Guest House (TV series)
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|Written by||Qaiser Farooq
|Country of origin||Pakistan|
Guest House (Urdu script: گیسٹ ہاؤس) is a Pakistani comedy drama series written by Rauf Khalid which was produced and run by PTV in early to middle 1990s. The show was inspired by the hit British sitcom Fawlty Towers and was a Pakistani spin off of it. The setting is a fictional guest house named Welcome Guest House located in a posh area of Islamabad. It is run by Mr. Shameem and his wife with the help of three permanent regular employees Naveed, Murad and Rambo.
The story of every episode starts with arrival of new guests and the involvement of guest house's employees in their comic and tragic situations. Almost every episode ended with the solution of problems of the guests with the help of all-too-readily helpful employees and reluctant owners of the guesthouse.
The Pilot episode introduces the janitor of the guest house, John Rambo, in a very dramatic way. He is holding a wiper like a rifle or machine gun and a thrilling background music is playing. Camera moves in a way that the wiper actually looked like a rifle at the beginning of the scene. Later it turns out that John Rambo Cockroach Killer is inspired from the main character of the movie First Blood. Rambo was an instant hit and played a vital role in the popularity of the series. Producers wanted to remove the character of Rambo after the pilot episode, but its success made them decide otherwise. One of the producers admitted on TV that after the success of Rambo in the pilot episodes, he was the focus of every episode.
Characters and cast
All the main characters associated with the guest house are shown as very simple people and on several instances have been fooled by charlatans posing as PEERS or film directors. They tend to get involoved in personal matters of their guests and try to resolve their issues.
Mr. Shameem played by Khalid Hafeez
He is the founder and owner of the guest house. His age is between mid forties to mid fifties. In one episode("Billi Chali Susral") his wife confirms his age to be 55, he however contradicts her saying he is "just 45", judging from the context of the scene his age appears to be 55. Although he is very faithful to his wife she always suspects him having an affair and/or having another wife mostly because he likes to flirt and has been caught doing so on many occasions especially with small time female celebrities who stay at the guest house. He is financially very careful and doesn't like his wife's occasional shopping sprees; which are the main cause of domestic disputes.
Mr. Shameem is a good businessman is always ready to please his guests and tries to meet their often outrageous demands. He is a strict taskmaster and often deducts small amounts from the salaries of his employees in order to punish them.
Unlike his employees, he does not like to get involved in the personal problems of his guests, however, he often finds himself in situations where he has to get involved to bail out his employees and save the reputation of his guest house.
Mrs. Shameem played by Sarwat Ateeque
She is the wife of Mr. Shameem who is always addressed as Mrs. Shameem and never with her first name.She is very outspoken and has no qualms expressing her opinions, even if it means censuring the guests. She has almost the same powers in the matters of the guest house as her husband, however, she scarcely uses them. She loves shopping and complains that her husband is stingy and doesn't support her in shopping. She is often nostalgic of her youth and remembers the long hair she used to have. She is very compassionate and easily gets involved in the personal matters of the guests. She often takes sides of the women in domestic disputes of the guests. She can easily find the reflections of her own personal life in personal problems of others.
She is very soft on the employees and often takes their side and tries to stop her husband from punishing them. She even hid Rambo in a room when he was fired by her husband. Later she persuaded Mr. Shameem to rehire him.
John Rambo played by Afzal Khan
He is the janitor of the guest house. He is illiterate and belongs to a village in the suburbs of the city. He is simple and honest and has very high self-esteem. He never accepts any tips and feels offended if offered by someone. He can be easily persuaded into anything if he feels it is morally right. In one episode he went on a mission against pollution and got beaten when he tried to stop a pop concert to prevent noise pollution.
He is obsessed with Hollywood action movies, the Rambo series in particular, and wants to be an action hero. Many guests have tried to exploit his ambition for movies, often costing him financial loses. He wears a sleeveless black T-shirt with skull over crossed bones in its centre and a pair of loose orange pajamas. He has a butterfly tattoo on each of his arms just below the shoulder. He has a rather strange style of introducing himself. He crosses his arms, keeping them at a small distance from his body, poses his head at an angle to his torso and says this English sentence in local accent:
- "My name is Rambo Rambo, John Rambo, Silver Stallone, Cockroach Killer"
(He always mispronounces Sylvester Stallone as Silver Stallone.)
When he is excited he adds After Kar at the beginning of his signature sentence. After Kar is a combination of After All and Aakhir Kar (Urdu: آخر کار). Both of these phrases have the same meanings in English and Urdu respectively.
He always wears a wiper like a rifle on his back. His well-intentioned misadventures and indulgence into the private lives of the guests often put him in trouble with Mr. Shameem where Mrs. Shameem comes to his rescue who has sisterly affection for him.
Murad played by Tariq Malik
Murad is the bell boy of the guest house. He hums "TIP TIP kurta mein kumray mein ata hoon" whenever he is walking around the guest house, meaning "i am entering the room singing TIP TIP". He always drops subtle hints to the guests in order to get gratuity from them. He'll often start a conversation with a guest asking if they know English and then proceed to ask if they know what T-I-P stands for. His other pet phrase is "Easy Feel" which he uses in many different contexts.
- Afzal Khan is said to have a striking resemblance with the legendary Hollywood actor Sylvester Stallone.
- Guest House was such a super hit series in Pakistan that people wrote letters to PTV never to finish it.
- Guest House was famous among children as Rambo wala drama which means the drama featuring Rambo.
- APP November 25, 2011 (2011-11-25). "Prominent writer, actor, Rauf Khalid dies in road accident | Entertainment". Dawn.Com. Retrieved 2012-01-15.