of Us enjoy Fasi Zaka's witty sarcasm on TV channels and
in newspaper articles. Fasi Zaka is a Rhodes Scholar from
Oxford University. During his prolific career, he has
almost done it all. He has also been a consultant to the
World Bank and the British Council, and has taught at the
Institute of Management Sciences (IMSciences). His first
media appearance was as the host and scriptwriter for 'On
The Fringe' which appeared on Indus TV and later MTV. He
has a radio show called the Fasi Zaka Show, and is
currently the host of the satirical quiz show 'News, Views
and Confused'. He also writes extensively and has three
columns in different units of the print media. He is also
an advertiser, who was part of the team that won three
national Aurora Awards for creative campaigns.
and date of birth
best thing about being a teenager
the time when growing older hasn't made you less
optimistic and cynical about life. In that age it feels
really free to be who you are, especially since being
practical is not a consideration.
as a teenager
teenage years weren't so great. I was a chronically shy
teenager who liked to be alone a lot. I was lucky to have
a penchant for reading books which made up for my closeted
existence that was confined to school, college and back. I
wish I had more confidence in myself back then. I feel I
missed many opportunities in learning things that I could
have had, like being able to relax at a gathering or a
party, which I still have difficultly doing. I think the
chronic and debilitating shyness had to do with a very
loving but overprotective mother and being overweight, the
fear of criticism or ridicule would make me try and keep a
low profile. In teenage life is difficult, but don't be in
a hurry to grow up. You can fast forward you childhood but
never rewind from adulthood into the naiveté of your
was always listening to
loved the music of those days, grunge had just come in and
it was an unbelievable experience to see the music I had
enjoyed for so long (glam rock and the hair metal was
popular in those days) be exposed for being shallow and
emotionally insincere. I still listen to the Guns'n'Roses'
album 'Appetite for Destruction', reminds me of those days
when I was trying to memorize the lyrics of the album.
was glued to the T.V. for
didn't own a dish, so I was always glued to PTV and STN in
those days. I used to rent VHS' of music videos and watch
them for hours. Watching the weekly Urdu classic film on
Fridays was something I really looked forward to, as well
as the weekly Pashto soap.
favourite movie was…
those days my favourite films were 'Gross Anatomy' and
'Dead Poet's Society'. Looking back at my taste then, it's
not surprising that I liked those films since they are
both about student life and how some people manage to
overcome odds that are embedded in their personality and
start to do what they want to do - to finally live a life
that is fulfilling for them.
think I would wait a lot in those days for the films of
Michael J. Fox and Mathew Broderick. I recently watched
those films again and cannot believe that I enjoyed them
so much back then, they seem really clichéd now.
room was full of
magazine and newspapers. Had a huge TDK collection as
well! I used to love the experience of rewinding the song
I liked and trying to estimate where to press the stop
button at the point where the song I liked started.
room walls carried the posters of…
Jovi, Metallica, Cinderella and K.I.S.S.
closet was full of…
really! I had a very limited wardrobe which consisted
mostly of white, black and blue plain kameez shalwars.
Most of the closet was full of books anyway.
had three close friends back then: Naveed, Adil and Taimur,
all of whom are now somewhat distant. But they helped me a
lot in being able to connect with people slowly and
overcome my shyness. But other than these friends, the
really close friends I made were at Peshawar University
and then at Oxford University. I think at that time I had
overcome my shyness and was able to open up more to
people. Usually, for most people, it's the opposite way
around; their closest friends are made earlier in life.
think my first crush was on Madhuri Dixit, then Juhi
Chawla and eventually Susanna Hoffs of the Bangles. My
first real crush was on someone I met at university.
become a doctor. But both times, in my O-levels and F.Sc,
when I had to dissect the animal (and eventually watch it
die in the process) I couldn't bring myself to do it. It
was at this time I started entertaining daydreams of being
a writer, which I am doing now regularly for the press,
but still not in the sense of the non fiction novel I
dreamed of writing.
wish I had known then
there is no need to worry what others think of you, that
the fear of getting embarrassed is what can kill you - not
the embarrassment itself. Do silly things; don't worry
about failing at them, that's confidence.
just have one younger brother, and he is only two years
younger than me and is currently doing his PhD in Business
to Business Channels in Holland. We have always been close
and also the greatest of enemies when we were growing up
because our personalities were so different. My younger
brother is far more conventional, hot tempered and in many
ways very naïve - a recipe for conflict. At the same time
we always shared a lot of the same beliefs on things and
bonded over our circumstances in life.
school was Edwardes College School in Peshawar. I
absolutely loved it there. It had a lot of British
Missionaries teaching there who were very committed to
teaching. In some ways, some of the strangest characters I
met there were my teachers, and they brought a good deal
of inspiration to the classroom. Before that I never
really enjoyed my education. At Edwardes College School I
could finally be the geek I was always meant to be. It was
such a family environment! I remember doing my best to
avoid the marathon one year, and then finally was forced
into running it. I came in last, but all the teachers and
my friends were there to cheer me on at the finishing line
– not to make me feel as if I had failed.
didn't have any ragging in school, but in my first year of
college there was a lot of it. I just couldn't understand
the behaviour because some of it was violent. I remember
the first day of college we got into a fight because we
decided we would stand up for our self-respect.
Eventually, when I was a senior I decided not to repeat
that behaviour and did my best to make sure people felt
up in the morning; it was always a nightmare, and also the
obvious lies that our text books were crammed with
regarding our post 1947 history.
grew up in Peshawar, and there was no place I liked more
than Chief Burger. It had this unbelievable combination of
the friendliest service and the best food. Whenever I go
home, I make sure to visit it there even now.
message to the teenagers today
not to be absorbed only by yourself, your friends and
family. It's easy to live in Pakistan and distance
yourself from the world and the poverty in the country;
don't do that, you will become an insensitive human being.