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12 I july 24 - 30, 2011


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Mass movement The fact that our masses love Bollywood movies along with their complex and modern day story lines is a testament to the their abilities to enjoy and appreciate something other than the usual Punjabi plot line that they have been fed for so many decades

I

fell very ill last week and spent most of my time in bed with a severe throat infection and antibiotics that made me feel queasy and half conscious when I was wide awake. Nothing like six pills a day, missing your work-out, being absent from office, watching too much TV, and becoming a slave to load shedding. A week in bed also gave me time to ponder over things that I usually never get to question in my daily routine. As I sat with a group of friends who all belong to some part of the Arts and Entertainment industry, I found myself defending a very distinct point of view. More often than not, I am subjected to the ‘masses argument’ as I like to call it. It goes something like this, ‘You don’t know what the masses want. The masses won’t accept this. The common man likes the way things are being put out or made currently.’ I have to come to realize that this is a false pretense behind which so many Pakistanis hide their insecurities and incompetence.

24 I july 24 - 30, 2011

Take the movie industry for example. I have already heard all arguments by people in the industry

complaining about the lack of funding to make a good quality film but the fact remains that these days with technology, one can very easily make a film which is not too expensive and still do a lot better than Lollywood. Shoaib Mansoor’s movies have been the topic for many debates among the industry and the one opinion that really gets under my skin is when his work is deemed by some as elitist or that it only caters to subject matter that is interesting to a very small percentage of our society. I believe that just like many other things in Pakistan, we constantly underestimate the common man. His ability to enjoy and appreciate on a very basic human level any kind of entertainment is usually taken for granted. Therefore, the masses are thought of as being too stupid or uneducated to appreciate a quality product when it comes to retail, film, fashion, music etc. My opinion is that it is the economics of a product that differentiates its

clientele and not necessarily the quality. Every human being likes getting the best possible value for the money that he/she can afford, be it a movie ticket or a button down shirt. The fact that our masses love Bollywood movies along with their complex and modern day story lines is a testament to the their abilities to enjoy and appreciate something other than the usual Punjabi plot line that they have been fed for so many decades. Even in the fashion retail industry I see many cases where the drive for innovation is seriously lacking and the brands seem to capitalize on the same standard of product that they have been producing for a very long time. Technology enables us to create products of higher quality at lower prices and its true for every industry. At the end of the day, it boils down to how much respect we give to those who are less fortunate in terms of financial standing, that determines their future and a progressive Pakistan. Send your comments to info@ammarbelal.com


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38 I july 24 - 30, 2011


Profile

Faiza Mujahid- Back with a bang

‘With the release of ‘Meri Zindagi,’ I feel By Rubia Moghees I have had a chance arving a path for herself, the young musician Faiza Mujahid returns to launch her solo single ‘Meri Zindagi’. She talks of a to express my hopes, vision for women being more independent and taking control of their lives. Taking a musical hiatus after ‘Bandeya Ho’ and desires and frustrations ‘Kahan Houn Mein’ she wanted to explore her musical talent. ‘With the release of ‘Meri Zindagi,’ I feel I have had a chance to express my as I experienced them hopes, desires and frustrations as I experienced them and hope that in its and hope that in its own way the song is able to reach out to the current generation of young girls encouraging them to stand up for themselves,’ says Faiza. Contemplating a own way the song is jump towards mainstay music, Faiza knows what’s in store for her for she has shown maturity in handling work and stardom. Here are the excerpts able to reach out to the from an interview with her: current generation of Tell us about ‘Meri Zindagi’? The video is directed by Armughan Hassan and the entire team consists of young girls encouraging young individuals who are emerging in their respective fields; Shah Zaman them to stand up for as a DOP, Asma a fashion designer, Mehreen an artist and Tanya a stylist. The entire video is based on the energy and raw performance of an all girls themselves,’ band. It’s not trying to be too punk or too rock but it has elements of the

C

two in terms of not just the obvious physical appearance, but also in our attitude.

How would you describe your experience on the stage?

It’s an adrenalin rush to say the least every time I am on stage. It’s more like an addiction when you see the crowd around you and the way they respond.

How would you describe your experience of singing for Shoaib Mansoor’s ‘Bol’ ?

‘Hona tha pyaar’ is an important project in my life because I had the opportunity of working with some of the more renowned names in the music industry; Hadiqa Kiyani and Atif Aslam. I love the composition which is by Atif and I will keep my fingers crossed hoping that it will be a success, just like ‘Bandeya ho’.

What are your future plans?

I’m going to release my album single by single. The overall feel of the album focuses on the 80’s and 90’s specifically.

What is the scope for girls who wish to venture into the music industry?

Well, times are changing and the society is now more accommodating towards female singers. Talking from personal experience; if your content is good people will accept you whole heartedly.

Did you learn music professionally?

Unfortunately, I did not, but I have learnt a lot over the years by working and observing people in the music industry. However, I do believe that one should continuously train as a singer to be able to perform at a professional level.

Who is your inspiration in t his particular field?

I would have loved to work with Joan Jett and the Blackhearts if I could transport myself back in time. Alanis Morrissette and A R Rehman are other favourites. 40 I july 24 - 30, 2011


Rock Icons

Powerful and explosive hmad Khan

By Sikander A

F

During those decades when they were active, the band was also outspoken and quite explosive. Internal conflicts often produced their best work, providing a volatile dynamic that never quite broke them up

rom the 60s blues era to the 70s hard rock, the Who reigned across the decades as one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time. They instilled energy and the chaos of rock and roll into its purest form. In their prime they were a unit whose individual personalities fused into a larger-than-life whole. Pete Townshend provided the guitar work and much of the composition. Vocalist Roger Daltrey injected the songs with expressive emotion and passion. Bassist John Entwistle anchored the band with his stoic demeanor and Keith Moon, one of the greatest of all rock and roll drummers, would just explode onto his drums, attacking them and embodied true rockstar lifestyle both on and off stage. Sadly the rock world mourned his death rather prematurely; Moon died accidentally overdosing on pills to combat alcoholism. The Who, born in 1964 originally from a group called the High Numbers, which included Daltrey, Townshend and Entwistle. Moon, who played in a British group called the Beachcombers joined later. The newly charged-up band came on as equipment-smashing quartet who declared, ‘Hope I die before I get old,’ in their anthem. ‘Sometimes we smashed equipment worth $700 whereas we were making only about $300 but it’s strange we were never really ever broke,’ says a smiling Roger Daltrey. The early Who demonstrated a mastery of the three-minute single, displaying the frustrations of adolescence in such 42 I july 24 - 30, 2011


‘Sometimes we smashed equipment worth $700 whereas we were making only about $300 but it’s strange we were never really ever broke,’ high-energy classics as ‘Can’t Explain,’ ‘Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere’ and ‘Substitute’. A turn toward psychedelia yielded The Who Sell Out and its illuminating key song, ‘I Can See for Miles,’ which became the Who’s biggest stateside single. By the late Sixties, Townshend and the Who had turned their attention from singles to their antithesis. In 1969, they released the conceptual rock opera Tommy, a double-album about the spiritual path of a ‘deaf, dumb and blind boy’. An excerpt from Tommy provided a concert highlight of the Woodstock festival and its subsequent film documentary. Always one of rock’s most hard-hitting live acts, The Who documented this side of their multifaceted personality with Live at Leeds in 1970, a concert recording packaged to look like a bootleg. The Who’s next studio recording ‘Who’s Next’, a flawless album of discreet numbers that helped define the sound and sensibility of rock in the Seventies. ‘Baba O’Riley’s’ album-opening through to Daltrey’s electrifying scream on the closing track, ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again,’ ‘Who’s Next’ stands as a virtual rock anthem. At all stages of its career, The Who has been a dynamic live act. During those decades when they were active, the band was also outspoken and quite explosive. Internal conflicts somehow often produced their best work, providing a volatile dynamic that never quite broke them up. Only the death of Keith Moon in 1978, who overdosed on medication taken for his alcohol intake, interrupted their remarkable run. Amid much soul-searching as to whether they should continue, The Who recruited drummer Kenney Jones (formerly of the Faces) as Moon’s replacement and recorded two more albums, ‘Face Dances’ and ‘It’s Hard’. The Who undertook a lengthy and much-publicized farewell tour in 1982 but thereafter regrouped on a number of occasions, apparently having said farewell only to the notion of making new music together. Townshend, Daltrey and Entwistle all pursued prolific solo careers both during and after the Who’s alleged breakup. Among other things, the Who revived their rock operas Tommy and Quadrophenia for multi-night stands in big cities. Tommy was also successfully adapted to the Broadway stage in 1993, with Townshend’s blessing and involvement, and won five Tony awards. Though still no new music was forthcoming, The Who’s surviving members, Daltrey, Entwistle and an admittedly hearing-impaired Townshend, turned up on the summer amphitheater circuit as recently as 1997. With each regrouping, the veteran band performed with such explosive energy that musicians both aspiring and current were totally awestruck and given the message that age is but a number. july 24 - 30, 2011 I 43


Film

By turning predictabilities into pleasantries, getting the right actors and bringing an undeniable seamless flow to her narrative, Ms Akhtar makes sure she gives the audiences a breezy, memorable trip of their own; this despite the fact that you know the film sings the very rotten live-life-to-the-fullest anthem

A movie to remember

I

By Saim Sadiq

entered the theatre to catch the very first show of Zoya Akhtar’s Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara with overwhelmingly high expectations; the memory of her first film leaving me speechless, still fresh in my head. Clearly the most underrated Indian film of the past decade, I will take this opportunity to firstly recommend that you all get a DVD of ‘Luck by chance’ this very weekend. Back to her second feature playing in theatres, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara is a standard tale involving three boys out on a road trip in Spain that changes their lives forever. I will not indulge into the story so much since there isn’t too much of it anyway. Little of the plot strikes you as novel and much of it is very predictable, especially if you have (and I know you have) seen Dil Chahta Hai. Yet this is a film written and directed by Zoya Akhtar, a fact that makes all the difference in the world. By turning predictabilities into pleasantries, getting the right actors and bringing an undeniable seamless flow to her narrative, Ms Akhtar makes sure she gives the audience a breezy, memorable trip of their own; this despite the fact that you know the film sings the very rotten live-life-to-the-fullest anthem. It doesn’t hit off instantly. You can’t really pinpoint the exact moment, but the three musketeers do warm you up gradually. It’s actually inexplicable; something I suggest you go in and experience first-hand. Because towards the second half of the film, when Hrithik, Farhan and Abhay finally dive into the open sky, you witness on screen one of the most spectacularly conceived and brilliantly shot sequences in a long time. From there onwards, the film takes off. Of course, the film benefits tremendously because of its casting. Leading the pack is Farhan Akhtar who is remarkably good as Imran, making his character seem like actual flesh and bone and absolutely acing the only emotional moment he gets. Abhay Deol, in spite of his complete lack of charisma, makes his natural restraint work in favour. Kalki Koechin was clearly not asked to act. Doubtlessly an excellent actor, Hrithik Roshan, makes his rather stretched character come alive on screen, making sure that the girls drool while he is at it. And Katrina Kaif is, well, Katrina Kaif. And, it is not all merit. I did initially expect some sort of a novel angle to the premises instead of a gloriously revamped Dil Chahta Hai. I did expect all the jokes to be funny, the length to be crisper. I did wish all the poetry in the film was as good as those last couple of lines. So I should have left the theatre with an underwhelming sense of disappointment. If only that huge smile on my face would let me. 44 I july 24 - 30, 2011


Recipe

Spicy Fettuccine Ingredients

Preparation

• 2pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning • Cooking spray • 2 tablespoons butter • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper • 1 cup chopped onion • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 1 (8-ounce) package pre-sliced cremini mushrooms • 1 garlic clove, minced • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce • 1 tablespoon Creole mustard • 3 cups 2% low-fat milk • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions, divided • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley, divided • 8 cups hot cooked fettuccine (about 1 pound uncooked pasta)

• Preheat oven to 350°F • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with Cajun seasoning. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan, and cook 7 minutes on each side or until done. Cut chicken into 1/4-inch-thick slices; set aside. • Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and next 4 ingredients (bell pepper through garlic); sauté 7 minutes or until tender. Sprinkle with flour, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in the Worcestershire and mustard; gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until slightly thick. Remove from heat; stir in 3/4 cup green onions, 6 tablespoons cheese, and 3 tablespoons parsley. Add chicken and pasta to sauce mixture; toss well to combine. • Spoon mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup green onions, 2 tablespoons cheese, and 1 tablespoon parsley. Cover and bake at 350° for 20 minutes; uncover and bake an additional 5 minutes. july 24 - 30, 2011 I 45


Cuisine

A

s a self-confessed food addict, my relationship with a city is rooted in its culture and its cuisine. When it comes to Lahore, this relationship is intensely obsessive and self-indulgent. Perhaps this is because that’s what Lahore as a city means to me. Everything about Lahore is over-the-top, intense, luscious. Take the trees. You have got to love the trees in Lahore, ancient, grand, towering above us, marking the passage of history. Sadly, there aren’t many places left in the city where you can enjoy both. First, there’s the rampant cutting down of Lahore’s beautiful arboreal sentinels – all in the name of progress. Then, there’s the fact that fine dining in the Land of the Pure is tough to get right. Lucky for me, there is at least one such place in Lahore (possibly one of the few such places left in the entire country). Here, you can indeed enjoy the princess/prince-like experience of real fine dining: Perfect, impeccable handmade cotton white linen, with no smell or blotches, your starters served with napkins 46 I july 24 - 30, 2011

worked with beautiful and intricate embroidery. Wonderful, polite liveried staff changes your napkins before your main course has begun. The sumptuous food is served on divine Villeroy & Boch fine Bone China crockery and cutlery, whilst you sit bathed in the soft glow of perfect ambient lighting. Yes, fellow foodies, it can be done, all of it, here in Lahore, Pakistan, at the Royal Palm Golf and Country Club’s very own Chameleon restaurant. I went there on a ‘double date’ with my husband, and my cousin Mariam and her mother, my khala. We settled down on our super comfortable chairs to music that was truly fantastic. As I feverishly thumbed through the menu, the soft strains of Shankar Jaikishan’s Bollywood classic Ajeeb Dastan Hai Yeh filled the dining hall, followed by the live pianist Mr Munir’s version of the Godfather theme, played on a stunning mahogany grand piano. We ordered and sat back to gaze out onto one of the most spectacular views Lahore has to offer. The rolling fairways of the golf course and stunning trees of the old Railways Club, now the elegant Royal Palm Golf and Country Club, tastefully and subtly lit. That’s

By Nadia Jamil the word: subtle. It was all very subtle – the music, the ambience, the food. This was True Romance. Chameleon’s menu is eclectic, with choices for traditional and conservative eaters, as well as the more adventurous fusion food lovers. To compensate for the respectable company I decided to take my tum for an adventure and go


all out. I started with the Thai Beef Salad, which is – I have to say – perfect, with soft strips of tender beef, nestling between crunchy onions, tomatoes, a hint of spring onion, cashew nuts, all infused with a lemon grass chilli zing. The tomatoes held their own and were not too soggy and the crisp salad left me feeling slightly full and refreshed! I followed it with a Prawn Cocktail. It was small and lady-like, and I gobbled it down in two minutes, shovelling the prawn and sliced apples into the Thousand Island dressing, arranged delicately on the side of the plate. My nose usually checks the food out before my taste buds do and I am pleased to promise there was no suspicious smell coming from either the Thai salad or the prawns. Often, I feel such meals are cooked in stale peanut oil and a weird smell heralds the food in. But this was fresh, good, clean food. The soups I have sampled in a lot of perfectly respectable restaurants often have an odd stale MSG-esque stench hidden in their murky, dish-watery depths. So I was pleased when Mariam’s Minestrone Soup smelt divine, the veggies, red beans and pasta making a yummy mouthful in the tomato-based broth. A tad too tangy maybe, but wholesome and comforting. My lamb chops were nothing short of divine – marbled by just the right amount of fat, they were so soft they melted in my mouth. Perfect, beautiful, un-marinated meat, served with a pepper sauce on the side and the most exciting grilled vegetables I have ever had in my life. The grilled veggies were done al dente, just right, leaving

them slightly soft outside and with a crunch when you bite in. The carrots were sweet and the grilled fennel was the best surprise of all. We all loved it so much we asked for a separate plate of it, so the sweet vegetable could burst its saunf aftertaste into our mouths over and over. I was soon on a high, waltzing in my head with eyes closed to Mr Munir’s tunes, chewing slowly to enjoy the sensual joy of a perfect lamb chop and grilled veggies. Sigh… I had to sample khala’s Cajun Baby Chicken in a Mexican salsa sauce. Pakistani chefs invariably mess up Mexican food, but the salsa sauce was surprisingly good, the chicken succulent and the Potatoes Dauphinoise soft and creamy (even if the baby chicken did look a little grown up). Mariam’s Thai Chicken Red Curry was very interesting because it was served as sliced chicken breasts with the traditional spicy Thai red curry sauce and a warm, soft – get ready for this – spinach risotto. I wasn’t initially sure about the fusion of these two, but it worked beautifully – the spicy hot Thai lemongrass-infused chicken balanced by the comforting risotto. Ali ordered the Chateaubriand and we were both very pleasantly surprised by the excellent quality of the local meat beefsteak. Usually, they are hard and overdone, the meat tough and stringy; but Ali’s steak was very nice and great value for money for a local steak. Chameleon also offers imported steaks but surprisingly their local Chateaubriand was very, very good. By the time we got to dessert, we all shared

two signature famous Chameleon Tiramisus with a shot of Espresso, and then asked Mr Sunny (the wonderfully courteous and attentive manager) to introduce us to Mr Bilal Ahmad, the chef. Mr Ahmad has travelled the world and worked extensively as a chef for internationally renowned hotels and restaurants. Despite his impressive resume, he was humble and friendly, smiling as we gushed over his culinary magic (I wanted to kidnap and take him home with me when he promised us cheese/chocolate soufflés for desert when we next visited). After gazing out at the stunning greenery outside, sipping my coffee, and chatting away for a bit, we went over to congratulate the remarkable and talented Mr Munir on the piano, taking his card so we could all get piano lessons from him. It was only when I stepped out of the building and the sticky night hit my blow-dry sending my sleek straight hair into curly madness that I remembered I was in Lahore. So if you want to have a romantic Parisian night out, a soothing, jazzy night out, or simply a night of excellent food served impeccably to the highest standards, with great music and a great view, Chameleon does it for you. Now, Lahori Kudi needs to join a gym ASAP because she is so going back for those soufflés and another round of food soon! Thank you Chameleon for rockin’, gastronomic joy, making me feel like a princess and inspiring the entire fam to become mini Mozarts. Lahore Lahore Ay Jee! Even if I have found my own little patch of Paris in it!

Here, you can boast of eating fantastic fare, while gazing through giant windows onto the emerald fairways of a golf course forested with beautiful, old Lahori trees july 24 - 30, 2011 I 47


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50 I july 24 - 30, 2011


24th July 2011 - Lounge Weekly - Pakistan Today  

Lounge is Pakistan Todays weekly magazine. Published every Sunday, Lounge performs a roundup of the weeks latest events & reviews in Arts, E...

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