There is no denying the fact that content is king, no matter what segment of society it caters to or through which medium it is generated. While local TV plays mainly cater to women and our films are struggling to find their niche audiences, there is hardly any credible, local content available for the Pakistani youth.
It is true that a major part of our youth spends most of their time on social media, surfing the internet and/or watching videos on YouTube. Considering this, an initiative called Teeli has been introduced with the aim to offer some useful, entertaining video content for the country’s youth. Spearheaded by Wali Tirmizi, the project is run by a small group of people including Faheem Azam, who has not only written the scripts of almost all of the videos but has also co-directed them.
Speaking about the idea behind the initiative, Faheem Azam shared, “The basic idea behind Teeli was to provide an alternate source of entertainment to the urban youth of Pakistan. Television is a major medium of entertainment while cinema is also developing but television doesn’t cater to youngsters and there was no content available for them. We either had Indian content or the western television and films that have been a favourite among youth. Therefore, we decided to make locally generated, online content accessible for them to which they can also relate to.”
The videos are funny and informative at the same time, shedding light on some of the most common issues faced in Pakistan. Some of them include: ‘Darzi Ki Marzi’ that talks about manipulative ways of tailors and how they deceive women who come to them; ‘Rishta For Sale’ that shows that marriage proposals these days are no less than business deals and how a guy’s mother behaves when it comes to looking for a ‘perfect match’ for her son; and ‘Disappointed Dads Helpline’ that highlights the generation gap and how children are forced to choose a career of their parents’ choice and struggle to achieve something in life.
Besides, ‘Boriyat’, ‘Dheet Case’, ‘Log Kya Kahenge’, ‘Rukhsati’ and the most recent, ‘Desi Customs’ that revolves around Pakistani customs, are some other examples that touch upon one or the other societal concerns. The videos keep coming in and on average there are 1-2 videos released per month. As far as the cast is concerned, most of the videos feature theatre and TV artists including Nazar ul Hasan, Mariam Saleem, Hassan Raza, Syed Talal Jilani and many others.