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Interview

Nadia Hussain Ruling the roost

By Sumeha Khalid

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t was more than a decade ago that the lithe Nadia Hussain made her foray into the fashion world. Blessed with good looks and a disarming personality, she became a darling of the media and her audiences alike. Ten years down the lane, the lady continues to rule the roost and is stronger than ever before! Lounge talks to the diva about life as a trophy wife, super model, super mom and a few supers more. Excerpts:

Q: In Pakistan it’s generally believed that after marriage your career as a celebrity ends. Your take on that! A: Marriage should not be a hindrance for anything... Your relationship should be such that one should be able to manage both work and marriage. Q: What’s happening on the work front? What’s taking up most of your time these days? A: Work is still going strong. Luckily at the time I had my baby girl it was summers and not much was happening on the fashion front. But I’ve been designing, hosting, acting, judging for Bridal Couture Model Hunt, then participated in BCW Lahore and FPW. So, you can say that I’m back on track!

Q: Super model, super wife and now super mom to three... how do you do it all? A: By managing time as best as possible and making sure that adequate time is given to all though sometimes compromises need to be made. Q: How do you manage to stay on top of the game? A: I never think I’m on top of the game... I just keep striving for more. Q: How’s life after three adorable kids, especially a newborn. How does that affect your work? A: Life is Mashallah still great! The

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3rd is truly such a breeze for the time being that it’s a pleasure to have her! But yes, work has gotten affected since I got pregnant, then the weight gain then the nursing then the fact I can’t leave for too long and so on and so forth! But I guess all is good!

Q: What are you concentrating on currently modelling, acting or entrepreneurship? A: All of the above, but one at a time. Q: Why do we see you seldom in drams? A: Acting is time consuming;


and then more plays this year too! Other than that there are some hosting projects, fashion weeks and shoots that keep on happening all the time. Q: What in your opinion is the average life of a model? A: Abroad maximum five years… in Pakistan 20 years! Q: Is there an age limit for doing ramp shows? A: Not in Pakistan.

out as a model – what do you feel is different today (better or worse) than it was at that time? A: What’s better is that there is more work, more exposure, more opportunities! What’s worse is that the thousand opportunities give way to trash too! Q: Are you actively participating in fashion weeks? A: Yes, very much so.

Q: What do you feel about the latest crop of models? Do we see a Nadia Hussain in the making? A: Not many from the latest lot at all! There isn’t yet a Nadia Hussain that I see!

however, I am acting in a few projects, although I’m very choosy about the kind of dramas I do. Q: We have been seeing you in the rushes of a star-studded drama serial. How did that come about? A: The character I am portraying in “Sitamgar” is of a woman called Zoya. Zoya is a business woman who is in love with a business tycoon himself who’s ex-wife has died. He has a daughter who hates the new mum... Basically the story revolves around the girl. It’s not a major role so I found the time to do it. Q: What are the other projects you are working on at the moment? A: I’ve been doing some plays since last year which will be on air soon

Q: Who’s your favourite model, both international and local? A: Internationally Naomi Campbell because of her super sexy body and larger-than-life persona. On the local scene it has to be Iraj because she’s awesome on the ramp, plus she’s a great friend. Q: Who is that one person you adore working with? A: I love working with Deevees. Q: Your take on the current fashion scene? A: I think it’s booming in a good way. Lots of fashion weeks are being organized, which is good for us but let’s see how long the bubble lasts! Q: It’s been more than a decade since you started

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Q: With three young kids, how do you manage to strike a balance in your personal and professional life? A: I prioritize everything in my life. However, I am blessed by a strong support system in the form of my husband, mother and mother-in-law who are always there to take care of the kids and the house. Q: Does your hubby ever complain of feeling ignored or neglected because of your work schedule? A: Yes, plenty of times – especially during my acting assignments because that take days on end. However, all men complain in any case, so I just do what I have to and manage my time with him on weekends! Q: Name that one person without whose support you would not be where you are today? A: Definitely my mom!

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Q: We have seen you reinvent yourself from time to time. What next for Nadia Hussain? A: Already there’s my aesthetic clinic called Radiance which I’d like to expand to include dentistry too. Q: When and why did you come up with the idea of a beauty clinic when there are already so many of them are in operation? A: There may be many setups, but not many people know of them. With my face as a brand, I had thought it would work well in my favour to start something of the sort. Q: Does your celeb status help in getting you clients at Radiance? A: Yes, it most certainly does! Q: Are you living a dream life. Is this how you always wanted your life to be?

A: Actually life is strange… When you are living it you don’t realize that this may be somebody else’s dream but when you sit back and think for a moment what all you have achieved then yes, in my case I can say I’m living a dream life… But there’s lots more that I still want to achieve. Q: Where do you see yourself five years from now? A: I live for the moment so five years is way too ahead... I really can’t comment on that!

Q: Words of wisdom for our women... A: Never let anyone tell you “YOU CAN’T”!! Make your own decisions! Stay strong! And lastly, drink milk and eat your multivitamins!


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Travel

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Where sufis sleep… Treasures of Thar desert By Yasir Nisar

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akistan is a country blessed with rich architectural heritagelovely fertile plains, stark mountain ranges and ancient cities replete with history and lore. Traveling across Pakistan one gets to see all sorts of architectural wonders that are now known the world over for historical importance. Uch Sharif is one such place of antiquity. Located 75 km out of Bahawalpur, at the southern end of Punjab at Punjnad on the confluence of the Chenab and the Indus rivers, Uch is a small town rich in history. One can get there by first going to Ahmedpur East; from there it is a mere half an hour’s drive. Now in the Thar desert, it is believed to have been the other ‘Alexandria’, the first one of course in Egypt, founded by Alexander the Great during his expeditions here. Some historians believe that Mithankot or Chacharan Sharif was the settlement that Alexander founded, while others contend that it was actually Uch. Historical records though suggest that the town preceded Alexander’s arrival by around 200 years. Some historians believe that Uch was there even before the advent of Bikramjit – when Jains and Buddhists ruled over the area. At the time of the invasion by

Alexander, Uch was under Hindu rule. In 710, Muhammad bin Qasim conquered the city, and during the early Muslim period Uch was a major and important centre of Islamic studies. If you go by the experts, it is beyond contention that the town was in existence even a few hundred years before Christ, though no definite historic record pinpoints the period with any exactitude. Hence myths abound. The old town is located at a height as compared to the surrounding topography. That perhaps describes the name, Uch. The importance of Uch Sharif is mainly due to the beautiful Sufi shrines and domed tombs that were built for renowned Sufi saints. All these tombs are located close to each other – and even several centuries back, devotees used to flock there in big numbers. Most of these tombs follow the same construction and architectural patterns as are found at the shrine of Rukn-e-Alam at Multan, albeit with some local architectural additions. The major features common to all these tombs are ornaments with blue mosaic and other work done on stucco and other materials. Some of them also have been engraved and raised to make calligraphic patterns in the Arabic language. Some of the earlier shrines are in a state of decay but still reveal the remnants of their original splendor and glory. Due to their peculiar design and ancient structure, beautiful

architectural patterns and historical importance, the place is on UNESCO’s World Monument Watch, but there has been a great deal of damage to the various tombs owing to the combination of nature and neglect. The famous shrines existing at Uch include those of Hazrat Bahawal Haleem, Hazrat Jalaluddin Surkh Bukhari, Makhdoom Jahanian Jahangasht, Shaikh Saifuddin Ghazrooni and Bibi Jawandi but besides these there are many less visited sites like the tombs of Musa Pak Shaheed, Sadr-ud-Din Rajan Qital and Salah-ud-Din abu Hanifa. The most important and the most photographed shrine is that of Bibi Jawandi – a Central Asian design, tiled in the blue and white faience. The tombs are either square or domed. The tomb of Bibi Jawandi is the most compelling, octagonal in shape. The later tomb of Jalal Surkh Bukhari is unusual with a superb wooden roof painted in lacquer, predominantly red and blue. The tomb of Baha’al Halim has horizontal stripes of blue and white faience tiles, although little of it remains. The famous shrines of Bibi Jiwandi, Hazrat Bahawal Haleem and Ustad Nuria are the main attraction of the city. All these three tombs are situated close to each other, in a part of Uch known as Uch Bukhari. The other portion of city is called Uch Gilani. Masijd-ul-Ha’jaat and the mosque adjacent to the tomb of Bahawal Haleem are some of

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Pictures by the writer

the well known mosques of the city. In fact, these tombs, mosques and graveyards cover a significantly huge area of the city. The famous shrines of Bahawal Haleem and Ustad Nuria were badly damaged by floods centuries back. But it is really amazing that

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half of the tomb of Bibi Jawandi remains and gives a full look when viewed from teeast. The sight of all these buildings still grabs the attention of the viewer. The three main shrines are surrounded by hundreds of other unknown graves which are mostly in a shabby condition. Despite the very fact that this is our national heritage sites but nobody is taking care of the shrines in the real sense. The restoration process of the tombs is being done for the last five years but a lot of work still needs to be done, and that may take a few more years. The other problem which is of utmost importance is to give pointers to guide the devotees and visitors to the shrines for presently finding your way to the site is a big problem.

The importance of Uch Sharif is mainly due to the beautiful Sufi shrines and domed tombs that were built for renowned Sufi saints. All these tombs are located close to each other – and even several centuries back, devotees used to flock there in big numbers


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Books

Of books of music and essays

This review is intended to cover two engaging books, latterly published, on music and essay writing

By Syed Afsar Sajid Doyens of Subcontinental Music

Rashid Malik (d. 2007) was an eminent intellectual and a true connoisseur of music. Dr. Muhammad Athar Masood, a civil servant with avowed literary leanings, has ventured to compile a collection of the former’s published (in newspapers) and unpublished articles on music and musicology in this book under two different headings viz., Profiles and Comments. Dileep Karanth, a lecturer in Physics at the University of WisconsinParkside, USA, has written the foreword to the book tracing his acquaintance with Rashid Malik around the turn of the century when he succeeded in contacting him by e-mail as a doctoral student with a view to seeking permission to translate into English some of his Urdu books lying

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Doyens of Sub-continental Music By Rashid Malik Compiled by: Dr. Muhammad Athar Masood Publisher: Fiction House, 39-Mozang Road, Lahore Pages: 168; Price: Rs.300/-

in the University of Texas library but was discouraged by the latter to undertake the assignment so as to let him pursue his onerous academic goal single-mindedly. Yet Dileep Karanth regards Rashid Malik as his mentor in view of his stupendous knowledge of the theory and practice of music in medieval India besides other arts, and sciences too. It would be of some interest to the reader to know that Rashid Malik was a PSP officer who resigned his job in 1960 to pursue the ‘more gainful’ vocation of reading and writing. Sub-continental music being his abiding passion, he explored it in all its diversity as the present work would abundantly demonstrate. The first part of the book deals with stalwarts of classical


music like Ustad Bismillah Khan the benefit of both the specialist as the reading public, more specifically (Shehnai), Ustad Bade Ghulam also the ordinary lover of the Indian the student community, on a host Ali Khan (Khayal and Thumri), classical music. of topics bearing on general and Sufi Inayat Khan Pathan, Khan specialized knowledge, academics, Sahib Abdul Karim Khan, Fayyaz Essays for O Level and philosophy of education etc. Khan, Ustad Abdul Waheed Khan, The current publication is in line Students Ustad Amir Khan, Ustad Allauddin with his previous two compositions Prof. Manzoor Mirza whom Khan, Mushtaq Hussain Khan, viz., Sundry Reflections (a book Dr. Shahzad Qaiser (an eminent Hassu Khan, Haddu Khan, Rehmat of short essays) and Ilmi Selective philosopher, writer and poet) calls Khan, Nisar Hussain Khan, Vishnu Long Essays for CSS/PMS and ‘an original thinker (who) has Digambar Pluskar, Omkarnath other competitive examinations. awakened the younger generation Thakur, Khuda Bukhsh (Ghagge), It is designed to cater for the O to the beauties and subtleties of Ghulam Abbas, Kallan Khan Level students of English medium essay writing’, is an acclaimed (Ghulam Haider Khan), Vilayat schools. Mostly topics of reflective intellectual with a strong academic Hussain Khan, Yunus Hussain nature constitute the substance of background. Lately he has adopted Khan, Bhasker Rao Bakhle, the book. essay writing as a means to educate Khawaja Khurshid A reading of Anwar, and Ustad these essays, to cite Allah Diya Khan. Dr. Shahzad Qaiser, The articles in was bound to make the second part seek the reader ‘more to elaborate and knowledgeable about discuss subjects like different dimensions sources of the subof life and the manifold continental music contradictions of our and the influences society’. The enormity, shaping it, Sama as well as variety, of Veda, Gandharva topics in the book tends Veda, the theory of to reflect the author’s sound, Natyasastra, encyclopaedic vision Qawwali, Khayal; and knowledge of life. the Music Research The book contains Cell, Amir Khusro eighty-eight essays of as a musician, medium length with music and plants, titles selected from the Roshan Ara Begum past papers of O Level and PTV, folk and examinations and their classical (art) music, content is purported the All Pakistan to have been composed Music Conference, ‘in the light of the and raga-ragani socio-economic realities classification. obtaining in Pakistan’ --Credit goes to its ideology and culture Dr. Muhammad being their cardinal Athar Masood ingredients. Doyens of Sub-continental Music (himself an avid Lucidity and By Rashid Malik votary of music conciseness are the halland allied arts) mark of the author’s Compiled by: Dr. Muhammad Athar Masood for a methodical style. The book is Publisher: Fiction House, 39-Mozang Road, Lahore but discreet sure to evoke a keen Pages: 168; Price: Rs.300/compilation of the response in readers of instant work for all shades.

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Films

Life of PI

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t takes the pedigree of an Academy award winning director like Ang Lee to have the audacity to tackle what looked like a seemingly impossible literary adaption of Yann Martel’s novel Life of Pi. Martel’s story (adapted by screenwriter Richard Magee) outlines the life but more specifically the life defining event of Pi (Suraj Sharma/Irrfan Khan) who while travelling to Canada from India with his family and their Zoo menagerie has to survive their cargo ship being battered into submission by a horrific storm. Pi is the lone human survivor on a life boat with a Tiger and must dig deep into the recesses of his eclectic faith to stay alive. Lee’s vision of Pi is magnificent. The colour is electric and the iconic and stunningly sublime shots are littered throughout. Whether it’s magnificent underwater shots of a cargo ship plunging to the depths of the ocean or the infinite glacial look of an ocean, Lee’s stunning composition is omnipresent. However Life of Pi’s technical wizardry for the animal stars of the film (with a combination of mechanics and CGI) is so wonderfully realised that in a moment that when Lee takes you up close and personal with a snarling Tiger you’re not distracted by critiquing the quality of its realism -instead it authentically taps into those primal ‘fight or flight’ impulses and make for chilling viewing. Suraj Sharma, as the young Pi, does a magnificent job of believably absorbing the harrowing physical torture without his infectious faith

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(quirkily: in a plethora of religions simultaneously) and hope being extinguished. And it’s no mean feat to emote sincerely without actors or real animals to play off of. It’s a physically testing transformative performance for the young unknown actor that’s catapulted him into the spotlight. The minor flaws of the film lie in the economy of the film’s

opening. It feels far too bound with exposition via dialogue that could have been explained with deft direction. Life of Pi is a beautiful allegory about living with faith in the face on unfathomable tests. Lee has fashioned a vision of Pi’s journey that surpasses the projections that your imagination could possibly conjure reading the novel.


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Lounge issue no 115