Archive for November, 2006

Lahore’s Seven Gifts to the World

In the spirit of all the holiday gift giving that will be taking place over the next couple of months, all the Metroblogging cities are giving 7 gifts to the world throughout this week. Ranging from Seattle’s jet planes to Karachi’s Nihari, these gifts are as diverse as interesting. We are a bit late in the club, however, will definitely try to catch up!

Lahore, as one of the most dynamic cities in Asia, has a lot to offer. Some of these ‘gifts’ are unique and have a particular Lahori touch to them. We’ll be wrapping them up and then present to the world. So, hang on to see what Lahore gifts the world.

Your suggestions regarding Lahore’s Gifts to the World are most welcome. Just drop a ‘Story Suggestion’ or email me your point.

TAGS: Metblogs7Gifts 7Gifts Metroblogging7Gifts 7 gifts to the world

Lectures on Sufism by the Modern Sufis

Sufism is what brought Islam to the sub-continent. It’s the most tolerant and effective way of practicing God’s belief with no room for extremism or radicalism in it.

Samia Zaman, one of our readers pointed our attention towards how Sufism is blending into a force, again, in today’s modern world. I hope someone does know where these discussions are held. I’d love to attend one too!

“Sufism seems to be frourishing in Pakistan….my question is WHERE. I am not talking abt the old shingdin abt going to mazars and dargas but very eclectic and intellectual discussion and zikr groups that get togeather and discuss how to percieve GOD with love and not fear. Now this in itself is a unique concept as all i had evr heard about was “Allah se Daro” lectures. All i know is tht there is a LUMS professor who is part of the group and Ayeda who writes for Friday Times. But what i don’t know is that where does it happen?? “ – Samia Zaman

The New Wave

Secular democracy, the way to go.

America fought for secular democracy against the communist Russians for years. It then went all out against religious ‘dictatorships’ in almost half of the Muslim world. The recently passed ‘Women Protection Bill’ is considered a step forward in this war against anything-not-secular. Secularism is good. It is wholesome. It caters for everyone. It does not discriminate on religion. There are no ‘dhimmis’ (‘dhimmis’ are non-Muslims in a Muslim state, who are to pay a certain tax, as an alternative to Zakat, which all Muslims pay to the state). And there are no ‘gentiles’ (non-jews from a Jewish perspective). All is good. All is fair. Justice prevails, as one sees in the States. You will get full rights, no matter who you are. There will be a balance between your gods and everyone else’s. And one can see the passion of spreading Secularism. Passionate. Fair. Balanced. Like Fox News*.

Our society is a far cry from Justice. From the grassroots level of civil courts, to the high and mighty of Mr 10 percents, what we as a society are looking for – whether we know it or not – is a New Wave. Something that will wash away the shit. And leave ‘the good’ behind. Clean, squeaky clean with the new-car-smell perhaps.

What I am looking for is The New Wave. A massive reform. Revolution or evolution, I don’t really care. I think you shouldn’t too. Tolerance, ethics, honesty, faith, unity, discipline, knowledge, almost in the same order.

I tend to think Secularism is good. But I also tend to think that there is something far better out there. No one I know or have read or have heard has been able to put that ‘something’ in simple, understandable words. But I just know it. A sorta’ fix-it-all for our collective existence.

This post marks the start of that search.

So as a start: Secularism, should we or shouldn’t we?

*I will still respect you if you believe in something that I detest, I will still respect you if you don’t believe in the One God that I believe in, I will still respect you if you don’t believe in any god. But Fox News? Guys, c’mon. Those who think Fox News to be worthy, should not be allowed to speak. Or act. Breathing is allowed only if you ensure to buy and release 100 ounces of oxygen in the atmosphere for every breath you take, every move you make (insert Police’s ‘every breath you take‘ here).

Lahore gets Rolls Royced!

Some of you may remember earlier reports on LMB regarding Rolls Royce’s arrival. Those who don’t, can watch it here and here.

For motor-lovers to celebrate, Rolls Royces are ready to roll on Lahore’s Parisian boulevards!

Dewan Motors are exclusively selling this one-of-a-kind brand of super luxury moving machines in Pakistan. Managing Director, Rolls Royce Europe & the Middle East, Axel Obermuller and CEO Dewan Motors, Dewan Yousaf Farooqui both were present on the inauguration of Rolls Royce’s first display center in Pakistan at Lahore on Wednesday.

The ocassion also marked launch of Rolls Royce’s premier model, the Phantom, in Pakistan.

Rolls Royce Phantom

The Phantom is going to cost around Rs. 50-60 million, depending upon tailored features that include an option for everything custom-made except for the car’s chasis and engine. More details on the Phantom can be found at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

By being the first city in Pakistan to host the launch of Rolls Royce, and earlier, Porche; Lahore has proven its class for love of art, speed & luxury on wheels…

sunset at river ravi

When did you last see so much water in Ravi?


Photograph by Yasir Nisar – Simply brilliant (click on the image for best view).

Tracing the outbreak

Dengue virus has caused a lot of commotion, moreso in the media than anywhere else. Nonetheless, this virus is for real; it gets you sick and it can kill you. The percentage of people who actually die from Dengue virus is, to the best of my knowledge, quite low. But here is the thing; Yesterday, I had the chance of meeting an old family friend, who had come over from Karachi.

In my attempt at summation, following is the list of things we talked about, in order:

1. He had Dengue virus, was sick for 15 to 20 days but, Alhumdulillah, got back to being healthy.
2. He got the virus before it made the news.
3. He was quite scared, because initally he thought it was just the flu. But his fever maintained at 101 to 102 C for four to five days.
4. He then told me that in some places in Karachi, there are actual ponds leftover from the recent rains that wrecked Karachi’s infrastructure.
5. In some places, these ponds are as deep as five feet.
6. I joked that people should start fishing there, now that it seems to be a permanant feature of KHE.

It was later that I did the maths:

Dengue virus from mosquitos. Mosquitos thrive on relatively cleaner ponds. Karachi had/has ponds. No sanitation. No sanitation usually equates to outbreaks. Like in Africa. In earthquake’s aftermath in Muzafarabad. Mosquitos get the required habitat, right in urban Karachi. They do what they do best, bite. Itch. Dengue. People love to travel. So does virus. Spread across Pakistan. Mark “Outbreak of a potentially deadly virus” as yet another fault of our own inefficieny. Blame Karachi’s authorities. Go to sleep at night with a light heart. Peace.

November Rain


Chill in the air is here following November’s first downpour


Doing what you shouldn’t

It is understood that every male member of our society can take a pee anywhere he pleases. Period. On the wall of any given house, under that giant tree where people come and sit for picnic perhaps, right next to the footpath or whatever. Anyone who’s property is being urinated upon, likewise, has the ‘right’ to try to stop this natural act from taking place – OR if you are late – find the urinator’s place and watermark his wall, perhaps with a Z like Zorro or something, in revenge. But what happens when someone of authority, say, your city nazim, comes to stop you?

‘You can’t pee here, it’s the law.” says the Nazim.
“But he started it!”
“Due process, my dear semaritan, And besides, I caught you, not him.”
“What about justice and fair play?”
“Ok, we will arrange for someone to piss on his wall, OK?”
“Hmm. Ok, yeah, that will do.”
“Any chance of you forgiving him? Or taking some sort of compensation from him?”
“No, that wall really tied the house together!”
“Ok, ok, the court will decide the matter.”

The court collects the evidence. In your favor, the judgement is passed.

That’s fair play. That’s justice.

Now you are satisfied. Because of that certain peace of mind that only revenge can deliver, you can sleep at night. And it is through due process, which you really don’t care about, but understand to be better on a ‘collective level’, yeah whatever. But his wall will be watermarked as well, so you chill.

But later, someone commutes his sentence. No one will be pissing on his wall. Why? Because your city law gives your nazim the power to do that. Practically, to decide in this specific peeing matter, to either reduce the ‘punishment’ or completely withdraw it. Why do that? Why give someone else the power to override justice? You are the one who has been ‘annoyed’, so you should have the right, facilitated by your government, to either (a) annoy the annoyer in the same way you were treated – revenge! (b) completely forgive, or (c) to settle for some sort of reasonable compensation. But where does ANYONE else figure in all of this?

President commutes the death sentence of a proven murderer, exercising his constitutional right. Nowhere is it mentioned about the family of the long-dead victim, no body seems to care. And it is ‘presented’ as a gift to the soon-to-visit Blair (WitchProject), for the murderer has British citizenship. All nice, all nice. See, how ‘understanding’ we are? See how compassionate? We don’t want to kill people, no nooo. So what if justice gets a back seat, way, way back? It is this treatment of justice that conjured up images of our constitution pissing on justice itself, that lead me to write with respect to a urinator’s analogy. Or maybe I’ve been drinking too much water.

traditionally public?

I have a strange way of mixing things up. I really hate this innate tendency sometimes.

Just a few days ago a question was raised as someone took a picture from the post of one of our very good fellow metroblogger and used it on Wikipedia. As this blog is written with Creative Commons license, hence all the content is meant to be freely available for usage and distribution without any restrictions. But the point was, the photograph didn’t belong to our fellow metroblogger.

There is a friend, whenever he comes – oh God, I just realised that he got away with my cellphone’s hands-free today – he just picks something that he likes and takes it with him. No questions asked, no, nothing. Sometimes I feel like some public service. He takes your perfumes, accessories (like today); he took my guitar two years ago and never returned, and my sheesha (water pipe), to name a few. I always get the feeling that in our culture we give so many liberties to people around us, even on our own expense.

the only statue of a human figure left in lahore?

Image Source:

This I believe is the only statue of a human figure left in its original place in Lahore. Located across the street from the Lahore Museum, I think not many of us actually notice it. I wonder how our Mullah folks have not touched it yet. We proudly demolished Jain Mandir, set a few churches and even Diyal Singh Mansion on fire during the riots in recent years. But this statue seem to have been missed out somehow. May be because its hardly visible from main road?

Anyways in case you don’t know, the statue above is of Alfred Woolner who was a long-serving professor of Sanskrit, as well as vice-chancellor of Punjab University between 1928 and 1936.

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