Usman Khan dressed up as Charlie Chaplin, looks into mirror in Peshawar, Pakistan. AFP
Gulf Today Report
In the crowded northern Pakistani city of Peshawar a man in a bowtie, bowler hat and carrying a cane flamboyantly weaves through busy traffic, narrowly avoiding rickshaws, motorcycles and buses in a scene reminiscent of a 1920s silent film.
Usman Khan, 28, used to sell children's toys from a roadside stand but during the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed himself into Charlie Chaplin, a century after the silent comedian was propelled to global fame with his slapstick antics.
"When the coronavirus was around, a lot of people were in real stress, some people gave up on life," Khan told Reuters. "I was watching Charlie's videos and thought, 'Let me act like Charlie.'"
Khan dons the familiar costume of Chaplin's "The Tramp" character, with fake moustache and a little eyeliner. He takes to the streets, often accompanied by friends filming him, hoping to bring a bit of cheer in dreary times.
His Chaplin visits a gym to interrupt a ping-pong match, attempting to hit the ball with his cane, and draws ire from shopkeepers as he upends their wares, coming close to landing himself in trouble, as his namesake often did in his films. But he also draws the laughter of children who gather round him after he poses on stairs in a local neighbourhood.
"Making people smile with silent comedy, winning people's hearts with silent comedy is a difficult task," Khan said.
In just two months, he has gained more than 800,000 followers on the social media platform Tik Tok — people, he says, from around the globe who find his comedy a welcome respite from the pandemic and its lockdowns and social distancing.
Khan hopes film and television producers will notice him as well — and says if he ever became wealthy he would share his earnings with the poor.
The act is also a brief escape for Khan, who — like the real-life Chaplin before he shot to fame in Hollywood — comes from an impoverished family. Hawking toys does not bring in enough to cover daily expenses, he says.
"When I leave my home, I shut the door on my own problems and look to bring happiness to others."
All players, officials and staff have moved into a hub in a five-star hotel in Islamabad, the PCB said, and "are now allowed to interact with each other and move freely within the bio-secure bubble.”
"Just found out that Dr Hafeez has tested positive for Covid-19. I pray for his swift recovery and good health," Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar wrote on Twitter.
Half a million doses arrived Wednesday and the rest later on Thursday. The announcement by Asad Omar comes as Pakistan reported 4,974 new cases in the past 24 hours, the highest single-day jump since June last year.
This time, polio workers will try to vaccinate 40 million children across Pakistan while at the same time following social distancing measures and other precautions due to the coronavirus, said Zulfiqar Babakhel, a spokesman for the polio program.
I'm quite a shy person. That's one of the great things about Britain, and especially Somerset. I can just be me - and that's nice."
On January 13, Fatehi had recorded her statement as a witness in the money laundering case in the presence of Metropolitan Magistrate Akriti Mahendru.
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