Archive for the ‘The CAPITAL edge’ Category

Easy steps to bring a revolution..

 

How to bring a revolution in ten easy steps:-

1) For starters, wear a lot of sunscreen if you plan to bring a revolution in the summers (because skintone is if not more, as important as the said purpose itself).

2) Wear either Nike’s or Adidas sneakers, Servis joggers don’t cut it when the cause has so much international importance.

3) Make sure you keep your latest iPOD in handy so that when the Naara’s go out of tune, you can listen to revolutionary songs by Lady gaga and Justin Beiber. John Lennon? John Lennon who?

4) Eenie meenie minie mo between Imran Khan and Zaid Hamid, one is a confused apologist, the other is a state of the art fighter sent to the world to rid the world of all Zionists, regardless of their nationality.

5) Watch a lot of star plus before you go out in the scorching heat to fight for justice.

6) Believe that everything wrong in the country is because blackwater wants it to be wrong. Yes, your alarm clock didn’t go off in the morning because blackwater wanted you to be late for class so you couldn’t learn and bring change in the world.

7) Revolution doesn’t come overnight, so ask your mothers to pack you supplies for at least two days, sandwiches, lollipops, orange juice and a good bedtime story.

8) Go to protests with the opposite sex in numbers, because while you’re ridding the world of evil and social disorder, you might even score, how cool is that?

9) Before heading out, twitter, facebook, text message your friends that you’re going on the mission of your life and if you don’t return, they should forgive you for all the wrong doings that you’ve done and return an hour later and re-do the process with, “I almost died for the country”…

10) After the protest, tell everyone that the country has gone to the dogs and then take your dogs out for a walk in the evening.

OMG… Kuch Khaas.

There has been a constant debate over how the critically acclaimed city of the dead is actually living up to its name as far as performing arts (mainly music) are concerned. The overall security situation of the country amongst many numerable reasons contributed to this sad state of affairs. But as they say, all hope is not lost for 2010 saw KUCH KHAAS (A community space for discourse, learning, meaningful entertainment and participation in Islamabad) break into the scene. I recently caught up with the KUCH KHAAS program team to discuss their new venture called Open Mic Gig (OMG).

1) For starters, tell a little bit about the program team at KUCH KHAAS and what it actually does.

The Kuch Khaas Program Team has Program Managers, Assistant Program Managers, Interns and extended Kuch Khaas Family Members. There is a whole lot of collaboration between the team on how to execute various ideas into programs such as events or classes/workshops.

2) How much in your view has KUCH KHAAS affected the arts/music scene in the capital?

Islamabad happens to be a place where previously being self-taught was the norm for most artists and musicians. Kuch Khaas hopes to have instructors who now can impart their knowledge and skill to eager learners. These learners have a relationship with their Instructors and Kuch Khaas, which later becomes a source of confidence for them to show their talent in events such as OMG.

3) You people have various music courses going on, tell a little about them.

We have previously hosted classes and workshops by Singing Instructors, Natasha Ejaz and Ahmed Ali.

Our ongoing classes include:

“Singing Success” instructed by Shahbaz Zaidi which has been one of our longest running classes alongside “Guitar Lessons – Beginners and Intermediates” instructed by Syed Salman Haider Zaidi.

“Classical Vocal Training and Tabla Classes” by Ustaad Umeed Ali Khan, student of Barey Ghulam Ali Khan Sahab, while Ustaad Naimat Ali Khan Sahab accompanies him on tabla have been a great source of inspiration for all of us.

We also have “Percussion Training” with Asfendyar Ahmed. Rawal Shadab Ahmad is our instructor for “Basic Keyboard and Piano Lessons”.

A weekly facilitated drum circle conducted by Ammar Latif also takes place at Kuch Khaas, open to anyone who would like to participate and get together to make music, the purpose of this activity is solely recreational.

4) Do you think KUCH KHAAS caters to particular strata of society or is it inherently universal in its approach?

Kuch Khaas does not prescribe to a formulaic approach in building its community. We are here to mobilize not only the youth but also reaching out to adults in order for them to redefine their notions of everyday life in Islamabad. Kuch Khaas is an idea impacting society physically and theoretically.

5) When did you people decide to hold open mic nights and how has the response been thus far?

The Open Mic Night was to ensure a platform for local enthusiasts and musicians, a gathering that is intimate and casual enough for different genres to come together creating a diverse program for the audiences.

Kuch Khaas hoped to bring together acoustic playing singers, solo acts and local bands. To balance out the night we now ask for submissions a week before the event. These processes lead us to rename the Open Mic Night to Oh My Gig! Or OMG as Kuch Khaas manages the entire program. This does not in any way shape or form mean we dismiss or undermine some talent over the other.

The program each time leads to new realizations for the next OMG. As the Kuch Khaas Team we want to set out an example for local youth to come out and perform not because OMG is an official musical gig but a night to celebrate local talent.

6) A lot of noteworthy musicians have played at this venue; do you think it’s slowly becoming the GEN-Y Civil Junction?

Absolutely not, Kuch Khaas is not catering to solely musicians but multitalented individuals, who have potential and want to perform.

7) Are there any facilities/programs except the Open Mic Gig platform to facilitate budding musicians at KUCH KHAAS?

We now have started Karaoke Nights for those who might just want to sing out loud to their favorite tunes in a relaxed and informal environment. It is not about OMG the event but about the people who go through the experience with us.

8) Why did the chicken cross the road?

To go to Kuch Khaas.

9) Do you people plan on expanding further, if yes, then what avenues are you people looking to explore?

We have an extensive video library in the making of all our previous programs and events. We hope that having an archival process will enable Kuch Khaas to go a step further in delivering constructive dialog beyond its four walls.

10) Any final words of wisdom, messages, dedications or statements?

Kuch Khaas is now coming to a full circle with the completion of its first year in May. A place open to youth and adults alike, bringing forth opportunity and support for a more engaging Islamabad.

 

Photo credits: Zeeshan Jamal/Kuch Khaas

The World Music Day Concert by Cityfm89 and what followed…

The National Library auditorium in Islamabad was the venue for the “World Music Day Concert” organized by CityFm89. What follows is a review of how things shaped up and should have shaped up but didn’t shape up due to certain psychotic fiasco’s on part of the people managing and the people playing. First things first, as one of the performers “Zujj” correctly pointed out before the show even started “.. The management has gotten the demography wrong”.. reason being the invitation cards. Apparently you could only utilize the pass if either:-

a) You were a couple.

Or….

b) You were two girls.

So there is an event which features relatively underground acts ( I hate the term but it is what was commonly used so I will do exactly that)… and you can only go in if you either have a “girl”.. (as required by the management.. I swear..) Now as derogatory to the female population as it sounds, it indeed was the case and it indeed is a case at relatively all the concerts which are well, concerts and to me, it makes no sense at all. If there is a concert, instead of relying on the gender derogatory management rule, what can be done is to properly scrutinize the entrants and if there was an incident in which some hormonally imbalanced people got out of their safe zone, security could simply throw them outside.

That was a starting opinion, now on to the exact concert itself. It featured very diverse acts ranging from Zujj to Natasha Ejaz (Brilliant songwriter/singer) who was playing for the first time with a complete band (She is critically acclaimed for her solo acoustic performances), the Islamabad Heavy metal act Saturn and another classically trained vocalist who went by the name of Shan Khan. There was also another band by the name of “Alag The band” who will get a separate exclusive part in this review (Owing to their extremely versatile rock star persona’s, and arrogant rude behavior).

What startled me the most during the initial sound check proceedings was the sheer epiphany that it is very evident that a sound check scheduled for a 5 pm kick off will always manage to start off a couple of hours later but here’s the best part worth a million laughs, the other bands “had no bass guitar”…Yes, the Rock stars HAD NO BASS GUITAR… Here’s the part where all of you can say ” Hein WHAAAAT?”… But let’s leave that part even though I am still “HEIN WHAT-ofying”… The gruesome procedure of the bands sound checking did manage to be done but since the invitation said 6pm, people had already started to come in so the bands were technically “checking their sound check in front of a live audience”…

The concert kicked off with “Alag the band” which technically means “Unique” in urdu, but the only thing unique about them in my humble opinion was how they weren’t unique at all. Just your run of the mill people who think that making original songs on the underlining Roxen/Jal/Every other urdu dipsy pop act is “Cool” and wearing “chains and lockets” makes them a Rock Star. Their Rock star element failed to blossom on stage and all they delivered was an average set which had worse crescendos than Atif Aslam on a bad day (yes that bad)…

Following the rather unique act was Natasha Ejaz, accompanied by her live band which had Parham Faraid (The guitar player of Iranian descent, an amazing friend and someone who has played with the likes of Zeejah and Silversmoke and is a full-time band member of Sketch) playing the bass, Ahmed Ali (The immensely talented ex-vocalist of the ex-brilliant now no more band Nafs, stage play star and the new face of the Ufone family) alternating between the bass and the acoustic guitar, Asfandyar Ahmed (Drummer par excellence who has played with almost everyone from the Islamabad circuit and has an immense amount of concerts to his name) and last but not the least the extremely talented musician from France, Mickael Bon who was playing the keyboard and the acoustic guitar on a few songs.

The set list included a few originals and a few covers. Natasha along with her extremely talented band played a set list that consisted of original songs which went by the name of “Kahan”, “show me the mirror” and “Ankho ko Ankho nay”.. along with a Coldplay cover medley of the songs “Fix you” and “viva la vida (which was performed with a slightly up-tempo rather unique and refreshing arrangement) and a song which went by the name of “Fight for your right”. Her set was the high-light of the show and was very well received by a majority of the crowd present, the minority being the usual “lamers” who have nothing better to do than to hurl abuses at people who take music very seriously and practice all day to put up a good show.

This is the part where Alag the band gets a special mention, apparently one of their mail groupies had the nerve to abuse not only Natasha but also her friends present in the crowd as a reaction of which there was a minor tussle between the lamers and the good people who were only trying to tell the lamers that using the word “Fuck” in a concert is NOT cool and does NOT impraas any gaalz… But the band held their nerve and completed their song. Kudos people Kudos.

Following Natasha was Shan Khan who belted out a few covers which were very well sung and got the crowd on their feet. Talent was plenty in that person as Salman Zaidi of the band Saturn said after his first song ” Dude, Dude, DUDE.. (He might not have EXACTLY said these words but the dept of the connotation was pretty much that.)”.

Saturn followed Shan Khan and by this time, mentally as well as physically each and every person waiting for their turn was exhausted but Saturn put up a very decent show and played an original and a few covers (One of which was the Baby national anthem of Pakistan, Dil Dil Pakistan)… Which was I guess the “surprise cover” most of them were talking about. Saturn’s drummer Shahbaz did an amazing job on the drum kit so hats off to you man.

Zujj was to end the show and by the time he got on stage, as it was late and well the crowd wasn’t really the sort who would listen to System of a down or other linked musical acts, the hall was half empty. Due to the torment of not having a drummer to play with and no bass guitar (Due to Asfandyar’s other commitments and the bass required at an adjacent concert venue), Zujj with his band that consisted of Parham Faraid, Zain Ali (Deframed fame and awesome musician) decided to go unplugged and sang 2 of his original songs that were to be featured on an upcoming Bollywood film and ended the set with his ever famous “phoonk lay” which is quite quickly becoming a crowd favorite.

Being someone who has had the pleasure of being to amazing concerts and some not so amazing ones, this concert just didn’t cut the cake as it should have done, Natasha Ejaz as I mentioned earlier was the highlight of the show. The sound was “Okay” and the lighting was “annoying” but commendable efforts put in my Cityfm89.

Football was being played in the parking lot and there were CityFm89 finger gloves all over the place and that was something I HAD to mention because today was the first time I ever bought something at a concert… *thumbs up*

Apologies for not taking ample pictures and the two used were the only ones that came out good.

Not significant enough you say?!

RAWALPINDI: A 13-year-old schoolgirl was allegedly raped for 21 days by policemen as they illegally detained her at the Wah Cantt Police Station.

A Class-VII student Natasha, daughter of a stone crusher Muhammad Aslam, approached Taxila Additional Sessions Judge Rao Abdul Jabbar Khan and narrated to him her mental and physical torture in detention. She also told him that she was pregnant.

After recording her statement, the judge ordered Natasha’s medical examination and directed the CPO Rawalpindi to register a case against the accused policemen, and complete investigation within 14 days. Police authorities have failed to act against the accused policemen despite the passage of one month. The RPO says the accused obtained a “stay order” from the high court to pre-empt police action, so he is waiting for the day when the court vacates that order.

According to the information gathered by The News, Natasha is a resident of village Labb Thathu, Tehsil Taxila. Afsar, a close relative of her father Aslam, was killed on January 24, 2010, and an FIR was registered against Aslam’s wife Azhar Bibi.

Taxila police picked up Natasha and her brother Yawar Saeed, 18, when policemen failed to arrest their mother, whose whereabouts are still unknown. According to her on-oath statement before the judge, Natasha said the police kept her in a room for 21 days on the premises of the Wah Cantt Police Station, where different police officials, one of them identified as Sub-Inspector Mohammad Mumtaz, made a plaything of her; they would rape her daily at their will, force her to drink alcohol, dance naked, and change their uniforms before her.

These police officials, sensing that she had become pregnant, booked her for the murder on January 24, 2010, and produced her before the court which sent her to the Adiala Jail on judicial remand from where she was released on bail.

On getting initial information, The News approached the victim at her home in village Labb Thathu. The poor victim was still unsure of her surroundings and her father, too poor to even think of taking any steps other than harming himself and his children, seemed to have gone numb with persistent mental trauma.

“They would repeat this (rape) on me every night. And it was only after three weeks when I started feeling sick, and they took me to a court which sent me to the (Adiala) jail. A kind lady constable, who had noticed my condition, told me to tell the truth to the judge in the court but I was too afraid. Somehow, after two days of my release on bail, I gathered courage and chose to tell the court all that had happened to me at the police station,” said Natasha with tears rolling down her cheeks.

“They ruined my life. I don’t want to go to school because the students and staff there know about what has happened to me. It’s too humiliating. What would become of me and my sister? Would the chief justice (of the Supreme Court of Pakistan) take notice of what has happened to me and punish those ‘wolves’ in uniforms?” Natasha asked.

When contacted, Natasha’s counsel advocate Farhana Qamar said that it had been proved by the medical examination of the minor girl that she had been gang-raped. But, she added, the RPO (Regional Police Officer) Rawalpindi was still reluctant to act against the accused policemen.

When contacted, CPO Rao Iqbal told The News that an inquiry had been ordered to ascertain the facts in the case. He said that it was a heinous crime and if the allegations levelled by the girl were proved correct, strict action would be taken against those guilty of crime.

Regional Police Officer (RPO) Aslam Tareen told The News that Natasha moved the court of the ASJ Taxila on April 17, 2010 after her release from jail on bail on April 15.

He said her medical check-up had already been conducted before sending her to jail under the law. Answering a question about the police inaction despite the ASJ’s orders, the RPO said accused sub-inspector Mohammad Mimtaz filed a petition before the Rawalpindi Bench of the Lahore High Court against the ASJ’s orders and the court granted him “stay” to pre-empt registration of an FIR against the accused till the decision of the petition.

The RPO said the first hearing of the stay order was held on May 13, while the second hearing was due during this week. He said the case would be registered if the court vacated the stay order.

By Shakeel Anjum & Saleem-ur-Rehman

Original link :-

And yet we debate about who the better Muslim is and who sent more text messages calling for d-dos attacks on the websites that apparently support a particular event that the PTA thinks along with the ulema e karam as being very “OFFENSIVE” to the “ghairat” we hold.

Those who think this little girls case isn’t as significant? Fuck you..

Afridi teri batting.

But the crowd is super-excited? or ain’t they?

Pakistanis can be like that.

Do listen to comments of people regarding terrorists defeat too.

Pakistan wins T20.

The Sunbird

Few years back, I remember making fun of my cousin who mistakenly told us about attending this event of “Bird Watching”, organized by ASG (Asian Study group), in Rawal Lake. The idea of sitting silently on a boat watching birds sounded hugely crazy. But now that I think of it, doesn’t seem even odd. When you are silently surrounded by nature, the nature speaks to you. (noops I haven’t recently picked any of Paulo Coelho’s book ;-))

Islamabad’s home to beautiful species of birds and thanks God we are not chirra-eaters like Gujranwala people *_* (no offense). Margala hills itself is abode to many rare-sighted birds.

I confess being part of killing a Blue Finch once, during a air-rifle shooting practice. But I’ve never ever seen this Sunbird, so royal in its colors, in Islamabad ever. Glad that the photographer managed to shoot it. Beautifully camouflaged as well.

Red Sunbird, originally uploaded by Suh@il << Busy & Away >>.

Do you have an eye for nature?

Image Courtesy: Suhail on Flickr

Read more on Birdwatching in Islamabad

Umeed-e-Sehar

16th March’09

The day thousands of people were expected to storm the Federal Capital City in order to lodge protests in front of the Presidency to pave way for the Restoration of the deposed Judges. People had already seen chaos in the city of Lahore when the PML-N started it’s journey and in the early hours, we saw our Prime Minister address the nation. He told the nation that the orders for the restoration of the judges had been sent, the anti-protest Section-144 was taken back and that the disqualification of the Sharif brothers would be formally sent into an appeal by the Government itself.

One could see thousands of people out on the streets rejoicing their victory. The lawyers movement that started two years ago had transformed into the movement of the people and one could easily tell how frustrated the nation was the past two years. The power of the people paid off.

17th’March’09

In order to celebrate the restoration of the judiciary, Geo Television network took the initiative and organized an ‘open for public” concert by “Laal”. (A band that has been in the limelight mainly due to them being workers of the movement against the Governments wrong doings and the fact that their music is based on the revolutionary writings of Habib Jalib and Faiz Ahmed Faiz which are applicable even today).

laal1

The proceedings of the concert finally started at 10 when Hamid “Capital talk” Mir introduced the band and welcomed the audience which mainly constituted people from all ages and walks of life. Aunties, Kids, Uncles, young people with flags etc. They started with the title track of their album “umeed-e-sehar”. Brilliantly executed, absolute class. The notes ringing on the guitars, the dholak and drum beat at the back and the flute man airing away on his flute. The song was immaculate. The vocalist delivered it perfectly and extended the song, asking the crowd to participate which they did. Umeed-e-Sehar is the 2nd single by them which is on air these days on various music channels. The video itself is very touching and does justice to the song but I could see people smile, rejoice, even shed tears when he sang ” umeed-e-sehar ke baat sunno”.

laal2

Next they did the Habib Jalib classic “Musheer”.. Meinay us say yeh kaahaaaaa yeh do dus karoorrr hein, jehal ka nechorrr hein. People shouted “Rehman Malik” out loud and the vocalist carried on their chants by saying ” this is what Rehman Malik tells Zardari behind closed doors”… It was a lovely number with the Guitar player, Taimoor messing around with the voice box and catching the attention of the audience.
laal3

The last song that I heard, was the song penned down by Aitzaz Ahsan which became the anthem of the Lawyers movement called “Kal aaj aur kal”… Jeet humara mustakbil hei :)

Very well rounded performance, extremely neat aura and rejoice all around. Laal, gel together as a band and I suppose it was their first performance in Islamabad, and quite a memorable one it will turn out to be..

Umeed-e-Sehar ke baat sunno =)

VIVA LA REVOLUCION!!!

Ready for Long March Reception

Collage courtesy Express

Collage courtesy Express

A few updates:

  • Sherry Rehman’s resignation accepted and Qamar uz Zaman Kayira given charge of (dis)Information Ministry.
  • Rehman Malik continuously hinting about possible target killings, suicide bombings … and god-knows-what-not.
  • GT Road and Motorway closed.
  • The Fortress.
  • Students residing in IIUI and QAU hostels told to evacuate on asap basis.

Follow this link for quick Twitter Updates on LongMarch.

ps: I see no Umeed e Sahar … =(

(more…)

Almost There?

The Flyover

The Flyover

Though construction of Faisal Chowk flyover still makes no good sense to me but thanksfully its finally nearing its completion.

Same traffic situation at Blue Area is anticipated. Come on, its still signal studded zone. Do you see any change at this very spot after the flyover’s construction?

ps: I’m not much liking the every-chowk-closed look of Islamabad.

New face of Marghzar?

Marghzar park

Only through this picture taken from Aaj Kal I come to know of renovated Marghzar park. Yup along Islamabad’s zoo. After Daman e Koh’s exuberant renovation … this looks interesting too.

Any one been there yet? Any news to tell? :)

Please Share.

ps: I always used to think its MURGHZAAR from murgha :s

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