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JULY 2010 4-10 2010


Another sleepless night Insomnia affects most adults at some point in their lives and, if not addressed, can drastically affect physical and mental well-being

JULY 4-10 2010

Cover Story 12 Another Sleepless Night Insomnia can cripple one’s physical and mental well-being

Feature 18 Boogie Woogie Mania Move over aerobics, there’s a new dance craze in town 20 When the Meek Inherit the Earth Swatis have proved that their spirit can never be broken

Life 26 My Not-So-Feudal Lord A writer’s musings on married life


Portfolio 28 A History of Home Asadullah Tahir Kumman recreates his home in pictures


Profile 34 An Artist of The Floating World Yousuf Bashir Qureishi is carving a niche for himself in fashion

Review 38 What’s on in films and books

Regulars 6 People & Parties: Out and about with Pakistan’s beautiful people 10 Tribune Questionnaire: Kamiar Rokni on Elizabeth I 42 Courtesy Call: How to deal with a frugal friend 44 Horoscope: Shelley von Strunckel on your week ahead 46 Ten Things I Hate About: Horror-scopes



Magazine Editor: Muna Khan, Features Editor: Faiza S Khan, Senior Sub-Editor: Nadir Hassan, 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:


BYCO Petroleum Pakistan Limited launched its new brand identity with an event in Karachi. The chief guest was the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Naveed Qamar, and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan performed at the glittering event.

1. Sheherzad Rahimtoola and Khushbakht Shujaat with a guest 2. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan performs at the event 3. Bengt Ericksson, the Managing Director for Landor 4. Naveed Qamar addresses the evening 5. Kalim A Siddiqui, the President of Petroleum Marketing 6. Actors Maria Wasti and Adnan Siddiqui 7. Natasha. 3



6 JULY 4-10 2010






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Bollywood celebrities turned out to celebrate the success of Prakash Jha’s film Raajneeti at Novotel in Mumbai.

1. Arjun Rampal with his wife Mehr Jessia 2. Raajneeti director Prakash Jha 3. Actor Amrita Rao 4. Raajneeti star Ranbir Kapoor 5. Gulshan Grover and Prakash Jha 6. Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar. 3




8 JULY 4-10 2010


“I would love to be a thing, perhaps a Fabergé egg” Fashion designer Kamiar Rokni on abstinence, Lucky Santangelo and the desire to be lanternjawed. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Which talent would you most like to have?

A lifetime of love and laughter with obscene amounts of money.

A God given talent for singing would rock.

What is your greatest fear?

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

To be buried alive.

I would love to be a bit more calm.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I can be a bit lazy.

My disposition.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

Sanctimonious behaviour.

I would love to be a thing, perhaps a Fabergé egg.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Where would you most like to live?

Books and magazines — I am an information junkie.

In Paris with a lover.

What is your current state of mind?

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Engrossed, Stieg Larsson has me hooked.

To be the victim of gross injustice.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

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


I would choose to be a rock star.

On what occasion do you lie?

What is your most marked characteristic?

To avoid hurting others and myself.

Apparently I can be quite charming and I can chew lego to a pulp.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

Who is your hero of fiction?

My weak be lantern-jawed is an unfulfilled dream.

Lucky Santangelo.

Which living person do you most despise?

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

All bores are worthy of disdain.

Elizabeth I — I am a big fan of sleeper hits.

What is the quality you most like in a man?

Who are your heroes in real life?



What is the quality you most like in a woman?

What is your greatest regret?


I am not big on regret.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

What’s your favourite quote?

I mean really...

Just do it.

When and where were you happiest?

How many hours of loadshedding did you experience yesterday?

Before and after, anywhere.

Three. I’m still thanking the lord for my genny. a

11 JULY 4-10 2010


another sleepless

night Insomnia affects most adults at some point in their lives and, if not addressed, can drastically affect physical and mental wellbeing BY FARAH ZAHIDI MOAZZAM

Entries from the journal of an insomniac: Thursday, July 1, 2010, 2:05 am Today, I walked an extra 20 minutes at the park to tire myself. I took no caffeine after 6pm. I made sure the temperature of the room was just right. I didn’t drink much water after dinner so that I didn’t have to take endless trips to the bathroom. I have taken the anti-allergy pill that sometimes makes me drowsy. Nothing’s working. I feel angry at my husband lying next to me, sleeping peacefully. He has been complaining lately about my lethargy, forgetfulness and irritability. My colleagues ask if I’m ok due to the dark circles under my eyes. Never in my 33 years have I been this miserable, I am simply too exhausted to do anything.

JULY 4-10 2010

Most adults have at one time or more in their lives experienced insomnia. Dr Bhojo A. Khealani, a Sleep Specialist and Assistant Professor of Neurology at the Aga Khan University Hospital, defines insomnia as, “either the inability to fall asleep, or to maintain sleep, or experience unrefreshing sleep. It is not only the quantity of sleep, but also the quality of sleep that is important.” Insomnia may be tran-

sient with symptoms lasting less than a week, short-term with symptoms lasting for three weeks, or chronic, with symptoms

that cross the three week mark. This, in turn, affects the one’s quality of life. The day is much less productive when you feel fatigued and groggy and cannot perform at an optimal level.

Dr Bhojo confirms what research indicates, that it is the ur-

ban population, especially women and the elderly that are most prone to insomnia. Amongst women, those who are pregnant or menopausal are in the high-risk groups. The elderly also commonly suffer from insomnia. Dr Arifa Jamal, Geriatric specialist,

explains the reason. “By nature, the sleep requirement decreases as we become old, and the nap time increases. Therefore you

have elderly patients who sleep late and wake up at 4 am, but you

see them dozing off in their chairs in the morning or afternoon. The sleep of the elderly may often be interrupted by medical conditions like incontinence. They cannot go back to sleep once their sleep has been disturbed.”

The latest figures show that insomnia amongst adolescents is

on the rise. Renowned psychiatrist Dr Uzma Ambareen explores

some of the potential reasons, “Causes can be various pressures, academic stress or relationship woes. Drugs, partying and not

having a proper routine and discipline also contribute.” This is why it sometimes becomes difficult to decipher classic insomnia

from what is simply a dysfunctional sleep routine. If we go to

JULY 4-10 2010

COVER STORY sleep at 5 am and wake up at 1 pm, we are still getting eight hours of sleep, but the body clock will definitely chime in and if we try

to go back to sleep at midnight, it might be an impossible task.

The concept of sleeping late and staying in bed in mornings dur-

ing weekends leads to a conditioned response and disturbance in the sleep-wake cycle.

Sleep problems that begin during adolescence can become

cyclical and continue throughout life if not nipped in the bud.

Rushna Shamsi, 30, is a school teacher and a mother of two who

confesses to being a chronic insomniac. For Shamsi, intermittent teenage insomnia later became a full-blown case. Today,

nothing helps her but medication. She survives on four to five hours of sleep a night, and she is robbed of that too if she takes

a nap during the day. And what does she do when she can’t fall

asleep? “I keep wondering, logging on to Facebook, flipping through TV channels, and if I feel very depressed then I resort to

praying,” she says, convinced that her depression is a side effect of constant sleep deprivation.

Another possibility is that the insomnia is merely a symptom

of depression. Stressful situations like exams, financial or career

anxiety, divorce, separation or loss of a loved one can trigger in-

somnia. Dr Bhojo feels that many a times insomnia is transient, “But when it lasts for longer than three months, one must consult the physician.”

Insomnia could be caused by something as trivial as jetlag, a

partner or spouse who snores, or a night-shift at work. Withdrawal from drugs, alcohol and sedatives can give one sleepless

nights. Stimulant medications can also cause it. Anti-asthma medicines, and medicines given to control high blood pressure

may also result in insomnia. Most of the causes of long-term insomnia are connected to an underlying psychiatric or medical condition.

To confirm that your insomnia problem is a serious one that

>> Five ways to conquer insomnia 1. Establish a regular sleepwake cycle. 2. Exercise regularly. 3. Have a glass of warm wilk with honey before bedtime. 4. Avoid daytime naps. 5. Steer clear of nicotine, caffeine and other stimulants like food rich in sugar of refined carbohdyrates. <<

needs medical intervention, you may need to go to a sleep-lab. Pakistan has very few such labs; one is at the Aga Khan University

Hospital. A patient may need to be under observation overnight, especially if the doctor suspects a sleep disorder like ‘Obstructive

sleep apnea’ which manifests with snoring, poor quality sleep, daytime sleepiness and breath pauses while asleep. In the long-

term, apnea can increase risk of strokes, hypertension, heart attack and diabetes mellitus. This is an easily treatable disease.

Sleeplessness can seriously affect the quality of one’s life with

consequences including depression, trouble concentrating and daytime sleepiness, affecting every aspect of life from an inability to complete a workday to negatively affecting physical

intimacy. There are also the physical conditions, indigestion, headaches, increased blood-pressure, lowered immunity and a decreased energy level.

14 JULY 4-10 2010

Fortunately, insomnia is not an irreversible condition. Its

treatment, after diagnosis and understanding the cause, might be hidden in sustained lifestyle changes. Sleep hygiene issues

need to be looked into. These would include avoiding mental

stimulants and exercises at least three to four hours before bed-

time. “Go to bed only when feeling sleepy. Use your bedroom for sleep alone. Avoid putting a television in it. If you can’t sleep af-

ter half an hour of lying in bed, stop trying to sleep, get out of bed and do something not-too-stimulating till you feel sleepy.

Do something to relax and unwind every night before you go to bed. Try to go to sleep at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every day,” advises Dr Ambareen.

Our food choices also affect our sleep cycle. Ahlaam Ali, nutri-

tionist and founder of PowwerLiving, advises readers to avoid the

following kinds of food close to sleep-time: “Foods high in sugar

and refined carbohydrates raise blood-sugar levels and can cause

a burst of energy that disturbs sleep. Also steer clear of foods that are likely to cause gas, heartburn, or indigestion, such as fatty

or spicy foods, garlic-flavoured foods, beans, cucumbers, and

peanuts. Foods such as meat that are high in protein can inhibit sleep by blocking the synthesis of serotonin, making us feel more

alert,” says Ali. She also advises cutting down on Monosodium Glutamate, nicotine, tobacco and caffeine in all forms near bed-

time, if we want a good night’s sleep. Sleep boosters, in Ali’s opinion, include a glass of warm milk with honey. Milk contains

Insomnia could be a symptom of depression . Stressful situations like exams, financial or career anxiety, divorce, seperation or loss of a loved one can trigger insomnia. Dr Bhojo feels that many a times insomnia is transient, “But when it lasts for longe than three months, one must consult a physician”.

tryptophan which, when converted to serotonin in the body, induces sleep. “Lettuce should be an integral part of your evening diet if you are suffering from sleep disorders. The meal should

also include legumes, nutritional yeast, fish or poultry. These

foods contain vitamin B3 (niacin) which is involved in seratonin

synthesis and promotes healthy sleep. Mixed with a little lemon juice for flavour, lettuce juice is an effective sleep-inducing drink highly preferable to the synthetic chemical agents in sleeping pills,” advises Ali.

A majority of patients, considering the frustrating nature of

the disorder, head straight for over the counter medicines with

no prescription. Not only do they have you hooked, but some of

them can have dangerous side-effects. Unfortunately, most GPs will also take the easy way out and prescribe these pills without a proper evaluation or follow-up, and people might continue to

take these meds for years. Sherazade Khan recalls how she took a sleeping pill when she suffered from a temporary bout of insomnia. “I begged my parents and forced them to get me a common

sleeping pill. I had a really weird reaction and started hallucinat-

ing. After that I just took an anti-histamine for a few nights to

knock me out,” says Khan. Medication for sleep should be taken as a last resort, and only under a doctor’s supervision. a

15 JULY 4-10 2010

boogie-woogie mania BY RAHAT KAMAL

Attending her first dance fitness class, Ambreen Haider was expecting some fun alongside an aerobic workout. Initially impressed by the finesse of her young dance instructor and the professionalism of his choreography, it was only later than she realised the physical benefits the routine was having on her. Along with the promised weight loss, Haider’s dance classes greatly improved her back problem, which had lead her to days of bed-rest with muscle relaxing injections previously.

plored. The most popular amongst them is Bollywood dance, no

Haider is a student of Hasan Rizvi, a major proponent of dance

Moreover she thinks dance can have therapeutic effects too, as it

as a fitness form in Karachi. His studio the Bodybeat Recreational Centre, offers different classes ranging from pure dance to pure

aerobics, and from breakdance to fat-torching programmes, all

of which are structured to blend in and work together. Rizvi teaches a unification of Hip-hop, Latin and Bollywood dance that

he calls ‘BodyBeat’, a new genre initiated by him. “It’s an excellent form of cardio workout,” he says.

Rizvi’s philosophy is that if one feels beautiful inside it vi-

brates outside, and this is exactly what his classes are for people;

the place of arts and cultural activities in Pakistan.

According to Joshinder Chagger, a dancer, actor and instruc-

tor who conducts Bollywood dance classes at the Actone Lounge, dance is the best form of exercise; “it has a lot of movement,

weight training, and muscle training and it all comes in the

natural course of choreography, and because it involves many hard moves, jumps and has a lot of moving around and follow-

ing steps it is highly engaging, resultantly good for the muscles.” helps a person get in touch with his/her body and releases tension. Compared to other types of exercise regime, people pursuing dance-fitness classes find it more enticing and less monotonous and are hence successful when it comes to sticking with it.

Saba Bilwani who has been taking Bodybeat classes for the past

two years says, “Every month there is something new, some-

thing different, when I’m trying to walk or jog, time seems to stand still, but during my dance workout I keep wanting more.”

Fitness expert Samina Umer agrees, “Dance-fitness has more

“an umbrella where people can vent, feel good, stay fit, and be

motivational compliance and people find it easier to stick to,” but

the best of everything, it burns calories and increases your stami-

neck movements that can be dangerous if not done correctly but

healthy. Being a combination of different forms of workout it has

na, and all the while people are having a ball of a time,” he adds. Furthermore, with the development of dance studios like

she cautions that “there are certain moves like leg splits and jerky apart from that it’s as good as any other form of workout.”

Having taught at many dance studios in Karachi, including the

BodyBeat, people are finding a platform where they can try out

Alliance Francais, Zeus is now a Unesco certified dancer, teacher

brid referred to as “Bollywood dance’’. Rizvi is overwhelmed by

Karachiites are very eager and easily adapt to new trends, and

dance forms like Hip-hop, Salsa, Latin and that bastardised hythe response he has enjoyed in the last three years since he start-

ed plying his trade in Karachi, and is elated that Pakistan has embraced dance.

His vision is to help establish a respectable dance industry by

2013, with well trained dancers and choreographers, entitled to have a category purely for dance choreography in all awards. For

and choreographer working in the Netherlands. He believes that that is how they have embraced dance-fitness. “Dance allows for

more freedom of expression more than any other form of exer-

cise, it makes you feel lighter and the expanding flexibility leads to relaxed muscles while a livelier outlook makes you feel younger, leaving the mind stimulated for a new challenge.”

Apart from anything else, the main benefit that is drawing

enthusiasts like Rizvi, the mushrooming of dance studios opens

people towards dance-fitness is weight reduction. While jog-

ple are turning towards it for staying fit and losing weight, than

day in Karachi, dance fitness is expanding like a juggernaut,

new vistas for development in the field, even though more peoout of the pure love of dance.

Though traditional dance forms and genres have long been


doubt due to easy-viewing Indian cinema that has for years taken

practiced and appreciated in Pakistan, modern and international

genres are still comparatively new and are just starting to be exJULY 4-10 2010

ging, swimming, aerobics, cycling and yoga have all had their

gathering more fans and increasing in number. For while other

exercises can help you with your vitality, and indeed, your vital statistics, few are likely to provide, like dance, a spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down. a

getting fit step by step


Bodybeat Recreational Centre offers different classes ranging from pure dance to aerobics, and from breakdance to fat-torching programmes, all of which blend in and work together

19 JULY 4-10 2010

when the meek inherit


20 JULY 4-10 2010

In Swat there is no dissent on one thing: the good governance provided by the wali of Swat. This is one thing the oldest resident of the district will vouch for from memory of the time under the benevolent dictator, and this is also what any youngster will tell you from the stories gleaned from elders. The wali was as a father to the district, they say. He provided

education to all regardless of gender and established two thousand schools in the district. He gave justice without bias and he

the highest literacy in the country.

If the malcontents of the erstwhile state had thought the

merger would spell greater opportunities for Swat, they were grossly mistaken. The Commissioner of Malakand Division, a

certain Syed Munir Hussain, wrote a memorandum at the time saying, ‘Further developmental works are no more needed in Swat. They are more than sufficient; we should only have to

maintain them.’ Compared to the foresight of the rulers of independent Swat, this was blighted lack of vision.

Maintenance of infrastructure as it existed under the Wali

gave it swiftly. In his age, the civil servant was just that: a servant

ceased. Facilities of free healthcare and education were with-

State of Swat could be reported and action brought down speedily

tioning Swat, the old state was dragged into the vortex of Paki-

of the citizen. Misdemeanour on the part of an employee of the against the miscreant. In his time, no one could so much as cut a twig, leave alone poach a whole tree. Best of all, there was peace and rule of law in the country under the wali’s rule.

In 1835 a man called Akhund (teacher) Abdul Ghafoor took con-

drawn. Instead of Pakistan catching up with a modern and funcstan’s bureaucratic corruption, inefficiency and dysfunction.

With wanton abandon, every system that the Wali’s government had established was permitted to decay and fall into disuse.

Pakistan failed to provide the people of Swat the standard of

trol of an anarchic Swat. Ruling through Islamic law, he brought

governance that the erstwhile state did. Though the people of

of affection. His death in 1887 was followed by another period of

fathom was the new justice system. Whereas in the Wali’s Swat,

stability to the district and came to be known as Saidu Baba out turmoil until grandson Miangul Abdul Wadood rose to the occasion. By 1917 this remarkable administrator was fully established

under the title of Badshah or king. It is a testament to his diplo-

matic acumen that in 1926 the government of British India officially recognized Swat as a princely state and Abdul Wadood as its ‘wali’ – a word that signifies guardian, owner or keeper.

Swat stoically put up with everything else, what they could not a case could be decided within weeks, under the new system it

took years and even decades to reach its logical end. An elderly man in Mingora was spot on when he recently said, ‘If we don’t

have enough food, we make do with what we have and survive. But no one can live without justice.’

It was this essential need of the people that Sufi Mohammad,

The energetic Miangul Abdul Wadood set about modernising

the bigoted and ignorant founder of the Tehrik e Nifaz e Shariat e

cations, education and healthcare were organised along mod-

of Pakistan to provide its citizenry with justice and that under

his kingdom. Revenue collection, administration, communi-

ern lines. While rulers of neighbouring districts frowned upon education for their subjects on the whole, this foresighted man opened the first girls’ school in Swat as early as 1922.

In 1947, the State of Swat readily acceded to Pakistan. Shortly

afterwards, in December 1949, the able Miangul Abdul Wadood abdicated in favour of his son Miangul Jehanzeb. The new ruler

took his father’s work several notches forward and by 1960 Swat

Mohammadi played upon. His sermons were all about the failure the Islamic rule he envisaged, justice would come as speedily as

it did in the time of the rightly guided caliphs. Of course, he also

promised a new era of milk and honey if he were to introduce his brand of Shariat to Swat. How he was to make that new age

dawn, he had no clue. And his simple-minded audience never asked.

Following the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, this man took

was the most advanced and prosperous among all princely states

as many as eight thousand young and old men to fight the Allies

It is a measure of Miangul Jehanzeb’s administrative ability

in Guantanamo. Upon his return Sufi Mohammad was incarcer-

of Pakistan.

that in a mountainous country where the populace was spread across largely inaccessible areas, the writ of the State was never

missing. The arm of the law was long and omnipresent in virtually every inch of the kingdom.

But Swat had its share of disaffected persons and Miangul Je-

hanzeb may have irked some of his subjects. In the 1950s, his rule

saw a protracted period of civil troubles echoing with the call to

merge the State of Swat into Pakistan. Things came to a head and

the inevitable was effected by a Government of Pakistan proclamation of 28 July 1969. At that time, the new district of Swat had

in that country. More than half died miserably; some ended up ated. His mission was taken up by his son-in-law Fazalullah. A

>>The Taliban terrorists caused extensive infrastructural destruction in Swat. It is noteworthy, however, that the properties of the Wali of Swat remained singularly unscathed. Compared to that, properties owned by the government of Pakistan were not spared. Memory of the long arm of Swat State was still alive. In comparison, the paraplegic government of Pakistan could be punished any which way the terrorists wished.<<

21 JULY 4-10 2010

drop out from a seminary in Swabi, he became famous as Mul-

There is neither a census of the number of families that suffered

on doing good which appealed to the masses. This person of no

made to recover those hapless souls.

lah Radio for his broadcasts on an illegal FM radio. His focus was means was soon riding an SUV worth five million rupees. Pres-

this new version of the partition riots, nor has any effort been

Business suffered; the tourism industry was the greatest suf-

ently he had an escort of, first two, and then four vehicles loaded

ferer. Once prosperous hoteliers and restaurateurs were reduced

The government of Pakistan failed to ask questions about the

were commandeered by the terrorists for billeting, others like

with armed hoodlums.

source of the money. In 2006, this man began construction of a

huge seminary in Fizaghat, a short distance north of Mingora.

to utter poverty in two years. Many public and private properties the famous Malam Jabba ski resort were sacked.

Farmers in rural Swat were also not spared. It was gleaned from

This institution reportedly had a floor area of nearly one hundred

several villages that once they took over, the terrorists did not

ing reportedly cost fifty million rupees. Still no questions were

crops that needed daily tending withered on the stalk. In some

thousand square feet. At the time of its construction this buildasked concerning the source of funding. The edifice that should

never have been permitted in the first place was eventually destroyed by the army during the action of 2009.

Then in 2007, the man rode on the shoulders of terrorists who

‘spoke a southern dialect of Pashto’. By and by, the lure of salaries as high as fifteen thousand rupees for a foot soldier attracted

many from the local scene. Those who flocked under the banner of Fazalullah were known to the people of Swat as the Parachgan and the Naian – the Parachas and the Nais (barbers). The for-

permit free movement of locals even within the village. Standing villages, the wheat and maize harvest was also not permitted.

Others picked and packed their apples and peaches for transportation to down country markets. But no transport entered Swat

and thousands of fruit growers watched over their crated harvest rotting by the roadside.

This was a well thought out strategy to reduce the populace

to poverty and then recruit impressionable youngsters to their cause.

The arrogance of the meek knows no bounds when they get the

mer are poor labourers who collect sand from the Swat River for

first taste of power. In Kishora village, the terrorists destroyed

a rank considered to be the lowest among the working classes.

change of fire between them and the villagers. Thereafter a hun-

the construction industry and the latter, as the name indicates, Though they spoke Pashto and affected the Pakhtun mannerism and dress, neither caste was Pakhtun. They were therefore on the lowest rung of the social order.

Those who bowed to all from the lowest police constable to the

the local government health facility after which there was an exdred and thirty men from the village were taken hostage. These

men were repeatedly told, ‘By firing at the Taliban you have fired upon Allah and the Quran.’

For three days they watched the terrorists sharpen their knives

Khans of Swat were now in power with AK-47s and the license

and every evening they were told that in the morning they would

envy and hatred for those whom fortune had placed above them.

to write his name on his forearm so that the body could be identi-

to kill. They were fired not by Islamic zeal but by unremitting

And so they went into a frenzy of destroying the social order. The homes of the rich were bombed and their elders murdered. It is estimated that no fewer than two hundred respected elders of

all be slaughtered. On the second night each man was instructed fied after decapitation. Then by a bizarre and inexplicable stroke of good fortune they were released without loss of life.

Today, a year since the liberation, the people of Swat tell you

Swat were assassinated in the two years of Taliban power in the

that they now know what the terrorists mean by religion. If the

One informant in Swat said, ‘Those who once never dared look

there is every chance that the defenceless will be cowed down by


up to the windows of the homes of the rich, now swaggered into those same houses and took away young women to be “married”

to some talib or the other. This was organised rape, but no one

raised a voice because the State of Pakistan had abandoned us.’ Families who could not offer daughters, were deprived of sons to be brainwashed and used for the Taliban and suicide bomber ranks.

Even after the ouster of the terrorists, families that suffered

the ignominy of the kidnapping of their daughters and sons continue to bear pain and loss as their children have not returned.

22 JULY 4-10 2010

state balks from its responsibility of providing them security, the thugs. It is up to the state to ensure that a repeat does not take place in Swat. Postscript

The Taliban terrorists caused extensive infrastructural destruction in Swat. It is noteworthy, however, that the properties of the wali of Swat remained singularly unscathed. Compared to that, properties owned by the government of Pakistan were not spared. Memory of the long arm of Swat State was still alive. In comparison, the paraplegic government of Pakistan could be punished any which way the terrorists wished. a


my not-so- feudal lord BY ZEINAB MASUD

I sat up there in ivory bridal regalia and the Beach Luxury Hotel buzzed with excitement. I was getting married. People were gliding in and out of a huge banquet hall. Some stared at me in amazement, some

Henry the VIII’s in-laws and less than at the average glitterati Ka-

to be up there on the stage with me but irritated at the four hun-

he didn’t like them but because the head count was so astro-

with relief (finally it was happening). My husband looked happy dred people who also happened to be there. We had had many an

impassioned debate about this. And I had had glimpses into the mind of the man I was about to marry.

“I don’t like big weddings,” he had said. I thought this meant

a mere three hundred instead of a thousand but no, he meant

twenty people and something fun to drink. I shed tears and plaintively wailed, a feminine heap of helplessness. “My nearest


and dearest have to be there, they have been waiting for so (em-

barrassingly) long.” And so the head count went up, more than JULY 4-10 2010

rachi wedding.

I was pleased to see our guests drifting in and out of the huge

room where Sohail and I greeted the world as man and wife. I

suspect Sohail wanted to kill some of them not so much because nomically high for him. But he did smile with gritted teeth and a steely glint in his eyes (translation:if I see you in a dark alley

one day I may wring your neck). Luckily our guests did not no-

tice; they gushed over my lace ‘jora’ and were impressed with the punctuality with which the bride and groom appeared and dinner was served. This prompt serving of food may have been because my father was scared that we may change our minds and so

he wanted to hasten our rukhsati. Dear ole dad, it’s been a while

since I wrote a piece about his entertaining antics. But back to

hubby right now. This one’s for him. Life with Dr Agha.

tions of bottling them up like jars of pickles. However on his way

that my new husband did not like crowds (more than three peo-

affection and genuine generosity. Needless to say the guests are

By the end of the evening, I had the not so sneaking suspicion

ple was a crowd.)

The rukhsati happened in a fairly peaceful fashion. Sohail

looked relieved, my father looked tremendously pleased (way more than was appropriate) and my brother whispered to me to

stop walking so fast. I tried to imagine that I was being dragged to the flower-decked car instead of merrily trotting forth. And so began married life.

I was somewhat startled at first by the interesting aspects of

my husband’s personality.

His passion for waking up at five-thirty in the morning and my

parallel passion for sleeping in.

What this resulted in was gusts of sleep-induced behaviour

on his part which would take place at what I considered dinner time.

Once, upon his return from a hectic trip to the Ukraine, he an-

nounced that he would take me to dinner to Commander’s Pal-

back from exercise, the same visitors are greeted with unabashed confused and after some months of such behaviour, our house-

hold is now a quiet place in the evenings where visitors prefer not to tread.

A sign outside our house should read “Exercise or Exorcise”.

Another cause of confusion for me was his love of jungle ani-

mals. Every weekend in New Orleans we would make a custom-

ary visit to Audubon zoo. It was hard to make out who was more excited about the zoo, my forty-something Sohail, or four year

old Mustafa. Feeding the giraffe, petting the python and the elephant dance all contributed to a fairly fascinating morning.

On one such weekend, we had guests from Pakistan, staying

with us for just two days. They were told, in no uncertain terms

that we were leaving for the zoo at ten a.m. The female guest was

ready in time but her husband (alas) was enjoying his shower and his holiday.

He was left behind. According to Sohail, it was not possible to

ace, an amazing restaurant. This was New Orleans and dinner

be late to the zoo. Our lady guest looked a bit shattered at leaving

my new burgundy skirt I happily stepped out with my fairly new

several bus rides later, having navigated his own way to the zoo.

was always a mouth-wateringly delicious experience. Wearing husband. As the courses followed with slow, lingering grace, a

hubby behind. I’m sure she was relieved when he showed up,

One of the first things he said to me after the nikah was, “Let’s

sudden silence befell our table somewhere between the main

not treat each other like husband and wife.” Perplexed, I blinked

leaned over, trying not to look traumatised and whispered to me,

he did not want to be married? It took me a while to figure out

course and desert. The elderly waiter, black bow-tie and all, “Madam, I think your date has fallen asleep.” And sure enough somewhere between the lobster and crème brule, Sohail was sweetly snoring. In a not so melodious fashion.

His explanation: exhaustion and a very early morning. As we

exited this gourmet dining delight, we left behind, a perplexed

away little tears (always waiting to happen) did that mean that that he did want to be married and preferably for a long while. What he meant was let’s do away with the stereotypical expecta-

tions and treat one another as equals, as the people we love and respect the most and whose needs are changing and fluid.

Over the past six years, I have realised many things. My hus-

looking waiter contemplating the oddity of dating rites in far-

band’s idiosyncracies pale in front of his great qualities. His abil-

It took me a while to figure out Sohail’s physiology and the fact

and ability to recognise sincerity in the most unlikely of people

away, exotic Pakistan

that sleep can happen very suddenly after ten pm. I’ve also learnt

that if I put him to bed for an afternoon nap (on weekends) along with our four year old then he can stay up late and some semblance of social behaviour is possible.

The truth is that all this was exasperating at first as was his

insistence on physical exercise and love of wild animals.

“Just send me for exercise and I’ll be a sweeter person.”

This sounded like double Dutch at first but gradually it all be-

came clearer.

Sohail Agha, on an evening without exercise can at times be a

spooky phenomenon especially around guests.

Unexpected visitors have been glared at with barely concealed

brutality and I am convinced that my husband has harboured no-

ity to speak the truth, come hell or high water. His gut instincts and his uncanny knack of weeding out pretentious and petty

characters before they immerse themselves in our lives. His clear thinking, pro-active stance which has made me more adventurous and more accomplished than ever before. His courage in adversity and more significantly the courage of his convictions.

But most of all, when I get a little time to reflect, I realise that

when my mother left this world, she left me in the care of a man

who has made me feel completely cherished. And so I have learnt during the course of married life, to appreciate the beauty in jungle animals, the tranquility in early mornings and the sense in

speaking your mind. With an honest man, you will know that you are honestly loved.a

27 JULY 4-10 2010



Step right in

JULY 4-10 2010

I miss home. Waves of nostalgia wash over me as I ponder

over these images. Ever since

I bought a camera while doing my undergrad in Lahore, I’ve lugged it around practically ev-

erywhere. These pictures don’t follow a theme; they’re a time-

line covering the instant I got a camera till the last day I was in Pakistan.

Every picture brings back

memories, the kind old man

who made me kava as I took pictures atop the rock quarry,

the man who probably still car-

ries his hookah to his fields, and dare I say the enviable ease with which the coolie slept on the platform.

I’m not sure if I’ve made




people might want to hang on

their walls. For me, these images are a history of home, of

impromptu road trips, whimsical detours and faces without

names. Stuck abroad pursuing what will hopefully turn out to be a rewarding degree, I can’t help but feel like an outsider

looking at these again. Can’t wait to get back home. a

Bombay Doors Wazir Khan Mosque, Delhi Gate 29 JULY 4-10 2010


Uncomposition Revenue Office Library, Sargodha

Bhatta mazdoor Road to Wagah Border

30 JULY 4-10 2010

Ignorance Badshahi Mosque, Lahore Timeless Shah Jahan Mosque, Thatta

Mian Mir Tomb of Hazrat Mian Mir

Shiva Katasraj Temple, Kalar Kahar

31 JULY 4-10 2010


(Above) Top of the world Khunjerab Pass, Pak China (Top Right) Awestruck Rohtas Fort, Jhelum (Top Left) Mera Punjab View from the top of a stone quarry (Bottom Left) Hookah Rural southern Sargodha

32 JULY 4-10 2010

Peace Interior of Shah Rukne Alamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tomb

33 JULY 4-10 2010


34 JULY 4-10 2010

Yousuf Bashir Qureshi is a walking, talking dichotomy. A contradiction, a split, a disunion, maybe in the most beautiful kind of way. Go back 20 years and

his father ships him to a cadet boarding school outside Karachi. He is the macho kid, the athletic, soccer playing angry boy who beats up anyone who dares stand up to him. He is also the proud

president of the Biological Collections Club, a group of testosterone-filled boys who catch, kill and stuff animals. In his free time though, Qureshi makes flowers out of silk, crepe, glass, anything

beautiful he can find. Boys laugh at him, but he still goes on to start his own flower-making club. Fast forward 10 years and Qureshi is a sophomore in college, where he collects weapons, breeds snakes in his dorm room and woos women. In the evenings though, he dons a pair of tights and

heads to a ballet class to practice his pirouette. One summer he tours all over the US with his bal-

let group when a local newspaper takes a picture of him prancing across stage. He cuts the article out and mails the picture to his father, a tough Punjabi landlord. Five years after that, Qureshi,

who has started designing clothes, moves to Santa Monica, L.A, where he is discovered by Sheryl

Crow, Rachel Hunter and Madonna. He is pursued by high-end labels like Givenchy and Christian Lacroix, but comes running back home to help his father govern their lands and farm. Come back

to present day Karachi and you will see that like his personality, everything that surrounds him

an artist of the floating world mirrors his contradictions. On one side of his chic boutique is a rack lined with striking kurtas in bold strips of colour, and on the other are simple, elegant outfits all in the same shade of white.



His office reminds me of a swanky New York apartment. In his fingers, intertwined between the

many large metallic cocktail rings is a slim beeri, from which wafts a dreamy, smoky smell all over

his modern space. Qureshi loves Pakistan. That fact is hard to miss with his extravagant getup,

photographs that clutter his desk and the books that line his wall. He claims that is also why he came back the minute he was summoned. He knew that with his degree in farming he could help his family manage their lands, and on the side create a space to do what he loves: designing and photography.

He ended up creating the YBQ Concept Studio, which is located in the Artists Commune. The

large warehouse space that he owns near Karachi’s industrial centre has been transformed into a powerhouse of sorts. It contains the commune, a space for events, art exhibitions, performances

etc. It includes the YBQ design studio, where he designs everything from logos to furniture, the

YBQ printing press, the YBQ photo studio and a salon run by Nabila. “Everything I need, or want or desire is here,” explains Qureshi walking me through the large space, “I hate being dependent

on anyone but myself for anything so here it is. Now we’re only missing a restaurant, a production house, an editing suite and a boutique hotel.” As we walk by his boutique he picks up metal coins he designed himself, somewhat like the old 10 paisa ones, except these say Pakistan on one side and the other says Proudly Made in Pakistan with a YBQ logo.

YBQ first made his presence felt in the Pakistani fashion scene a year ago. His first fashion show

was a short film, which he directed and produced himself, an intriguing visual display of his clothes worn by two celebrities who flaunted his designs with their movements, every one of which had a meaning. “A lot of people loved it but most of them didn’t get it,” he explains. “ They wanted the girls, the ramp…they told me this isn’t a fashion show.” When he designed his next collection,

Holey, people were surprised at the lack of embroidery on his clothes. “My clothes are sculptural pieces, I don’t do embroidery and people were like ‘what the hell is this?” The mannequins you see hanging from the ceilings of his Karachi studio aren’t just the typical everyday mannequins that

35 JULY 4-10 2010


the ybq concept studio the large warehouse that Qureshi owns in Karachi’s industrial centre has been transformed into a powerhouse that contains the Artists Commune, a space for exhibitions, events and performances, the YBQ design studio, a printing press, a photo studio and a salon run by Nabila

you would see in a storefront. They, like his clothes, are sculptural works of art. “They are body

casts of real women that I know, that I have made with plaster and fibre glass. It wasn’t easy to

find women who would do it, but I didn’t want the petite model to be the one who displayed my clothes.” Not surprisingly he has garnered a reputation for eccentricity, of which is he is aware of but not at all ashamed.

Twice a week Qureshi goes to this ancestral village of Mirpur Sakro passing judgements on land

disputes and gang rapes, doing rounds of the lands on his horse, planting trees and listening to qa-

walli with the village men at night. The rest of the week he is at the Commune, guiding students, artists and designers; practically anyone who wants to learn. He works on his collections, caters to

his clients and returns home to his wife who wears a burqa and a veil. “We’re two poles apart,” he says about his wife who runs a charity hospital in Lalukhait, “we don’t see eye to eye religiously but

again she respects what I believe in and I respect what she believes in.” He admits laughingly that when he attempts to design clothes for her she often puts them down claiming they are too nanga, but he tries anyway.

Does he ever get confused? “Since I’ve discovered myself in my late twenties, I’ve been pretty

clear,” he explains, “I’m still discovering, but I know what my heart desires and I know what I’m thinking. I’ve kept them separate.” YBQ though is comfortable in each aspect of his life, in every

role that he plays. He switches states of mind like a chameleon and is fully present in every moment of his life. This quality, of owning different roles is also visible in the work he does. While

his clothes are cut and sewn flawlessly, his sculptures too are works of art, like the headgear he de-

signed for his friend Shakeel Saigol for fashion week, which made waves across the fashion world. His photographs have been published in Vogue and National Geographic, while his art work has graced the covers of Pakistani books.

“To me the idea of an artist was once a foreign idea,” Qureshi explains, “ but these experiences

have helped me recognise the artist that was always within me. Inside of me I know what I am and who I am. I am an artist.” a

36 JULY 4-10 2010


featured review of the week


bb in wonderland


It seems the wheels of the various camps of the Bhutto PR machine are whirring full tilt. The latest offering is the documentary Bhutto directed by Johnny O’Hara, (whose film Fields of Fuel won the 2008 Sundance Audience Award) and co-directed by Jessica Hernandez, a veteran television editor. The film turns the spotlight on Benazir Bhutto with “exclusive interviews from the Bhutto family and never-before-seen footage.” The film begins with a heavily montaged sequence of news snippets with facts and figures flying out of the screen like a 3-D Star Wars: Pakistan! 97% Muslim, 4 Military coups since 1963! 9,824 killed by terrorism! This is ostensibly to anchor the viewer in the hotbed that is Pakistan, and begin at a fever-pitched level of excitement. Then we are graced with about 30 minutes out of the almost two hours of the glorification of Zulifkar Ali Bhutto as the dapperdon, quipping with John F Kennedy that if he was an American he would be in his place, as the scoundrel ripping a bill in half in the Security Council of the UN saying, “Why do I need to waste my time here? I am going” and as the Renaissance man teasing his daughter about a photograph, “You look like Mussolini there. Be careful” a quote used before in Benazir Bhutto’s biography Daughter of the East. Benazir’s early years in the 1970s at Oxford are portrayed as an idyllic, pampered time, to the soundtrack of T-Rex’s song ‘Get it On’ which is a totally inappropriate song choice and Cat Stevens ‘Wild World’ with a few talking heads such as Arianna Huffington saying things like, “She loved having fun.” Apparently, BB once sent out a party invitation in gold letters that read, “Darling! What would the party be without you?” To go from this mood to ZAB yelling in a speech, “We will build the nuclear bomb even if we have to eat grass for 1,000 years!” is unnerving. The agenda of the directors and producers from this 38 point on seems transparent: this documentary is not going to be JULY 4-10 2010

disingenuous the documentary makes one wonder how a woman of Bhutto’s background could ever have empathy for the people of Pakistan

gritty or raw by any means, it appears as an elitist venture for the elite of the world. It seems absurd that ZAB, a “man of the people”, turns to his daughter, indicating the poor of Pakistan, as she heads off for her privileged education and says, “It is because of their sweat that you will be educated.” It may not have been the filmmaker’s intention, but the documentary makes one consider more than ever before how a woman with a background and family such as hers could ever truly have any empathy for the “people”, the “real” people of Pakistan, to use ZAB’s quotes. Her transformation into the political figure she became in the ‘80s is mystifying. The film assumes that its audience will understand that after all her holidaying in Switzerland and the south of France, her “mission to bring democracy” to Pakistan and her status as Bhutto heir is enough to justify her ascent to Prime Minister. There is an essential tip that writer’s are taught, in order to affect a compelling story, “Show, don’t tell”. The documentary does more telling then showing. To be told that Benazir’s life resembles

Best Quotes 1. BB about her first term: “Certainly we made mistakes, but we were sincere in our intent.” 2. Ziaul Haq: “I believe in freedom of thought, freedom of expression, freedom with consideration for others, but not free for all.” Best moments 1. Benazir in the early 1980’s. Oh the clothes, the hair, the magenta lipstick! Oh the horror! 2. Benazir in the late 80’s lest we need a reminder of the shoulder pads! The back-combing! The Elton John glasses! 3. Benazir screaming, “Jiye Bhutto!” on a megaphone at her own wedding. A rare kick-ass moment.

a Greek tragedy is very different from actually being shown this. The conflict, the pain, the dilemmas that a human in a Greek tragedy would face are absent from the characterisation of Benazir in the film. Naturally, it is no easy task making a film posthumously about a person, but it is possible to create nuance and vary the tone. It must be noted, to their credit that the filmmakers do include the views of Fatima Bhutto, who has emerged in recent times as Benazir’s greatest detractor. However, all her screen time is followed directly by another individual attempting to negate her, or defend Benazir which waters down the attempt at frisson in the documentary. At one point, Sanam Bhutto says that nowhere in the press is Fatima Bhutto named as Mir Murtaza Bhutto’s daughter but always as the niece of BB. “My niece,” says Sanam, “has nothing to do with Benazir Bhutto”. The tone of the film is for the most part homogenous. It seems to be aimed solely at tugging the heart-strings, with many instances of individuals weeping. All that was missing were the violins. Unfortunately, instead of creating an in-depth portrait of Benazir it makes her come across as, for the most part, disingenuous.

39 JULY 4-10 2010


film sympathy for the devil BY SAEED RAHMAN

It is impossible to settle down to Raavan with no expectations. It is not merely a new release, it is a Mani Ratnam film and will be judged alongside the director’s famed achievements, including Bombay and Dil Se. Raavan would have fared better coming from a mediocre director. The viewer can’t help but feel that it has missed the Ratnam mark. Opening with great promise, the credits roll to A R Rehman’s Bheera Bheera, the best song on an otherwise tepid soundtrack. The plot revolves around a love triangle consisting of Bheera (Abhishek Bachchan), a local self-styled Mafioso and his kidnap of Ragini (Aishwariya Rai) who is the wife of Dev (Vikram), a policeman. The film follows Dev’s search for his wife along with a forest trooper (Govinda) and a platoon of policemen all making their way through an impossibly verdant forest. The plot’s not much to write home about but that’s always been Ratnam’s thing — taking the ordinary and re-imagining it in the most unexpected way. His aptitude for imagery has not failed him. Raavan is a colonialist’s fantasy. Raavan should replace the current Incredible India campaign. It’s all sumptuous forests, wild rivers and steep ravines, captured in eye-popping colour. There were even some bare-chested, painted natives running around in the forest. That’s the problem with Raavan, there is just much too much going on. Too much colour, too many action sequences — it’s all stunning till it becomes stunningly repetitive and ever so slightly self-indulgent, a director showing off his hobbies rather than taking the trouble to craft a narrative. Do we really need to see Aishwariya Rai plunge from a cliff, find herself tangled in a tree top and land ever so gently into the sea three times in slow motion? While Abhishek Bachchan has come a long way as an actor since his Refugee days, particularly with his performance in Yuva, this shall not be remembered, if there’s any justice, as his best work. He snarls, growls, and strikes menacing poses to prove to us what a 40 menacing bad-ass Bheera really is. It’s unconvincing and by the end JULY 4-10 2010

uninspiring Aishwariya Rai delivers at best a one-note performance and Abhishek Bachchan’s menacing poses as the bad-ass Bheera are totally unconvincing of it, one just wishes to recommend medication for his melodramatic tantrums. As for his other half, the lovely Ms Rai, well, first the good news — the camera absolutely loves her. She looks like a million bucks and Ratnam makes great currency of her beauty. Whether or not she can strictly be called an actress rather than a mere clothes horse is still up for debate. In this film she delivers at best a onenote performance. However, if the Filmfare awards next year open up a category for best acting done by twitching your eyebrow or flaring your nostrils, Rai is a shoo in. Not to say that Raavan wasn’t entirely without its moments. The highpoint surely was the breakthrough performance from Tamil actor Vikram in his first Bollywood feature. Vikram exudes the sort of screen presence many an actor would die for, with the swagger of a young Brando and a crackling sexual chemistry with Rai that is far more convincing than her lacklustre on-screen relationship with her off-screen husband. Govinda’s scenes were solidly good, as one would expect from that consummate Bollywood professional. All in all, one leaves wishing Raavan had been a different type of film, where less was more, where the spectacle of the film was supplemented with more complex protagonists, a film which better reflected the skill Ratnam displayed in his earlier classics.

book perfect sketches BY MAHVESH MURAD

Tom Rachman’s first novel The Imperfectionists has a tight little story cycle based around a flailing English newspaper in Rome, run by Americans. Fortunately, Rachman is able to deliver on this engaging premise. Each chapter is about one member of the nameless newspaper’s staff (and in one case, an avid reader), and is tied to the next character/chapter by a little vignette describing the newspaper’s initial set up by the mysterious Cyrus Ott. The vignettes have their own peculiar tinge, a sort of Citizen Cane-esque pathos to them, each giving a possible hint at why the newspaper exists at all. Rachman’s gives us 11 characters, each sharply and cleanly defined by their past, their surroundings and by the newspaper itself. From the sad little life of an ageing journalist desperate to make some cash and be on the front page again, to the cold as ice editorin-chief whose marriage turns out to be a sham, leaving her broken and vulnerable, each character is perfect in his or her own way — at times hilarious, at times pathetic and depressing but always human, and so perfectly crafted. Many journalists will be able to relate directly with most of Rachman’s cast, because if they haven’t been one of these people, they have surely known someone who has. The paper’s irascible corrections editor is a particularly touching character. While he is incredibly detailed at finding mistakes in the copy (Saddam Hussain is ‘Sadism Hussain’ and Tony Blair is a recently deceased Japanese dignitary), it takes him a lifetime to see the flaws in a friend that no one else holds in high regard. Each of Rachman’s characters hide a deep loneliness and a very innate desire for belonging, companionship and love regardless of the formal facades they put up at the newspaper. This is nothing new, no, but it is so well written with so much clarity of vision and insight that each story fiercely holds its own. In fact, each individual chapter can easily be read as a stand-alone short story, many with a twist in the tail, similar to Roald Dahl’s collections Kiss, Kiss and Switch Bitch.

flawed characters Each of Rachman’s characters hide a deep loneliness at odds with the formal facades they put up at the newspaper The newspaper of course is a character unto itself — this need not even be said. Like many of its employees it has a glorious past but is now simply treading water, making just enough of an effort to survive but nothing more. Its readership is ageing and dying off, it can not afford the stringers it needs, it is full of factual errors and it doesn’t even have a website. The paper is seen through the eyes of its various employees, and is at times a lifeline, at times a noose. For the obituary writer it is a means to kill time before heading off to be with his child, until a death in his family pushes him inadvertently into real journalism. For the finance head the paper is a failing business that she can not protect, just as she cannot protect herself when faced in intimate quarters with a man she has just fired. The question that comes up again and again during the reading of The Imperfectionists is how has someone so young managed to write so effortlessly and capture so perfectly the hearts, minds and the humanity of so many different characters? With the production rights for the book scooped up recently by Brad Pitt, there’s no doubt the world will be seeing more of The Imperfectionists. Rachman’s narrative strength and his ease with dialogue easily make him a voice to watch out for. a 41 JULY 4-10 2010

ADVICE a So we have a cheapskate of a friend who takes the cake — literally, each time, at anyone’s party – when it comes to stingy behaviour. When it comes to splitting the bill, it’s down to the






last paisa and tips are a meager few rupees. She’ll even bring leftover food from her house “just in case we fall short at dinner”. Is this something that can be brought up or is it time to ditch her and her cheap ways?

Friends with a frugal one

I’m fascinated by your continued friendship with this woman

who has, presumably, caused offence by bringing leftover food when you have invited her for a meal. If you want to maintain

your friendship with her, you have to let her know, as gently as

possible, that her behaviour makes you uncomfortable. Or you have to accept her for who she is and move on. This may involve taking her out less for meals.

a Our

neighbour has employed several people from his village. His staff converges outside the house, bordering with ours, and there is always a small group of men drinking tea, playing board games and making a lot of noise well into the night. We requested our neighbour that they keep the noise down and it worked for a few days but it’s back to square one. Recently, another neighbour mentioned that he complained and was told it’s his house and he’ll do as he pleases. Is it time to call the police? Neighbourly watch

Before you call the police, I suggest you have another talk with your neighbour since he responded well to your initial chat. In-

vite him over for tea and thank him for talking to his staff and ask if he could do it again because they are disrupting your sleep

and so forth. If it doesn’t go down well, you should consider call-

ing the CPLC as they are best equipped to handle such situations.

a I work at a multinational with a great team save one thing: my boss gives a lot of leeway to employees with children and family issues to attend to. I end up working overtime, well into the night when the project’s deadline is approaching, because I’m single. I value the experience but resent the assumption that because I’m single I have no life or important commitments. How can I address this issue without being seen as a whiner? Singularly overworked Simply put, your boss is taking gross disadvantage of you, single or not. Everyone on the team should be expected to pull his/her

own weight and while it’s never as easy it sounds, it is your boss’ responsibility to ensure that everyone is contributing to the successful completion of the project. I would suggest you email your

boss letting him know that you are no longer available for over-

time on a regular basis and if he could ask others to pitch in. To employees reading this column, single people have as important lives as married people or parents. JULY 4-10 2010


Aries Mar 20 – Apr 19 Obviously you’d rather be tackling certain persistent and annoying dilemmas. While it won’t be easy to accept that this week about talking, not taking action, force issues and you’ll swiftly realise just how much damage you could do. The issue is that with so much betwixt and between, even seemingly straighforward arrangements either can’t last or simply aren’t reliable. But what you learn will prove invaluable.

Taurus Apr 20 – May 20 At least one of the situations you’re facing this week will strike an emotional chord. But that doesn’t Shelley von Strunckel is an internationally acclaimed astrologer who created the first horoscope column for the London Sunday Times in 1992. A frequent lecturer, she

mean that it’s your responsibility to deal with it. This and other

similarly touching dilemmas are calling your attention to arrangements that are unfair to you, to others or which could un-

dermine joint ventures. Discuss this but do nothing. Numerous pivotal facts are yet to come to light.

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 Nobody enjoys discussing new and intriguing ideas more than you. This week’s are intriguing and, better

yet, increase your optimism about resolving several tricky matters. Exciting as these may be, recognise they’re only part of a

pattern of change that’s reshaping your thinking and objectives, and those of others. Knowing that, instead of trying to make decisions, you’ll savour this period of exploration.

Cancer Jun 21 – Jul 22 Regard this week as preparation for the changes, in circumstances around you and in your priorities, that accompany the Cancer eclipsed New Moon on the 11th. Take time to reflect on what could easily go and, as important, what you want more of. Also, remember that because changes will continue to evolve for some weeks, even the simplest of plans should be regarded as tentative. Leo Jul 23 – Aug 22 Obviously you’re not happy about allowing others access to elements of your life you regard as strictly personal. However, their intentions aren’t just good, they’re actually better informed about these matters than you are. But you won’t know that until you’re discussing plans. Overcome your resistance to potentially revealing exchanges, and you’ll soon learn just how much the individual in question has to offer. Virgo Aug 23 – Sep 22 Sometimes, things just don’t add up. It’s not you. Pivotal elements if your life are being reshaped by circumstances beyond your control, and you’re short of facts. And digging for more information could actually confuse matters. Initially, attempts to relax and enjoy life’s pleasures won’t be successful, but you’ll soon catch on. And be ready to move swiftly when the pace


picks up next week. JULY 4-10 2010

Libra Sep 23 – Oct 23 Usually you’re the one who grasps the nature of even perplexing situations long before others. And, consequently, often your role is to guide those who’re wrestling with difficult decisions. However, the period between late June’s lunar eclipse and the solar eclipse, on the 11th, has left everybody uncertain about the future. Knowing that, forget about reassuring anyone, and take life one day at a time.

Scorpio Oct 24 – Nov 21 Recent unexpectedly frank exchanges so cleared the air about numerous troublesome issues that you’re

feeling inclined to be more open than usual. This is good timing, simply because now, in the run up to the changes triggered by

the eclipse on the 11th, the more you discuss with – and learn from – others, the better. But don’t even think of making plans until after the eclipse.

Sagittarius Nov 22 – Dec 21 As usual you’ve been trying to convince certain cautious individuals to at least explore the ideas or activities you’ve found so worthwhile. But to little avail. Don’t give up. However, there’s little point in saying more, at least just now. Back off until the end of the week, when aspects to both inventive Uranus and your ruler Jupiter make it clear just how right you were.

Capricorn Dec 22 – Jan 19 Courageous as you can be in the face of

most challenges, those you’ve had to contend with over the past several weeks nearly undid you. Actually, this was necessary,

since the Capricorn eclipsed Full Moon was as much about discovering and dealing with feelings you’ve ignored as potentially life-

changing decisions. And you’re only now beginning to recognise some of the insights these triggered.

Aquarius Jan 20 – Feb 19 Sometimes setbacks are no more than that, problems that need to be analysed and dealt with. However, those you’re facing are about reviewing both recent changes in circumstances around you and the decisions you’ve made because of them. Unsettling as reorganising things would be, there are numerous similar periods of review yet to come. Once you understand that, you’ll take advantage of the insights it offers. Pisces Feb 20 – Mar 20 If you managed to eliminate certain de-

manding arrangements from your life in late June, when it first became clear how toxic these were, then you’ll sail through this week’s developments. You’ll enjoy exploring the new ideas and

offers which appear from every quarter. But if you’re still hang-

For more information, to order personal charts and to download & listen to detailed audiocasts, visit

ing on to what should become part of the past, then you’ll have


some difficult facts to face.

JULY 4-10 2010


10 things I hate about ...Horror-scopes

1 2

Dear Aries: Bugger. The zodiac has officially conspired

to make you its bugger-in-chief. Because only you

know how to really bug the universe. Your passion (read aggression), unfailing sense of adventure (read

aggression), and love for advantage (read aggression) have scarred your back from many unseen daggers.

Dear Taurus: You won’t be moved by this summation. Because you never do. Move, that is. Your efforts to remain stationary have pre-ordained you to eternal bovinity. (That’s not a word, by the way, but do you even care?) Your persistence at procrastinating helps you

inch closer to your ultimate destination: Lazy-abad or


6 7

Dear Libra: Your capacity to slut — did I say slut? — strut into diverse and engaging relationships is how your diplomatic nature seeks to balance the universe. A

quality that demands much of your time and often has you running laid — damn these Freudian slips! — late.

Dear Scorpio: In your ruthless ambition to get to the top,

you neither spare nor spur a friend or foe. You will disagree with this, but notice how your earthy colleagues, Virgo and Capricorn, have been reported missing.

Lucknow — whichever is closer.

3 4 5

Dear Gemini: Stop talking. No, really. You have got to

shut your trap. Let someone else butt in, for a change. May be you could let them insert a hmmm, or an ahh-

hh, or even an ohhhh to your scintillant opinions about them? May be you could look up the meaning of Logorrhea? For now, inhale deeply. And hold.


JULY 4-10 2010

Dear Cancer: What’s the matter, Puss? Did the mood-

lighting fluctuate? Is the family eight seconds late for dinner? Is the solitude too noisy? Don’t get crabby now.

Edge sideways, and contain your emotions. Come, now… don’t turn this into another issue. That’s better. Here’s your milk-bottle.

Dear Leo: After you have thrown caution to the wind, careered across the continents, undressed the seasons, made love on a cumulus, and, heck, even crapped on

the lap of luxury, kindly pass the salt — and the spotlight.

8 9 10

Dear Sagittarius: As hard as it is to look back and pull

yourself away from the crestfallen faces of your children, the zodiac understands how your cold indepen-

dence, brutal honesty, and general apathy have left you with no recourse but the dogged pursuit of the next extramarital fling.

Dear Aquarius: At some point, when you reach the very

depths of your soul, ask yourself why watching The

Little Mermaid and wanting to swap your world for hers is

something that won’t float with most of humanity — and, eventually down the line, most fish.

Dear Pisces: The congenital liar you’ve befriended (out of the goodness of your heart), who has eaten you out

of house and home and robbed you of your savings (including your heirlooms), was last seen breaking into your dreams and scavenging your spiritual life. So, try and book a wake-up call. a

The Express Tribune Magazine-July-4  

The Express Tribune Magazine for July 4th 2010

The Express Tribune Magazine-July-4  

The Express Tribune Magazine for July 4th 2010