(Writing an hour worth of content I accidentally deleted the entire article so now just writing an abridged version)
Ms. Muniba Mazari is going about changing and challenging perspective in Pakistan. The society we live in has deep rooted issues and prejudices towards women or status and religious bigotry but when it comes to the physically challenged they really get the raw end of the deal. Its not just how such people are viewed (yours truly has had more than few instances which were quite awkward), but there is a feeling that its better if such people stay in the background. Sure in the last decade things have started to look up considering how things but the the gradual change in mindset that is now taking place will take a while to show results but people like Ms. Mazari are acting as trail blazer.
The astoundingly beautiful and graceful Muniba Mazari is a talented artist and a motivational speaker who is not only a huge hit on social media but recently has started to appear on TV. But everything wasn’t this rosy as fate had dealt a rather difficult hand when she became wheelchair bound after a horrific car accident where she lost ability to walk. But that didn’t get her down and soon enough launched her career as an artist and motivational speaker. Her painting portrays the female forms either highlighting what makes a Pakistani woman strong or some of the issues they face and while as a motivational speaker she tries to instill a positive attitude into people.
But the reason I considered writing this piece when I saw Muniba Mazari appearing as a co-host on one of the Ramadan transmission on TV. Her was a woman on a wheelchair coming on a Pakistani channel, not standing in the background nor getting pitted at, rather being adored by the people on set and the huge audience following the show due to her glowing smile and an indomitable aura!
Muniba Mazari who by her own admission is ‘physically challenged and differently able’ which really encapsulate her wild spirit and an ironclad will! So here’s to you kiddo , shine on and be free!
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged art, artist, Muniba Mazari, wheelchair | Leave a Comment »
In the last 5-7 years there has been a lot of talk about the revival of Pakistan cinema which was in its death throes. Couple of decades of pitiful investment, abysmal directors, a dearth of good writers, risk taking producers and uninterested governments left Pakistani cinema on constant life support. But it was only recently that aspiring and talented film makers started to branch out to make movies that weren’t flashy but had real heart and soul. These movies have not only displayed movie making panache by the youths but also distanced themselves away from the trash that was usually associated with Pakistani cinema.
The positive vibes that have been felt throughout the country has been amazing. People are now hopeful that Pakistan cinema can put the country on the map by charting out its own niche while being different from the Indian and Pakistani movie industry of the past. While there is no shortage of commercial movies that has done quite well for themselves, I usually associate Pakistani cinema revival on movies that go against the grain. The problem I have with commercial movies is they are hell bent on competing with the Indian cinema which in my opinion is not the way to go. It’s the reality based movies that can really make Pakistani movies stand out and that in turn will prove that Pakistan movies doesn’t need to a follow a particular blue print for success but can etch out its own identity and its own brand!
Films like Dukhtar is a step in the right direction.
If you guys are wondering why I am writing on a subject that already has got loads of coverage? Then let me enlighten you all: So this was a few days ago when I watching a news based morning show on Capital TV. The host, Mahrukh Qureshi, was talking about the revival of Pakistan cinema and its effect on the entertainment industry in the country. What transpired in the entire segment was nothing short of disgraceful.
Basically the entire 15 minute tirade was all about highlighting the ‘flaws’ of this revival. The segment had two guests (on phone call); one was some producer who I had never even heard of and the other guest was our much ‘esteemed and celebrated’ film director Syed Noor. I never had much respect of Syed Noor’s movies but what he had to say really made me kinda hate the guy!
The host and the two guests were of the opinion that the movies that are being made are either too depressing or based on terrorism. They were critical of film makers as they consider them as obsessed in making movies which were tied down to realism. That they were impressed by TV dramas, hence their movies too are showing that trend which was a big no-no.
Pakistan’s ‘legendary and decorated’ film director Syed Noor.
The ‘solution’ for this ‘obvious problem’ which the host and these guests gave that Pakistani movies should always be ‘entertaining commercial movies’ which all could mean that they should include light drama, a lighthearted romance, a couple of poorly choreographed fight scenes, good number of song and dance sequences and some sort of moral at the end!!. Syed Noor went so far ahead in his bashing that he called out to the film makers to stop making reality movies as these were big mistakes. That we should make movies that can directly compete with Indian movies and the only way to achieve this is to stop making such depressing movies!
You guys should have seen me; I was positively fuming and swearing like a drunken sailor! I mean shouldn’t the revival be encouraged?!
I really don’t understand this: why do we have to compete with the Indian movie industry? Why can’t we make movies that are decidedly different from the trash India usually makes? Most of their mainstream movies have nil plot development, piss poor acting, insane amount of ‘fan service’ and copious amounts of song and dance! Why should our movies ape Bollywood? Didn’t that cause the death of Pakistani cinema already?
Reality based movies like Lamha should be lauded rather than criticized.
What really got to me is how guys like Syed Noor actually thought these new movies were a mistake and will be detrimental in the revival! I mean how can the man be so stupid to even think like that! The reason we find Pakistan cinema struggling to stay relevant because guys like Syed Noor were making movies that were shallow and very poorly made! So when the cool kids start making movies that are WAY better than old Pakistani movies it’s these insecure old directors and producers who cause the most harm!
So in the end I just want to say that they way Pakistani movies are being made now should be encouraged because if such movies are not celebrated then the film industry in Pakistan will be over and there will be no comeback from that!
Posted in Pakistani movies | Tagged Capital TV, cinema, Dukhtar, Lamha, Mahrukh Qureshi, movies, Pakistan, Pakistani movies, Seedlings, Syed Noor | Leave a Comment »
There is a certain video that is making rounds on Facebook these days that’s has send its denizen in a fit of laughable frenzy. The video I am talking about is the one where Pakistan’s once pop idol sensation who now has turned his life toward religion is seen giving his opinion about cars and women and hypothetical scenarios. And that’s not all; this interview took place LAST Ramazan, so for the video to go viral NOW raises a few questions (another topic for another time). Junaid Jamshed (whom I will call JJ) who has turned his life a full 180 degree toward religion has already been derided by all and sundry esp. those who were fan of music. What gets to me is how people can actually criticize a guy for pursing religion which HAS to be the main priority. Right? RIGHT?!!
Any ways back to the topic at hand. So basically what JJ said in the vidoe that men shouldn’t let women drives cars or motorbikes for that matter as once the women develops a habit of the leaving the house it becomes very difficult for her to stay at home. First let me make myself clear: I in NO WAY endorse JJ’s opinion about this. I consider myself a little religiously inclined but even I was a tad offended at this. And with that out the way, let’s move on. Now JJ’s opinion does sound a very misogynistic which has (and did) send shock waves on the social media. Having such a position in the media JJ’s statement was in poor taste as far as I am concerned. His remark only added fuel to the fire that all religious men are hard-liners who are against women empowerment, which is SO removed from the truth!
All this talk got me wondering: Why all the hate? I mean the way JJ has been put on a guillotine over his OPINION is kinda overkill! And then it struck me! I had a Eureka moment and came up with a few questions over which I didn’t have an answer to:
- JJ may have not taught his wife how to drive but have we ever wondered if JJ is fulfilling ALL of his Islamic obligations as a husband?
- Have you wonder if JJ has made his wife ‘wear the pants in the house’ and made her the one who is responsible for the upbringing of his and her children?
- Have you wonder if JJ is providing all the necessities and luxuries of life to his wife?
- Have you wondered if JJ treated his wife right even though if he did the’ unthinkable’ i.e. not teaching her to drive?
No we didn’t. All we saw and heard that JJ doesn’t believe in teaching women to drive! We just paraded his video on the net and then branded him a low life, cave dwelling, women controlling Neanderthal who needs to be locked up far away from the opposite sex! Convenient aint it? Personally I found all of this criticism idiotic hogwash!
But don’t worry, this blog post isn’t going to be taking a clear side as there was something JJ said which was more worrying and I think JJ should come out and clear this mess.
So when JJ made his opinion, the host of the show, Nida Pasha, (who was donning a Hijab JUST for this interview as since then she has done episodes involving fashion weeks and bridal weeks etc. Without a Hijab I might add, but I won’t go into this I assure you!) posed a question that what would a woman do if she is either a widow or a divorcee or doesn’t have male relative and has to earn a living. JJ gave a very stupid remark saying that such a hypothetical woman doesn’t exist! Sorry JJ but Pakistan’s society is a very brutal one and there are MANY women out there who HAVE to go out the house, learn to drive and make a living. This really annoyed me like crazy as JJ has been under the tutelage of Maulana Tariq Jamil Sahib for years, who have talked about women issues in the light of Quran and Hadith. So for JJ to make a remark like that was nothing short of callous and short sighted and I rather have JJ making a proper statement about this and clear the air as it were!
But then again once a person is branded a ‘Mullah’ on Facebook there is NOTHING that person will do that would absolve him of this stigma! JJ may very well be a good and honest person, a practising Muslim who fulfils all his obligations to Allah Taala and Rasool Allah PBUH and toward his fellow humans (family or otherwise), is a good husband and father and tries to live his life accordingly but he will now always be known as a ‘THE’ guy who is against women drivers! Much ado about nothing if you ask me!!!
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged cars, Hijab, Junaid Jamshed, NIda Pasha, Pakistan, society, women | Leave a Comment »
The social media in Pakistan has been buzzing for a month now. The horrific events in Gaza and Israel’s insane barbarism has gotten lot coverage and rightly so. But another hot topic during Ramazan was the commercialism of the Holy month on Pakistan media. TV evangelists and celebrities putting on quite a grand show on many of the main stream channels, product companies throwing away free gifts at the ‘cattle’ of an audience that would be present in such shows was what Ramazan was all about this year! Only a few channels actually had any semblance of sanity where top tier Ulema-e-Haq and scholars were invited to preach the masses at large. Capitalism has made religion quite the hot mess in Pakistan.
What made me jump and sit up was NOT what was happening during Ramazan (yes it was mind numbing and bewildering) but it during Chaand Raat and the Eid days which made quite the shocking statement! Pakistan media had shed it cloak of ‘religion’ and showed it real colours! It was nauseating, pathetic and shallow all at the same time!
So when the 29th Roza ended and it was a far gone conclusion that the next day would be Eid the TV channels almost burst with glee. It was as if the ‘torture’ of the whole month was over and people could go on and have fun and celebrations in their lives! It was appalling. All the pretension of Ramazan that the Pakistan media had taken up just vanished in a blink of an eye! The day of Eid we had dances, songs, movies: basically a lot of hoopla and general callousness! And all of this comes at a time when just a few 1000 miles away there is human travesty taking place in Gaza, our Muslims brothers no less were literally being blown to smithereens, or the hardship of the IDPs in Northern Pakistan who were braving difficult situation for the future of country or that Pak Army was fighting a tough war, how can Pakistan Media be so…..insensitive….to all of this!?!?!?! Yes I know celebrating Eid is a Sunnah of Rasool Allah PBUH in the way prescribed by the Sharia but what ever happened on Pakistan Media was not a celebration; it was rather an orgy of hypocrisy!
Is this the freedom of media that Pakistan wants? Is yes then I am sorry I don’t want any part of it! There has been many times when I have been ashamed due to the people of Pakistan and here was YET another occasion!
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You just stand around. Feeling irritated yet indifferent. You put on a fake mask, smiling and laughing. You look for that one face that you can recognize. You feel as if you are the stranger, invading, loitering. You don’t feel as if you are in the right place. Everything then becomes a blur. The voices intensify, the surroundings close in. Your eyes darts around trying to make sense of it all yet the more you try the more confusing it gets! Its as if you are on the outside looking in.
You want to run, you want to feel the wind running through your hair. You want to jump out of your skin and feel as if you belong. As if you make a difference. As if you existed. You want to scream. You want to yell at the top of your lungs. You want to feel the rain on your face. You want to feel as if your presence is felt. As if you are alive. Its as if you are on the outside looking in
Then everything stops. You feel liberated. You feel as you have lost. Was it worth the pain? Was it worth the time? You try to find the answers but don’t. You stand there, feeling you have gone back to the start. You sigh and then shrug. But in the end there is nothing else but your and your soul, standing on the outside…looking in.
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Last week something extraordinary happened in the United States of America, more specifically in the Congress of a country that honors and celebrates freedom of people under bondage. So what happened in Congress last week was so significant that it made me really wonder about issues which I didn’t have much interest before.
If anyone doesn’t know what I am alluding to, then let me the ‘enlightening’ beacon for the ignorant. A Republican by the name of Dana Rohrabacher , who is called a Lone Ranger by our ‘lovely’ and ‘stylish’ ambassador (who once was famous as being ‘that woman’ Mr. Gilani took a note of!) Ms. Shirey Rehman, moved a bill in the House of Representative of the utmost importance. The bill said something on the lines of giving the Balochis the right of self-determination and the right to their own sovereign country. The bill also called the end of suppression by the ‘Punjabi and Pashtun elites’ and of the army. Basically the bill wants Baluchistan to become an independent state.
Mr. Dana Rohrabacher in his elements while presenting a bill of self-determination of the Baluchis!!
I would like to heartily congratulate the ‘honourable’ Congressman for penning such an important bill and asking for the freedom of the Balochis. So as a return of ‘gratitude’ from yours truly I too would like to present a bill in the Parliament of Pakistan, whose members have been a bang job in Pakistan in the last 4 years. Hell I will even say that this Parliament will eventually have a very unique place in Pakistan’s history. Oh I digress. Let me get back to the nature of my ‘thankfulness’ to Mr. Rohrabacher:
I present a bill to the Parliament of Pakistan to put forward a motion to the government of the US, to be effective immediately, which calls for the freedom of the people of the State of California. Far too long have the people of California bore the brunt of the US opression and the slavery they have felt. It is very telling that the term ‘Surfer Dudes’ have being used as a racial slur!!. The people of the California have always been treated with snickering laughs, nods and eyes rolling attitude in the US, for their life styles, for the way they talk, for the way they like to party, for the way they use surf boards like no one else. There comes a time when someone has to call for freedom of such an outstanding race and the ‘rich’ ancestry!. Yes such a move will end up hampering Hollywood industry but its a necessary steps. It saddens my heart that the people of California have been subjected to such……*sob* discrimination!. Enough is enough. I want the Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani to approve this bill in the Parliament and make sure the bill reached the Congress of the US and to Mr. Dana Rohrabacher!
a 'Surfer Dude' in his cultural attire...oh the inhumanity of it all!!!
So in conclusion I will like to say this to the Congress and Dana Rohrabacher: Your scratch our backs and we scratch yours. Your share my tub, and I shares yours. You drink from my Martini glass, I drink from your beer mug. You get the picture!!. So yea…Jiyeeeeee California Surfer Dudes!!
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And so Shoaib Akhter has called it a day. The bowler was a spectacle to behold and when he was on song he was totally unplayable. I actually remember his debut match against the West Indies as incidentally that was the time I started getting interested in cricket and even through the poor coverage of PTV back in 1997 I felt that this guy would be something special. And as he showed through the years that his ability to change matches in the space of a spell of bowling was unparalleled. Yes he missed quite a few of them and his spate of injuries would be quite frustrating but boy when he did play for his country, it seemed that nothing else matter in this world expect for the destruction of wickets from his thunderbolts.
Rawalpindi Express in full steam....
But to be honest as a fan of Pakistan cricket and everything Pakistani I did hate Shoaib Akhter quite bit for a period of time. No slight on his private life, but I wanted desperately him to play more for Pakistan and constantly conjure up magic. As it would usually turn out his stack of controversies and his affiliation with the Indian showbiz would tie me up in knots. I wanted to see him on the cricket field terrorizes batsman, not to hear him sing an Indian movie love ballad on cheap ass Indian TV show. Before his latest comeback early this year I had given up on him on ever representing Pakistan again, hell I would sometime bad mouth him to brother (the ever loyal Shoaib fan), but to my great surprise his comeback was nothing short of amazing. 2010 he showed the World that even though his body was not willing, his sheer determination and *gasp* commitment made him the attack spearhead again even after all these years.
In conclusion I would just like to say that players like Shoaib Akhter don’t come around too often and although his injuries and controversies got the best him, but I still vividly remember some of his match changing spells and the often bemoaned yet inspiring aero plane celebration. And I wish him good luck for his future endeavours, which we all know will be acting (hopefully in awesome Pakistani dramas and not stupid Indian movies). Thank you for the all cherished memories Rawalpindi Express…….You will be missed…..
*In my next update I will post some of his awesome spells which made me his fan….
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Pakistan Cricket, retirement, Shoaib Akhter | 1 Comment »