On April 29, Friday, everyone in my family gathered around the telly to watch one of the most anticipated joyful events in modern history. A big television moment there was no way that we were going to miss it. So naturally we tuned it to BBC and CNN to watch the dignified and well-informed coverage. Piers Morgan who recently joined CNN to replace Larry King as the new talk show host was in the CNN panel that was giving living commentary of the event. And it was fun listening to him for he kept making snide remarks (look at that person’s big nose!), made naughty jokes (I’m telling you the next royal wedding is between Harry and Pippa) or he kept gushing over Britain’s big moment ( I feel proud to be British)…
But then suddenly I wanted to know what our local channels were covering at that point of time. There was no way that they wouldn’t capitalize on it. So everyone from Dawn News to Samaa to CNBC to Dunya to Express 24/7 and Geo News were covering it live in Urdu. But while they all covered it a very dry and somber manner, Geo ensured that they made it as colorful and Pakistani as possible. The set had magenta sofas, the two male hosts were dressed in suits and the female host Nini was wearing an elegant white outfit. They titled the wedding as “Raja Ki Baarat”, although one wanted to tell them that William ain’t a raja yet but a shehzada anyways that’s Geo News for you, factual inaccuracies are damned. Red rose petals popped out of the gold-framed portrait of the couple. During the news bulletin, “shadi mubarak” with the couple’s pictures kept popping from the bottom of the screen and of course how can I forget there was jhankaar music that kept playing in the background.
As their picture would fade away, there would be a pop-up of crackers. The red breaking news ticker with “Shahi Shadi”, the translation of Royal wedding, sounded more like Shahi Supari, the saunf concoction that has been around with us forever. And when Kate entered Westminster Abbey with her father, Geo’s screen went all crazy with shades of pink and ran a side box of “Shahzadi Dayaana’s gown”. After they took the vows, Huma Adnan, a fashion designer, was invited to analyse the wedding dress and size of the ring. They took live calls one of them was Fareshteh Aslam, who was curiously credited as wedding planner, again a typical geo-inaccuracy.
Then finally they played songs along with a commentary documenting their relationship such as when they met the first time at St. Andrews “Teri meri dosti pyar main badal gayee”, “Choti si umar main lag gaya rog”, when they broke up “Rothay ho tum ko kaisay manaoun piya bolo na”, when the queen called both of them to meet Kate “Shayad meri Shadi ka khayal dil main aaya hai, isi liyay mummy nay meri tumhay chai pay bulaya hai”. Basically they played those songs when the boring hymns were going in the cathedral. Unfortunately I cannot find the Geo clip when Kate and William come out together as a couple from the abbey and when they played the song “Desan da raja meray babul da pyara, Amrie dhay dil day sahara, Nee veer mera ghorri charraya, ghorri charraya nee saiyon ghorri charraya”
Only Geo News could have done this kind of cheesy coverage.
watch the following link from the 40th minute