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AUGUST 15-21 2010

A Beautiful Mind Depression is a debilitating condition but it can be overcome


JUNE 13-19 2010


JUNE 13-19 2010


AUGUST 15-21 2010

Cover Story 18 A Beautiful Mind Depression need not be a bottomless pit and can be overcome

Feature 24 Crimson Tide Students at Lal Masjid madrassas seem geared up for something

Comment 27 You Go Parliament Imagine a TV show like Springer featuring our leaders

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Profile 28 Mother Nature’s Helper The lady who brought you Copper Kettle, HobNob and now N’ecos

Portfolio 32 Sweet Child O’Mine Farah Ahed immortalises children with her lens

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Review 38 What’s new in dining out, films and books

Regulars 6 People & Parties: Out and about with beautiful people 16 Tribune Questionnaire: Tapu Javeri on loving Jerry the mouse 44 Horoscope: Shelley von Strunckel on your week ahead 46 Ten Things I Hate About: Amitabh Bachchan

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Magazine Editor: Muna Khan, Features Editor: Faiza S Khan, Sub-Editor: Batool Zehra Creative Team: Amna Iqbal, Jamal Khurshid, Essa Malik, Anam Haleem, Tariq Alvi, S Asif Ali, Sukayna Sadik Publisher: Bilal A Lakhani. Executive Editor: Muhammad Ziauddin. Editor: Kamal Siddiqi. For feedback and submissions: magazine@tribune.com.pk Printed by: Yaqeen Art Press (Pvt.) Ltd., Karachi


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Play Time

Production Illusions staged ‘Noises Off’ at Alhamra Mall Hall in Lahore. 1. Anam, Alizeh and Sarah 2. Mehreen and Sonya 3. Bilal 4. Tajdar and Zaheen with a guest 5. Carmella and Ahmer 6. Noor 7. Hassan and Amna.

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To have your event featured in this section email magazine@tribune.com.pk

PEOPLE & PARTIES


JUNE 13-19 2010


PEOPLE & PARTIES

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1. Faraz Manan, Sundas Manan with a friend 2. Mr and Mrs Arif Nazami 3. Shahnawaz Zaidi 4. Sehr and Sophie 5. Shehryar and Ahmed Nizami 6. Hina Butt & Sehr Anis 7. Zara 8. Sundas and Imtisal. 3

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PEOPLE & PARTIES

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Teen Choice Awards

Television, sports, movie and music celebrities attended the Teen Choice Awards in Los Angeles.

1. Francia Raisa, Greg Finley, India Eisley, Shailene Woodley and Daren Kagasoff 2. Actor Justin Long arrives at the Teen Choice 2010 Awards 3. Soccer player David Beckham 4. Levi Johnston and guest 5. Presenter Victoria Justice poses in the press room 6. Actor Channing Tatum and his wife actress Jenna Lee Dewan 7. Actress Nina Dobrev.

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PHOTOS: AFP AND REUTERS

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PEOPLE & PARTIES

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1. Singer LL Cool J and family 2. Actress Megan Fox poses in press room 3. Kim Kardashian 4. Actress and singer Hilary Duff and hockey player Mike Comrie 5. Presenter LL Cool J and Nina Simone Smith 6. Actress Selena Gomez 7. Presenter Shailene Woodley 8. Actor Chace Crawford.

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PEOPLE & PARTIES

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1. Television personalities Kendall Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, NBA player Lamar Odom, Khloe Kardasian and Kourtney Kardashian 2. Actress Mary Lynn Rajskub 3. Leighton Meester 4. Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev, and Paul Wesley 5. Khloe Kardashian and NBA player Lamar Odom 6. Actor Zachary Levi 7. Actress Lucy Hale.

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JUNE 13-19 2010


PHOTO BY ZOOBS


“I regret not having photographed BB” Tapu Javeri’s new book Tapulicious features portraits and fashion images spanning his 30-year career as a photographer. He tells us how he hates liars, Bollywood inspired mehendis but admires Jerry the mouse. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

A beach getaway with all the right perks.

Photographing Madam Noor Jehan. It took a lot of pleading, but

What is your greatest fear?

that anymore.

Being caught at a photo opportunity without batteries. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? My inability to tolerate Indian cinema especially at mehendis.

When did this quintessential family function become a bad variety show or Chandni bar?

when it happened she was amazing. They don’t make divas like

Where would you most like to live? Despite the loadshedding, the bombs, the bad traffic, the corruption, the backstabbing, I don’t think I could survive in a non-

hostile environment, so I have to say good ole Pakistan. Any other country would be boring. Home is where the “heat” is.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

What is your most treasured possession?

Bad driving and lying.

My family, my friends and my camera… in that order.

What is your greatest extravagance?

If you didn’t do your current job, what would you choose to do?

My art collection. I have been collecting Pakistani art since I was

I already have several jobs: photographer, jeweler, dabbler in

a teenager.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Beauty. Is it a virtue or a vice? While Botox and Photoshop abound, it is definitely only skin deep. On what occasion do you lie? When I’m guilty. Which living person do you most despise? I despise no one… if I loathed anyone that much they would cease to exist for me.

What is the quality you most like in a man?

radio, music and art. Nothing is permanent. “Be a renaissance man and do it all” is my motto.

What is your most marked characteristic? Honesty. I’m sometimes too blunt and often tell people what I feel.

Who is your hero of fiction? Jerry. He always manages to slip out of Tom’s claws. Who are your heroes in real life? Edhi, the people of TCF, the Concern For Children and anyone who manages to live in Machar colony.

Humility.

What is your greatest regret?

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

but they never materialised.

Character and elegance. Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Relax! Everything is under control. When and where were you happiest?

Not having photographed Benazir Bhutto. I had a dozen chances

What’s your favorite quote? “Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then

stop.” Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, said by the King to the White Rabbit.

When I was oblivious.

How many hours of loadshedding did you experience yesterday?

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

has been running for a couple of hours. a

Being midcreek without a paddle.

These answers are being written on a laptop while the generator

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COVER STORY

a beautiful BY SHABNAM RIAZ

mind

Patients of depression describe their condition as a hopeless void, a bottomless pit that pulls them in deeper and deeper. But with medical help or alternative aid, it is a condition that can be overcome.

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Do you ever feel your entire life is hanging by a long but fragile thread? That if one of the entwining strands were to come undone, then all aspects of your meticulously crafted existence would unravel into total chaos? This is certainly how Zara (name changed) felt last year. Some

weeks she was unable to sleep, other times she could not wake up from when she finally did catch some shut eye, sometimes four

hours a day, other times 14 hours. There were times she could barely stay up to see her children off to school, or to bed, depend-

ing on which end of “the depression cycle” as she calls it, she was in. “It was good when I was on several mood stabilisers and I could function but then when I went off them, because I didn’t want to be dependent on drugs, my life would unravel.”

Many sufferers describe their condition as a hopeless void, a

bottomless pit that pulls them in deeper and deeper. They speak of not being able to experience happiness in anything, of want-

ing to crawl into a hole and abdicate from reality, since everything seems worthless to them.

The human mind is an enigma. The brain is one of the most

functional and complex organs of the body. In his book Man on his Nature in 1942, pioneering neuroscientist Charles S Sherrington poetically describes the awakening brain as ‘the enchanted loom’. He writes, “The brain is waking and with it the

mind is returning. It is as if the Milky Way entered upon some

cosmic dance.” While the brain uses electronic processes to operate, the mind consists of our lives’ subjective mental experiences. The relationship between the two is crucial as both are essential in leading a healthy life.

However, we use and abuse our brain; when we need it most,

we subject it to bizarre episodes of sleep deprivation and put it

into overdrive. It’s not surprising then, that many mental disorders originate in the brain leading to grave implications and dis-

rupting a person’s life. Detrimental lifestyles, unbalanced eating habits and unhealthy sleep patterns can take a toll on the brain

and result in mental health disorders. In other cases, genetic and biological factors disrupt the complex working of this intricate organ.

Depression is one of the most common ailments associated

with the elaborate workings of the human mind. It continues to intrigue researchers and medical professionals who seek new expertise on how to deal with this growing phenomenon.

According to a WHO report, by the year 2020, depression will

be the second largest killer after heart disease. Further studies show that depression is a contributory factor to fatal coronary disease. The report goes on to say that 15 per cent of the population

of most developed countries suffers from severe depression and

two-thirds of people suffering from depression do not seek the AUGUST 15-21 2010

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COVER STORY necessary treatment. Women experience depression about twice

as often as men. The one ray of hope in this grim scenario is that statistics show that 80 per cent of all people with clinical depression significantly improve their lives after receiving treatment.

Zara, for example, who is today on a mild anti-depressant,

having weaned herself off stronger medicines under the supervi-

Relaxed and confident, he smiles while recalling the nightmarish 15 years of his life that almost drove him to suicide.

“Depression is not really that easy to treat even if it’s diagnosed

early,” he says. “Curing it depends on your emotional support system, the people who you need to be around and feel your pain.”

Ashar describes how becoming a father made him see life dif-

sion of her psychiatrist, credits therapy coupled with yoga as “my

ferently. “This was a turning point,” he says. “All of a sudden I

a year later, I still felt listless, lethargic and unable to effectively

was both exhilarating and terrifying. I chose to pour all my en-

saving graces. Initially I thought it was post-natal depression but communicate with my therapist. That’s when I started a stron-

ger dose of medicine which helped me at least make it to therapy twice a week and slowly get my appetite back, then start exercis-

ing. It was, and is, a long haul.” (Her doctor, who asked not to be

named, urges readers to seek medical help, preferably a mental health specialist’s, before taking any drugs, however mild they may appear.)

Many famous personalities have spoken publicly about their

battle with depression. The late princess of Wales, Diana; au-

thor, J K Rowling; actors Harrison Ford, Ashley Judd, and Jim Carrey have grappled with this illness. Speaking about this disease is important in overcoming it since it is the sufferer’s denial

of the problem that inadvertently feeds the vicious cycle. When

people fabricate excuses to cover the problems they are dealing with, their depression goes untreated and eventually spins out of control.

what does depression feel like? Sufferers often describe depression as a feeling of emptiness that grows slowly and weighs heavily on the mind, body and soul.

Many speak of a feeling of hopelessness, inadequacy or an inexplicable negative sensitivity to things happening around them. Some take to total seclusion, which makes the condition worse. Others fall into deep voids of despair that threaten to suck the very life out of them. Depression is one of the most talked about

medical illnesses and it can wreak devastation on individuals and even whole families, if it is allowed to grow unnoticed and untreated.

Turning point Ashar lay on the hospital bed, his arms stretched outward. His mother and his wife of three months sat by him, tears running

down their cheeks. Deep and abundant cuts along the length of

his arms were a testament to the inner torment Ashar had been suffering since his early teens. Each cut was a cry for help.

Now, 10 years later, Ashar has a great career and three children.

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had a tiny baby who was totally dependent on me. The thought

ergy into parenting my baby daughter. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.”


what causes depression?

Why people are reluctant to seek help

Researchers say that several factors can lead a person to become

Many depression sufferers do not want to admit they have a prob-

netic, and environmental factors.

see depression as a form of personal weakness. There seems to be

depressed. The three most important of these are biological, geBiologic factors refer to chemical imbalances in the brain

where fluctuations in the hormone levels leads to depression.

Genetic causes relate to the vulnerability to depression that you inherit from your parents. The environmental or emotional factors are those that result from trauma, stressful emotional situations or the death, or separation of a loved one. In some cases a combination of factors can also result in depression.

lem and are reluctant to see a medical specialist. Others seem to a heightened ignorance with regard to mental illnesses and the

urgency they require in terms of treatment. Many people treat the issue as something to be ashamed of and will go to great

lengths to conceal therapy. Most people suffering from mental

health disorders feel guilty because of the stigma attached. They begin to feel that everyone around them is judging them.

These attitudes need to change. Sufferers of depression must

award themselves the same priority they would to others who

were suffering from any other potentially serious illness. Ignoring the issue will only let symptoms snowball into much graver circumstances.

depression without a reason? To the average onlooker, Rabail looked like she had it all: a lov-

ing husband, a pretty house in the picturesque Scottish coun-

tryside, two devoted children and financial security. However, Rabail never smiled. She always sat with her eyes fixed on a

distant spot of the room, while people around her talked and laughed. Even the preparations for her son’s marriage did not give her any joy or excitement.

“It was so hard to see her like that,” says her husband, Javed.

“I fell in love with her partly because she was such a fun-loving girl. Sometimes I wondered where that girl has gone.”

Javed brought Rabail to Pakistan to shop for the wedding and

see her friends and family. Little had Javed known that this step would help pull his wife out of depression.

Surrounded by relatives taking her out for lunches and visits

around the city, Rabail experienced a gradual willingness to join

in conversations, expressing her opinion about things and communicating with the people around her.

After years of taking medications, the trip to Pakistan did

Rabail more good than all the counseling she had been receiving. Her doctors in the UK attributed the change of environment and increased social interactions.

Mental health experts say depression can stem from a deep

sense of unworthiness and lack of self-esteem. The immense

negativity and emotional baggage that a depressed individual

carries around often affects their sense of perception, leading them to experience increased levels of paranoia. a

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COVER STORY I don’t want to take anti-depressantswhat else can I do? Often people who have been diagnosed with depression do not want to take anti-depressants as they fear they may become dependent on drugs, dread the side-effects or would rather opt for therapy that does not involve medication. In such cases one can explore other treatment options with the guidance of a medical professional, though a serious case may warrant medical intervention.

work on those relationships! Studies show relationships with family, co-workers and friends promote physical and emotional healing and result in happiness and prevent isolation, which aggravates depressive illnesses.

a good relationship with a therapist or physician Don’t shy away from your problem. Give yourself priority and make sure your doctor does too. Demand to know what is making you feel this way and explore all avenues of treatment that are available.

boost your self-esteem Your mantra should be: I AM IMPORTANT! Take out quality time for yourself and give it the highest priority on your ‘things to do list.’ Once you develop a good level of self-esteem you will begin to profit from positive perception. Give yourself a pat on the back for the smallest achievements.

exercise Let those ‘happy highs’ kick into your bloodstream. Exercise releases those good old endorphins which reduce pain and boost your immunity. Moderate and even gentle exercise such as a brief walk can do wonders in boosting your immune system, fighting off fatigue and easing the pain often associated with depression.

try meditation, prayer and relaxation exercises Meditation gives you satisfaction and relaxation exercises

AUGUST 15-21 2010


such as yoga improve breathing and enhance blood circulation. Sharing your beliefs with others also gives you a sense of purpose. Spending time out in the open and with pets can do wonders in instilling calmness.

create an environment free of stress Experiencing an ongoing environment that is free from trauma and is very supportive so that the body and the brain can heal and develop.

get Plenty of SunlightIf you feel more depressed after darker or colder days you may have seasonal affective disorder or SAD. SAD can be treated with light therapy or artificial sunlight. Again, never stop taking anti-depressants until you have consulted with your doctor.

how about taking a vitamin pill to fight off depression? A variety of vitamin deficiencies can lead to depression symptoms and taking a vitamin pill may be all it takes to solve your problems. The B-complex vitamins are essential to mental and emotional well-being. They cannot be stored in our bodies and are destroyed by alcohol, refined sugars, nicotine, and caffeine, so we depend on our daily diet to supply them. Vitamin B1,B3, B5 , B6 ,B12 and folic acid work wonders in promoting mental and emotional wellness. Ask your doctor which supplements will work for you. Vitamin C deficiencies can also lead to depression.

minerals for beating depression • • • • •

Iron Manganese Potassium Calcium Zinc

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FEATURE

crimson tide BY ZIA KHAN

More than three years after being stormed by the military’s elite commandos, the Lal Masjid still stands in the heart of Islamabad — a defiant symbol of radical Islam’s increasing influence over society. The Jamia Hafsa, then just a mosque and an affiliated wom-

crats. Jamiatul Uloom Al-Islamia Al-Faridia commonly known as Jamia Faridia, is in the foothills of the Margallas; 1,200 students

between the ages of 12 and 30 from all over Pakistan are enrolled in it.

Kept in an insulated world, their access to newspapers, mobile

en’s seminary, has since grown since into a network of madras-

phones, radio and television is banned. They are rarely allowed

speculated, now a potential militant group setting out to avenge

ning is the only time they can go out, that too in groups. “This

sas through the country, a public welfare organisation and, it is the killing of Ghazi Abdul Rasheed, one of the two radical clerics who once controlled Lal Masjid.

The semi-secretive network of seminaries and the charity are

closely connected and complement each other in accomplishing their shared goal — winning public sympathy and goodwill

visitors and an hour between the late afternoon and early eve-

helps them concentrate on their studies, which are daunting,” says Maulana Muhammad Tahir, a graduate of the madrassa who now teaches there. “Otherwise get would get involved in worldly things.”

to attract more people to their madrassas and eventually to their greater cause.

Naturally, the third arm is the most controversial: Pakistani in-

telligence agencies believe the network operates a militant gang called Ghazi Force, presided over by Maulana Niaz Raheem, one of several thousand students at Jamia Faridia, the men’s religious seminary affiliated with the Lal Masjid.

But clerics associated with Lal Masjid deny any links with Ghazi

Force. “Niaz Raheem once studied with us but we haven’t heard of him being leader of a terror outfit,” claims Mufti Tehseenullah, one of the teachers at Lal Masjid who has completed a religious course after which one can issue edicts from Jamia Faridia.

“We can’t stop anyone from using our name. I have never in-

cited violence,” says Maulana Abdul Aziz Ghazi, the elder brother of Rasheed, who attempted to escape the 2007 attack on Lal Masjid in a burqa.

Aziz now controls more than three dozen seminaries all over

Pakistan — from the mountainous Dir valley in Khyber-Pukh-

tunkhwa to the agrarian plains of Rajanpur at the border between Punjab and Balochistan provinces — as mohatam or supervisor.

the network

Maulana Abdul Aziz Ghazi says he has never incited violence Blocking exposure to the world also helps administrations at

radical seminaries train young minds according to their specifications.

“Once their hearts and minds are controlled, these students are

The Lal Masjid administration publicly owns only 20 madrassahs

entirely subservient to the ideology of their teachers,” says Amir

seenullah, of the 20 seminaries associated with Lal Masjid, 16 are

among other things, behavioral aspects of terrorism. “That’s why

of the 40 allegedly working under it. According to Mufti Tehin Islamabad, of which 15 are for women.

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the return of the ghazi

The institution for boys is in a neighbourhood that houses

retired military officials, politicians, businessmen and bureauAUGUST 15-21 2010

Rana, the head of an Islamabad-based think tank, which studies, we have willing suicide bombers.”

The 15 female seminaries are in different suburbs of Islamabad,

mainly poor neighbourhoods. Together these madrassas have ab-


sorbed the students that formerly made up the Jamia Hafsa, the

seminary at the heart of the controversy that led to the bloody attack on the Lal Masjid. The total strength of students at these

seminaries is 4,500 according to Tehseenullah whereas when the Ghazi brothers launched their ‘anti-vulgarity’ campaign in 2007, 8,000 burqa-clad, stick-wielding women were part of the drive to ‘clean’ the city of “unIslamic activities”.

Meanwhile, the passion for establishing an Islamic state and

society is still alive and even more vigorous in these female stu-

dents. Events of 2007 cemented their radical thinking rather than changing their worldview.

“Nothing can deter us from demanding the implementation of

the Sharia,” said Sidra Uftaj, 18, who was one of the last students

who escaped the Jamia Hafsa with Umme Hassan and is now in her final year of studies. “We were on the right path and we knew it…that’s why we accepted death but refused to surrender.”

The then government put casualties at little over 100 while

the Lal Masjid administration claimed more than 1,000 students died.

The repercussion of the attack on Lal Masjid has been a surge in

al-Qaeda-inspired militancy in Pakistan. But according to some officials in Pakistani security agencies, it was necessary to prevent the Taliban from establishing a network from Islamabad to Swat and from Swat to Waziristan to strengthen their hold on the country.

“We would have seen several Lal Masjids spring up in various

areas between Islamabad and Swat had the one in the capital been spared,” said one security official.

But according to some analysts the move against the mosque

took place under American pressure because the Lal Masjid housed the widows and orphans of al Qaeda operatives who died

“chicks with sticks” Female students of Jamia Hafsa in 2007 also took to the streets and are willing to do it again

in Afghanistan.

Whatever the reason, the storming of Lal Masjid has cast a long

shadow on the Pakistani state and society and motivated Taliban insurgents.

“That was a turning point in the war on terror. Pakistani Tal-

iban started to disown the country,” said Zahid Hussain, a journalist and author who has been covering the rise of Taliban in Pakistan.

ghazi force Security officials claim that the Taliban would not have emerged in Swat valley had Lal Masjid not been attacked.

“The militants’ original plan was to strengthen their bases

before emerging and giving counter-terror forces a tough time,”

says Hussain. But Lal Masjid made them rush their plans and ultimately they surfaced in Swat prematurely. “Had they moved according to initial planning, Swat would have been as difficult for the army as Waziristan.”

>> Lal Masjid Seminaries in Islamabad: 1. Jamia Syeda Sumia, G-7 2. Madrassa Syeda Ume Kalsoom, Seri Chowk, Bahara Kahu 3. Madrassa Syedna Talha bin Abdullah, Bahara Kahu 4. Madrassa Syeda Ume Saleem, Madina Town, Bahara Kahu 5. Madrassa Syeda Soda, Nai Abadi, Bahara Kahu 6. Madrassa Syeda Ruqia, Gulzar-e-Quid, Rawalpindi 7. Madrassa Syeda Hajra, Madina Town, Bahara Kahu 8. Madrassa Syeda Safia, Nai Abadi, Bahara Kahu 9. Madrassa Zaneera, Dhamial Camp, Rawalpindi 10. Madrassa Syedna Siddiq-e-Akbar, Bani Ghala 11. Madrassa Syeda Javeeria, Gulshan Abad, Rawalpindi 12. Madrassa Syeda Khola binte Azoor, Golra 13. Madrassa Umme Hassan, G-6 , Islamabad 14. Jamia Hafsa Sani, Lehtrar Road 15. Jamia Hafsa in G-6, Islamabad <<

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FEATURE Along with the Swat Taliban, the Ghazi Force also emerged

from the wreckage. According to security agencies, it was set up by a former student of the Jamia Faridia, Maulana Niaz Raheem,

worth Rs100 million to affectees under Ghazi’s supervision. The charity is still active under Maulana Abdul Aziz.

Jamia Faridia students provide the manpower for the charity

together with pupils of the Ghazi brothers in the Galjo area of the

and donations come from not only within the country but also

Mehsud.

Shahzad Abbasi, one of the administrators of the charity.

Orakzai tribal region that was then controlled by Hakimullah Militants from the group have been involved in attacks on secu-

rity forces and high profile targets. A classified document reveals

that six Ghazi Force militants have been arrested from Islamabad alone.

from Islamic states in the Arab Gulf including Saudi Arabia, said Lal Masjid has undoubtedly spread its wings all over Pakistan

in one way or the other. Only time to come will tell how long a shadow it casts. a

The group’s most devastating attack was on a by-election day in

the Buner district of Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa which killed 109 people. In Swat, 12 people died when the group blew up a bridge. An

attack on a United Nations agency in Islamabad was also traced to Ghazi Force, making it one of the most potentially dangerous militant organisations, according to the document.

Though the Lal Masjid’s administration denies these allega-

tions, security officials say there is a definite link between Ghazi Force militants and Jamia Faridia.Why Pakistani intelligence

agencies have not moved against the seminary is a mystery. It could be because of fear of the backlash.

charity Like other banned and jihadi outfits, slain Lal Masjid leader Ghazi Abdul Rasheed was ingenious enough to establish a pub-

“We were on the right path and we knew it…that’s why we accepted death but refused to surrender,” says 18-year-old Sidr Uftaj, one of the last students who escaped Jamia Hafsa during the operation

lic welfare wing of the mosque. Al-Qasim Foundation was set up

immediately after the 2005 earthquake and delivered relief goods

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Extreme makeover? The Lal Masjid has been reconstructed and is back in business AUGUST 15-21 2010


COMMENT

you go, parliament BY AA SHEIKH

Exasperated by the shenanigans of our allegedly elected alleged representatives, a friend of mine suggested that we should literally do what the Brits did electorally in the last general polls: hang the parliament. He said he’d had it with all the bickering, the wheeling-dealing, the moral posturing, the loud and foulmouthed exchanges and of course, the splurge of fake degrees. Now, in principle, I’m against hanging; yes, even for hardened, corrupt-to-the-core fiends. And no, I’m not suggesting firing squads as an alternative. Bad as they may be, I don’t recommend sending all our parliamentarians to hell just yet. Admittedly, the only thing our various parliaments have achieved over the years is constituting and un-constituting and re-constituting the constitution constantly. We’ve had enough of assemblies contriving laws to ensure the longevity of the government-in-power. I think our parliamentarians could be put to better, more interesting, economically beneficial and, above all, entertaining uses. Here are a few suggestions: Assembly sessions are getting increasingly lively. With all the

mudslinging and dupatta-flinging and florid insults and unre-

hearsed blurts of sudden honesty, they’re high in entertainment

fishmongers’ associations and anti-psychotic drug-makers and, of course, family planning companies (the more the population,

the more their representatives — people who don’t see the connection are as dumb as those who can’t see the one between the

five-day workweek and increased baby-making activity and reduced power supply, a concept so avidly peddled by Ms Awan).

Selected parliamentarians could be sent abroad as part of cultur-

al troupes to regale foreign audiences with re-enactments of the enthralling parliamentary episodes they subject us Pakistanis

to. Not only would this provide ample fun to foreigners, it would

prove to doubters once and for all that terrorism isn’t the only thing we export and/or suffer from.

Some of our representatives could easily be deputed abroad,

for a considerable fee that would swell national coffers, as consultants to world-renowned circuses. Their area of consultancy

specialty would, of course, be in the clowning department. They

could help train local clowns all over and initiate capacity building in this area so that, eventually, other nations could also produce clowns of the same high standard as ours.

Many of our parliamentarians could also be utilised by our spy

value. As such, it’s good grounds for a live TV talk/reality show.

agencies as forgery experts. Their competence and expertise in

Imagine the likes of Firdaus Ashiq Awan and Kashmala Tariq and

Mossad’s. In the wake of the latter’s Dubai fiasco, I’m sure our

We could sell the rights to Jerry Springer for a considerable fee. Jamshed Dasti and Sanaullah Mastikhel slugging it out in front

of a live audience, who of course would pay lavishly for tickets to such exuberant entertainment. Perfect for high ratings and good

revenue. Should Springer decline because he finds the content too offensive for his taste, or have difficulty in mediating such an unruly bunch, we could always engage Animal Planet instead.

Let’s not forget the considerable advertising windfall from such

a show. The sponsors could include earplug manufacturers and

forging documents is exemplary, and is likely to easily surpass parliamentarians are the best forgers in the world. CIA, RAW and whatever passes for an “intelligence” agency in Afghanistan (what an oxymoron!) — y’all watch out!

These are but some humble suggestions for meaningful uses of

our representatives. Don’t hang them just yet please. We need to retain all means of quality entertainment in the country. You go, Parliament!

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And yes, that is a double entendre. Go figure. a AUGUST 15-21 2010


PROFILE

mother nature’s

helper Nilofer Saeed is a trend-setting restaurateur BY ANUM MANSURI

PHOTOS BY ANAHITA HASHMAN

28 AUGUST 15-21 2010


It’s grey and windy outside but Neco’s café is bright and bustling. The weather forecast predicts scattered thunderstorms throughout the day, yet every single table at this new eatery is full. It has

something other then a cream roll you get at your local bakery,

group of friends, all deep in conversation. With rustic wooden

she was a little unsure. “Although Copper Kettle was a new idea…

couples, young and old, families with children in tow, and a

tables and smoke wafting out of the open kitchen, not to mention the large tree springing from the flooring — every bit of this café looks as organic as the menu it offers.

Neco’s offers a specific and unique service; its chefs use only

organic produce and olive oil to prepare their meals. The fact that

I wanted them to try fudge, and they liked it. Now there are 12 HobNob’s from 26th street to an outlet beyond Nazimabad.” Al-

though Saeed has an unbelievable knack for conceptualising novel ideas in ways that have always seemed to work, this time the country was ready for it and it was just the right time to introduce it, and so was Hobnob,” she explains, “but with Neco’s

I honestly didn’t know if our people were quite ready for something so new.”

Clearly it worked. This Sunday morning, like most Sunday

they’re limited to organic material (and there isn’t much of it in

mornings, there’s a full house. Saeed’s clients mostly consist of

fered in the menu, such as the brilliant pasta they make with

are aware of the concept of natural and organic food in the west-

Pakistan) is something of a surprise considering the variety of-

organic flour, hormone-free poached eggs and their specialty

French Toast, the most popular item on the menu. “Once you see the French Toast you might never eat breakfast anywhere else in Pakistan again, or in the northern hemisphere,” says a fan

on the Neco’s facebook fan page, pretty much the only method

a limited class of Pakistanis, who’ve spent time abroad and who ern sense. At the same time, Neco’s maintains fairly reasonable prices, in the hopes that the café will be accessible to most mid-

dle and upper-middle class families who want to eat healthier, better food.

“We’re beginning to build up a purely local clientele, who like

of marketing the restaurant has employed other than printing

the idea of organic produce and who want herbal makeup and

Nilofer Saeed of Copper Kettle fame, is what all educated Karachi

that educated and uneducated Pakistanis are both crazy about be-

a few fliers. The café that was opened only five months ago by foodies seem to be talking about lately.

57-year-old Saeed is flitting about Neco’s this Sunday morning,

chatting with her clients, giving her waiters instructions and

getting updates from her merchandising director. On the outside

Saeed is just what one would expect of a good Pakistani food-loving hostess –fair with rosy cheeks and a cozy maternal glow. But

beneath that sweet, rustic charm is one of the sharpest minds in

the local restaurant business. Saeed has turned her love of cook-

slimming products,” says Saeed, smirking, “It was lucky for us, ing fair and slim.” The Zoya skincare line, which Neco’s carries

among others at their Natural Store section, is one of Pakistan’s leading natural skincare lines and as the sole retailers of Zoya

products in Sindh, people from all classes come into Neco’s asking for her stuff. “It amuses me at times since the idea was to be

internally cleansed, but people want to be beautiful and we have to cater to what the market wants.”

Saeed also vociferously insists that Neco’s is not a diet cen-

ing into what is probably the most lucrative restaurant business

tre. “The idea is to eat healthy, live healthy, buy healthy, feel

rants is known throughout the country and was an essential part

into your food. I don’t serve any fizzy drinks, no smoking is al-

in Pakistan to date. Her family’s chain of Copper Kettle restauof the restaurant revolution of the 80s. Her dessert offshoot is the popular bakery HobNob, which has twelve outlets in Karachi alone. Now she returns with something that has again piqued everyone’s interest.

In a restaurant industry dominated by men, Saeed is the larg-

est owner of non-franchised local restaurant chains in Pakistan. So, how did she do it?

“Copper Kettle was the first café when it opened in 1983, says

Saeed, “before that people who had been abroad and wanted to eat burgers and sandwiches would have to rely solely on five star

hotels. Copper Kettle bought the burger craze to everyone.” With

healthy,” she explains, “We don’t count the calories that go

lowed, we open early at 8 am and fresh clean water is free.” The restaurant also has a deli section, where you can buy anything

you enjoyed eating at the café. They sell organic frozen goods, oils, salt, sauces and a line of baked items, which include sugar

free cookies and whole wheat pasta. Under the café there is also a

store, which carries lines of natural and herbal products from all over Pakistan, the first of its kind. “It’s not merely another profit making business idea,” says Saeed, “but a platform to introduce the healthy lifestyle and a space where everybody in Pakistan who works towards that idea can sell their products.”

Although the café is now full, the first few months were a kill-

its adapted, spicy dishes appealing to the nervous Pakistani pal-

er. Saeed opened in April, when most of the families she knew

a hit with people in Lahore and Karachi, and has managed to

cations. For five months Saeed tried to convince her team that

ate, its large portions and family-friendly atmosphere, it proved

successfully ride out twenty-seven years, through some very try-

ing times. HobNob similarly was something slightly different

being offered to the regular Pakistani. “I wanted people to try

were either heading to Nathia Galli or further afield for their va-

things would pick up. “Instead of them trying to convince me that things would change, I was trying to coerce everyone into

staying,” recalls Saeed smiling. “Everybody would tell me we AUGUST 15-21 2010

29


should have opened up in Zamzama or had a bigger advertising budget. People would keep quitting, and I warned them ‘You’re

making a mistake, things are going to pick up.’ I had a lot of faith in this idea.”

Things have picked up, but the café is still not close to break-

ing even. The store’s merchandising director, Mariam Saifuddin is also frustrated because her clients are very suspicious of their

products. Somebody came back with rotten hormone free eggs and created a ruckus. “The don’t understand that when things are organic their shelf-life is that much shorter,” she claims, vis-

ibly upset. Saeed, on the other hand is not distressed, “Mariam is a young girl,” explains Saeed, “This is the first time she’s been

exposed to these aspects of starting a business so she thinks these

are problems. I think we have no problems. I’ve seen problems… once in Copper Kettle we had a full house, 300 people sitting inside and KESC cut our electricity off and we didn’t have a genera-

tor. That’s a problem. A problem is when a cake has been ordered

30

for a wedding and the staff forget to order it. Those are problems. These are not problems, these are challenges.”a AUGUST 15-21 2010

“The idea is to eat healthy, live healthy, buy healthy, feel healthy,” she explains. “We don’t count the calories that go into your food.”


JUNE 13-19 2010


PORTFOLIO

sweet child o’mine Photography & Text by Farah Ahed

“The child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn’t been, and until the end of the world there will Sundown in Chicago not be, another child like him.” — Pablo Casals AUGUST 15-21 2010


We search for truth in the ordi-

nary, to find beauty in simplicity. I grew up in Pakistan and

my travels around the world in the early part of my life made

me feel like all people were es-

sentially the same; that the norms and values of each society were relative to my own

understandings. My personal

journey in photojournalism stemmed from a curiosity in

finding the commonality be-

tween all cultures. I found that there are fundamental cross-

cultural differences that di-

vide people around the world. But a child has trouble under-

standing these differences, so

a child does not judge. A child responds to love and compassion without any inhibitions.

I wanted to retain my child-

hood innocence for people of all races and cultures through

photographing children — re-

specting their honesty and sincerity. These photographs

were created while appreciating the differences between

four countries in the subcon-

tinent — Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Nepal — but also

understanding that the children I encountered spoke one

language — love. I’d like you to get to know these children

like I did and try to understand

them in a fleeting moment, immortalised graph. a

Night in New York

in

a

photo-

Twinkle

Shinepukur, Bangladesh, 2008

33 AUGUST 15-21 2010


PORTFOLIO

Shinepukur, Bangladesh, 2008

Shinepukur, Bangladesh, 2008

Shinepukur, Bangladesh, 2008

34 AUGUST 15-21 2010


Calcutta, India, 2006

Agra, India, 2008

Hyderabad, India, 2008

35 AUGUST 15-21 2010


PORTFOLIO

Bakhtapur, Nepal, 2008

Kathmandu, Nepal, 2008

36 AUGUST 15-21 2010


Boat Basin, Karachi, 2008

37 AUGUST 15-21 2010


REVIEW

featured review of the week

restaurant a pinch of saffron “I know that the food is our weak point,” says Ruheena Malik, owner of the recently opened Saffron, causing me to shift uneasily in my dining chair and setting off alarm bells in my head. Early reviews of this new entrant in the restaurant business have been mixed — some loved the food, others raved only about the décor. And this afternoon I’m here to out the truth. Despite competition from neighbouring Flo and Koel, Saffron has managed to do brisk business since its opening. Without a doubt the place is impressively done. Malik is a calligrapher and her love of the arts gives Saffron the feel of an antique shop or furniture showroom. Carved wooden furniture, intricate jharokas, a sumptuous jhoola and a quaintly canopied section where artisans paint pottery by hand — one feels that this should all be a bit too much but it actually isn’t; the place is quietly, deeply serene and one relaxes as soon as one steps in the environs. The dining area is luxuriously spacious. The place can seat up to 300 people — more with the rooftop open. Hands on about the interior and management, Ruheena talks about the challenges of running a new restaurant. Saffron’s opening was almost unplanned. The restaurant was doing trials among friends when customers, thinking that the place was open, started walking in. In the initial days the entire staff suddenly staged a walk out and Malik’s personal staff had to fill in since there was a reservation of over a hundred people for dinner. “I used to complain if I got bad service at a restaurant but now I realise how difficult it is,” says Malik with a laugh. Up to now focusing her energies on running the place, she now says, “I want to take all my creativity to the kitchen.” For Ramzan, Saffron attempts to combine fine dining with tradition in its iftar and dinner buffet. “I’ve taken out my grandmother’s recipes for the gulab jamuns and the samosas,” says Malik. The starter was a mushroom and artichoke gratin. Homey, comforting and flavourful, it marked a good beginning for our meal, but 38 the doubt lingered, for after all, how wrong could anyone go with AUGUST 15-21 2010

PHOTOS BY NOOR JAVERI

BY BATOOL ZEHRA

desi delight Not only is the interior at Saffron sumptuous, the place serves a mouthwatering meal too.


a gratin? A recurring refrain among foodies is that no sooner have they showered praise upon a restaurant that they get complaints from diners who visit the establishment weeks later only to be disappointed with indifferent fare. With that in mind, I approached the main course with skepticism but was pleasantly surprised. The tiger prawns in shell were succulent, firm, and done just right with the side vegetables yummy through and through, if somewhat lacking in originality. The mutton shank came highly recommended and was everything a mutton shank could be though the masala was a wee bit intense for my liking. The toothsome molten chocolate cake topped off the meal. So what is the verdict on Saffron? The food is delicious by any standard; the service is friendly and attentive without being at all intrusive; the interior and atmosphere surpass expectations; and in a city where tiny restaurants give the impression of fly by night operations, the dining space at Saffron is reassuringly substantial. But Saffron lacks an identity — its name evokes Persian cuisine, in its décor, it is desperately desi, its offerings are faintly Mediterranean. “We need a signature dish,” says the owner. This signature style will develop only with time. Saffron: D-82, Block 4, Clifton, Karachi. 3587 6090, 3586 8394

39 AUGUST 15-21 2010


REVIEW

film what dreams may come BY SASCHA AKHTAR

Spin-doctors tend to hail whatever film they are promoting as the “new” version of an older film that has been ground-breaking or has received critical acclaim. It’s a bad habit picked up perhaps from the fashion world; brown is the new black, grey is the new brown, green is the new grey. Inception is NOT the new Matrix. The Matrix is The Matrix, and Inception is Inception and it’s just tidier to allow each creation to be its own entity. Now that’s out of the way, we can move on. Written and directed by British-American Chris Nolan, who is responsible for the Batman revival and intelligent films such as The Prestige and Memento, Inception is a tightly wrought, psychological action film that plays with ideas from the world of science-fiction. Having tackled head on the gamut of human fears, and exhausted them, popular cinema likes from time to time to turn its attention to the deepest, darkest human fear — mind control. In Inception, the technology actually exists for people to be able to enter the minds of others in order to access their memories, thoughts and so their secrets through the creation of an artificial dream world. Thematically, Inception shares the concerns of 1999 thriller eXistenZ and Minority Report from 2002 and also last year’s Avatar. They all explore the implications of others having the ability to access our thoughts and dreams, either to take something, plant something or to make the mind believe in alternate ‘realities’. And yes, the Matrix does have a place in this line-up. Inception, however, is less sci-fi and more action with a double-shot of complexity, a dash of obsessive-compulsive attention to detail, and a hint of “What the hell is going on, exactly?” — all of which are good things for a blockbuster movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The characters are thought-extractors that can be hired for all kinds of nefarious purposes including industrial espionage. The majority of the film takes place in an elaborate artificially created dream world. The experience of watching it is like standing in be40 tween two mirrors and watching your dreams extend ad infinitum. AUGUST 15-21 2010

reality bites Inception is not The Matrix — it is high on complexity and action and gives you plenty to think about I’m dreaming of dreaming of dreaming of dreaming of dreaming… sounds like a nightmare, right? Trust me, it is. The sensation is unsettling and for the viewer, because there are so many layers of the dreams, the suspense too is multi-layered and utterly inescapable. The catharsis therefore, is also proportionately greater. The film is labyrinthine in its construction, and just as the labyrinth is an ancient symbol, there appear to be references to different mythological stories in the plot. There is a point where the film ceases to be about what it purports to be, and becomes about a man mourning his loss like Orpheus mourning Eurydice. Like Orpheus, Dominic Cobb, travels to an underworld, and like Theseus he must face a horror at the heart of the labyrinth. In Inception, it is not a minotaur but Cobb’s own demons. He has something called a ‘totem’, that is meant to help him return to ‘reality’, much like the ball of string given to Theseus by Ariadne, incidentally the name of a character in Inception, to enable him leave the labyrinth. With so many films in the 21st century referencing ancient Greek myths, it is easy to believe that popular cinema is the ‘new’ Greek mythology. Leonardo DiCaprio, it must be said, carries the film with a convincing performance, not entirely unlike his beleaguered protagonist of Shutter Island. The film may not leave you wanting more, but it certainly gives you plenty, perhaps too much, to think about.


book un-hitched BY NADIR HASSAN

Journalist Christopher Hitchens’ memoir, the appallingly titled Hitch-22, adds another layer to the man we know as a master polemicist and rabble-rouser. Beneath the gruff exterior of the chain-smoking, drunken hack lies a sentimentalist. The man who took on sacred cows like Mother Teresa and Princess Diana and then, not satisfied with earthly take-downs, stretched his vendetta to include God Himself, shows off his softer side, as friend, lover and raconteur. For a man derided — often rightfully — for his insufferable arrogance and self-importance, it is surprising that Hitchens’ autobiography spend as much time on his friends as his own considerable accomplishments. Entire chapters are devoted to his friendships with Martin Amis, Ian McEwan, Salman Rushdie and Edward Said. Hitchens is on fine form as he relates anecdotes from dinner parties — like the time he and Rushdie renamed Bob Dylan song titles as written by Shakespeare. More important than his experiences covering wars as a foreign correspondent, his central role in Bill Clinton’s impeachment and his many interviews with heads of state, it seems, are the valuable friendships he has made in his nearly 40 years as a journalist. Hitchens tries to be as open as possible about his failings, with one major exception. His first wife, who Hitchens has been accused of abandoning, doesn’t merit a single mention. Even in his personal stories, though, it is hard for Hitchens to let go of the political animal inside. When he finds out about his Jewish heritage, for instance, he is unable to appreciate the moment for what it is — a tender family moment. Instead, he must infuse it with far greater historical significance that it deserves. What is most interested about Hitch-22 is the author’s journey from wild-eyed Trotskyite to Iraq-war-supporting neocon. The change, says Hitchens, can be attributed not to himself but the world. He says he has stayed steadfast in his belief that theocracy and ignorance should be challenged at every step — even if it

hitch’s guide to the galaxy Hitchens maintains that it is the old communists who are the new reactionaries requires military force. It is the old communists, according to him, who are the new reactionaries. Just as Hitchens was gearing up for the publicity onslaught that would accompany the release of his memoir — the Hitch is as formidable a public speaker as he is a writer — he was laid low by esophageal cancer. That anything could stop the two-packsa-day, two-bottles-for-lunch Hitchens came as a shock. But even cancer and aggressive chemotherapy is unable to stop Hitchens, who has, metaphorically if not literally, written another chapter in his fascinating life. Like his memoir, Hitchens is writing about his cancer with compassion and a sense of humility, traits that were never previously associated with him. But even a terminal illness has not been enough to convince Hitchens that there may a power that even he can’t comprehend. a AUGUST 15-21 2010

41


ADVICE a When

call

courtesy

SEND ALL QUESTIONS TO OUR ETIQUETTE EXPERT AT

MAGAZINE@TRIBUNE.COM.PK ILLUSTRATION: S JAMAL K

I was getting married, my husband’s cousin, who owns a beauty parlour, offered her services to me on the day of the wedding. When I asked her the charges, she said it would be her gift to us. I had my heart set on getting my hair and make-up done at a different place but my parents said that I shouldn’t refuse my soon-to-be in-law’s generosity. So I went and her services were average at best but I gritted through my teeth. Upon returning from our honeymoon, I was shocked to discover that the cousin had bad-mouthed me to my in-laws and said that I did not pay for services and instead sent over a gift she didn’t even like as a thank you. I am furious but my husband says I should ignore her since she’s “a bit off”. How do I let go of something like this? Peeved bride I have to disagree with your husband who doesn’t want to con-

front a person who must be the trouble-maker in the family. Next time you see her, very politely apologise for the misunder-

standing about the payment and insist that you want to settle the bill. I am almost certain that you will be met with shock and a lot of mutterings of “No, that’s not what I said” but she will get the message. And the story will die a natural death.

aA

friend who lives in Lahore recently introduced her new-toKarachi friend (X) to me and my husband. We invited X to our house for dinner twice and he’s a perfectly nice chap but we really don’t have that much in common with him. We are, however, very sympathetic to him being new in town so are happy to invite him at larger gatherings. Is there a tactful way to communicate this when he calls to ask what we are doing on the weekend? Friendly but not I laud your sensitivity to his situation but it’s clear that you are not interested in developing a meaningful relationship with him and want to keep him in your circle of 500 best friends. However, there is no need to break his heart by telling him that. When he

texts, calls or pokes you on Facebook asking about your plans, tell him you have them and hope to catch up another time. He will eventually get the hint.

a A dear friend of mine does not wash her hands after using the toilet. I have seen her use the toilet and go straight to the kitchen to put the finishing touches of a meal which is in the only word I can think of, icky. What does one say? Icky Pal It’s very simple: health (and hygiene) before courtesy. Laugh if you

must, but say “Dude/dudette (if that is still what the young kids

are saying) are you going to wash your hands?” If it’s a good friend, she’ll take it; if not, you’ve reduced your chances of Hepatitis.


JUNE 13-19 2010


HOROSCOPE BY SHELLEY VON STRUNCKEL

Aries Mar 20 – Apr 19 The current chaos is forcing others to rethink their position. Consequently, numerous existing arrangements, both personal and professional, must be reviewed. Tedious as the resulting negotiations may be, they’re informative. As important, what you learn now will prove amazingly helpful when the coming weeks’ unexpected developments force yet more changes. Knowing that, focus on broadening your horizons.

Taurus Apr 20 – May 20 After recent lengthy discussions about various plans, your role in them and those of others, you regardShelley von Strunckel is an internationally acclaimed astrologer who created the first horoscope column for the London Sunday Times in 1992. A frequent lecturer, she

ed things as settled. However, with the actual circumstances involved changing – and more than once – adjustments are nec-

essary. Tempting as it is to do the minimum, explore absolutely everything. What seems unrealistic one day will make sense the next and, within a week’s time, turn out to be perfect.

writes daily, weekly and monthly horoscopes in publications around the world including South China Morning Post, The Gulf News, Tatler, French and Chinese Vogue and now The Express Tribune Magazine.

Gemini May 21 – Jun 20 By now you’re bound to have recognised

that even the simplest of arrangements will probably change. So when they do, you’re not surprised. But unless you’ve forewarned others, their reaction could be negative, which means

your biggest task isn’t accommodating the unexpected, it’s easing certain individual’s anxiety. Make no promises, since with

your ruler Mercury retrograde from next Friday, unanticipated twists are even more likely.

Cancer Jun 21 – Jul 22 Unsettling as late July’s events were, they inspired both discussions and an exploration of options that previously simply wouldn’t have occurred to you. However, because this is a period of considerable upheaval, these, too, are subject to change. Instead of struggling to keep things as they are, consider every option that comes your way. This ensures you’re well informed, which does wonders for your mood. Leo Jul 23 – Aug 22 Take time mulling over the insights, personal and otherwise, triggered by the recent Leo New Moon. Gradually you’ll realise that they’re encouraging you to explore the potentially lifechanging arrangements that, before, you rejected. And to consider new ones, as they appear, as well. While some excite you enough to take things further, keep any arrangements loose, since sudden seismic events could mean rethinking arrangements, and swiftly. Virgo Aug 23 – Sep 22 If you’ve already adopted an uncharacteristically easy-going attitude towards the decision-making process, then you’ll be ready for the coming weeks’ chaos. Sudden changes mean reorganising things, and often. Then with your ruler Mercury retrograde, in Virgo, from next Friday until September 12, you’ll also be contending with the usual minor errors. Except, on investigation, they’ll offer insights into personal issues that have

44

perplexed you for ages. AUGUST 15-21 2010


Libra Sep 23 – Oct 23 With Saturn, the courageous Mars and your ruler Venus all in Libra, you’re conducting a massive review of virtually every element of your life. While you’ve had some questions for ages, others are spurred by sudden and unsettling events. Focus on learning all you can, not on achieving a solution, at least for now. Soon both situations and, more importantly, your priorities will be completely transformed.

Scorpio Oct 24 – Nov 21 It may have taken you awhile to recog-

nise that the only way to deal with certain unfair situations or

enforced changes was to simply accept them – and without a battle. If you have, then when yet more sudden developments

alter everything, you’ll simply go with the flow. This isn’t just wise, it means you can reflect on those elements of your life you’ve regarded as unchanging.

Sagittarius Nov 22 – Dec 21 There’s what’s exciting. And then there’s what’s wise. In several matters, large and small, you’ve been trying to convince yourself that certain activities, alliances and ventures which are devouring your time, energy – and, in some cases, heart – are worthwhile. Monday’s clash between your ruler Jupiter and the practical Saturn suggests otherwise. Strongly. Begin considering your options and you may find a compromise you can live with. Capricorn Dec 22 – Jan 19 Sometimes reassessing arrangements is quick and easy. But not now. This is partly because the situations

in question are central to your existence so require considerable

thought. But also, with the circumstances around you shift-

ing constantly, you’ve no idea what’s next. Difficult as it is for you, as a Capricorn, to keep things loose, that’s exactly what you should do. Explore but save decisions for later.

Aquarius Jan 20 – Feb 19 In late May your ruler Uranus made a temporary move to a new sign, triggering all manner of changes around you and personal questions. Illuminating and, often, exciting as this has been, it’s also been confusing. Now it returns to accent practical matters and, because it remains there until early next year, you’ve ample time to consider whether all those offers are as good as they seem. Pisces Feb 20 – Mar 20 After a demanding past several months,

the return by Uranus and, in early September, by the bountiful

Jupiter to Pisces leads to breakthroughs in several areas of your life. Suddenly past arrangements, some of which had been delayed, spring back to life. But also, offers from out of the blue en-

able you to overcome obstacles with amazing ease. Ignore those

For more information, to order personal charts and to download & listen to detailed audiocasts, visit www.shelleyvonstrunckel.com

who advise caution. Go for it.

45 AUGUST 15-21 2010


THE HATER

10 things I hate about ...Amitabh Bachchan

1 2 3 4 5

Paa.

6 7 8 9 10 The

airbrushed,

BY FAIZA S KHAN

stage-managed

megalomaniacal

Bachchan dynasty, the ongoing reverie of some relentless PR machine. Here is a collection of closely supervised robots reading off a script and presenting an image of familial unity as sterile as it is implausible.

What he did in and to 80s cinema. With Deewar in the mid-70s, the Angry Young Man was born. He made for

a morally ambivalent iconoclast, layers of complexity behind the sullen, taciturn exterior. By the end of the

80s, this angry young man was a tired old pastiche of himself.

Each of his comic portrayals of drunkenness.

Abhishek Bachchan. Need I say more?

Apparently more is needed, so here it is, Aishwariya Rai Bachchan.

The fact that with the possible exception of hemorrhoid cream, there is not a single product that one can legally retail that Bachchan has failed to endorse in recent

years. Yes, he’s a cast iron legend and no one can take

that away from him, but oh my, he’s making a concerted effort.

British Raj period romance Mard. Surely someone owes humanity at large an apology for that?

He’s a terrible ham, and has been for years.

He can act, and so well. He possesses a truly rare screen

presence and, when he bothers, exceptional comic timing and that he is, if one can think back that far (to

Abhimaan, for example), capable of subtle, nuanced, restrained performances. And that with all this going for him, he chose instead to become a dancing bear. a

46 AUGUST 15-21 2010


JUNE 13-19 2010


JUNE 13-19 2010


The Express Tribune Magazine - August 15