2014: The year when Pakistani talent got big in India

  • Nivedita Mishra, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Dec 24, 2014 22:41 IST

They have been coming off and on. Sometimes it was a music band and other times it was a comedian. But every time, the relations between the nations tanked, off would go Pakistani artists from the window.

But something changed this time. We all know that for a while now Subhash Chandra's Zee TV is among the most popular channels in Pakistan. In 2014, Zee launched a new channel in India called Zindagi, especially meant to air popular Pakistani serials. In came a host of popular TV serials from across the border. Pakistani TV serials have had a history of popularity in North India.

Remember, the 80s when serials like Dhoop Kinare had an immense appeal among urban Indians?

Thanks to the new channel, 2014 meant that Pakistani serials were available to Indians across the nation. We take you through serials and artists who left a mark on Indian viewers.

Fawad Khan


The young actor from Lahore is a hot find for female Indian audiences as well as Bollywood. When his serial Zindagi Gulzar Hai premiered on Indian TV in June this year, he created a veritable storm in the tea cup. Fawad is (hell) good-looking, cultured and absolutely sexy. Besides, this guy's chief attraction is that he is a woman's hero. Small wonder Anil Kapoor decided to cast him in his production Khoobsurat and as luck would it, the film was a surprise hit and Fawad was well on his way to many more Indian hearts. He appeared in several Indian film glossies as a cover boy and is now part of Anil Kapoor's next production too. Aunn Zara


This family social was the first of the serials that were aired on Zindagi and got the ball rolling. An engaging tale of boy from a traditional land-owning Muslim family marrying a girl from a contemporary Army background, it had Indians hooked. A must in many Pakistani serials - you marry first, fall in love later. Zindagi Gulzar Hai


By far the most popular serial in India, this is the serial that began the Fawad craze among girls in India. But the serial and its content too left an indelible imprint with Indian viewers. The conflict-ridden relationship between lower middle class girl, a pessimist at that with a struggling mother and an uncaring father and rich boy who is spoilt for choice, Zindagi Gulzar Hai is a refreshing romance of class divide and a romance that begins after marriage! Humsafar


Heart-throb Fawad Khan has been in full form through the year and Humzafar only sealed it, coming after Zindagi Gulzar Hai and Bollywood film Khoosurat. This was yet another tale of a girl from a humble background marrying into a rich household, only this time the girl and boy are first cousins. The other discovery of Humsafar was Mahira Khan, the girl who is now all set to debut in Bollywood film opposite Shah Rukh Khan. Mahira, like Fawad, is a star in her own right. Bollywood will mean a much bigger platform. Maat


Yet another popular serial on lower middle class sisters, one gentle and docile while the other ambitious and often manipulative, who compete with each other for affection of a cousin who is intent on marrying one of them. A change of fortune changes the dynamics between sisters. A gripping family social. Notable mentions


In films too we saw (and will see) some more Pakistani talent. The monstrous hit Bhag Milkha Bhag yet another Pakistani actor, Meesha Shafi who had a bit of a role but got noticed. Coming up early next year is Baby starring Rasheed Naz (of the Khuda Ke Liye fame) and Mikaal Zulfiqar.

Good going, guys!

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