The day I revealed bits and pieces of my upcoming novel!

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NUST did a great job in organizing the NUST Literary Festival and telling the world that literature, creativity, and imagination can come from anywhere!

The moment I saw the message of my publisher, Syed Ommer Amer, that I am invited as guest at the NUST Literary Festival, I was over the moon! The Festival was hosted at the Karachi campus of National University of Sciences and Technology. I have been associated with Daastan as an author. I have had four books published with this platform. Representing Daastan at this Literary Festival and also to speak at this occasion was a dream come true. Invited in the “Meet and Greet” session, I took the stage only after Mubashir Ali Zaidi, the writer behind the concept of “100 Lafzon Ki Kahani” and Ms. Parveen Shah, author of Chawanni had already spoken. This made me feel intimidated for these two personalities have a fine command on literature.

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Although I have been delivering guest lectures, this was the first time I was asked to speak at any Literary Festival. September 16, 2017 was an interesting day for on this day my article on how to become a good public speaker was published in Daily Dawn’s Young World.

During my speech I read excerpts from my upcoming book, “Divided Species”, a science fiction novel set in modern-day Karachi. It was an emotional feeling when I held the printed copy of this book, which took me nearly six years to complete, in my hands. Daastan made it possible!

Through this blog, I want to share with my readers excerpts of the speech I made on this auspicious occasion:

“…When a cricketer plays his debut match he recalls that on this pitch cricketing greats with the likes of Allan Border, Wasim Akram and Sachin Tendulkar played a number of their innings. I too am feeling like that debutant cricketer for before me, on this stage, Mr. Mubashir Ali Zaidi and Ms. Parveen Shah came and shared their thoughts with you….Until yesterday my published articles of 320 was a big enough number for me, but right now I am feeling as if I am beginning my innings without scoring any runs….The women in the audience will better understand that cooking requires the right amount of ingredients cooked at the perfect flame. I have poured in much effort, thoughts and time in writing “Divided Species” and today, as I hold this book in my hands, I feel I am experiencing the taste of food I cooked myself…”

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During this Literary Festival I was honored to have received the Certificate of Appreciation from Captain Dr. Attaullah Memon, Director Research and Development, NUST, Pakistan Navy Engineering College (PNEC) Karachi. I also met Cazi Mazharuddin Taric, who wrote and published through Daastan “ Anokhay Jahan ki Anokhi Sair.” Also at the occassion I met a young writer, Hassan Mir, whose book “Unbroken Bonds” was among the finalisists in Daastan’s The Stories Untold competition.  

Along with Syed Ommer Amer, Founder and CEO, Daastan, I would like to thank NUST’s Farrukh Aqil, Yusra Shah and the entire organizing committee of NUST Literary Festival for giving us writers a platform to share our thoughts with the audience.

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The man with a hundred faces bids adieu: RIP Jerry Lewis!

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At age twelve, I watched the first movie starring Jerry Lewis. It was The Disorderly Orderly. Unaware of the genre of slapstick comedy, Jerry Lewis instantly became my favorite actor because of his amusing talking style and hilarious actions. A few years later when Jim Carrey inspired me with his acting skills, Jim and Jerry ruled over my heart, for I am also a propagator of humor and believe that it is extremely difficult and challenging to make people laugh. However, Jerry Lewis did it without breaking a sweat. The actor who became part of my comic consciousness passed away on August 20 2017. He was 91.

Nothing much can be said for Jerry, no words can describe him. He explained his entire life to us through his many movies. He showed us that spreading laughter makes you famous, it makes you a legend – the challenge is to bring something original every time. And he did! The Nutty Professor is close to my heart. Jerry portrays the role of that crack job professor who cannot do anything right. Whether it is The Ladies Man, The Errand Boy, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, The Family Jewels, or Boeing Boeing, Jerry Lewis knew how to add humor and wittiness in his facial expressions and dialogues. He was a method actor, his one-liner statements were too good and he had the ability to exquisitely blend his body language to his dialogues meanwhile changing his tone of voice to suit the scene.

Beginning his career with Dean Martin, with whom he appeared in a number of movies, Jerry’s solo career did wonders for him. Do check out his video clips from movies on Youtube and indulge in the comic life of Jerry Lewis, the man who had a hundred faces but behind each face was a serious human being, who served a major part of his life raising funds for those affected by muscular dystrophy. Rest in peace, Jerry!

Celebrities have been sharing their thoughts on Twitter following the passing away of Jerry Lewis.

Timeline of a Karachiite’s emotions based on Facebook Status Updates!

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When the clouds finally arrive!

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And you get all emotional when it starts pouring! 😛

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That sight of black clouds though!

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And K-Electric makes its presence felt! The F***!

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Party time in rain is the best time!

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…And when K-Electric crashes the party! 

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When roads become roads to hell after rain!

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All’s well that end’s well!

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When you have enough of rain after a few hours!

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And when rain replies to your comment! 😀

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‘Darzi Ki Marzi’: A humorous ride into a tailor’s mind!

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The title of the video “Darzi Ki Marzi” says it all! Produced by Teeli, the video is a work of art with its cinematography, sound effects, setting, characterization and dialogue delivery. It is a team work and it shows!

It is akin to watching a short movie. Interestingly, during its 4-minute duration, the team behind the camera managed to show humor and the real picture of tailors that made this video a social media sensation. Every delicate angle of video production has been taken care of that gives so much energy and life to the video.

Looking at the set that shows a tailor’s shop, one would see everything actually present in such a shop. In this regard, efforts of Art Director: Saqib Hayat and the Set team, Babar, and Zahid, must be appreciated. The attention to detail by the producers and directors: Faheem Azam and Arbab Hussain along with the slice of life appeal presented through the dialogues by writers: Faheem Azam, Sana Khan Niazi, Harold John, Fahad Zaki and Narmeen Abdulla along with production crew: DOP: Farhan Silver; Post-production: Arbab Hussain; AD: Tariq Hussain; 2nd AD: Monis Navaid Khan, Araib Hussain and Ahtiph Akbar; Camera Assistant: Faisal Fiesto, Audio Engineer: Faheem Siddiqi, Wardrobe: Waseem and Shumaila, and VO: Mishaal Khan deserve a standing applause.

The story is about a recruit at the tailor’s shop who aims at completing a women customer’s dress on time before Eid. The Master Sahab teaches this recruit all the strategies and concepts of ‘good’ tailoring and emphasizes on the concept of “Customer Se Satisfaction”, which is the essence of the story. The cast of “Darzi Ki Marzi” Nazar Ul Hasan, Ahmed Mujtaba, Mujtaba Rizvi, Tehmasip Rahil, Faheem Azam and Sana Khan Niazi express their dialogues with the best of facial expressions. They utter serious and mostly humorous lines with diligence to keep the viewer’s attention hooked to the video.

Everything the video shows is relatable, practical, and all women customers of all tailors must have experienced this before Eid. Moreover, the background sound and music also adds value to the narrative. Hats off to the entire team! All the best for your future endeavors!

 

Taimur Rehman: A Urdu storyteller par excellence

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You cannot explain elegance in mere words. You have to feel its essence. Taimur Rehman is a storyteller par excellence, a shining star in today’s haphazard world, who comprehends the essence of elegance of Urdu language and literature. He is an asset of Pakistan struggling to preserve, protect and promote Urdu language.

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His fluency in communicating verbally in the Urdu language makes him the gladiator we all need in today’s age when Pakistan’s youth is distancing itself from Urdu. Calm and composed in character and eloquent in expressing his thoughts, Taimur is on a mission – to bring back to life the essence and spirit of Urdu. His initiative on social media, QASID, is a courageous endeavor as he steps into the realm of Urdu literature and makes viewers of his videos experience the lost style, taste, class and sophistication that have always been the characteristics of the Urdu language. Perhaps Urdu was never lost, it was we, the masses, who went on following the Western languages and buried the beauty of Urdu somewhere in our subconscious.

Taimur’s vision to hold Urdu narrative sessions at Kuch Khass in 2011 in Islamabad propelled him at the right direction. He has performed at various national literature festivals across Pakistan and appeared at the South Asian Literature Festival in London. Moreover, he graced the TED forums thrice. Currently, he is working on a coffee table book comprising Pakistani and Indian poets.

Taimur’s love for Urdu echoes with vigor and enthusiasm through his videos. He can read prose, recite poetry and sing Urdu ghazals with his soft voice to send you back in the 70s, 80s or 90s when Urdu constituted a major part of our life. I have been playing his videos on repeat and it is mesmerizing to experience Urdu once again. Taimur’s Facebook bio fittingly says his heart’s feeling: “Technology mera paisha hai aur Urdu adab mera nasha!” (Technology is my passion and Urdu literature my addiction).

Guess who’s back on our airwaves???

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rj-khalid-1493118970For a long time, there was something missing from our lives. We had the sun, we had our breakfast, we had our morning cup of tea and we even had our share of Good Morning messages we sent and received. There was still something missing. Not anymore! Guess what? Khalid Malik, the man who made mornings great for us with his popular “Breakfast Show with Khalid Malik”, is back on the airwaves again. Same guy, same energy but on a different station – FM 91.

With the social media campaign #MakeMorningsGreatAgain, the radio station announced that the same Khalid Malik who later turned out to be a successful host and an actor is coming back on air to make us feel alive, again!

Now that Khalid Malik is emerging back on the airwaves across the country, listen to this. From Monday to Friday (7 am to 11 am), Khalid Malik will meet us at “Khalid Malik’s Morning Jam” on FM 91, the station that will never be the same again, nor our mornings.

Where Khalid Malik has been the talk of the town, I have met him while working as Assistant Editor at Slogan Magazine. The editorial team was doing a cover story on the radio industry of Pakistan and we decided to interview Khalid Malik for the Magazine. It was a pleasure to meet him and we were privileged to have Khalid Malik at our office. This was in 2012. However, my first meeting with Khalid Malik was not face-to-face, but over the phone, when I was selected as one of the two finalists in a competition celebrating City FM 89’s seventh Anniversary. I was invited to talk to Khalid Malik at his morning show at that radio station which was actually a quiz session to determine the winner of the PS3 (PlayStation 3). Guess who won the grand prize? You got it! It’s gotta be me!

However, from May 1, 2017, all listeners to Khalid Malik’s morning show will be winners, for we will listen to fun and happiness – and listen to the voice that has become synonymous to exciting and happy mornings!


Suzuki, please put the covers back on the New Cultus!

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Image taken from: http://paksuzuki.com.pk

I wonder when Suzuki will learn. When Toyota and Honda are bringing out badass models (mainly Honda, no offense, Toyota), why cannot Suzuki get out of its structured mentality of producing cars that look similar. Glance over Suzuki’s now defunct Khyber and Margalla, Swift, Cultus and Mehran and you will witness a marked similarity. All cars have a similar design. It’s like they are made from the same mold.

The reason for my rant has nothing to do with Suzuki, because I also own a Suzuki Cultus 2007, however, it has everything to do with the new Cultus, also called Celerio. After much hype over social media, the car was revealed last week. It does not have any feature whatsoever which could give it a price tag of 12 to 15 lac (PKR 1,2000,000 – 1,5000,000). Just imagine that Suzuki is charging this price for a 1000 CC car comprising dual airbags, anti-disc braking system, fog lights, power steering, air conditioner, audio system, power windows, and chromed grill? I wonder when will Suzuki launch a model, which looks different than it has to offer – a design that is sleek, trendy and modern and not the only akin to Cultus 2017, which honestly speaking looks like a cross between Suzuki’s Wagon R and Swift.