Monday, March 19, 2018

On the brink of extinction

I was sitting in one of the classrooms of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) this weekend. The yellow and green room, with white lights and furniture, reminded me American universities. But after every few minutes, I was in disbelief. The language being spoken in the classroom was Punjabi and we had all gathered for the first International Punjabi Conference.

Our childhood is gone. And so is Basant

Basant by Aijaz Anwar
Spring in Punjab is greeted by Basant — the kite-flying festival that started some centuries ago and
also became synonymous with Lahore.
Everything about it was positive — the music, the food, the pretty girls, the night lights of inner city where even the foreign tourists would come to enjoy the sport and partake in the ecstasy of a kite-flying competition which would be lame and extremely serious at the same time.

From slavery to the corridors of power

Pakistan’s Senate will soon have a young Hindu woman as its member.
Now the world will begin to discover her story and those of many young women in her community.

Launch of the Aghaz-e-Dosti calendar

Raza Khan, Peace Activist
Who would have thought that the launch of a calendar that carried paintings from schoolchildren would become a tricky affair?

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Nehru in Pakistan: No, Not Jawaharlal, it’s Kamala Who Lives on

Kamla Nehru
There is a street in Karachi that bears the name of Kamala Nehru. And guess what? The street is right next to the mausoleum of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. The Cosmopolitan Society, one of the country’s posher neighbourhoods, also boasts streets named after other legendary Indian women – one street is called Sarojini Naidu (or simply, Naidu) road, while yet another of the colony’s roads is named after Annie Besant.

And it happened so

Hua Kuch Yun, a play produced by the Kopy Kat Productions, written by Sajjid Hassan (yes, the famed actor from PTV), directed by Dawar Mehmood and produced by Aneeqa Khan is now being performed in Karachi and will reach Islamabad in mid-April. Dawar Mehmood has already presented successful theatre productions like Siachen, Angan Terha, 14 August and Banannistan, and has carved out a niche for himself in theatre. The script, according to the director Dawar Mahmood, took two years to write and Sajjid Hassan has still expressed his dissatisfaction with the final presentation.
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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Activism and Lahore

Two months ago a peace activist, Raza Mahmood Khan, went missing from Lahore.
I attended a protest outside the Lahore Press Club and meetings to recover him at the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) in Garden Town. The usual suspects were always there — peace activists, Khan’s friends, and sometimes his family members as well.

Sridevi’s Pakistani Fan Remembers Her Heroine from the Other Side

My relationship with Sridevi is earthen and organic. I was a little girl in the early 1990s in a very dreary household – my parents were posted in Balochistan and visited infrequently while my twin sister was struggling with cancer.
On top of that, our staple diet of Pakistan’s state television which presented nuanced, deep, well-written-to-the-extent-of-being-poetic plays with television stars like Marina Khan and Atiqa Odho.

In recognition of ‘Maa boli’

Poet Amarjit Chandan and writer Gurmeet Kaur
The 1st International Punjabi Conference at LUMS was more than just an exclusive event; it meant the beginning of a rewarding journey

Monday, March 12, 2018

Growing up in Pakistan with Shashi Kapoor

The first time I noticed Shashi Kapoor was when he married Amitabh Bachchan’s girlfriend, Rakhi, in ‘Kabhi Kabhi’ and the latter sang a forlorn song in her former lover’s memory on their wedding night. My sympathies were with Amitabh and Rakhi.


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