in Beverly Hills
By Haya Farooqui
in the elegant South Coast Plaza Mall late in the
evening with my sister Ayesha, I saw Fazal, my husband,
hurrying towards us with an excited look on his
face. "Quit shopping and come with me, I have a
great surprise for you guys," he exclaimed. Judging
from his exuberance I could feel the intensity of
the surprise but still could not guess what he was
up to. After traveling north for 25 minutes on the
dreadful 405 freeway on a weeknight he finally divulged
the destination. "We are going to meet Imran Khan,"
he exclaimed! "I just got from Ali and he wants
us to come to this restaurant as soon as possible."
Obviously, the exhaustion of a hard day's work was
suddenly overcome with subliminal energy and exhilaration.
My only concern,
before we reached the venue, was: Did we look "appropriate"
enough to meet the star? After doing some "touch
ups" and convincing each other that we looked fine,
Fazal stopped the car in front of "Crazy Fish,"
a sushi place in Beverly Hills. Without even waiting
for Fazal to bring the car to a complete stop, Ayesha
and I jumped out of the car while it was still moving.
Trying our best not to look star struck, we walked
into the restaurant. It was easy to figure where
the Khan was sitting because he was surrounded by
a bunch of people hovering around him like buzzing
bees guarding honey.
a simple navy blue suit with a light blue Polo t-shirt
and worn out dark brown topsiders, there he sat
-- the most talked about, the most photographed
and the most controversial sports idol of our country,
masticating the raw fish, totally blasé despite
the gawking eyes following his facial muscles as
he ate. We had the pleasure of walking back home
with him to our friend Ali's house, which was just
a block away, as the Khan likes to walk after dinner.
What more could a fan ask for … strolling down the
streets of Beverly Hills on a moonlit night with
one of the biggest stars of the country.
from being a cricketer to a philanthropist and now
a politician has honed his public relations skills
and he exudes warmth and compassion. Although some
may not agree with his political views, we cannot
help but believe in his honesty and integrity as
a social worker and a sportsman. He loves Pakistan
with a passion and is striving to bring a positive
change there. His relentless pursuit to build the
nation's largest cancer hospital that provides free
treatment won the hearts of millions of not just
the poor and the deprived but also the rich and
famous. It was a task that required tremendous commitment
and dedication. The success of the project has once
again driven him to take up on another challenge:
Shaukat Khanum Memorial in Karachi.
He has always
attracted a lot of fanfare from across the border
and this time Aamir Khan, a prominent "male" actor
from Bollywood, accompanied him and helped him raise
millions of rupees for the hospital, in a star-studded
gala event held recently in Pakistan. The bat that
Aamir Khan used in Lagan alone brought 6 lakh rupees
in an auction at the event. Now Imran Khan has turned
his attention to the US and is planning a fundraiser
later this year in May in the city of Los Angles
along with several other cities and now comes your
opportunity to also meet this great man and to be
a part of the important mission to which he has
dedicated his time and energy.