Guest House (TV series)
|Written by||Qaiser Farooq
|Directed by||Rauf Khalid|
|Country of origin||Pakistan|
|Original network||Pakistan Television Corporation PTV|
Guest House (Urdu script: گیسٹ ہاؤس) is a 1991 Pakistani comedy-drama series directed by Rauf Khalid which was produced and shown by PTV in early to middle 1990s. The setting is a fictional guest house named 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 the arrival of new guests and the involvement of guest house's employees in their comic and tragic situations. Almost each episode ended with the guest's problems solved by 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 janitor's 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 by the main character of the Hollywood 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.
Cast and character roles
All the main characters associated with the guest house are shown as very simple people and, on several occasions, have been fooled by charlatans posing as PEERS (fake jogis) 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
Mr. Sharneem is the founder and owner of the guest house. His age is between mid forties to mid fifties. In one episode titled ("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 stingy and doesn't like his wife's occasional shopping sprees; which are the main cause of their domestic problems.
Mr. Shameem is a good businessman. He 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 in the TV show, and never with her first name. She is very outspoken and has no qualms expressing her opinions, even if it means disapproval of 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 for her 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 with 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 gets beaten when he tries 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 film hero. Many guests have tried to exploit his ambition for movies, often costing him financial losses. He wears a sleeveless black T-shirt with a 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-language 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 janitor's 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.
He has a fiancée, named Jeeran, who lives in his village. He often daydreams about her while working. Rambo, after giving his best performance in Guest House, became very popular in Pakistan and then suddenly he became a Lollywood star and played many lead and supporting roles in Pakistani movies. During his successful film career, he proposed to his fellow actress Sahiba (daughter of famous actress Nisho) and later married her.
Murad played by Tariq Malik
Murad is the 'bell boy' of the guest house. He hums "TIP TIP karta mein kumray mein aata 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 tips from them. He often starts a conversation with a guest asking if they know English and then proceeds 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 comedy drama series in Pakistan that people wrote letters to PTV never to end showing it.
- Guest House was famous among children as Rambo wala drama which means the drama featuring Rambo.
- http://vidpk.com/c/298/Guest-House/, Profile of TV 'sitcom' drama 'Guest House' (1991) on vidpk.com website, Retrieved 19 Dec 2016
- APP 25 November 2011 (2011-11-25). "Prominent writer, actor, Rauf Khalid dies in road accident | Entertainment". Dawn newspaper. Retrieved 19 Dec 2016.
- http://tribune.com.pk/story/226934/afzal-khan-the-pakistani-rambo/, The Express Tribune newspaper, Published 8 Aug 2011, Retrieved 19 Dec 2016
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