Archive for October, 2008

Disappointing start for Lahore Badshahs

The 2nd season of ICL has not started well for Lahore Badshahs. They have lost their first two games of the season and that too without putting up much fight. They lost their first game to Hyderabad Heroes (the teams which defeated in the last year’s finals as well) and also got hammered by Royal Bengal Tigers in their second game.

Do you guys think they can make a strong comeback or the likes of Saqlain, Inzimam, Rana Naveed, and other are truly past their best?Btw, the squad of Lahore Badshahs this year is:

Only in Lahore…

The series continues… :)

Source unknown – got this in a forwarded email.

Short Story sitting with Bano Qudsia

Lahore Arts Forum (LEAF) has organized a short story narration session by Bano Qudsia followed by discussion promising a very interesting evening for literary minds.

Date: October 09, 2008

Venue: Model Town Library

Time: 6:00 pm

So, be there and share any pictures or videos that you may make.

Fertilizer for the vegetables

We are vegetables. Give us our food and we will be green, some of the colorful amongst us being red and pink to add variety. There may be some people who are as sophisticated as, say, an onion with their layers of insulation, indifference, intellect or some other induced protection. Some, the real gems, may even be fruits. But all in all, we as countrymen are no more than plants that have accepted their fate of either withering out with time, or being really luck and be served on a ‘china’ platter to the highest bidder (pun definitely intended).

Our country really has a great threshold for pain. We should be proud of that. No, really we should. Not physical pain, but extreme mental torture to our collective intelligence (remember, we are vegetables). The dollar is at its highest ever to the rupee. Zardari, now a teenager without the pimples, thinks that India was never a threat. The biggest money-makers for us, the farmers, are the lowest in the food chain. We essentially now do not have a food chain as such. Inflation has put balloons to shame and our government is perhaps making the animal kingdom proud.

Did you know that the farmer was to be paid Rs 950 per maund for his wheat crop? This was rightly hailed as a sensible decision to first, produce surplus wheat and secondly, to inject billions to the rural economy. A great sign, some would think. No, not really. I have been a farmer for the last three years. The input costs in the form of fertilizers and diesel has grown not linearly, but exponentially. The seemingly large increase from the Rs 650 to Rs 950 per maund does not bring the percentages at par. No one seemed to care about that, of course. We were, being lettuces and onions, overjoyed at the increase in support price. No one cared that the international rate is somewhere at Rs 1200, no one cared that the smuggling will not be stopped, no one cared. Lettuces and pea-pods are not supposed to think about things like that. So, the animals that rule the plant kingdom, hit us with an absurdly crude weapon; they increased the fertilizer prices from Rs 3,100 to Rs 5,500. So, you get 350 per maund increase in wheat price. National average of wheat production is dismal 20 something maund per acre. Let us make that 29 mnd/acre. With 350/mnd increase, the farmer stood a chance of making an extra 350*29= Rs 10,150 per acre from his anticipated wheat crop. The vegetables rejoiced at this higher mathematics. The animals, cool as a cucumber (ha!), saw the anticipated surplus, so they increased the input fertilizer prices. Who cares about the sky-high diesel rate? And water, who needs water for crops? Let our friendly India have some, they are hardly a threat of course. What, you have electricity to take water from wells? Double the electricity rate so your threshold for mental torture stays exercised. ‘Give me some of that 10 thousand now, why don’t you. Although you will be making that in April next year, why don’t you just give some of that cash to me now?’

And as farmers go, they will complain, they will complain some more. You and I will not hear about it, but they will complain. It will not fall on deaf ears, only trained ones. Lahore will have its food on the table. It will a little less, but who cares. Who notices? How many of us know how much lentils cost? Heck, how many know the difference between masur and channa?

Remember, farmers are more than 70 percent of Pakistan. Out of the other 30 percent, a whopping 90 percent or so have their income directly tied to this wonderful sector. Who in his right mind say that Pakistan’s economy is dependent on Agriculture, on wheat, milk and rice? Pakistan is a country of vegetables.

Take the power back, why don’t you.

Lahore in panic after minor explosions

Three consecutive explosions in Garhi Shahu area have occured this evening damaging juice shops and a salon. So far five people, including two children,  have been reported as injured while the police have termed intensity of the explosions as to be low. Garhi Shahu is a busy district especially during the time of the explosions with many people driving through to different parts of the city.

Geo was quoting Rescue 1122 who believe this could have been a gas cylinder explosion, though it does not cool off the threat of terrorism. We’ve seen realization of this threat in Islamabad and Bhakkar more recently where deadly suicide bombings have claimed dozens of precious lives.

Let’s pray that we, the citizens, keep our calm, stay vigilant and stand united against the dirty ambitions of the real enemies of peace, Islam and humanity.

Are we free?

Discrimination or Class Distinction?

Discrimination or Class Distinction?

Do we still live in a free society? Or what do you call slavery?

(FREE) Twenty20 Cricket in Lahore

Qaddafi Stadium Panorama, originally uploaded by MKZee.

Yes, the RBS Twenty20 Cup started yesterday in Lahore. Pakistani national team players are part of all teams. I enjoyed the match between Islamabad and Peshawar last night, with my friends, under the lights with healthy crowd and music.
Best thing is, it’s free and all you need is to bring in your National ID card to get into any game. I advise you to bring your own drinks/snacks to enjoy during the game. It was great to see many people in groups and with families.
Thirteen Regional teams divided into four groups will participate in this tournament. A total of 18 Matches will be played at Gaddafi Stadium Lahore, Bagh-e-Jinnah Lahore and LCCA Ground Lahore. Top team from each group will play the semi finals and the winners of semi finals will fight for the championship in the final. The Champion team of RBS Twenty 20 Cup 2007-2008 will participate in the Champions League in India in December.
Eleven matches of the tournament will be held in the Gaddafi Stadium and will be aired live on Geo Super. The First match at Gaddaffi Stadium will start at 1 pm, Second match will start at 5 pm and the last match will start at 9 pm. Semi Finals on 7th October will start at 5pm & 9 pm while the Final on 8th October will be played from 7pm to 10 pm.

Schedule for today 5th and tomorrow 6th of Oct matches: Click here

FINALS Twenty20 Cup Schedule (Free Entry with National ID)

7-Oct- Tuesday

First Semi Final Gaddafi Stadium Lahore 1700 PM
Second Semi Final Gaddafi Stadium Lahore 2030 PM

8-Oct- Wednesday

FINAL Gaddafi Stadium Lahore 1900 PM……………………..Enjoy !!!

Shoaib Akhtar is part of this Twenty20 Cup in Lahore.

Lahore ahoy!

Although I have taken longer breaks than this one from blogging about Lahore, I feel that so much has been happening that I have not been ahem-ahem opinion-ating on.
Of course, it does not matter who wants to listen to what I have to say. The point is that Lahore and other events around us, seen from the eyes of one person is in all probabilities, bound to be different from yours. This gives you more perspective. This in turn, gives you more to think about which in turn, helps you adjust and improve. Add Blah blah blah ad infintum.

From where I sit, a lot has been happening. And has happened. For a highly personal take on how I have been seeing it, in bullet form for effect :), read on.

Politics:

  • Almost as if he never was here, Musharaf is not heard of. Amid pretty much nothing, he has managed to just pull a Mr. India* and simply disappear.
  • Zardari started flirting openly. A lot of us started taking notes.
  • Lawyers movement get boring enough to silently exit the lime light. But people who are focused and more purposeful, stay the course. My prayers at least, are with them.

Society, People & Culture:

  • Marriot goes. With a loud enough bang. Fingers keep pointing, loudmouths keep barking and people keep dying! Almost as if a fashion statement, our media tries to make Sept 20th as our Sept 11th. London has 7/7, American has 9/11, at least we din’t rhyme with our 9/20. Or whatever. A sad situation got even sadder.
  • Hamid Mir finally got depressed enough to say what I believe only Hamid Mir can say.
  • I find inspiration in the fact that a single person can change himself and his society. I disagree with practically all of their suggestion, but that always remains a debatable issue. Lahore in specific, and Pakistan in general needs people like these to take the action that no one else seem to think about. Faisal Qureshi tries to go for a solution and Sohaib Athar writes powerfully.
  • Eid came suddenly. For the first time, enjoyed the ensuing chaos, including my first trip to a ‘choree waala’ in Main Market. A mosque in Lahore celebrated Eid one day later anyways, claiming a stake in the overall confusion that plagues the nation, and the media played the devil by letting everyone know about it (like this?!?!).

Doing business

  • Lahore office rent is like Lahore’s weather; totally unpredictable. You have to search to get the right deal. I tried, found the best deal I could have imagined, only to move out of the office 6 months later.
  • Doing business from here becomes harder. One of my business colleague finds it hard to convince his ‘American connection’ that his call center can handle the business, purely because it becomes riskier for his ‘goraa’ client to book into a Hotel; the damn places keep blowing up!
  • My web design blog gets the lowest monthly average of visitors for the last two years! I again find comfort in blogging about life and make new friends; people who are monetizing the Internet in the most ‘cutting edge’ of ways, on purpose :) . I find creative money makers. DjFlush and his Sizlopedia is and should be an inspiration for us all.
  • After researching for a local Pakistani car on the Internet, I get frustrated at the lack of proper car reviews, specific to the Pakistani market. I finally get around to launching a small blog about cars in Pakistan.

I have seen a lot of hope amidst so much of chaos. Bridges are getting built in Lahore as hotels are being burnt and blown in Islamabad. The political looters are honing their skills as media personal begin to have a heart. People are celebrating a ‘rocking’ Eid (with fashion shows, dance competitions and what not — Pathetic!), as friends and family with a heart as seeing every day as an opportunity to do good for the people around them. Improve and help not the world, but one person at a time. That is how the world improves anyways.
God bless and good luck to us all.

Eid Mubarak from LMB

Eid Mubarak

Eid Mubarak

Accept heartfelt Eid wishes from all of us here at LMB… Hope you have (/had) a wonderful Eid!
On this (and every) Eid, do remember those around you that are not as privileged as us… Eid Mubarak!

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