Stories about think

Talking music with Malang Party’s Zeeshan Mansoor

I’ve written countless times about how the music scene in Islamabad needs major rejuvenation. Venues, bands and music fans – everything is scarce. Most fans listen to what is popular and ignore lesser known bands because the majority is the authority (and of course, democracy is Islamabad’s middle name). But Malang Party is one band that has continued to make music despite these challenges. And they are doing a darn good job. Recently I caught up with Zeeshan Mansoor (guitarist and songwriter for Malang Party) and discussed the prospects of music, musical evolution and his approach towards music as a guitar player. 1) ...

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Are you an SMS junkie?

As I look around, I see everyone firing away at the keys of their mobile phones at supersonic speed. It’s unnerving, and sometimes I feel that we really have been invaded by these miniscule hand-held devices. Sure, it’s great technology and life has definitely become easier, convenient and faster in a lot of ways but they say excess of anything is bad. It is quite correct about incessant text messaging as well which, in my opinion, is not only an addictive nuisance but also causes repetitive strain injury. In the past few years, I have almost become allergic to text messaging ...

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Pakistan grows up…I think

For news-junkies like me, the past few weeks have been a feast! With the Park51/Cordoba House/Ground Zero Mosque controversy, the pyromaniac Pastor Terry Jones’ waltz, 9/11’s ninth anniversary and Eid coinciding, the global media was on fire, literally. With the disproportionate coverage these issues and events received individually and collectively on American media, it seemed, one, that there are only two people in the world: the Americans and the Muslims and two, a Muslim lobby is finally hard at work, giving its Jewish counterpart a run for its money. Of course, such explosives can no longer ...

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Ban Tom & Jerry

Recently the Punjab government formed a committee to see whether cartoons based on Hindu mythology should be banned or not. The reasons given were that the children of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan might come under the influence of such animations and deviate from Islam. I am not going to get into how that is clearly ridiculous or how it is not in line with Jinnah’s vision as many have already addressed those issues. However, I would add that in case the Punjab government does decide to ban these cartoons, there are a few other things on TV that it ...

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I love Facebook (sort of)

Old people, parents, employers and techno-phobes all love to expound on the many reasons to just bite your lip, rip off the Band-Aid and be done with Facebook forever, but most of us don’t really care. I’m going to be honest-the usual reasons people give for why social networking is such an insidious villain to the average twenty-something don’t matter to me at all. I don’t really feel that that my real personality is being compromised in favour of a Facebook-friendly version of it. I don’t have any secret sex tapes or otherwise questionable content floating around cyberspace and I ...

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No friend to women

Throughout the four years of my degree, which qualifies me to be a filmmaker, I found myself making films on social issues such as karo-kari, prostitution and the Afghan repatriation. So when it was time for us to really show off with our thesis films, I was only too eager to get the gigantic ball of human suffering rolling in my head. Apparently, it’s what drives me. So imagine my shock, when, while we’re watching the final outcome of what we proudly called our ultimate ‘master piece’, a fellow female student screens a film on karo-kari. Great so far. I was ...

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From UK, with love

Saeeda Warsi has been the big news since July 16. The chairperson of the Conservative party, who is Pakistani by origin, visited Pakistan, met some top people and visited many places including her father’s hometown. This trip was expected ever since she attained success in the recent British elections. She received a hero’s welcome wherever she visited, especially in her hometown. Pakistani people are very hospitable. We forget everything when it comes to treat and greet guests. At times we even forget rivalries and enmity just to keep the color of this quality alive. She deserved it, and I think every ...

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The right feet and shoes

An incident was relayed to me quite recently, the crux of which was a 22-year-old extremely well educated individual’s lack of social consciousness – their complete ignorance and naïve understanding of the people inhabiting the world around them. That and several other similar incidents have dominated my thoughts of late. Today I encountered something that put my mind into overdrive. As I was leaving the mosque after a lecture, I uncovered my head as I normally do not cover it. While I was standing outside with my family, waiting for my car, a woman said that I should cover my ...

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