Archive for the ‘Festivities & Celebration’ Category

Pakistan Resolution Day – renewing our faith in Pakistan

As our dear country celebrates its Resolution Day, a day when right here in Lahore, a resolution was passed for creation of a separate sovereign homeland for the Muslims of Indian Subcontinent, let’s promise that despite all odds, together we will never stop believing in Pakistan and its bright, prosperous future.

Pakistan Resolution Day '09

Pakistan Resolution Day '09

Wishing each and every Pakistani living anywhere in the world, a very patriotic Pakistan Resolution Day – Pakistan Zindabad!!

Flag Courtesy: Sabah Hussain

How much must we lose?

The Long March is imminent now; this country knows no peace in any sector. But never will we stop celebrating, will we?

 

I live in a neighborhood that apparently has a lot of people who have these programmes to celebrate every single festival on earth. Plus, they make sure that every house for miles around will hear every singer they put on their stages. No matter what time it is; if these people have a mind to do so, they will not let us sleep till the wee hours of the morning, and will not let us study during the day. No escaping their music or their qawwali, not a chance. And right now, what I’m listening to is someone shouting at the top of his lungs into a microphone ‘Basant Mubarak! Welcome Basant!’, while I’m sitting in my own house.

 

What’s wrong with us? I ponder on his thought every day, and I get so many answers it disturbs me even more. What is sickening us so much that we just don’t care about anything but our own frivolous, impermanent, and dangerous fun?

 

The boards on the Liberty roundabout are not even partially old yet. They still strike a pang to our hearts and we still crane our necks to see the pictures of the men that died in the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team.

The story of the death of one particular guard on that day is still fresh in my mind. He was lying on the road, trying to make the gunmen think that he was dead, and when they were just leaving, he raised his head. And then they came back especially to kill him. How can someone be so cruel and so hard so as to kill a person who never did him any harm? How can someone come back especially to kill that person?

 

But then, how can a government be so cruel as to allow Basant to take place; an event that kills so many innocent children every year? How can they condone the death of so many people in such a horrible manner; by having strings dipped in powdered glass cut them on the neck?

Forget the government. Why do people do it? Why is there no pressure to stop this event?

We cannot deny that hundreds die on Basant every year. No one can deny that people will use powdered glass and even wires to fly their kites.

 

Most of all, we cannot deny that the frivolous pleasure that people get from it is so blatantly disrespectful of the events in this country, in this very city. Bomb blasts. Price hikes. Unemployment. Attacks on the cricket team. The death of seven young security guards who were only doing the best job they could.

 

One last thing. Has anyone noticed the decency displayed by the Sri Lankan cricketers?

I shudder to think what would have happened if (God forbid) an American cricket team had deigned to come to Pakistan for a tour, and the same thing happened. If some eyebrows are raised at the mention of America playing cricket, it may be well to mention here that the States were very interested in cricket at the time of the last World Cup. So it might have been a possibility. But if what the Sri Lankan cricketers went through had been experienced by most other cricket teams of the world, the result would have been much more disastrous in its impact on Pakistan in general.

Take India, for example. I hate doing this, because I’ve got some very close Indian friends of my own, but the way we are being treated by India now, there probably wouldn’t have been a shred of the decency that Sri Lankans have shown about this incident. For India, we’re the ultimate bombers. They have no terrorists of their own; at least not according to the mass media hype we hear and read about. At the least, I speculate that the airspace restrictions would have been put on again. And if any Americans were there, well, a few more drones, perhaps?

It’s not to say that what has happened is not such a huge deal after all; not to say that it is an incident that should be tolerated, but I merely point out the real gentlemen in the game here. Maybe we’re just not used to be treated politely anymore, but I was extremely surprised to hear that the bus driver who survived the attack has been called by the Sri Lankans for a tour with his family. Additionally, as soon as the cricketers landed and were interviewed in their home country, many of the first comments I read were praising the driver who saved their lives. Not one of them uttered a disparaging comment on the security provided, even though they had every right to do so. On the televised interviews, even though the reporters were trying to squeeze such comments out of them, the most these men would do would be to excuse themselves with a polite ‘thank you’.

 

Decency, people. Just simple decency. Something that we call in Urdu sharafat. That’s what is there in these cricketers who suffered so much at the hands of our country, and still do not say anything. Maybe they respect the deaths of the people who were protecting them. Maybe they’re just decent people overall, which comes to the same thing.

 

One thing I know; they’re showing more decency than our own people. For everyone here, a soon as something like Basant rolls around, nothing matters anymore. Not killing someone. Not feeling guilt for what our guests went through when they tried to save one of our biggest sports. Not mourning the mindless deaths of the countrymen who tried to protect them

All that matters, at the end of the day, is flying kites. But I’m going to skip the sarcastic ending for now and I’m going to plead with you. Anyone who is reading this; out of respect, out of decency, out of your own humanity, do not celebrate Basant. We have no excuse for celebrating anything; if we want to cheer ourselves up and not feel anything about what has been happening recently, we have means other than those which kill even more people. Try to convince your families and friends that such a celebration will be disgraceful behavior, to say the least. We owe our guests and our own people at least that much.

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.

Firecrackers.

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….

New Year resolutions for a concerned citizen

Excrepts from the list:

– I will light one less bulb at my house

– I will not waste water on washing my car everyday

– I will sincerely respect and follow traffic laws

– I will try to discourage beggars

– I will pick at least one wrapper/polythene bag from the road everyday

– I will not litter the city streets

– I will plant a tree every six months

– I will take care of my neighbours

– I will keep an eye for suspects and criminals

– I will read, understand, and act upon measures of social responsibility

– I will think and invent a new way of giving back to the society

To make Lahore a better place to live in, let’s vow to own our city in general and our immidiate surroundings in specific.

Let’s care about our family, friends, relatives, loved ones, neighbours, peers, subordinates, fellow citizens, environment, and everyone that we are directly or indirectly connected to. Let’s make the most out of our lives and enjoy each moment spent. 

Wish you a happy, prosperous and peaceful 2009 – Happy New Year!

Lahori Christians Celebrate Christmas

 

Christians of Lahore participate in a candle-lit mass at the Catholic Church - A.P.Photo

Christians of Lahore participate in a candle-lit mass at the Catholic Church - A.P.Photo

Wishing all our Christian brethren peace and well wishes at this year’s Christmas festivities…

Merry Christmas!!

Image Source: AP Photo by K.M.Chaudry

Bakar Eid Mubarak! :)

World Children’s Day

This is the first time I got to know that the day named “World Children Day” is not celebrated on a single day around the world. The Universal Children Day is celebrated on November 20 but in many countries the day is celebrated on different days.

We, being elders, must take responsiblity.

We, being elders, must take responsibility.

Without going into the details I want to wish all the children of the world a happy life. I love children until they don’t cry or get rash. :-D    kidding..

I believe that children also form a bigger portion of the human rights victims in this ‘world of elders’. Children are ignored in different ways and in developing and under developed countries, the situation is even worse than just ignoring. Child labor, child abuse, camel jockeys are few examples.

Even in national and international politics, we never think that what particular impact will it make on children. I may not be wrong if I blame the Government of Pakistan for this incident due to its obsolete policies and also some really peace loving countries who are spending trillions of dollars in the name of war against terrorism. I don’t know what role is being played by this The Universal Deceleration of Human Rights and; where is the biggest human rights activist organization Amnesty International.

I wish that everyone, on this day of children, commit that one will work to make this earth a safe place for every child. Wishing all the children a happy and prosperous life.

For Lahorites:

Children Library Complex is holding a 4 days Grand Book Fair from November 20 to November 23. A nice activity for the children on their (children) day.

Event: Grand Book Fair

Timings: 11:00 am – 07:00 pm (daily)

Venue: Children Library Comples, Aiwan-e-Tijarat Road, Lahore

Stalls: Charts, Poster, Greeting Cards, CD/DVD, Food Courts, Jewelery, Face Painting, Garments, etc.

Extras:

1) Painting Exhibition at 11:00 am on November 20.

2) Puppet Show at 11:00 am on November 22 by Iranian Artists currently performing in the World Performing Arts Festival.

3) Walk of Children at 12:00 pm on November 22 from Children Library Complex to Governor House.

25th World Performing Arts Festival @ Al-Hamra

Al-Hamra Lahore 2008

Al-Hamra Lahore 2008

The 25th World Performing Arts Festival will kick off at the Alhamra Cultural Complex on November 13 and would host drama, puppetry and music performances from 300 foreign delegates and 500 local artistes from across the country. The 10-day long festival  has brought together 16,000 artistes from 85 countries that would allow the locals to experience a variety of art forms.

First ever Lahore Rally held @ Ravi River Banks

Lahore rally was held on the bank of River Ravi from under Sagian Bridge to the bridge on Motorway and back to the starting point. It began at 8 am and continued till 5 pm with 60 racers from across the country participating. The racetrack was of 9.5 km. Sindh Minister for Food (Nadir Magsi) won the race.

Lahore...

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(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.

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