laleen.khan

Laaleen Khan

An international columnist and media consultant who Tweets @laaleen

Alu Anday: sardonic schoolboys with a message

This song actually has very little to do with potatoes and eggs despite ‘Alu Anday’  being its title and part of its chorus. Beygairat Brigade’s indie music video is ideally positioned for the social media community. It’s creative, funny, and unique; ideal traits for going viral (and it has). Alu Anday starts off with quirky dork-humour: the trio transforms their geeky glasses and school uniforms to a punk-rock-meets-boy-band style complete with loosened ties, childish face paint and plenty of kooky behaviour. That is, until the urban Lahori slang-infused lyrics convey a darker socio-political reality (e.g. “Where Qadri is treated like a hero”) along ...

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In conversation with Adil Omar, hip-hop’s ‘Paki Rambo’

Artist: Adil Omar  Video: Paki Rambo Genre: Hip-hop  Description: A cheeky take on Islamabad’s urban youth subculture. Vivid stylistic techniques are employed in this sardonic, yet playful, rendition of kitschy bad-boy behaviour. Contrasting social settings range from the Mercedes-lined driveway of a typically affluent home, to farcical GTs (hangouts) involving recreational substance abuse, persistent sexual harassment, and blood-streaked fistfights that epitomize the ‘wannabe gangsta’ mentality of the city’s seedy underbelly. Excerpt: “I bust quick in a sl**’s thick orange foundation I’m a foreign damnation at your borderline waitin’ Horrified Satan with an angel to punch ‘cuz all these cookie cutter f*****s be fakin’ the funk Yeah, uh, so ...

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Alpha male, Beta female: Which one are you?

In the animal kingdom, it’s the aggressive Alpha male of the pack that entices females in heat for procreation purposes. In other words, the rest of the males just don’t get any. Among humans, however, things have become a little more complex since the Neanderthal era, despite romantic fiction convincing readers that Alpha heroes reflect women’s ideals. In recent mass-market fiction, even Alpha heroes are required to develop modern-day Beta characteristics, like heightened sensitivity and emotions, thanks to the influence of the female heroine in the novel who ‘tames’ her man. But it isn’t always the case in the real ...

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Life is plastic…in a Barbie world

Half the fun in flipping through celebrity tabloids and society magazines lies in speculating who’s had ‘work’ done. Although plastic surgeons ethically shouldn’t operate on patients with surgical addictions or Body Dysmorphic Disorder, the following results demonstrate otherwise: Overt Barbie-ism – Lips, nose and bust combo package: • Megan Fox is ‘foxier’ after having surgical procedures that have taken her to the pinnacle of Hollywood beauty standards. • Lindsay Lohan is a controversial actress who looks about the same age group as her mother, Dina. • Katie Price, a British reality TV star, is as ‘real’ as a drag queen. • Preity Zinta is decidedly ‘pretty’ after all ...

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10 assorted additions to Pakistani culture

Whether they prompt you to scratch your head in puzzlement, raise your eyebrows in disbelief, or crack a spontaneous smile, life’s little idiosyncrasies break the monotony of one’s daily routine. Expats in particular have a fondness for quintessential elements of Pakistani culture that may be annoying when you live here, but are endearing when you’re away. Here are a few, chosen at random: 10. Go-Gos: Chanting “go” is a universal cheer, (like ‘Go team! Woohoo’) but to feisty Pakistanis, it literally means LEAVE. Example: “Go (head-of-state) Go!” 9. Outdated expressions: Verbal relics from the Colonial era include: “Can I have your “good ...

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10 rules to marry a ‘Clooney-aire’

A ‘Clooneyaire’ is the characteristic George Clooney brand of debonair, moneyed, elusive bachelor whom women universally covet as their future husband. In order to qualify as a Clooneyaire, candidates must exude jet set glamour, age with the stylishness of James Bond, possess homes in spectacular locations, and count strings of pretty women as their exes. All the while, Clooneyaires must take great care to appear rakish instead of lecherous. After all, there’s no challenge that romance-novel reading women find more irresistible than the impossible task of reforming a hardened rake. Why the hoopla over George Clooney? ‘Gorgeous George’ (as he’s nicknamed) may ...

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10 things I hate about communication in 2011

Ever wondered what life was like before we got so dependent on computers? Yes, we wrote letters that took weeks to reach. We wondered who could be calling when we answered our landlines that had no call waiting or caller ID and left messages on answering machines or voice mail. And as we didn’t write random texts, emails or tweets on the spur of the moment; those of us in school scribbled notes passed around class. Today, we rely heavily upon email, social networking, text messaging, Skype and mobile Internet browsing to support our daily interactions with our virtual communities. However, these ...

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Marketing Pakistan: Know your product

On the one hand, it seems that Pakistan doesn’t have much to offer travelers these days with the exception of expats visiting their families, Lonely Planet reading backpackers, Sikh pilgrims and cricket-mad Indians—many of whom have waned from the ‘insecurity’ situation. Then, on the other hand, the ‘Ministry of Marketing’ (let us suppose that one exists) has plenty of underutilised fodder to attract positive international interest, if only they would. From an ancient civilization that’s older than the Pyramids (the Indus Valley along with Buddhist and Gandhara aren’t adequately promoted like the Mughals as they’re pre-Islamic), historical architecture (including pre-Partition buildings that ...

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Pakistan: Where life can be a blast

The ‘enlightened moderation’ mantra from the Musharraf era prompted Pakistan’s oft-quoted ‘soft image.’ Seen as a much-needed leap beyond archetypal vistas of K-2 and the Lahore Fort (think 1970s photographs issued by PIA and the Ministry of Tourism), well-meant consultants were hired for the purpose of promoting a progressive image for the country—or at least, that’s what the aim was in flying out designers and models to put on fashion shows at Pakistani Consulates around the world. One can almost imagine spectators gawking: “Gosh, they have women in their country who don’t wear a burka and aren’t getting stoned for ...

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Aisam’s love match!

It seems that golden boy Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi will be married to more than just tennis soon. The 31-year-old athlete, peacemaker and teen-girls’ pin-up of choice has reportedly cemented a rishta with long-time love, Faha Akmal Makhdum, a British-Pakistani native of Suffolk. Haq and Makhdum will be officially engaged next week and reports indicate that no fans are invited (no, that wasn’t a wind storm, it was a collection of sighs). The betrothal announcement caused a viral explosion hailing from the blogosphere and torpedoing its way to the twittersphere, to the simultaneous clickety-clicks of text messagers and facebookers across Pakistan and ...

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