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29 Aug

Putting your right foot out

(Dawn Images, August 29 2010)   Any excuse to put Imran Khan's picture on my blog! “A nation dies when it gives up,” says Imran Khan and no matter what, we must not give up on this nation. These past two weeks have been devastating for Pakistan. But amidst tales of woe, misery and the break down of law, order and civil society, what we must grasp on to and move forward with are the unprecedented man-to-man efforts that are being made. There is so much to complain about but there is also a lot to be appreciative of. As always, the glass is half full as well as half empty, depending on how you chose to see it. Foreign...
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25 Aug

We want justice!

To be part of a protest today was humbling.         We gathered outside the Press Club in Karachi to protest the brutal killing of Mughees and Muneeb, two young boys who very well could have been my own. I have been unable to watch TV for the past few days and I certainly haven’t been able to look at that beautiful picture of theirs, smiling so innocently and unaware that life could so brutally be snatched away from them. I can’t even begin to imagine what their mother must be going through. I keep thinking how simple it would have been to stop those monsters from beating these kids to death. One voice from the crowd of 1200 zombies could have prevented this...
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24 Aug

Tere Bin Laden rocks!

What a refreshing shift from all the ribald slapstick comedy that Bollywood is churning out these days. I totally loved the indie take on this film and the fact that it was pertinent without being preachy. Comedy is always preferable over serious cinema (at least to me) and even without the usual song and dance and superstar presence, TBL managed to hold its own. That it has created a star in Ali Zafar is perhaps one of its biggest accomplishments. Too bad the censors flunked it for Pakistan but after seeing the film one can understand why. A troupe of mullahs shaking their booty while ‘Ullu Da Pathha’ plays in the background. Not a chance in hell! ...
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22 Aug

Let it roll

Tapu Javeri’s third book, Tapulicious, lifts Pakistan’s celebrity spirit from the past two decades and lands it in the present.     Tapulicious is delicious. It’s a book that allows you to get a taste of celebrity as you browse through its pages. A pack of visual eye candy that bursts at the seams with a flavour of colour and its one basic flaw – the lack of any explanatory text - leaves you urging for more. Put in very clichéd culinary terms, Tapulicious teases the taste buds without really whetting the appetite. And that’s exactly what Tapu Javeri was aiming at. “I’m a photographer, not a writer,” he spoke to Dawn Images after the launch of the book. “I believe that an image...
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22 Aug

Bollywood gets ‘Austentatious’ with Aisha

(Dawn Images, Aug 22, 2010) You walk into the cinema expecting an Indian version of Emma, treated with Sex and the City, Gossip Girl, Confessions of a Shopaholic, Clueless and even Friends rolled into one. At least that’s what the trailers promised. What you walk out with is a sequel to Gurinder Chadha’s Bride and Prejudice. Only worse. You walk out feeling sorry for Jane Austen. Aisha is Jane Austen’s Emma, only set in twenty first century India. She is characterized as a high society ‘smart’ dumb blond (whatever that is) whose one aim in life is matchmaking. Her life revolves around parties, camping, fashion and the whole glamorama that Hollywood perfected fifty years ago. But Aisha doesn’t cut the mustard because...
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17 Aug

Copycat, copycat where have you been?

(Instep Today, August 17, 2010) The copycat conundrum has always grabbed headlines; people love reading about who’s copying who and magazines in Pakistan have lately begun splashing pictures of designs that look like déjà vus, whether it’s a Maheen Karim dress imitating Etro (pointed out on the Style Stripped website), a Nomi Ansari collection doing a double take on Manish Arora or a Body Focus tunic looking a bit too much like a Dolce Gabbana gown (both noted by Expoze). The visuals are all there and yes, there’s no denying the fact that at times things do look a bit too similar to be passed off as an inspiration. Mughal miniatures have been an inspiration for designers through...
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14 Jul

Tere Bin Laden BANNED in Pakistan!

What a pity that while the government is doing absolutely zilch to promote cinema in Pakistan, it also puts up high hurdles preventing artistes from finding fame and fortune elsewhere. Tere Bin Laden, starring Ali Zafar and directed by Abhishek Sharma in Bollywood, has been banned from screening in Pakistan. It was expected, given the nature of the film. The Mullah Brigade, after all, is infamous for not having a sense of humour and a satire on Osama Bin Laden would've been enough for fundo-reps on the censor board to stomach. Official reasons, of course, are much more civilized. According to sources, the film has been banned to protect the people of Pakistan from any unexpected, unpleasant consequences carried out by...
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8 Jul

A new body language for cricket!

Don’t we all enjoy a good old cricket match, especially when Pakistan is playing and heaven have mercy, when Pakistan is actually winning! This week, while fashion’s ‘It’ crowd was busy vacationing or recovering from insufferable heat spells, life was all about cricket (for cricket, not football fans). And for once, the Pakistan-Australia England tour (at least the two Twenty20 matches) gave them something pleasant to take to bed. The sweet smell of victory. It was delightful to see the young lads of Pakistan’s rusty cricket team win the two matches but it has to be said that it would have been ever more riveting had we players that commanded attractive presence on the field. Umar Akmal...
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22 Jun

A Coke Studio for Fashion

Fashion may be music to a woman’s soul while diamonds would be her best friend but many people would argue that fashion is superficially skin deep while it is in fact music that permeates the skin and seeps into the soul. Music fans would put up a convincing argument that fashion is elitist while music is populist; that most people can afford to buy a cassette, CD or tune into a radio station for what music offers while not so many can actually afford to buy or own any part of fashion. The last leg of this argument would be that musicians are better people than most fashion designers. Now on an average day I would be able to put...
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6 Jun

Unweaving the rainbow

Thank you Kiran for sharing this spectacular view of Karachi's magical skyline. Never do I remember seeing a sky so full of beauty. Nature was at its very best artistic self in Karachi as it smudged clouds in the dusky sky and then streaked it with wisps of delicate violet, orange, blue, green and the rain saturated moments of an ominous grey. I caught the very best of it at sunset, as the full arch of a promising rainbow disappeared into the clouds. Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet; the arch held all seven colours within its bow. Truly a magical moment. Rains are never kind to the people of Karachi, they come with power breakdowns,...
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