Archive for January, 2009


Need I say more? It is a thousand words already.

New District Ravi

Punjab Board of Revenue has suggested to make a new district by adding northern part of Lahore (Shahdra Town) and some portion of Sheikhupura named as Ravi District. There has been a mix reaction around due to some part of Lahore being shifted into Ravi and some people are also not happy by loosing the identity of being a proud Lahore.

LMB has created a poll to get an opinion about the same, please participate and let everyone hear you.

Government plans to carve a new district from Lahore
Mixed reaction to ‘Ravi district’ plan


Terrorism Part 1

Terrorism sweeps the country, the city, the lives and the dreams. We flee the country, those of us who can; we slander the city; we condemn our lives and we are afraid of our dreams. And we are so busy doing all these things to escape terrorism that, poor us, we don’t even stop to think what we are running away from.

There’s a brand-new hype around town now…more hyped than it ever was before. Terrorism seems to vastly affect our ‘cultural’ shows in Lahore now, whether they be the Rafi Peer Theater World Performing Arts Festival, or the cultural complex or whatever. Yes, these groups, which are just patriotically producing the necessities or our nation (o should that be in inverted commas too?), are being directly threatened by those extremely sick people who wear beards. At least, those are the people that are arrested if they dare to show their faces.

To clarify, the necessities mentioned above are:

1) Dance shows

2) Music shows

3) Tacky stage shows

But let me tell you what happened, what is happening and in all probability, would happen again.


That’s what happened. Outside the cultural complex, outside the Rafi Peer Theater Festival, and well, goodness knows where else. Intense terrorism, my friends, intense. And fully dramatized on that blasted channel Geo.

Forget the girls being raped and murdered every day. Forget the fact that America is bombing us every day. Forget the fact that the new black (but thinks, looks and speaks white) American President is silent on such issues being resolved. Forget that if we don’t know of Shakespeare we are ignorant but if we don’t know of Al-Ghazali it’s not too bad. For the cultural, spiritual, degrading colonization we’re living in. Forget the world outside our bubble. Look! Some people who get offended by the scantily-clad dancers on the LCD screen in the World Performing Arts Festival actually have the audacity to put firecrackers outside!

These people have gotten so much sympathy, so much coverage…because they deserve it! After all the odds, they went back and performed, and will perform again! Because their art is so much more important than lives in Waziristan y’ know. That’s why Geo dramatizes this and not that.

The lives of the non-elite, the non-monied don’t matter, of course. Your countrymen die by the million and all the elite, the newspapers, and the universities think about is how and when and where and what is that amazing new musical called Chicago? How brave of them to perform in smaller and smaller clothes and how nice of them to come to Lahore! After all, firecrackers are no small thing, because they have started hurting the dancers and singers now. Never the mind the generations of children killed by firecrackers in the past, not even to mention the jugular veins cut by the strings of Basant. No. We must celebrate our life, because we have the money and we have the channels. Why represent the poor? We have our tacky stage shows to perform. We are the brave ones to perform at such a time, and then flee the country as soon as we get a third-rate citizenship anywhere. We have to present the faithful dog-image to America so that it will give us citizenship. Poor, brave elite. Eight people injured by firecrackers versus a hundred thousand dead by the American bombings.

Bravo, Chicago, bravo…go, Chicago, go…you’re what we need, you’re it, you’re the man (or the two leading women)…our saviors the elite….save us…save us….

The Power of Community: Things Pakistan can Learn from Cuba

This might be a scary movie for rest of the world. But Pakistan and Pakistani may learn from it. Cuba after collapse of soviet union faced two major issues.

  1. Energy Crisis (Peak Oil Prices – Power Shortages of up to 14 – 16 hours a day)
  2. Shortage of Fertilizer (Leading to food shortages)

This is a story of how Cubans, who were an educated nation of doctor and engineers, stood up against all odds and survived gracefully. people believed that sharing what little they DID have (food, land, resources) with each other was more important and for the greater good than hoarding it for themselves. Also the government was very encouraging, and allowed all unused urban land to be turned into incredibly productive gardens.

Cuba's Economic Crisis

Click on the image to see the video

With shortage of fertilizers and power cuts, We are also as vulnerable to a sudden collapse of our current agricultural systems. Watch this one for some inspiration on how to get our Pakistan out of the current Mess!

Also, in last couple of weeks, I have fallen in love with again. There are some really inspirational videos over there. have a nice day!

Logic is Variable

The Lahore School of Economics Association of Debaters (LSEAD) is holding Logic is Variable the Lahore School inter-varsity debates 09 from January 23 to 27, 2009. Total 42 teams from all over the country and also from Sri Lanka are participating in this mega debating event being help in Lahore. That reminds of what Lahore is famous for; the city of educational institution. At Lahore School one can see the Asians format of debates – the 3 on 3 debating reply speeches  – at its best.

Sri Lanka humiliate Pakistan in 3rd ODI in Lahore

Sri Lanka crushed Pakistan by 234 runs in the 3rd and final ODI played Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, on 24 January 2009. The Lankans batting first set a target of 309 runs and in reply our star studded team could only come up with 75 in 22.4 overs.

As a Pakistani cricket fan I feel like the we just can’t seem to have enough embarraement on and off the field. Maybe the state of our cricket team reflects the current state of our nation.

Mensa photowalk – Lahore Fort

The Lahore chapter of Mensa Pakistan organized a photowalk on Sunday, January 25. It was very entertaining and fun for all the people who were able to make it. The group consisted mostly of Mensa embers from the photography SIG (Special Interest Group) alongwith a few friends.

We gathered at Lahore Fort at 10am, and took hundreds of pictures. It was a moment for the people to all learn photography tips from each other and was very helpful for all the members. The event as wrapped up around 2pm, after a filling lunch at Gawalmandi.

The participants (from left to right in the picture) were:

  • Kokab
  • Jareer
  • Fahad
  • Zeshan
  • Usman
  • Khurram
  • Nargis

Everyone planned to meet up soon for another photowalk. Hope too catch you there!

How we are Losing our Cultural Identity

Yesterday, I went through an appeal for donations in Dawn by Hassan Zaidi, the founder of KaraFilm. Mr. Zaidi has been instrumental in bringing international spotlight and global taste to Karachi in the form of Pakistan’s largest film festival which grew bigger and better each year until two years back. The security situation in Karachi had resulted in postponement of the event for two consecutive years while 2009 brought with it the worst of economic recessions to blame.

KaraFilm is not alone here; in Lahore, Peer Festivals’ much celebrated World Performing Arts Festival was blatantly sabotaged in 2008 when suspected blasts occurred at the venue of the event.

But the question is, is the security situation or availability of corporate sponsorships to be blamed alone? Isn’t our love for arts, culture, literature and our own aesthetic identity fading away. What was the last time you went out alone, or with your friends or family to an art exhibition, a lok virsa show or to any of the Alhamra concerts on ethnic music?

If we look around our immediate surroundings, and closely observe our collective pshyche, it would not be worng to say that we are rapidly loosing the artistic thought, the softer brain and the very essence of cultural identity. Today, the only entertainment considered entertainment is a Bollywood movie screening (at cinema or at home), a ‘western’ rock concert or in majority of the public’s case; cheap and vulgar theatre.

We may not realize this now, but in due time this realization will come and hit us hard when the damage to our unique cultural identity and the youth’s attitude towards it will be irreparable. And that would happen even without the help of extremist ideologies whether they be from the mullahs or the government.

We’ll lose it and never know when it happened unless our common perspective towards arts and culture changes; unless parents don’t feel undermined of their investment in children who opt for arts; unless we change our attitudes towards everything local and unless we do not support the only catalysts of revival i.e. our local artistes, the lok-musicians, the artisans and the craftsmen of our rich cultural heritage that spans over more than a couple of thousand years as well as welcoming and embracing international flavors in contemporary arts, theatre, music and film.

Student Biryani – Now in Lahore

Student Biryani, started as a roadside dhabha in downtown Karachi, had lately grown into a chain of fancy outlets with several thousand customers walking in every day. Recently they have started an outlet in Lahore too. Go here for a detailed review.

Critical Mass Lahore

Critical Mass is a cycling event that takes place in over 200 cities around the world. Lahore has just become a Critical Mass city. The purpose of Critical Mass is to raise awareness, to be healthy and to have fun. The event is open to anyone with a road worthy bicycle and a healthy sense of fun.

See you there!!!

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