Archive for the ‘Personalities’ Category

Combined funeral for martyred Policemen

Six policemen who laid their lives while fighting and bravely resisting the heavy assault by terrorists have been honored by their colleagues and senior police officers. A combined funeral was held for the departed souls at the city’s central police lines attended by higher-ups of the department.

The Government has paid homage to heroes of the day as President Zardai announced compensation of Rs.0.5 million for each of the victims’ families.

You have made us proud by showing courage and self-sacrifice. May your soul rest in eternal peace – Amen!

New news

My last blog post is still being debated (read bombed), and so I have delayed the advent of Terrorism Part 2. Which would probably be something that everyone will agree with anyway (I hope), but still, it is wise to defer an extended debate on controversial things.


We Lahoris are a Lahore-obsessed tribe. There is a whole course in LUMS called “Imagining Lahore” taught by the Dr. Furrukh Khan, one of the experts on the subject and the head of our Literature department. In another course “Food and culture”, the discussion is never far away from the type of food that we Lahoris eat, and what we perceive food as. I should know.


But anyway, we are never happier than when something big is happening in our own city, and forget the firecrackers for some time. LUMS has had the recent honor of being selected by prominent Pakistani writers for launching their latest books. Recent, did I say? Well, it has been around for some time; it is a famous story that someone here brought a pirated copy of a Bapsi Sidhwa work to be signed by the author—and the author flipped out! Lol…well…but no, let’s leave my thoughts on piracy fro another time.


After ‘A Case of Exploding Mangoes’ was launched last year, now, in less than a week, Kamila Shamsie is launching her new novel “Burnt Shadows” here as well!

Am I happily excited? I don’t know. Her books are beautiful, but….she is amazingly talented but…always a but and I fear I cannot express it as anything but but…

Maybe this one will finally explore the hurts of the common man more than the hurts of the elite, but I’m still excited. Here are the two mails that have been sent to us so far. First, there is her profile, and then the announcement.


Writer Kamila Shamsie, 33, is one of Pakistan’s most promising literary talents. First published at the age of 25, she now has four highly acclaimed books to her credit. She also received the Prime Minister’s Award for Literature in Pakistan in 1999.

Kamila’s four published novels – ‘In the City by the Sea’ (1998), ‘Salt and Saffron’ (2000), ‘Kartography’ (2002), and ‘Broken Verses’ (2005) – were written back to back, and each novel has spilled over into the other. She was still in grad school when she was revising the first, writing the second, and had already written the short story that grew into ‘Kartography’. As she worked on one novel, she would think that an idea could be worked on more. That would turn into the next novel. ‘Broken Verses’ coincided with 9/11, and US publishers didn’t want to buy it.

She had fallen into habits of writing – for example, “this generational thing”. In each of her novels, a younger generation figures out the secrets of the older one, but this was really a solution to a technical problem – a novel requires conflict, a secret is a good way to do it.


Dear All,

The sensational contemporary  English writer Kamila Shamise is coming to LUMS for the launch of her latest book , “Burnt Shadows”. Sweeping in its scope and mesmerizing in its evocation of time and place, Burnt Shadows is an epic narrative of disasters evaded and confronted, loyalties offered and repaid, and loves rewarded and betrayed.

Date: Monday, 9th January 2009
Time: 5pm

Venue : TBA

The launch is open to all (you can invite your non-LUMINITE friends and family )


LUMS Literary Society

“In a split second, the world turns white. In the next, it explodes with the sound of fire and the horror of realization. In the numbing aftermath of a bomb that obliterates everything she has known, all that remains are the bird-shaped burns on her back, an indelible reminder of the world she has lost. In search of new beginnings, she travels to Delhi ….” ~ an excerpt from the book

Masked Men of the Mall


A man selling pollution masks on The Mall

A man selling pollution masks on The Mall

Once found only in operation theatres of well-sanitized hospitals and medical facilities, masked men can now easily be seen roaming the main roads of Lahore selling an easy but effective solution to the city’s alarming pollution problems.

Our guardians against pollution and related diseases; saving many lives indirectly, they are our heroes too! :)

A Tribute to the Real Heroes

Remembering the Heroes of Ghakkar Plaza tragedy

Remembering the Heroes of Ghakkar Plaza tragedy

This banner was spotted at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport which was put up by the Union of Civil Aviation Employees. Fellow employees at the Civil Aviation Authority paid honor to the memory of late firefighters Abid Ali and Rizwan-ul-Haq; both of them, along with many other firemen, lost their lives while saving civilians from Rawapindi’s burning Ghakkarr Plaza.

They are truly our real heroes!

BAY RANG: A Documentary So Hot, No One Dares to Air

Some time back, around 2 or three years, I remember reading few books on suggestion from a very close friend of mine. we were discussing diversity at that time. That dear friend not only gave me a reading list but was kind enough to share two books with me. One was Taboo by Dr. Fouzia Saeed and the other was Between Chaddor and the Market by Jasmin Mirza. Book Review here

My first reaction was shock. yes, shock is the word that almost defines what i felt for days after reading those books. During my 8 years in corporate sector, I had an opportunity to live and work with people from different parts of the world. I attended training and seminars on issue of workplace diversity and gender issues. Even then this was too big a cultural shock for me to absorb.

Can people living in the same city  be so different and isolated in their values? Can all of this still be happening in modern times? Questions, questions and more questions I was left with. The adventure boy inside me wanted me to check out the Mohalla first hand. And I did. not once but three times but in none of those trips, I was able to verify the detailed descriptions of the sub-culture as defined in the books.

First trip was during day time and second one was in Moharram, so the bazaar was not open and all i saw was just the shops and ordinary people. I was impressed with the architecture of inner city though.  In the last trip, I got a glimpse of reality. It was at perfect time. 1 A.M. and I saw the same visuals as described in the books and as you will see in the documentary below. Since, I went alone, I did not dare to enter any of the so called “Office”.  Only few friends know what happened that night.

This documentary came as a surprise. It verified the contents of the books above and contains real truth about the people who frequent these tawaifs. the interview of the police office in charge is really interesting. This documentary was originally made for TV One but they did not dare to air it. so some one published it on internet. It is a real eye opener. It shows a face of our society, no one even wants mention. Download and save this as PTA might ban these URLs too. as it contains some politically radioactive content. Here is the excerpt from the blog where I originally found the links to these videos.

These book can be bought from here or here, both books were published by Oxford University Press and thus they should be available at FerozSons on The MALL.


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.

Pakistani Starfleet’s HQ @ Lahore

Kenny Irwin is US based artist, with Pakistani Starfleet Series on Flickr. I really love his love and dedication to Pakistan. Among his art there are lot of Lahore photos of Starfleet. Hope you Enjoy it!!!

More of his art can be viewed @

Ask Mr. Javed Ghamidi a question

God willing, I and a few of my friends will be visiting Mr. Javed Ghamidi this coming Sunday (Sept 14, 08, around early evening) for an interview of sorts.
If any of you folks have a question for me to ask him, please head over to my blog post.

I will be posting the answers to your questions, God willing, by Monday evening (given of course, that we get to meet and talk to him). He has confirmed our meet up. Let us see.

P.S. Yes, yes, I know, he is a controversial figure. And I have asked Dr. Israr a few questions in the past as well. I am not saying I agree with him as all of us have a right to choose. (easy on the flaming)

Startup Insiders ~ Nourishing Young Entrepreneurs

Experiences, insights, thoughts and ideas were shared in abundance at the 6th Startup Insiders session held on February 24 at the LUMS campus.

With quite an active, participating and respectably patient audience, though limited to almost 50 individuals, the session took off in high spirits and was able to maintain it throughout.


Main topic of discussion was ‘the ways of finding, identifying and targeting the right customer’ as an entrepreneur specifically in the Information Technology industry which was very intelligently moderated by Jehan Ara [President, P@SHA] and Jawwad Farid [CEO, Alchemy Technologies].

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Everyone benefited from listening to and questioning some of Pakistan’s most promising IT entrepreneurs including Zafar Khan [Sofizar]; Faisal Qureshi [Kolachi Advanced Technologies]; Fahd Bangash [Amaana]; Zia Imran [Vahzay]; Umar Saif [BumpIn; Chopaal] and Jawwad himself. Almost all of these people started off with just a few individuals and have tasted success of varying degrees.

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The most refreshing aspect of the session was the desire as expressed by all panelists to help and guide people who really want to break barriers and are striving to make a mark for themselves and their country. It was very heartening to see these people actually willing to share and spread their success among promising stars of the future.

Data Ganj Baksh’s 964th death anniversary

The three-day ‘Urs’ or death anniversary of the 11th century saint Syedna Ali bin Usman Hajveri also known as Data Ganj Buksh (R.A) or simply ‘data sahab’ starts today in Lahore at his mausoleum, popularly known as Data Durbar. Governor Khalid Maqbool and Caretaker Chief Minister Justice (r) Ejaz Nisar will inaugurate the event with the traditional chaddar-laying ceremony and a milk-sabeel (free distribution of milk) at the shrine. As the preparations for the 964th urs are in full swing, security has been beefed up in the city.


It is generally thought that in his lifetime the great saint was called as Gang Bakhsh but afterwards he became too famous as ‘ Data Gang Bakhsh’. Ali Hajvery (R.A.) was a Persian sufi and a scholar. The greatest saintof the sub-continent born in Hajver, a town of Ghazni in Afghanistan, in 1000 A.D (400 H) and died in Lahore in 1063 or 1071A.D. In the course of his spiritual journey to God, he journeyed physically to many countries, including Turkistan, Transoxania, Iran, Iraq, and Syria where he met innumerable Sufis and Sheikhs, many of those have been mentioned in his book ‘Kashf-ul-Mahjoob’.

During the urs the shrine and its whereabouts are beautifully lit. A large number of devotees from different parts of the country besides tens of thousands from the city will visit the Data Darbar to pay their homage by reciting verses from the Holy Quran, qawalees, and recitation of naats and poetry to the saint. Separate arrangements are made for women to visit the shrine. ‘Langer Khana’ (distributing free food) and milk sabeel also attract a large number of people. The tradition of milk-sabeels traces its roots to a time when the people of Lahore used to give tax in the form of milk to the city keeper Ray Raju Jogi. Legend has it that when Hazrat Data Gunj Baksh arrived in Lahore, he stopped them from this practice. As a result, their businesses flourished and followers began giving the milk to the saint to give to the needy. Today, milkmen continue the practice by donating milk to destitutes.

Sultan al-Hind Hazrat Khwaja Moeenuddin Chishti paid his homageto Data Ganj buksh in the following words:

Ganj Bakhsh-e faiz-e aalam, mazhar-e Noorr-i Khuda
Naqisaan ra peer-e kaamil, kaamilan ra rahnuma

“The bestower of treasure (Ganj Bakhsh) in both the worlds, the reflector of the splendour of God, An accomplished spiritual guide for the learned and a guide for the ignorant”.

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