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Looking into a hearty Ramazan

Featuring Wasim Akram, Shoaib Akhtar, Bushra Ansari and Noman Ijaz as hosts, Dil Dil Ramazan promises to be an exciting addition to this year’s Ramazan transmissions. Instep finds out more…

Looking into a hearty Ramazan

Ramazan transmissions in the auspicious holy month have, over the years, become quite the programming challenge with every channel aiming for a coup of sorts. And this year is no different as various TV channels have come up with their own unique shows that are meant to cater to the pious and the fun-loving alike. Though several productions will emerge as the days go by, the one that caught our attention due to its star power and distinct format is Dil Dil Ramazan. What’s more interesting is that the show has legendary cricketers Wasim Akram, Shoaib Akhtar and veteran actors Noman Ijaz and Bushra Ansari featured as co-hosts.

The show will be aired on Geo TV daily throughout the month of Ramazan. While Ansari and Ijaz will host the transmission during sehri and iftar hours, Akram and Akhtar will conduct the game show, titled Geo Khelo Pakistan, post-iftar. The teasers and promos of the game show have been released and feature the two in never-before-seen avatars.

“After iftari, almost all of the families in this country sit together for a couple of hours and that’s where they can watch Geo Khelo Pakistan with me and Shoaib,” Wasim Akram told Instep. “It’s a very different kind of game show. Though I have been doing cricket-related shows on television (The Sportsmen Show), this is the first time cricketers have come together for this kind of a show. So it’s a big deal. The idea is to give away mega prizes. There will be physical activities as well as Q&A sessions aside from a segment called Khelenge Hum Aur Jeetenge Aap in which Shoaib and I will play the game for somebody from the crowd. And then there is another twist to it. During the 8-minute long break, viewers sitting at home can log on to the website and play live. Winners will be announced after the break. At the end of the day, the motto of the show is that everyone is a winner.”

This game show will also allow the audience to connect with these legends on a different level beyond cricket. Viewers will get to see the fun side of cricketers whom they have mostly watched playing intense matches on the field.

Reflecting on the idea behind the show, Shoaib Akhtar shared, “We wanted to launch one of the biggest shows in the country and wanted to reach out to a wider audience with something completely different than other game shows. It is something out-of-the-box, people have never seen me like this before. The show will present the real side of Shoaib Akhtar.” We’re intrigued.

Lede-Wasim-ShoaibAkram and Shoaib also shared that their experience with the show and the channel has been excellent so far. However, Akram noted that it was also a bit tiring. “There’s a lot of discipline required,” he informed. “It’s live television. We have to get to know the games, some are complicated, prizes are big, and there’s a lot more to it.”

While Geo Khelo Pakistan will allow for some refreshing experience to viewers this Ramazan, the regular Ramazan transmission to be aired on the channel also has some unique features this year. Apart from the many segments that will be a part of the show, a few have been introduced for the first time. One of the most notable additions will be a segment called ‘Aalima Online’ (a spin off from ‘Aalim Online’) that will feature a panel of female religious scholars. Conducted by renowned religious scholar Farhana Owais, the segment will take into account the concerns of females in the audience and beyond. The idea is to spread awareness among women and provide them a platform where they can learn in a safe and secure environment. This particular initiative deserves appreciation as it allows women to come forward and discuss their issues. It breaks away from the kind of meaningless content presented in morning shows all year round.

Aalim Online, on the other hand, will be hosted by Tasleem Ahmad Sabri. It has remained a much awaited and integral part of the show for years and will be aired during both sehri and iftar timings.

The transmission will run from 2:00 till 5:00 in the morning while the second part will be on air from 2:30 pm till 7:30pm. Aside from the four illustrious hosts mentioned above, mimic and entertainer Syed Shafaat Ali will also take up hosting duties on the show. He will host a mini game show called ‘Geo Dil Se’ during the transmission that is aimed at creating a relaxing atmosphere for those in attendance as well as the viewers. It is going to be an interactive session with the audience that will be asked questions while winners will be presented with the prize on the spot.

The segments aim to cater to different sections of the society. One of the major objectives of the show is to help poor and needy people and provide them with a proper iftar. For this, Dil Dil Ramazan team will visit shelter homes and orphanages including SOS Children’s Village and Darul Sukoon and will also distribute gifts among deprived children.

Apart from Aalim and Aalima Online that aim to create awareness, the show will also feature a debate session called ‘Dil Se Keh Do’ and a quiz titled ‘Rabb-e-Zidni Ilma’. Emerging scholar, debater and anchor Owais Rabbani, who is also the Vice President of Youth Parliament of Pakistan will host both these segments.

And then there is the most obvious segment of any Ramazan transmission, the cooking show. Aside from fasting and engaging in prayer during the holy month, one of the major concerns is food. A renowned chef has been taken on board who is going to make mouth-watering dishes including desserts from first roza till the end of the month. Cooking segment will also include tips and tricks to be used in the kitchen aside from information on various cuisines from across the globe. Show hosts Bushra Ansari and Noman Ijaz will also indulge in interesting conversation with each other as well as the chef and audience to make the entire process more meaningful.

This year’s format has been modified to make the show more engaging and relatable for the audience. Lastly, a roza kushai segment titled ‘Mera Pehla Roza’ will focus on the idea of a child’s first roza and will celebrate it in a special way. Kids will be invited at the show to celebrate the occasion with Ansari and Ijaz.

We hope that these shows and programs manage to keep the essence and true spirit of Ramazan intact while providing viewers with an integral dose of entertainment.

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