Well, the World Cup is just about to start its spell in the Caribbean and so we too decided to bring our Hot Seat into the pavilion to sneak peek into that side of our cricketers which is away from the hustle and bustle of the grounds. This week we bring you a star from the past – Haroon Rasheed!
Having started his international cricket career in 1976-77, Haroon is nowadays busy doing media assignments. Commentary and cricket shows are some of the jobs he enjoys doing most while working in the media. Known for his practical viewpoints and realistic criticism, Haroon Rasheed’s life is no different. He is a man who believes in reality and his taste for literature, movies and other forms of art is greatly influenced by this too.
Haroon is fond of music and his list of favourites includes both the past legends of the subcontinent and the singing sensations of today. However, he prefers music that is soft and pleasant to ears. He says his preferences depend on his mood but the music should not be without any rhyme and rhythm. He goes on to say, “I am mostly fond of semi-classical type of music, but I can listen to anything that is melodious, soft and is supported by quality lyrics. The sound of instruments should not start dominating the vocals!”
Commenting further, he adds that he is a big fan of Muhammad Rafi and Kishore Kumar. Also he says he likes the current pop icon Fakhir a lot, whose song Kaash Hum Juda Na Hotey is one of his current favourites.
Talking movies, his realistic approach dominates and he doesn’t seem to appreciate fiction much. He is mostly fond of Hollywood of the eighties and nineties, but he watches any new movie that appeals to his taste. He likes thrillers and action movies and is a big fan of Charles Bronson and Burt Spencer. From the current bunch of actors, he likes Denzel Washington. His movie Remember the Titans is amongst his favourites. He says, “Action movies that I like are generally from the eighties as they have made things too imaginative these days. My selection is mostly based on classics, and I usually go for a movie after I hear recommendations in its favour.”
He goes on to add, “I am interested in comedy movies too as they are the best elements to entertain you when you are home after a tiring a day.”
Among the comic actors, Haroon likes Jim Carrey and Eddie Murphy.
Discussing Bollywood, he says he is more tilted towards family movies. In this regard, he says, Amitabh has done some nice work. His movies Baghban and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham are movies that Haroon remembers well. He also says that India has made some fine comedy movies as well and hence they deserve appreciation in this regard. Among the comic heroes, he likes Govinda. He says he usually goes for movies that come with a message.
When I ask him about the local entertainment scene, he says he is more interested in TV than the big screen. He says, “I need not say much about our local cinema, but I must say that our TV channels are doing a wonderful job.”
He says our standard had declined previously due to intrusion of cross border soaps, as we tried to copy them and lost our own flavour too. But some of the local soaps, according to him, are produced superbly. He adds, “It’s great to see our drama industry flourishing once again. And when we see former film stars like Mustafa Qureshi working on the small screen, the interest in the plays only increases.”
He notes that Moammer Rana and Maria Wasti are doing a fine job and he also applauds legends like Talat Hussain. Furthermore, he says he doesn’t appreciate soap operas very much because they tend to prolong the same story endlessly. However a 13–20 episodes drama, he says, looks fresh and comes with a new idea every time.
Done with the music and movies, I ask him about his taste for literature and this time he shows some interest in fiction. He says he is a regular reader and his interest varies from novels to political columns. He says that he used to read writers like Naseem Hijazi and Razia Butt a lot in the past and still holds great respect for them. He goes on to say that he enjoyed James Bond novels more than the movies because they were written in a wonderful way and are descriptive to the best extent. The autobiographies of his fellow cricketers appeal to him a lot and he reads them with great interest. He mentions the autobiographies of Brian Lara, Mushtaq Muhammad and Javed Miandad to be some of his favourite ones.
Current affairs are important for this former cricketer and he is also interested in politics, so he takes time out to read articles and columns of famous journalist too. He says that he also keeps himself updated through TV talk shows and appreciates the role of media in this regard.
As for poetry, Haroon says that although the contributions of poets in both Urdu and English literature are remarkable, for him poetry is all about fantasy. He says, “They have played a great role in promoting literature but they talk too much about things that are imaginative. I mean they talk about bringing moon and stars to earth and things like that which might give you temporary amusement but it just doesn’t make sense!”
Haroon Rasheed sounds very patriotic when he says that there is no place in this world like Pakistan. And continuing in the same spirit, it is hoped that Pakistan makes a mark at the World Cup tournament. Enjoy the World Cup!