B Y E 2020 -Read

Finally, the year has come to an end. For too many of us, this was probably the longest and the most challenging year. But, as we bid farewell, we must reflect and recount all the good and the bad and revive new hopes for the year to come. For our New Year’s special, some of our favourite stars shared their thoughts on the past year and the lessons they learned…


1. What’s the best thing happened to you in 2020?

2. What’s the biggest challenge you faced in 2020?

3. How did you manage your time during lockdown?

4. What lessons did you learn from this pandemic?

5. What were your favourite books/series/movies this year?

6. How will you remember 2020?

7. What are your expectations for 2021?

By Erum Noor Muzaffar and Adeela Akmal

Mehwish Hayat

1. I think that like everybody else, 2020 has proved to be somewhat circuit breaker. It has allowed me time away from the rat race, to take stock, reassess my life and decide what I really want to be doing. It gave me a great opportunity to slow down and be with my family. For the first time in so long, I was able to be just a daughter, a sister and an aunt. With my non-stop schedule over the past few years I’d actually forgotten what that felt like; sitting with my mother getting my hair oiled catching up on family issues, playing computer games with my brothers and nephew, all felt like heaven.

2. Again, I think that the challenges I faced were no different from those faced by anybody else. Living life in the fast lane and suddenly having to stop everything took a bit of getting used to.

3. First of all, the best thing was to be able to catch up on all the sleep and rest that I’d been deprived of for such a long time. Then there was a whole list of books, films and series that I’d been too busy to catch up with which I was finally able to do so. I’ve been renovating the house and finally getting around to decorating my room – would you believe that I’d been living out of suitcases since we moved in almost a couple of years ago. I’ve been having a lot of interesting conversations with people about projects that I want to be doing over the next few years.

4. I think if there is one overriding lesson it has to be a real understanding of the frailty of human life. All it took was one virus to bring the whole world to a standstill. A virus that had no respect for position, wealth, borders or status – all of us were equally vulnerable. I have come out of this with a greater respect for the smaller things that life has granted us and a greater zeal for pursuing projects and ideals that are close to my heart.

5. My favourite book this year has to be Becoming by Michelle Obama. She is such an inspirational woman and I do hope that one day she decides to run for President. Series this year that have had me hooked are Money Heist, Lucifer, Emily in Paris and latterly The Queen’s Gambit.

6. I think that 2020 will be remembered as the year that the world was put on pause to give us all a chance to think about what really matters in life.

7. I think that I have learnt not to have too many expectations anymore. On New Year’s Eve who would have predicted the year that we have had? The best that I would wish for is that we have a workable vaccine and we can return to a semblance of normal life – whatever that ‘normal’ is.

Sunita Marshall

1. Due to lockdown I got to spend so much time with my family and kids. I think that’s the best thing that happened to me this year.

2. The biggest challenge was coronavirus itself. We were in lockdown for two/three months but after that we started working (the dramas we were shooting for, we had to complete that) following all the SOPs. It was difficult to wear mask and gloves and to follow all the SOPs while bearing the heat in Karachi. Not meeting our relatives and friends was another big challenge. And on top of that getting used to online classes was something very challenging. It was a tough task to make our children sit in front of computers for Zoom classes.

3. During lockdown, I cooked and I never cooked in my life and this time I enjoyed cooking. I watched the recipes on YouTube and made lots of dishes and my family really appreciated it. My children loved the food. That was one good thing that happened during it.

4. Never take anything for granted. This pandemic has made us realise the importance of relationships and being with one’s family. The lesson that I have learnt on a personal level is that family comes first. My immediate family lives abroad. I never used to talk to them on regular basis but during pandemic I made sure to talk to them daily. The entire family was together on Zoom calls, so now the bonding has become very strong.

5. I used to read a lot of books but since Netflix has come, I have started watching more TV and series and my reading habit has taken a back seat. I am a big fan of Netflix series. So far my favourite series are The Crown and The Queen’s Gambit.

6. I will remember 2020 by Covid-19.

7. I hope I can travel again in 2021. I missed travelling this year as normally I travel with my family in the summers, but this year I couldn’t because of pandemic. I just hope that this coronavirus ends quickly and the vaccine comes out soon so that we can meet our relatives and friends as we used to.

Junaid Khan

1. The best thing that happened to me, career wise, was drama serial Kashf. It was the highlight of my career.

2. To accept the new normal, to accept the biggest reality of 2020 i.e Covid-19; to coping emotionally with pandemic and to accommodate oneself in the given circumstances.

3. Well, many people had tough time during lockdown; people who were travelling were stranded as they couldn’t travel back to their country and be with their families. I felt lucky in the sense that I was with my family during lockdown and I enjoyed that period with my kids.

4. The biggest lesson I have learnt is that you owe to yourself. One must look after oneself. Sometimes we are too engrossed in meeting deadlines or too preoccupied with work that we tend to ignore our family and friends and even our own wellbeing. So, it’s important to keep balance between work and home and to take out time for oneself.

5. Since this year I had lot of free time at my disposal, I watched a lot of movies and

series on Netflix and Amazon including Breaking Bad, The Punisher, The Boys, Sacred

Games, Mirzapur etc.

6. There wasn’t much this year other then really protecting yourself everywhere. This year just passed by. We are still in the middle of a second wave, hope after two/three months, we will be over with this for good.

7. Life to get back to normal in 2021. Majority of the world will be vaccinated. Cinemas will re-open probably. My film Kahay Dil Jidhar is also pending and it is expected to be released in 2021, if all goes well.

Adnan Siddiqui

1. The best thing to happen to me in 2020 is the lockdown. However, much people whine about the lockdown being an impediment to their normal lives, I have only good things to say about it. Those few months gave me a wonderful opportunity to spend more time with my family and bond more with my children as I am always running short of time due to work. Got a lot of work too during this period – commercials, music videos. So it was a win-win for me.

2. The biggest challenge that I faced was to contain my wanderlust. I love travelling and exploring new places but due to the pandemic, I haven’t travelled anywhere this year. While international travel resumed here a few months ago, I am refraining myself from travelling for leisure as a responsible citizen. And another challenge was to get a Covid-19 test done. That instrument that the paramedics insert in your nose is scary!

3. I finished reading a book that was lying untouched in my study. I also played flute, wrote poetry, composed music besides playing board games and cricket with my kids and fighting with them over deadlines and discipline.

4. Nothing lasts forever and nothing sustains you like hope. I find myself to be a calmer and more patient person after this pandemic. I also have a better understanding of fragility of life now.

5. Dark and Ozark were the most riveting series from my must-watch list this year. Since I had luxury of time, I was able to binge watch them. These days reading a book given by Vasay Chaudhry, an autobiography of Michael Caine, Blowing the Bloody Doors Off And: Other Lessons in Life.

6. 2020 would be a learning experience. Within seconds our life did a somersault and this year has redefined what normal is.

7. I expect 2021 will bring some order to this chaos, peace, more humanity and tolerance across the world. I also hope that my movie, ‘Dummastam’ which I have produced, gets released and is liked by critics and masses alike.

Bushra Ansari

1. Nothing good happened in 2020. It was a horrible year.

2. I think the biggest challenge for everyone was coping with Covid-19. I was in Toronto. I was stuck there for six months. It was a challenging period for me.

3. I was mostly in Toronto. My family is there, so I spent my time in cooking. However, I was mentally disturbed because of pandemic. Now that I am back, I am still scared to do any new projects or dramas. There is one project which I have accepted after much thought. Now that I have time on my hand these days, I make small videos for my YouTube channel, something which I couldn’t do earlier because of my constant work and travelling.

4. Life is unpredictable and only God has the power to change anything. Life has changed for everyone. I guess that’s the biggest lesson we all learnt this year.

5. I watched few movies and series like Narcos and A Suitable Boy on Netflix. Also, I enjoyed watching dramatisation of short stories by Rabindranath Tagore.

6. It was a hard year for everyone. There was no socialisation and everyone was homebound.

7. Hope, life and prosperity.

Seemi Pasha

1. Nothing. 2020 was a blur with a lot of ups and downs.

2. Getting back to work and maintaining social distancing and SOPs.

3. Managing home, retiring old things and spending a lot of time with family.

4. Life is too short to be busy. We should help others, be thoughtful of others’ needs and family is the most important.

5. I am not used to seeing a lot of movies or reading books but one thing that caught my attention was the series Dirilis: Ertugrul.

6. 2020 will always be like a scary dream that we all need to wake up from.

7. May 2021 bring the end of this pandemic and may Allah give us all health and happiness

Nadia Hussain

1. I started work on a new branch of my salon.

2. To stay positive.

3. Cooking, movies and cycling.

4. That relationships matter the most.

5. I watched all old series.

6. The toughest ever.

7. That life will go back to

the old normal.

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