Archive for September, 2009

A birds -caged- eye view.

birdcage

This is the “largest bird cage in the country” under construction at the Lake View Point Park. When it was opened, it was a neat and clean place for people to go and enjoy the serenity and the calm of the water currents. Now going there on a Sunday is like paying a visit to Murree on a national holiday = HORRENDOUS.

Absolute chaos. Someone like me can’t help but wonder, if this IS supposed to be an attraction, what will become of the birds in this cage? The same fate that the Zoo animals meet or will the CDA maintain something for once?

The Boys Knock Out Arch-Rival India and Our Nation Celebrates

Pakistan won the ICC Champions Trophy Match against India and we watched it live

Yesterday night, Pakistan beat India by 54 runs in the ICC Champions Trophy. I did not watch the match myself but witnessed a running commentary on Pakistaniat and I got the news of Pakistan’s victory from my friends’ status messages on facebook. Funny but creative, the status messages on facebook were reflective of the immense pleasure my fellow countrymen and women had derived after India’s defeat by Pakistan.

A friend of mine felt like dancing over Pakistan’s victory and his status message was “bhangar-ing over Pak victories in ICC Trophy….. dil bolay Hiddpaaa!!!! :):)”. A couple of friends expressed their joy through songs “we will..we will rock u..!! (We beat india) keep on rocking the free world…. “Hum hein Pakistani hum tau jeetein gay haan jeetein gay!!! :)))))))))))”. Few of my friends felt blessed to watch this match live and their status messages were “Pak Vs India ICC Champions Trophy. Pakistan won yayyyyyyy… and we saw it right there :) and now my throat is badly scratched because of all the “na’ara bazi” of PAKISTAN ZINDABAD and JEEWAY JEEWAY PAKISTAN”, “”Pakistan won the ICC Champions Trophy Match against India and we watched it live!! Awesome!!! :)”. Somebody happened to give credit of Pakistan’s victory to the newly appointed Psychiatrist for Pakistan team in this way “ First ever defeat to India by Pakistan in any ICC event. Thanks to Psychiatrist :-) Congrads !”. A very close friend of mine who considers himself a cricketer but everyone knows he faces the ball with his legs rather than a bat admired Pakistan team’s yesterday performance and called it a brilliant game, his golden words were  “ PAKISTAN SMASHES “TEAM INDIA”. A guy born after Sachin had started his international career got his wicket!!! Way to go Aamir!!! You made us proud!!! Brilliant game!!!!”. Another gentlemen tried to keep a check on his and other’s emotions by calling everyone to appreciate players of both the teams in these words “I love India/ Pakistan matches …no matter who wins ..One team has to lose..People keep ur emotions in check and salute the players from both the teams..Great game of cricket” . A friend of mine had sent birthday wishes to another friend (whose birthday is on 27th October) and called Pakistan’s victory a great birthday present for her… and this list is never ending.

Great were all such status messages of people on facebook but they also made me think if people are happy because Pakistan has won against India or whether they are happy because Pakistan’s chances to enter semi-finals are bright now. I have not seen such an enthusiasm of people in the first match Pakistan played in this ICC Champions Trophy. I have got my answer “My fellow country men and women are happy and jubilant because Pakistan has defeated arch-rival India. Yes, our traditional arch-rival and the cricket game between these two countries is not a mere a match between two teams but a fight in a battle ground between two arch-rivals. Yes, it’s a love-hate affair between two teams, two countries and two nations”. Since 1947, more than 60 years have passed but we the people have not forgotten anything, we have not moved forward and we still consider India as our only ‘enemy’ even if it a cricket game we are talking about. I wonder when we are going to get rid of this deep rooted hatred against India….

Desi Paparazzi.

As we are well aware of the fact that the entertainment industry has flourished in Pakistan over the recent years. Call it enlightened moderation or general acceptance or even the ignorant mullah regime but we have seen tonnes of talent come up and do wonders for the country (Of course in ways both good and bad). But what I’ve noticed and observed is that there are city biases when it comes to entertainment. The Lahore and the Karachi “party” takes the cake home and the Islamabad people are left to scratch on the leftovers. I still haven’t come to grips with the fact that a so called “Izloo-ite” has to fly all the way to Karachi to make it big when talent-wise the “izloo-ites” can kick the “karachi-ites” or the “lahoris” in their bum.

What is it then? Politics DOES play a very major and massive role in the entertainment industry. Contacts, money flowing right left and forward, other acts of kindness (all pun intended) are just a few of the keys that the a person can get hold of to make it big.

The reason for this series of articles is to showcase what Islamabad has to offer when it comes to entertainment. Whether it is models, photographers, musicians, artists, writers etc.

fatima

(A scene from a short film called ” My November in Chains” )

One such person that I would like to introduce is Fatima Salim. Fatima is in her last year of a bachelors degree in marketing from the American University in Dubai and is a true “Islamabadi”. (Whatever that word means to all of you). A 22 year old who believes that every individual should work towards their goals. Something she realized when she was away from home in Dubai trying to study and work at the same time. Fatima is an aspiring model/actress who has had a fair bit of experience when it comes to both modeling and acting. She has acted in numerous plays in her school life and has done a few shoots here and there.

She recently got approached by the Makeup mogul Tariq Amin to do a show with him but due to some unforeseen circumstances she had to turn it down. She has had to face the big fist of the “big fish” in the industry because for her it seems impossible to make it through the swampy modeling business in Islamabad. And to be honest, according to me all it takes is “one” break. But that one “break” comes at a point when either the person in question has given up. Fatima has a very solid career waiting for her in the field of Marketing but it is the dream that keeps her wanting to do something.

I think being from Islamabad, Fatima deserves the chance to showcase her talent and be appreciated in this field which is Governed by the heiresses of the Karachi/Lahore union.

Viva la revolucion :)

Ramadan 2009

Ramadan seems to be coming along fine in the capital with men and women spending the day staying hungry, waiting patiently for the time the sun sets down so they can chow down the unhealthy delicacies waiting for them on their dining tables. The samosa and pakora manufacturers are having a great month by selling those onion, mince meat, and vegetable filled foods to all and sundry. Right next to them are the jalebi engineers, and the kachori developers. A typical marketplace, like the Melody Food Area for example, is a fun place to go minutes before iftari. All the fruit sellers are trying their best to sell all their rotting fruits so they pack up and go to the nearest mosque for the iftar. Eateries like the Melody Savor branch are thronged by people to grab a shopping bag full of their favorite pulao kabab (I personally find the act of stuffing a royal dish like a pulao in a transparent polythene bag quite disgraceful). Everyone is in a hurry to run back home before the sirens go off, and before the muezzins in every mosque in Islamabad announce the time to break the fast.

There are people, like yours truly, who enjoy wandering around right at the time of iftar. Walking down in the middle of the erstwhile busy roads at iftar time can be delightful. You can see all the policemen huddled up under trees and behind their concrete barricades with disposable plates full of the aforementioned delicacies. Yet there is always one of them standing guard, just in case a truck full of explosives with two euphoric men would happen to go by. There are also small time fruit sellers standing at street corners, and one of them was kind enough to offer me five dates for free at the time of iftar (I accepted two though, ate one and shoved the other one deep into the unforgiving bowels of my bag, probably to be eaten up by a cockroach or something).

Oh, by the way, on my way back home I noticed this new development in the Super Market. Can anyone guess what this little black mirchi means?

Image123

Anyway, the blessings of Ramadan are endless. Here are a few of them for your reading pleasure:

1) You get to have more food than you usually have.

2) You get to have more unhealthy food than you usually have.

3) You learn that food is the most important thing on the planet, and that Ramadan is all about the food.

4) You shove non-fasters behind embarrassing enclosures where they can have their happy time and have a bite or two to satiate their hunger (Poor souls! They should demand their rights).

5) Sexually active couples get to spend less time in bed together, and hence contribute in the noble cause of slowing down the population growth of this deprived nation.

6) Medications like Gaviscon and the white Milk of Magnesia have increased sales to help their consumers break down the large bubbles of gas in their intestines into smaller more manageable air packets.

7) And so on and so forth…

But seriously, without taking the ugly head of Ramadan commercialism, the political disturbances, the price hikes, and the religious complications, there are a few things about this month the make it the most important month of the year for a persons physical and mental health. Without Ramadan, the little social ills that plague our society would become something normal, and there would be no question of whether the ills being practiced are right or wrong. This the only time of the year when people abstain from things that are considered wrong, and they develop the patience and strength to do that. Ramadan is not about praying five times a day, or getting up early in the morning to eat paratha, or reciting the Qur’an, or staying hungry throughout the day… it is only about the well being of the spirit, and it is our job to learn how to keep our spirit happy and healthy during this holy month, and for every other month of the year.

It is also mainly about love and compassion, just like the compassion shown to me by that poor fruit seller standing with his cart in the corner of the street at iftar time by offering me dates with a smile on his face.

So Happy (belated) Ramadan everyone! And I hope you spend the rest of what remains of this Islamic month contemplating over the little ills inside you instead of worrying about staying hungry and thirsty.

Brief Updates from MBHQ

You’ve no doubt by now noticed that the sites got a bit of a re-design and some things got changed around last week. We wanted to highlight two changes to make sure everyone knows what changed.

The first and biggest is COMMENTS! Registration is no longer required to post a comment on any post. Of course if you already have an account you can still login to ensure your comments are attributed to you, but those who don’t can now post a comment without any long term commitment. Also, on the right you can see some of the recent comments so you’ll always know what the active discussions are. This was the most requested thing we’ve heard from people since our last redesign and we’re excited to see where it leads.

The next change is also something that was heavily requested, and that is a change to the ADS on the sites. You’ll immediately notice fewer of them, but what might not be as obvious is those smaller square ones to the right are specific to this city only and are being sold for a flat rate for a period of time rather than a confusing CPM/traffic/network model. Depending on the city, these range from $7-$175 for a full week. If you purchase one, during that time your ad will be the only one in that spot and will show on every page. We set these up both to make it easier for smaller local businesses to get their ads on our site, and also to help us bring in ads that relate better to our local audiences. Also, keeping these sites online is expensive and every little bit helps.

There are a bunch of other things we changed but we’ll leave those to you to investigate and take advantage of. Hope you like it, and we look forward to seeing you in the comments!!

Love,
The folks at MBHQ

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