Posts Tagged ‘lahore’

The Lahore that I grew up in was a great place

I grew up in Lahore. All my life I lived here except for the seven years in the army and ten in Karachi. I returned again in December 1988 and have lived here since. I knew a Lahore that was a very beautiful city. It was a city of people who ere cultured, courteous and with a sense of humour that was sharp without being vulgar. This was a city of the most magnificent Mughal buildings and gardens. It was also a city where you could actually get into the countryside without going anywhere. The urban sprawl of what is now Johar town was a place of mango orchards and fields where one could hear the song of more than a hundred different species of birds.

Lahore was a city where the gates of your house were always open, except when you turned in for the night. It was a city where armed robbery or rape was unknown. Lahore was where a traffic accident did not mean you were lynched. It meant people got out of their cars and quietly resolved who was to pay for the damages. Here a young man and woman could walk hand in hand without being accused of ‘obscenity and vulgarity’.

PNS Mehran under siege in Karachi

P3 Orion aircraft on fire at PNS Mehran - Source: Dawn.com/AFP

Gunfire and explosions rocked Pakistan Navy’s PNS Mehran base in Karachi last night. Recent reports have confirmed at least 8 casualties and two aircrafts destroyed at the high security facility. P3 Orion aircrafts are operated by Pakistan Navy for maritime surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

Navy has become the most targeted wing of the armed/security forces in Pakistan with four terrorist attacks spanning over the last two months. All four have taken place in Karachi targeting buses carrying Navy personnel and now an air-base. The first ever attack on naval interests in Pakistan during the current war on terror took place on March 4, 2008 when the Naval War College in Lahore was attacked by two suicide bombers killing at least 8 people.

Our prayers and thoughts are with the affected families and friends of our brave military men who’ve lost their lives in this incident. Inna lillahe wa inna illehe rajioon.

We all pray in unity for peace in Pakistan!

Why Kalma Chowk Underpass is a bad idea…

Traffic is becoming a major issue for dwellers of this city of 10 million, especially for the vast majority of population that cannot afford to drive Corollas or fancy Range Rovers. The current Punjab Government has been epic in initiating unplanned, unreasonable and unjustified projects just for the sake of gaining mass publicity and a possible nod from the Western governments and donor agencies. Transparency and good governance are two important issues in which the Punjab government, according to some observers, was apparently faring better as compared to the center and other provinces. Any sane person from the general population, however, will highly disagree with this false notion when he still has to enjoy the effects of these supposedly successful initiatives. Urban planning is one important issue where each of our governments handsomely fails. The long-awaited Lahore Rapid Mass Transit system has almost been laid to rest while highly questionable strategy of road widening and tree cutting continues. Meaningless small stunts like construction of the Park n Ride plaza on Liberty Roundabout hardly have done anything to resolve the planning crisis and make our city more livable. The ugly structure, by the way, is hardly used by anyone and emits more carbon thanks to its free shuttle service to Liberty Market (located just a few hundred meters away) using diesel coaster buses.

Ahmed Rafay Alam, in his recent article published in the The Tribune, pretty much summarizes the flaws of recently inaugurated Kalma Chowk underpass project. He writes,

“Investment in public transport (and removal of private automobiles from roads) is the only long-term solution. Three years ago, the Punjab government launched the Lahore Transport Company with the promise to import some 1,300 buses into the city within three years. Well, it’s been three years and no such buses have been imported. Meanwhile, the Lahore Transport Company continues to pay salaries to its many officers and employees. The construction of the Kalma Chowk overpass excuses the failure by the Punjab government to adopt any long-term public transport alternatives. This should not be so and taxpayers should be informed of the reasons why no public transport is being provided, as promised.”

Winter’s first rain purifies Lahore

Egerton Road after first rain of the season - Lahore, December 30, 2010

See more pictures here: Mystic Misty Lahore

Egerton Road skyline - Lahore, December 30, 2010

Gear up & Grab your Camera – FiLUMS 2011 is here

Film, whether amateur, commercial or art, is one of the most powerful media in terms of depicting a society’s values and current thinking. From Hollywood to Bollywood to Iranian cinema, this medium has been used to highlight issues pertinent to a society’s existence while many a time, also used as a tool for propaganda and diplomacy.

With the fall of Pakistani cinema from grace over the years, there have been a few platforms for amateur film-makers to experiment and present their art to a thinking audience. Kara Film Festival was a beacon of hope that, to some extent, brought Pakistani artists, directors and documentary makers into limelight. While an impressive achievement in its own right, Kara is still far off to many amateur artists who cannot afford the budget or time to cope with the frenzy of such a film festival.

Then came FiLUMS; the landmark event of LUMS Media Arts Society, that provided a reachable platform to budding film-makers regardless of their backgrounds, nature of subjects of interest and any budgetary constraints. Since it’s inception in 2006, FiLUMS has been a regular occurrence that grows even bigger and better with each passing year.

This year, FiLUMS is gearing to be the biggest and the best to date with entries from as far as Turkey, Serbia, Abu Dhabi, Ireland and the United States. Along with film premiers and screenings, the three-day festival (February 11 – 13, 2011) will feature workshops and talks judged by the likes of Adeel Hashmi, Ayesha Khan, Omar Khan, Bilal Lashari, Fasi Zaka, Syed Noor, Adil Sher and many more.

Highlight of the event will be the award night at the third and final day of the festival on February 13, 2011.

Participation Procedure:

“Participants can register through the revolutionary submission system, known as Withoutabox (a division of IMDb), which is used by major festivals around the world. Alternatively, they can also register through our Standard Procedure, where participants are required to fill in a brief Online Registration Form available on the website by 15th January 2011. Once your film is ready, download the Submission Details Form and submit it to subform@filums.com.pk. Finally, the submission DVD’s of the participants must reach us before 1st February 2011.”

Categories:

– Short Films

– Animations

– Documentaries

– Feature Length Films

– Any other creative exception

Festival Proceedings:

Refer to the FiLUMS schedule here.

Contacts:

Website: http://www.filums.com.pk

Register for FiLUMS at: http://www.filums.com.pk/register

Email at: info@filums.com.pk

Call for Registrations and Submissions at: +92-347-5189196

Facebook Support Group: http://www.filums.com.pk/facebook

Follow FiLUMS at Twitter: http://twitter.com/filums2011

When Lahore misses Lahoris…

Lahore is a huge metropolis of around 8 to 10 million people today and it keeps on growing by every minute. A vast pie of this population comprises of migrants from other parts of Punjab and Pakistan. There are hundreds of thousands of people who come to ‘Dil walon ka Shehar’ in search of jobs, education, better opportunities and an urban flavor unmatched in the north of the country. All of this gives Lahore a flavor of diversity – all blended into the Lahori way of life as you just have to spend a few years in Lahore to become a Lahori at heart.

The demographic profile of the city’s immigrant population means that a lot of people have families and relatives residing in other parts of the province. Each holiday season, millions of Lahoris flee the city to spend vacations with their families in villages and other cities. Two Eids being the biggest Islamic holidays are the times when you see a mass-exodus of people heading out of the city just to come back a night before the vacation’s over.

If you happen to be a part of that crowd or just visit the railway station, lorry addas or bus terminals, you’ll see happy faces longing to see their loved ones while climbing onto any available and affordable means of transport. There’s a dad who’s carrying presents for his kids in village; there’s a student carrying his meager belongings in a backpack hanging on to the overcrowded entrance of a Bedford bus.  Then, there’s a group of white collar office employees, dressed in white shirts and black trousers with a laptop bag, albeit empty, waiting in queue at the New Khan or Faisal Movers ticket counter. Gourmet lafafas are usually a constant at all places of boarding buses, lorries, trains, rickshaws, APVs or Qingqis.. Babus prefer Daewoo or even better, an aeroplane ride to their hometowns. To take advantage of an improved bargaining position, transporters usually increase the fares handsomely and the passengers have no choice but to comply. Not to mention huge gridlocks of traffic outbound on G.T. Road, Motorway and up/down national railway grid.

In short, it’s an interesting phenomenon to witness so many Lahoris leaving the town they love for places that they originally belong. I still call them Lahoris for the city derives it’s character from everyone that brings his/her own flavor to share with the spirit of this great city. If you happen to drive by a calm Mall Road or lazy Canal Bank on a Saturday night during Eid holidays without having to press brakes, you get a feeling that…

Lahore’s missing its Lahoris… :)

People’s Bulls at Mall Road!

People's Bulls at Mall Road

‘Unleashing Change’ with the Revolutionaries of Pakistan – TiECon 2010

All three chapters of The Indus Entrepreneurs (Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad) are organizing TiECon 2010 Conference this Saturday at Royal Palms Golf and Country Club, Lahore. The theme this year for TiECon 2010 is ‘Unleashing Change’.

Official promo of TiECon 2010 – ‘Unlashing Change’.

TiECon 2010 - Unleashing Change - Rect

TiECon 2010 Pakistan is an annual flagship event of TiE and it is the first time in history, it is being organized in collaboration with all three TiE Pakistan chapters. As the theme explains, this years event focuses on unleashing the change about Pakistan and its tremendous potential in growth.

At a time when a significant gap exists between the vast opportunities that Pakistan has to offer fearless entrepreneurs and the perception of the country abroad, TiECon 2010 Pakistan brings together global thought leaders on home soil. Together, through the power of ideas, the conference aims to catalyze entrepreneurial minds to unleash change and create opportunity.

The aim is to expose the potential in Pakistani human resource and explore the opportunities for the entrepreneurs of the country. This is how Monis Rahman, CEO of Naseeb Networks was able to win trust of the venture capitalists to get the funds approved for its flagship product Rozee.pk even when the investors had reservations regarding the less known country of the world… Pakistan. Read the story of Rozee.pk and how other successful entrepreneurs are doing good for not only themselves but for their country, at Meet Pakistan’s Real Revolutionaries.

The conference brings together a mix of leading local and international entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders. Collectively they will inspire, motivate and create inertia for change in their respective areas of expertise. This year’s TiECon will be organized into a diverse yet equally critical group of sessions including riveting success stories of entrepreneurs, government as a facilitator of entrepreneurship, the societal need and impact of social entrepreneurship, media’s role as a change agent and creating entrepreneurs through high quality and ubiquitous access to education.

Hosted in Lahore, TiECon 2010 Pakistan will provide delegates with a rich cultural exposure to what is often called South Asia’s cultural capital. The conference agenda incorporates carefully designed segments to sample Lahore’s historical magic, captivating music and infamous cuisine.

TiECon 2010 - Unleashing Change - Banner

The event details are as follows;

Date: Saturday, October 30, 2010
Time: 08:45 AM (sharp) – 06:30 PM.
Venue: Royal Palms Golf and Country Club, Lahore

REGISTER yourself to attend this mega event of the decade at http://www.tiecon2010.pk/register.php. (Seats are limited so HURRY UP!)

The event will be live streamed on the TiECon 2010 website whereas, you can also track the event via Twitter at #tieconpk. The official TiE Twitter account to follow is @tieconpk. If you want to, you can also follow TiECon 2010 on Facebook as well.

Bundu Khan’s ‘Custumers’

Bundu Khan's 'Custumers'

Better late than never: Rain

It is raining in Lahore. Finally.

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