Saturday, August 7, 2010

Book(s) Review

Greetings, fellow human beings who have nothing better to do than to read my chussian. Even though you are least bothered whether I write or not, I still feel guilty on keeping you in dark for a long period (91 day to be exact). My diminutive brain failed to come up with any creative ideas to kick around. Another lame justification can be that summer is a time to holiday, catch up on missed sleep, meet distant relatives and enjoy the monsoon rains. The indolent attitude meant that opening MS Word and writing something appealed too much a boring idea. Fortunately, my appetite for literature kept me busy in some very interesting books which I want to share here.
However I will restrict my opinions to only two books as I don’t want to drag you in my amateur analysis.
The first book is from India, titled “Five Point Someone”. Now for a book to appeal to its readers, not only it has to be well written, but the content should be interesting and properly researched. FPS is a story of three friends ‘stuck’ in an Engineering University, somewhere in India. How many times have we thought that the purpose of our studies is to get admitted in the best university and …..and ….. let the university take care of the rest. Well the problem is that getting in a good university does not guarantee lucrative jobs, big checks, lavish office and a beautiful life partner. On the contrary, it’s just the start of a big mess, you can get yourself into. The three characters try to screw with the system only to be screwed back. The novel tale is so delightfully narrated that you start feeling like one of the characters. Ok, at times it is a quite exaggerating but then that’s the magic of fiction. This book is a mockery of Indian educational system (much similar to what we have here) which leaves no stone unturned in churning out muggers and not identifying the real talent. This light-hearted work is highly recommended for all those who have ever been associated with an engineering university and maybe also for non-engineering university students to draw comparisons. The book is penned down by Chetan Bhagat , former engineering student and though he tells it in the eyes of Hari, the story is very much believed to be of his own life as a student in IIT. Lastly, it inspired ‘3 idiots’, but the book makes for a much more entertaining version.

The second book happens to be from Pakistan, A Case of Exploding Mangoes. This book, like its predecessor, happens to be a little old as well. My mere justification for not reading it then has more to do with its boring title. Forgive my senses, but I REALLY thought of it to be a detailed research on the king of fruits. On being enlightened that it covered the plane crash of Gen Zia, and I slated it as some boring inquiry on political history. It was only when the book made headlines and won praises from various circles that I decided to go through with the boring adventure of politics expected to churn out from this offering. Gladly, I was mistaken ONCE AGAIN. Yes it does discuss the plane crash but not the political boring style. Instead, the book is basically a work of fiction focusing on a cadet officer Ali Shigri. It starts from his parade days in PAF academy, leading up to the demise of Gen Zia. Far from coming to a conclusion about the cause of his death, the book happily thickens the stew of conspiracy theories, introducing at least six other possible suspects, including a blind woman under sentence of death, a Marxist-Maoist street cleaner, a snake, a crow, an army of tapeworms and Ali Shigri. Inspite of witty humour, good concept and well written content, the book fails to impress me. Seriously, I don’t know what all the hype is about. Firstly, our writers need to get out of the Zia era, there have been too many books written, articles penned down and cries echoed on the comparison of pre-Zia and post-Zia era. Books, fiction that is, are supposed to be either optimistic or truthful. What’s a false pessimist version doing out there, completely baffles and disappoints me. Academies are meant to inculcate not only military values but also moral ethics and social values, where lying, cheating and stealing are considered as acts liable to be withdrawn. Instead a sheer false and negative idea has been portrayed here with the protagonist is involved in all illicit activities within the dimension of academy. Another wrong perception that the writer holds is regarding the instructors in academy to be incompetent officers. Only the best and highly trained staff is sent to the academy, these officers are the first we see of a military life. And their impeccable behavior has long made sure they end up retiring on high posts. Our then Army chief has been depicted as a confused and scared man , just because he tries to find the answers of daily life in Quran, prays five times a day and wants everyone to live their life as per the pattern of Islam. At the same time the hero is involved in drinking; intimate relationships and someone who is totally goof to the art of praying. The institution of Army has been portrayed as greedy, power craving, evil genius bent on destroying the nation. The story only caters to the selected civilian lot who may find Army as a threat to their existence or are jealous of the army and the authority she enjoys in Pakistan. Muhammad Hanif had the potential to come up with a thought provoking, sensibly written novel instead he comes out as a man of jealousy, personal grudge and full of biasness. Read it only if you think Army is responsible for all the mess in the country, otherwise don’t bother.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Fashion ka hai ye jalwa

It seldom happens that you expect something from a place somewhere only to be led into something which was nothing. Confused? Well so was I when I mistook a fashion show for a concert. It so happened when yesterday i visited the Arts Council Karachi (for the first time) for a mistaken concert perception. What so ensued after reaching their tells for an interesting tale.

The event was entitled "FASHION ECLIPSE 2010 Funky Style Nelson Paints Jalpari Night Ramp Modeling".

Models alongwith the function organiser.

In case you are wondering why I spent money on such an event ,well I along with my friends got the passes for FREE, yea dude links do help ;). The open hall was kind of rusty with shabby walls and white concrete benches to sit on, at corner a small stage was set up and surprisingly water coolers were placed across the hall but not so surprisingly, no glass to drink?

You know what they say about Karachi, if there is a show at XYZ hrs, be sure to be there by XYZ+2 hrs so you don’t miss out on anything. And staying to its roots this one didn’t disappoint either. Start time was 20:30 and it eventually kicked off around 22:15.

By 21:30 the crowd had begun to fill in with the diverse inhabitants of Karachi ranging from the typical mela paan youth to upper class burgers, form women dressed in body hugging outfits and tight jeans to burqa clad ladies carrying little children.

A man much similar to my complexion dressed in black coat and spotting a neat tie eventually opened the proceeding with introducing himself as the host. The guy had a typical “Shairna” lingo (the one that can bore you to sleep) and did not hesitate in singing a lullaby which he thought was a good moodlifter to set the tone for the evening “Ik pal me zindagi ka maza hum se puchye” and my weak memory does not allow me to remember the rest (thankGod!!!). He enlightened the now settled audience about the Fashion show that was going to take place along with some musical performances. The highlight of the evening was supposed to be a Pakistani singer of INTERNATIONAL fame Muskaan Khan, Muskan who you ask? Muskaan Khan dude, a Pakistani female singer with Khan at the end, isn’t that enough for her to be the most anticipated performer of the evening?

The first act was by some underground band whose name I am proud to forget. Funny part was when the host introduced them saying “they are here to play for u” (suggesting that we are dying to hear from a band which till a minute back we never knew even existed) , FAIL, no moron they are here for the money, recognition, fame, to get heard and definitely to dig some babes. Rather its we who are here to help them succeed in this noble aim of theirs. The band, not surprisingly, was a huge disappointment, maybe it was due to poor English covers or maybe the lead guy was just not loud enough and his voice remained buried under the sounds of guitar/ drums or maybe it was his ugly posture of standing on one leg , closing his eyes n rubbing his fingers around his heart all throughout the gig (ewww). The band did not depart till the time they made sure the bored audience was stretched to its utmost limitsand they had received their quota of abuses from the crowd.

But the organizers were smart enough, they anticipated the mood of the audience and as a morale lifter called in a dancer Sehar Ghazal for the next act, wohoo , now we are talking baby. A thin timid looking girl dressed in shining black blouse and long skirt shortly entered and shaked herself to the song paisa paisa amid continous whistling and hooting. Which eventually leads me to few questions? Whether this was a family event? If yes then what’s the mujra babe doing up there on the stage in front of so many housewives and little children? If no, then why were the families invited at the first place? Surely this is something we as a society need to look into.

Then came the original act, the show basically the function was organized for, Ramp modeling. Now I don’t have much of a fashion sense so I can’t write much about the clothes but the models were a complete turn-off, maybe its cause I’ve never been to a fashion show before and my perception about models is whatever “little” I have seen on Ftv, though it was nothing like that. All the girls were new; some looked residents of Lyari, others an average fat Pakistani aunty and rest were no good either. About the male models, well the less said the better. So this was the third act of the evening which also did not live up to my FTV expectation. Second last happening was another gig from another undergroung band Aaj aur was it Auj, never mind though. The lead was quite generous enough to apologize for the long delay due to instrument check and thanked the audience for bearing them. Thankfully they did not waste their energy and our time on English covers but preferred the Indian ones followed by one original. By this time news had leaked that the much hyped show stopper Muskaan Khan is not going to perform as she had some issues with the organizers. Hearing this we departed for an early exit as I for once, did not want it to be a déjà vu of the anticipated ep gig at Lok Virsa Islambad.

Me, my friends and Muskaan Khan.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Khi - Where life is so not fair for the unfair gender.

I would have never noticed such discrimination had I still been living in Karachi along with my family. It was only when I came back to the metropolitan to pursue higher studies that I perceived such a big contrast.
What comes in your mind when you think of Karachi? The magnificent sea , ever glowing lights , load shedding, pan gutka and gender biasness.
Yup dude ,life is so not fair for the unfair sex in the Sindh Capital. It all would have started the very day Karachi was named Mai Kolachi, of course the name was changed to Karachi later but is seems the female spirit still looms large in the city.
Such is the practice here that all the trendy hang outs, parks , recreational spots are restricted to families only. As harsh it seems this would still be reasonable if it were to apply to both the species. But no, in this gender biased city two females are considered a family while two males a nuisance!!!!
If you are a guy/guys , try to get inside Forum or Park Towers on a Saturday evening and you’ll be shown the exit door even before making your way pass the entry door. But be It a mixed gathering or even one female and you’ll be greeted inside with a gratifying grin.
This anti male culture exists in open environment as well with Bagh Ibne Qasim and Funland having security all around ready to pouce on any female less male.
Moreover even the one and only renowned cinema in Karachi, CINEPLEX is families only. So you cant be a guy and watch a nice movie in a multinational cinema, no way , this right is preserved for the females only.
(Below are some snaps of the anti-male spots in Khi )

I have lived part of my life in Islamabad and never have I seen such a biased attitude of city holders. Heck Islamabad is far more peaceful then Karachi, even though they don’t stop guys from enjoying equal luxuries. So the matter of discipline or boys lacking manners is totally out of question. Be it HangOut, Hot Shot, Megazone, F-9 Park, Cinepax or any other place never would they judge you on your geneticals. And im sure same is the case in other cities aswell.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Saad Premier League , our own desi rip off IPL, has finally kicked off amid a lot of controversy and squabble. The project is a baby venture of Saad Bin Khalid. Comprising of 8 five member teams divided into two pools. The teams play 5 overs each with each player supposed to ball one over.

Pool A

Pool B




Screwing Tools


Fantastic 5



The pools were decided on parchi system, with no proper contemplation. The result was imbalanced pools with Pool A getting all the tougher teams and Pool B, relatively easier ones. However the main issue which the organization has got horribly wrong is the selection of players per team. For Ameer Salam (the lead of NCA) was shown the door by his very own organization and had to bear the expenses of making up another team. Similarly Faizan , when first asked by his Marriot Captain faked a back injury only to be later appointed by Afzal (Capt Bhutto). Majid’s exclusion from NCA has more to do with his personal grudge and ego against the captain NCA then anything else. Similarly Sheriyar got rejected by NCA. Few teams who did manage to retain their originality were


2)Screwing Tools

3) Dada (they did not have any fifth player so had to rope in Ali Murtaza)

4) Marriot

The point I am trying to make here is that it should have been a group competition. Players defending their groups, companies, gangs would have shown more commitment as there would have been some sort of belonging because they very much owe their groups. But sadly it seems the roots of player power and individuals first are so deep in Pakistan now that even 06A was not spared.

Highly Mismatched Teams

1)Bhutto ( due to Faizan)

2) Sharif ( due to Majid)

As the tournament enters the last phase of stage one, keep an eye on some old rivals having a go at one another and lets see who keeps his emotions under control and emerges out as the ultimate winner in one on one duel.

Opponent no 1

Opponent no 2



Ahmed Saeed


Ali Babar


A. Rauf



Wont take Place








Syed Saad

Eagerly awaited




Having already discussed the cons , I believe no system is faultless and there is always a room for improvement and hopefully the only way from here would be up. This indeed is big effort from the side of Sbk for coming over such an idea and then getting it implemented in letter and spirit by uniting 06 a under one roof. I would sign off by saying that at the end of the day it’s a game after all, no matter who wins or loses, the real winner is SPL. So kindly don’t get over emotional and leave the judgement to umpires. Goodluck everybody.