Thursday, March 25, 2010

Blog Attention

There is something wrong with your blog if spammers comment within 2 minutes of publication of a blog post or if spammers are spamming in chinese.

Monday, March 22, 2010

PostMans Law of Group Dynamics

In any instance of formation of a group of unrelated individuals, the focus of their attention will be their cellphone.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Which Object Are You

Don't like tags but the result made me do a post :p

cuz I like the result, and as always, I have been a fan of Volkswagen Beetle :)
Thanks Leena

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Zeb & Haniya

These days I am hooked to Zeb & Haniya, the female duo from Kohat in NWFP. Perhaps I am biased because they are from my province or perhaps they really are good... but the thing is that they are damn good! The first I suppose female group of Pakistan (?). Interesting thing is that I was aware of the hype about them for a very long time but had not heard a single song :p The first time I heard them was on a music channel and I thought 'hmm. nice'. Then came Coke Studio and I had the real taste of their music in the form of song 'Paimona'.

Anyways, I could not see all episodes of Coke Studio and now thanks to their website, I now know how much I missed! In this post I will be discussing their songs sung on Coke Studio, as a complete layman of course, or perhaps I would try to explain why I have become their fan!

First up is 'Rona Chorr Dia'. Zeb & Haniya are different not just in the fact that they are a female duo but also because of their lyrics. Instead of usual demure female version of love affair, their lyrics talk of independence.

'The Lost One has found her path (after dejection),
dare stop me!
I do not cry anymore!'

The thing to note in this song is the distinctive guitar playing of Haniya. Jawad Bashir starts the roller coaster and you feel like fastening your seat belts. Then it calms down and Haniya's guitar starts to strum. Zeb, Haniya and Jawad then set an excellent synchronizing act and the rhythm of the song sets in. Jawad seems ready to explode like a soda can, I don't know why he had to make such effort as I am sure he is all capable to handle situations. In contrast, Zeb was subliminal. Gumby, as usual, is best at drums. I have not heard the original number by Zeb and Haniya, in fact, I do not want to because I know Rohail Hayat must have done something really nice to it in Coke Studio.

Next in line is 'Chup'. The true talent of Omran 'momo' Shafique is visible in this number. Very catchy tune made even better by his excellent guitar playing. In fact, Omran seems to set the whole pattern of this song.


Zeb is excellent on vocals. Why does she somewhere remind me of late Nazia Hasan? Hania's guitar playing, distinctive again, can be seen too. Full kudos to Rohail Hayat for that (he is the guy I should be thanking right? the producer?)

The third song is a slow number called 'Chal Diye'. Here again Zeb & Haniya pair up with Jawab Bashir. Do not think this song is no match to their earlier offerings. This one slowly and gradually grows on you and this is the one you'll be humming in the end.

The last number is 'Paimona'. In fact I had written about it when I did a post on Coke Studio. So here I quote myself :p

'' I was in anticipation of their song 'paimona'. I thought it was in Pushto! whereas it was in darri/ persian. At first I could not understand a word of the song as I was trying to figure out pushto words in it :p It was a nice slow number."

hmm. I did not say much I guess :p Well its an excellent fusion of the musical instrument 'rubab'
used mostly in NWFP and the mainstream music scene of Pakistan otherwise you would have had to hear it in local folk. Cant say much about the lyrics as I cant understand them : Unfortunate that after being host for 20+ years for Afghans refugees, I still cant speak Persian. What a loss.

Ok Zeb & Haniya, you have got yourself a new fan. Never knew a Peshawari would be talking of Kohatis like this :p

Good luck.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

*Acting God*

*scene: an old man selling vegetables.*

He: please buy some vegetables from me as I have to feed my children
I: (Acting like God and taking out a currency note) 'here take this too. I'll buy vegetables as well'
He: sorry. I do not take charity. Buy vegetables.
I: *dumbfounded* its not charity. I am giving you from myself with no intentions like that.
He: No. I will not take it. Buy vegetables instead.
I: why so?
He: I once got money from a lady and my 3 kids fell ill. I am not taking this from you.
I: *quietly buying the vegetables from him*

Friday, March 12, 2010

Whats is wrong with Pakistanis?

'I would just go and sit in the shrine and watch the faqirs, lost to the world, dancing the dhamal. Outside the shrine gypsy girls, drawn from all corners of the desert, would be dancing in a state of complete abandon: dusky and sinuous goddesses, with bright lips and laughing eyes. The drumbeaters were beside themselves too. Yet there was no levity about that performance. It was more an act of devotion, a form of worship.

Pakistanis on the whole are bad dancers not because there is anything wrong with our limbs but because there is some kind of problem with our souls. Deep down where it really matters, we are not completely free. Something hems us in, most probably because we seem to have inherited not the wisdom of the ages but the fear of the ages. The confusion in our minds about our direction as a nation arises from this disability: the imprisonment of the soul clouding the ability to think clearly.'

Ayaz Amir

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Shahra e Faisal Alert!

All drivers plying on Shahra e Faisal beware! There is a serious 'distraction' these days and may result in any accident!

The advent of March has seen all sorts of colours blossom - and divas donning them! The intense lawn competition amongst textile mills, their designers and respective brand ambassadors has led to a color riot and beauties on billboards of Karachi. These may be heaven for eyes for some (including me perhaps :p) but its a very serious distraction for drivers! Keep your car and yourself under control!!


And the coup was made by Firdous Mills! I mean who would have thought that someone in the textile industry would bang in with an Indian model! and that too Kareena Kapoor! The move has for sure destroyed the competition (that is my personal opinion). It heralds a new trend in Pakistani textile and its good for sure.

As I was saying... be careful drivers!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Rock Art And The Dam

This is second in line of series that I have started on my blog as an initiative to create awareness regarding issues that require our attention. First one I wrote was about tigers in 'Save Our Tigers'.

Courtesy Wikipedia

A very informative article appeared in the The News on Saturday which talked about the Rock Art in Chilas in Northern Pakistan. It talks about various petroglyph and rock arts numbering more than 20,000 scattered in northern areas all along the Karakoram Highway - one of the ancient silk routes. These rock engravings were made by traders, invaders, pilgrims and locals. According to estimates they date back to 5000 BC.

Now here is whats going to happen. The Government of Pakistan has initiated a project to build a dam called Diamir-Bhasha. Also, the Karakoram Highway is being expanded and re-routed due to building of this dam. What this will result in is the fact that Pakistan will lose this cherished heritage will be inundated and lost forever. It even sounds strange writing 'cherished heritage' because the general sentiment is of ignorance and neglect. I am not even touching the subject of 'infidel works' which we Pakistanis some how are afflicted with it seems which renders us blind and oblivious to our thousands of years of heritage in form of Buddha statues, Moenjodaro and even Kalash. We do not own it as our own.

Anyways, I should not be bad-mouthing others when even I have not done anything to contribute in the preservation and management of our heritage. I have visited Chilas I guess 4-5 times and NEVER visited the petroglyphs. Can you imagine? and quite frankly I do not see myself any chance of visiting there any soon :| Talk about apathy.

I may not be against building dams but I am definitely against building Diamir-Bhasha. Huge reservoir dams are unnecessary I think and the purpose can be achieved by building smaller dams. The issue of energy in Pakistan is purely mismanagement. The bureaucracy is inefficient and corrupt. The current government is hell bent on going for Rental Power Projects (RPPs) than working for streamlining the affairs of energy management in the country. RPPs are grossly expensive and not developmental in nature. Government has not done anything to stop electricity pilferage and theft in the state run electricity companies.

According to researcher Prof (Dr) Harald Hauptmann, Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and HumanitiesRon Canter who has been working in this area, "The reservoir would not only inundate 32 villages located between Basha and Raikot Bridge and force resettlement of more than 30,000 people, but also endanger the precious regions archaeological remains some 50,000 rock carvings and 5,000 inscriptions."

Environmentalist Ron Canter states "Bhasha dam will destroy one of the world's largest collections of rock art, carved on boulders along the upper Indus and ranging in age from Neolithic to 16th century. Approximately 50,000 carvings and 5,000 inscriptions are being documented by a German team, but the boulders are too big to be moved. They will either be inundated by Bhasha Lake or destroyed in reconstruction of 100-km of the Karakoram Highway."

Why do we have to take this route when we can manage the deficiency in energy requirement by other means? why do we have to destroy our heritage?

Do we care? I do not think so. Good night and good luck.

Monday, March 01, 2010