Archive for August, 2006

power shortage in lahore?

It’s been a few weeks since we are facing power issues in different areas of Lahore. Instead of 220V we are getting 180-190V and even 170V in some cases. It is probably not as serious as Karachi’s bijli ke masail but that means our AC’s are not working, you have computers restarting suddenly in middle of something really important because of power fluctuation (most irritating), tube lights are flickering and so many other problems.

I am not sure if its just a few areas of Lahore or its a major problem in entire city?

Looks like some bijli has been sent to Karachi by WAPDA :o).

Lahore History Tour – Installment #19

I realize it has been around 10 days or so since the last History Tour Installment and I hope that you all enjoyed our other posts in the meantime. From what I remember, we had started a tour of the Shish Mahal courtyard in the last installment and today we start with one of the most peculiar buildings in this courtyard, the Naulakha Pavillion.

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Naulakha Pavilion, built by Shah Jahan in 1632, is located on the western side of the Shish Mahal courtyard. It consists of a single rectangular room in marble with a typical convex roof in the style of a Bengal hut. It has three openings in front, one on each side, and a perforated marble screen at the back. It is a superb specimen of extremely minute and delicate pietra dura work in semi-precious stone, with beehive ornamentation on its pillars.

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Inlay-work on a side wall of Naulakha Pavilion. In some of the inlay-work here a single flower is made up of several tiny pieces of semi-precious gemstones: jade-greens, agate-reds, and lapis lazuli blues. Most of the stones were removed by the Sikhs to decorate the Golden Temple in Amritsar and their other projects.
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where in lahore? :o)

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This should not be that difficult, I think.

Lahore’s own swimming pool

How many of us remember days like this? Going to the canal in the blistering heat of the summer afternoons. There were always throngs of people there, old and young, all there for one purpose and one purpose only…to escape the trecherous heat with a dip in the canal. Mind you, it was much more cleaner then than it is now but come next summer, if I am in Lahore, I would not mind taking another dip in my boyhood swimming pool.

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Credit: Daily Times

Kids learning to swim by filling air in their shalwars and stuffing styrofoam to allow them to float. I don’t know how well it works because I never tried with styrofoam.

Government raiding fireworks businesses

Now I must ask who came up with this bright idea of cracking down on fireworks manufacturers. I can understand that the business is dangerous and often deadly and needs to be regulated but it appears the the government is planning to have these businesses outright closed down.

Fireworks are so much a part of Lahore and the whole of Pakistan that actions like these by the government are surely not going to succeed. One way or another, people are still going to use fireworks on weddings, on festivals such as Shab-e-Miraaj, independence day and so on. What were they thinking when they came up with this idea.

Although there is already a total ban on the manufacture, sale and transport of fireworks in the city, the fireworks business is in full swing. Mochi Gate, Akbari Gate, Shah Alam Market, Mozang, Ichhra, Islampura and Lohari Gate are the hub of the fireworks business. A survey conducted in these areas has found that about 400 people are in the fireworks business with ‘consultations’ of their area police stations.

Something like this is surely bound to push these businesses to the underground and make it even more dangerous for the people who work in the industry and for those will be inhabiting the areas surrounding these “blackmarket fireworks industries” when they start popping up in and around the commercial areas of the city.

Raw Sewage

Oue educational system seems to be emulating the conditions in and around our educational institutions. We have to provide a condusive environment for our youth to get education. They shouldn’t have to walk through sewage to get their education, especially in a city at least. Here, people put sandbags along a drain next to Diyal Singh College to prevent sewage from owerflowing.

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Credit: Daily Times

Bloody Darrel Hair has done it again!

Here you go. Darrel Hair, the controversial racist, has done it again. A wonderful game of cricket spoiled again by Darrel Hair’s incompetence and police-man-like-attitude. I don’t think there has ever been such a worst umpire in the history of cricket. I salute ICC for having him for so long despite all the controversies. I am sure we all remember what he did to Muralitharan and Shoaib Akhtar and most recently Danish Kineria. There is a long list. And just a few weeks ago in headingly test he set a new standard of incompetence which I am sure will be very hard to break. How many poor decisions in that match, you tell me.

I am a football fan and I always thought football referees make so many mistakes but this, I have never seen anything like that. PCB should have asked ICC not to appoint Mr. Hair in any match involving Pakistan. Sri Lanka has successfully done it so why can’t why?

I am really really hoping he is kicked in his big butt this time. He has been boiling my blood for sometime now. I think Inzi and company should never have come out once they had taken a just stand. Darrel Hair should either prove what he said or he should be shown a Red Card and banned for life.

Jugnu (firefly)

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I was just wondering if anyone has seen Jugnu (angerezi mein firefly) in Lahore in last 3-4 or even 5 years? Where have they gone? I don’t remember seeing even a single one anywhere in Lahore in a long long time. Has anyone of you?

As a little kid, I spent a part of my childhood in my Nana’s haveli in androon shehr (old city) and there was a huge garden just behind my bedroom where we had like 8 Anar ke darakht (pomegranates trees). That part of haveli used to light up at night because of hundreds of Jugnus and it presented a wonderful view from my bedroom window. I always thought they were performing one of their traditional tribal dances around pomegranates trees (yes, I actually thought they were part of a secret tribe :P).

So Jugnu was the most fascinating insect that I can remember from my childhood. To me, the million dollar question was how da hek the glow? Where that light comes from? I had, somehow, developed this weird theory about glowing part of their body that it was a tiny room where each Jugnu’s little kids study for their exams and it glows because of a huge bulb inside that room (ok I know I was silly little kid so what?:D). It took me a long time to understand and accept the grown ups wala reason which you can read here and here :).

We, the kids, also had a competition that who can catch most Jugnus and we used to run after them during the night. I never caught one though. If you remember, Lawrence garden also had plenty of them. I can’t remember where but that part of the garden where most Jugnus used to be found; had a lot of trees with Salman loves Tina and similar kind of messages written with knives. I haven’t been to Lawrence garden in ages, especially at night, so I can’t comment if Jugnus still exists there.

Like the old book shops of Mall Road and Regal, I think Jugnu has also disappeared, gone, and we haven’t even noticed when and why it happened. I feel bad for the kids of this modern age because if my guess is right and Jugnu is really no more in Lahore then they are really really missing a wonderful experience. At least I can still remember watching their tribal dance from my bedroom window. I could watch them for hours and you have to trust me on that, it was fun :).

Overcrowded roads

I have noticed that in the past few years our roads are getting more and more overcrowded. More and more people have easy accessibility to cars now making bicycles and/or motorbikes a thing of the past. However, our infrastructure has remained the same or even gotten worse. Where are all these cars coming from? Are Lahoris getting richer and richer or banks and car companies are in cahoots?

Here is a scene from the Simla Hill roundabout on wednesday.

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Credit: Daily Times

NASA selects Pakistani Woman

This is a bit of an encouraging news for us Pakistanis and especially our sisters. Keep on reaching for the stars…

US space agency NASA has selected a Pakistani woman for a mission starting in January 2008, Geo TV reported on Wednesday. The woman, Numara Aslam, is from Lahore and is currently living in France. If the mission goes ahead, she would be the first Pakistani to fly into space. An artist by profession, Aslam has been selected as part of a six-member team made up not of astronauts, but people from other professions.

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