Guest House (TV series)
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 the early to mid-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.
|Written by||Qaiser Farooq|
|Directed by||Rauf Khalid|
|Country of origin||Pakistan|
|Original network||Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV)|
|Original release||1991 –|
Every episode starts with the arrival of new guests and the involvement of the guest house's employees in their comic and tragic situations. Almost all the episodes end with the guest's problems solved by the help of all-too-readily helpful employees and reluctant owners of the guest house.
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 thrilling background music is playing. The camera moves in a way that the wiper actually looks 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.
The character of Rambo was an instant hit and played a vital role in the popularity of the series. Producers wanted to remove the character after the pilot episode, but his 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 involved in personal matters of their guests and try to resolve their issues.
Mr. Sharneem (played by Khalid Hafeez) is the founder and owner of the guest house. Although he is very faithful to his wife, she always suspects him of having an affair 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 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 his guests' personal problems. 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) is the wife of Mr. Shameem and is always addressed as Mrs. Shameem, 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, but she scarcely uses them. She loves shopping and complains that her husband is stingy and doesn't support her shopping. She is often nostalgic of her youth and remembers the long hair she used to have. She is compassionate and easily gets involved in the personal matters of the guests. She often takes sides with the women in huests' domestic disputes. She can easily find the reflections of her own personal life in the personal problems of others.
She is very soft on the employees, 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) 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 when they are offered. He can be easily persuaded into anything if he feels it is morally right. In one episode, he goes on a mission against pollution and is 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 and crossbones and a pair of loose orange pajamas. He has a butterfly tattoo on each arm.
He has a 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 the 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. This 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, and Mrs. Shameem comes to his rescue, who has sisterly affection for him.
Rambo, after giving his best performance in Guest House, became very popular in Pakistan and then suddenly 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 the famous actress Nisho) and later married her.
Murad (played by Tariq Malik) is the 'bell boy' of the guest house. He hums "TIP TIP karta mein kumray mein aata hoon" when walking around the guest house, meaning, "I am entering the room singing, TIP TIP". He 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.
- 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 (25 November 2011). "Prominent writer, actor, Rauf Khalid dies in road accident | Entertainment". Dawn newspaper. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- http://tribune.com.pk/story/226934/afzal-khan-the-pakistani-rambo/, The Express Tribune newspaper, Published 8 Aug 2011, Retrieved 19 Dec 2016