, and it made me decide that I must migrate from here,” he said.
When asked why he chose to return, Tabish simply responded by saying that he came back as he had the money to afford all those luxuries now.