The occasion couldn’t have been more auspicious for a movie such as this. On the eve of Pakistan’s 68th Independence Day, Ocean Mall was the center of attention as celebrities from the glamorous world of entertainment and showbiz graced the red carpet to catch a glimpse of both Shahs in attendance; one from real life and the other from reel life.
Just as is the case usually with premieres, plenty of photographers, media personnel and acting greats were present on the occasion. The blinding flash of lights and camera shutter sounds filled the air, as the who’s who of Pakistani film industry voiced their views on Shah, the film industry and everything in between. Actors Humayun Saeed and Adnan Siddiqui were seen casually chatting with photographers and relating their expectations from Shah. Anoushey Ashraf, who was to host the event later on, was seen mingling with the important guests. Adnan Sarwar, the man who risked it all to play his childhood hero Shah on–screen was engaging several reporters and cameramen at the same time.
However, this premiere was a little bit different and more intriguing from the usual ones; it featured a small boxing ring, in the center of which the entire press conference for the event was held. Adnan Sarwar took to the podium, after Anoushey had introduced him and commenced his speech:-
“What is talent?”, started off Sarwar with his speech. “Talent is nothing without support and I extend my heartfelt gratitude towards Bank Alfalah for supporting me and believing in me.”
Hussain also divulged into details as to how did the movie first started out to be.
“Shah came to me as a romantic comedy,” said Adnan. “I remember Hussain Shah’s historic fight, when I watched it on TV as a kid on TV in 1988. It used to be late here and I was very sleepy yet I stayed up to watch him fight. After Hussain Shah won that bronze medal, he was a national hero. However, very soon we forgot about him. A man who had represented Pakistan internationally and glorified was soon forgotten by us.”
Before concluding his message, Adnan Sarwar stated the purpose of the movie and it was riveting, to say the least.
“The message contained in this movie is that if Shah can defeat boxers from around the world without food, clothing and shelter, then we can achieve all sorts of feats with the given facilities. Shah did it all and he didn’t even get a meal, three times a day.”
As Sarwar took his seat and the real Hussain Shah, clad in a Pakistan jacket, took to the mic, the whole floor erupted into a thunderous applause. Hussain Shah made his way to the podium and for a moment, it seemed that the applause would not cease.
“I never knew the Olympics were such a big tournament,” started off the boxer. “Had I known it was such a big deal in Pakistan, I would have won a gold medal, instead of a bronze.”
More thunderous applause.
“I’m not a boxer now, I have retired. I am a trainer now but I have full confidence that my son will bring home the gold medal for Pakistan. It’s not for me, he will bring the gold home to Pakistan!”
With that, and plenty of more deserved applause, everyone went into the right mood into the theaters.