A lookback at the year 2021’s biggest defining moments [Videos + Pictures]

Let’s take a ride back through some of 2021's massive highlights that undoubtedly defined the year!

The year 2021 is coming to an end. With the new year around the corner, some people are busy making resolutions, while others are dwelling over the past year’s flashbacks. Indeed, it wouldn’t be fair to walk into 2022 without taking a look back at the year that had so much in store for us.

Let’s take a ride back through some of 2021’s massive highlights that undoubtedly defined the year:

January: Cannoli’s English crap makes the cut

Social media glared at two owners of a restaurant called Cannoli in Islamabad for one reason: English. A storm of rage and condemnation spread across Facebook and Twitter after two bored women decided to introduce their manager to viewers In a video and upload it to the internet.

A few seconds into the video, it becomes evident that the two are mocking their rather anxious manager’s English. This “innocuous gup shup” backfired, and the internet lost its cool. What happened next? Netizens conducted an Urdu mushaira outside the restaurant and flooded the internet with memes.

February: Dananeer gives the party a Gen-Z makeover 

A five-second video took over social media out of the blue and set off a stream of recreations. Dananeer Mobeen, an influencer with hardly half a million followers at the time, became an internet celebrity overnight and brought Pakistan and India together to share a few laughs over her career-defining “pawri” moment. Celebrities from both sides of the border jumped on the pawri bandwagon, and the crazy viral trend landed Dananeer several entertainment projects. Party being redefined as “pawri” was undeniably one of the biggest highlights of this year and still dominates the trends.

March: Meghan Markle’s ‘pit siyapa’ hits close to home

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, the British royal family’s American daughter-in-law lifted the lid on what sounded eerily similar to the typical saas-bahu dynamics ubiquitous in desi households. A wave of empathy swept social media after the interview. From concerns on the skin color of her unborn child to constant scrutiny, Meghan’s trials and tribulations struck a chord with South Asian women who endured crappy in-laws. Isn’t that Kahaani Every Ghar Ki?

April: Aamir Liaquat’s inner naagin rises

In Pakistan, Ramazan transmissions are incomplete without Aamir Liaquat’s antics. The titles of his Ramazan shows have been shuffled over the years but what he puts on display hardly records any deviation from his choices for controversial stunts that can leave you mortified sometimes. This year he let the serpent in him rear its head and take over him on national television. It is no wonder the video is a little unsettling to watch, but it manages to set off a meme fest on social media anyway. If only there were a snake-charmer on the show.

May: Alizeh Shah’s tank top tanks ‘modest’ expectations

You won’t get in trouble with the Pakistani audience for as long as you keep playing the quintessential daughter, wife, or daughter-in-law on the screen. This had been the case with Alizeh Shah until she appeared in an avatar radical to her popular portrayals in dramas. Her debut song Badnaamiyan with singer Sahir Ali Bagga goes entirely unnoticed for her vocals. Still, her black tank top in the music video stirs enough storm on social media for the song to emerge in top trends. Alizeh is amused as she watches moral police raiding her social media profiles in vain.

June: Moral brigade marches on Hania Aamir

A video of Hania Aamir with singer Aashir Wajahat blows up Twitter. Some saintly souls are suddenly offended by the sight of Hania lying with Aashir and singing along to Hasan Raheem’s Teri Arzu. Quite predictably, they take it upon themselves to remind Hania of her “limits” and how she has disappointed them like never before. The controversy does lead to episodes of online harassment, following which the actor takes a break from social media.

July: Hum Style Awards red carpet flares up social media


The red carpet at the 5th HUM Style Awards in Lahore was lit up by strapless gowns, backless tops, thigh-slits, and plunging necklines. Everyone forgot about the wins and snubs and started whining about the “scantily clad” performers instead. Some people worried about having no cultural identity left of their own, and others advised stars how they could have danced better had they not put those high heels on.

It was in July that Hareem Shah broke the news of her marriage too.

August: Sadaf Kanwal declares husbands our culture


Social media collapsed over Sadaf Kanwal’s interpretation of feminism, which she reduced to household chores and taking care of husbands. She must iron Sherry’s (Shahroz Sabzwari) clothes, pick up his shoes, and know where his stuff is kept. Sadaf was trolled for what many people call a “myopic, oppressive, and patriarchal” interpretation of feminism, and #Sherry became the hashtag of the day. But the viral clip led to nasty personal attacks, too, following which Shahroz came forward in his wife’s defense and denounced the trolls. Sadaf caused quite an uproar online with her statements.

September: Nida Yasir’s F1 logic travels faster than Formula cars 


Nida Yasir proved (yet again) that she can pull off morning shows without researching what she will cover and who she will be interviewing. Her talent was visible in a 2016 clip that resurfaced on the internet. Nida invited two young Formula scientists, and what ensued may give you a stab of unease. Nida’s insufficient knowledge on the subject kept unraveling until she made a complete fool of herself on live television.

October: ‘Original sin’ on Juggun Kazim’s morning show

Eating apples on Earth was never so controversial until Juggun Kazim introduced a relatively new but arduous way of consuming the fruit. On her morning show, several apples were suspended on strings from the ceiling, and the men from competing teams were instructed to eat them, but there was a catch. The ambitious participants had their hands tied behind their backs, and every time they tried to take a bite off the fruit, it slid sideways. That is when Juggun made things a bit easier and deployed women to assist their partners. Juggun was blasted online for what some viewers think is vulgarity.

November: Internet hits upon Shadab Khan’s oppoganger

The T20 World Cup gave people several reasons to celebrate, and the biggest of them was Pakistan’s victory against India. The 12-match losing streak finally broke, and Indian cricket fans got a taste of their own medicine when Star Sports India’s popular but rather irritating Mauka Mauka advertisement turned into a “maukery” on social media. After fans moved over the semi-final loss, they reminded the tournament and discovered something that made them forget about the trophy: Shadab Khan’s opposite gender doppelganger in the stands.

December: Overseas uncle’s auntie stunt backfires

Some Asad Uncle based overseas rubbed social media the wrong way by sharing a video of music icon Shazia Manzoor, calling her a “random auntie” at a wedding. The short clip of the singer sliding out of a red Lamborghini in style while treating viewers to her iconic vocals triggered war on Uncle Asad’s timeline. He immediately realized he shouldn’t have let Twitter know he didn’t know Shazia. He apologized but requested angry fans to keep bashing and schooling him all the same. Uncle Asad then announced he would repent by listening to Shazia Manzoor’s music on repeat.

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