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Lounge Loves

By Sahar Iqbal

Jazz your nails with ‘Color Studio’s Crackle Nail Color’ Color Studio’s Crackle Nail Color is truly spectacular. The crackle effect is super dramatic and unique. It adds an oomph to every get-up. The crackle nail colours allow you to be your own artist and be a trend setter. Directions: Apply a single coat over dried out nails; finish it with super top coat for a fabulous crackle effect.

Chester Bernard’s new Valentine’s Day collection Chester Bernard is launching a special Valentine promotion at their retail outlets in Lahore, Karachi and Faislabad. The outlet at Sitara Mall in Faislabad is the latest addition to the Chester Bernard family. The brand is now taking out a special collection of red and pink shirts which are perfect as a gift for any man from a woman who wants to make Valentine’s Day special for him. Chester Bernard is located off M M Alam Road in Lahore; Zamzama, Karachi and Sitara Mall, Faislabad. Peshawar. It is centrally located at 3-C, Main Abdara Road, University Town, Peshawar.

Concepteur’s Lounge Concepteur’s Lounge is Peshawar’s first and only multi-brand store which is stocking designers from all over the country including Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. The store includes collections from renowned designers such as Nadya Mistry, Ayesha Khurram and Nomi Ansari. Taneez, the foremost name in silver jewellery is also displaying at Concepteur’s Lounge as are brands such as BnB Accessories who will be displaying their funky and edgy shoes and bags. A joint venture of Dr Naila Junaid and Mrs Yasmin Azam, Concepteur’s Lounge is the foremost name in fashion in Peshawar. It is centrally located at 3-C, Main Abdara Road, University Town, Peshawar.

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February 05 - 11, 2012 I 33


Interview

Riffat & Sana

Mother daughter design team By Injila Baqir Zeeshan 34 I February 05 - 11, 2012


K

anals upon kanals of lush green lawn, with golf carts parked at the entrance, just to go around the premises, surround the palatial house into which I made way to interview Sana Salman. Sharmeen, her elder sister greeted me warmly at the entrance. I was then introduced to Riffat Arif, Sana’s motherthe lady whose efforts lead to the beginning of the business of designing clothes. Born to the lifestyle of princesses did not hinder the mother and daughters trio to do something worthwhile with

their time. And Sana has now taken over the business, the seeds for which were laid by Mrs Riffat. Sana holds a BBA degree from LSE, is a mother of a six year old boy and is running a successful design house, which is rapidly expanding. Riffat Saleem has two sons and two daughters out of whom Sana was infected by her mother’s love for fashion design. But during my little chat with them it was clear that the elder sister Sharmeen dotes upon her younger sister and has been her biggest support through the years. She has been helping her baby

The label ‘Riffat & Sana’ has been coined by Sana keeping her mom’s name as a part of her fashion identity. ‘My mother is my lucky charm,’ tells Sana

February 05 - 11, 2012 I 35


The three of them place great emphasis on the fact that the quality of the fabric they use is simply impeccable. ‘You will not be able to find any impure or mixed fabrics in our store. We are using only malai, chiffon and now Swiss voiles,’ sister to the best of her ability. She also has to be the brand’s top advertiser to the world. ‘People have now stopped asking me which designer’s clothes I am wearing whenever they compliment my outfit. They now know that it has to be something which my sister must have designed for me.’ She tells how Sana being the youngest has always been the darling of the family and how everyone has always loved her to bits, supporting her decision to jump into designing. The label ‘Riffat & Sana’ has been coined by Sana keeping her mom’s name as a part of her fashion house. ‘My mother is my lucky charm,’ tells Sana. Riffat manages the financial side of the business and all the public dealing, leaving Sana to concentrate on the design. Having no formal training for the field, Sana was someone who has always been designing unique and intricate clothes for herself. These outfits attracted a lot of attention and envy from her friends since her college days. At formal events relatives would admire her design sense endlessly and question her about which designer was she using for her wardrobe. When Sana found some time from her duties as a mother and wife and moved to

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‘No piece crosses the price of rupees ten thousand here. We believe that this is the biggest reason for our phenomenal success and why everything is sold out like hot cakes during exhibitions

Lahore, it was a natural progression for her to enter this area. Since that day she has not looked back. Many exhibitions have been held for selling the clothes and getting new orders. Riffat narrates how they were able to bag 300- 400 orders at their last exhibition. Surprisingly, all of the advertising has been only by word of mouth. ‘We were overwhelmed by the response and have been finding it difficult to manage the orders which have already been placed. I cannot even imagine what running proper advertising campaigns would do for us. But within the next year, we will Insha Allah expand and then enter the market in a gigantic way,’ Riffat sounds very enthusiastic and positive about their planned and expected growth within the next few months. I am then led to the clothes line which comprises of a few of the samples from the winter exhibition. It is a colourful array of aesthetically created long shirts. The style is mostly that of loose fittings with embellishments which are perfect for party-wear. Colours in fashion seem to be navy blue and

orange. Black of course never goes out of fashion. One of the most popular design is a block printed shirt with chunky polki buttons in the front. Sana is completing the outfits these days with matching tights for her clients. The sizes prepared are medium and for those who want alterations or bigger sizes, orders are booked. Usually you can place an order at Riffat & Sana and have your outfit prepared for you within ten days. But that depends upon whether its rush hour at the boutique or not, and how many orders they get after an exhibition. The spring/ summer exhibition is due to take place somewhere towards the end of February this year. It will have ready-to-wear semi formal and formal clothes designed in pure lawns and voiles. The three of them place great emphasis on the fact that the quality of the fabric they use is simply impeccable. ‘You will not be able to find any impure or mixed fabrics in our store. We are using only malai, chiffon and now Swiss voiles,’ relate Riffat and Sana. Another noticeable factor is the surprising price range. ‘No piece crosses the price of

February 05 - 11, 2012 I 37


Sana has always been designing unique and intricate clothes for herself. These outfits attracted a lot of attention and envy from her friends rupees ten thousand here. We believe that this is the biggest reason for our phenomenal success and why everything is sold out like hot cakes during exhibitions, on the very first day!’ Talking a little about her designs, Sana tells how pocket broaches have been the rage last season. The coming season will see colours like electric blue and maroon. Sharmeen predicts that animal prints will rule. Sana keeps herself very up to date with the international fashion scene and incorporates the latest into her new ranges. For now it is shimmer that is

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soaring in popularity. If you want to own something stunning designed by her this season, then gear up to visit the next exhibition, which will be held at 97-B, Gulberg II soon. Lounge will keep you updated about its exact date. It is always good to meet women who have made a pact with themselves not to waste their lives sitting around idly. And Sana Salman is one such woman. All three of these women are making an effort to harness their creative energies, channelizing them into fashion designing, and we wish them all the best!

Photography by Asmat Khan at Studio AFZL


February 05 - 11, 2012 I 39


Saving Face

Making us proud By Sikander Ahmad Khan

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akistanis can indeed stand proud. Fazeelat Aslam, a journalist and a producer along with Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy (director), are the reason behind ‘Saving Face’, which is a documentary about a British-Pakistani plastic surgeon who treats two Pakistani women. These women have suffered from acid attacks, gender violence and the aftermath of their struggle. ‘Saving Face’ was nominated for the Oscars this year in the ‘Best Documentary, Short Subject category. It will officially be aired on HBO in March of 2012. Lounge caught up with the producer of this movie, Fazeelat Aslam and here is what she had to say. Q. Tell us about yourself? A. I have lived most of my life abroad, graduated from the Wellesley College in Massachusetts and came back to Pakistan in 2002. Q. Walk us through your career? A. I have been an anchor for Geo on Prime Time and have written for the New York Times but this has always been my true calling and previously we have won an Emmy for the production ‘Children of the Taliban’ back in 2010. Q. Tell us about this movie? A. Acid violence impacts women in southern Punjab and changes the lives of hundreds of women each year. This film follows Dr Mohammad Jawad, a surgeon who traveled to Pakistan from the United Kingdom in order to help these women through reconstructive surgery. ‘Saving Face’ is also a story of hope and about Pakistani women helping each other.

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Q. What was the reason for your moving back to Pakistan? A. Our roots will always be here no matter where we go and what we do. My family has always believed in that and we, as a family, wanted to do something for our country. Having seen all the bomb blasts and suicide bombings it pains me to see what the country has gone through. We suffered personally as well because the bomb blast that took place in the FIA building severely damaged my grandparents’ house where I grew up. Fortunately no one was hurt. Q. Where do you see yourself five years from now? A I want to continue making documentaries and through them I would like to make a difference. Q. What is your next project going to be? A: The next venture is a positive message and is about all the people who go out of their way to make a difference in their endeavour to make this country a better place. Believe me there are lots of them and their tireless and selfless efforts need to be recognized. Q. Any message for the upcoming film makers? A Believe in your dreams and realise them through hard work and dedication. We need more people like Fazeelat in our midst to pull our country out from the tangles of our bad image in the world created by our circumstances.


Oscar

nominations

By Kunwar Khuldne Shahid

BEST FILM Nominations: War Horse, The Artist, Moneyball, The Descendants, The Tree of Life, Midnight in Paris, The Help, Hugo, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. The two films that stand out as being the most ‘Oscar friendly’, if nothing else, are The Artist and Hugo; and the general consensus is that one of these two should bag the award. Hugo is unlike any other Martin Scorsese film – an emotion filled adventure drama, about a 12 year boy who lives in a Paris railway station. The Artist is a silent film and a throwback to the late 1920s, which is truly an “artistic” take on the cinema; and not only of that particular epoch. Of the chasing pack, The Tree of Life – Terrence Mallick’s take on the origins and meaning of life via a man’s childhood memories; and The Descendants – a George Clooney

show – are the ones that could upset the applecart, so to speak. One of the best sports movies in recent memory (Moneyball), a Woody Allen masterwork (Midnight in Paris), a Steven Spielberg war epic (War Horse), a tale of the American Civil Rights era (The Help), and a film about 9/11’s aftermath (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close) complete the list. All the same, The Artist might just pip Hugo, with a nostalgically arty take on cinema’s silent past. BEST ACTOR Nominations: Demián Bichir (A Better Life), George Clooney (The Descendants), Jean Dujardin (The Artist), Gary Oldman, (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Brad Pitt (Moneyball). There are some truly staggering performances in this shortlist; and hence picking out a winner is going to be an ordeal. George Clooney’s nonchalantly downbeat performance in The Descendants might just make him the favourite for the award, but the other four are going to run him pretty close. Brad Pitt was perfectly cast for the role in Moneyball, and while it might not have been the most challenging of roles; he still executed the task brilliantly. Gary Oldman as George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was another masterful performance, in a film saturated with espionage and reticent undertones. Jean Dujardin with his eye popping, shimmying and ‘all that jazz’ performance in The Artist carried

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a remarkable film on his shoulders, but one gets the feeling that still might not be good enough. Demián Bichir is a possible outsider in this one for his terrific central performance as Carlos Galindo in a powerful drama. The safe money is on Clooney though. BEST ACTRESS Nominations: Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs), Viola Davis (The Help), Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady), Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn) Meryl Streep in her uncanny depiction of Mrs Margaret Thatcher is the overwhelming favourite for this one. Michelle William’s impersonation of another illustrious lady from the previous century – Marilyn Monroe was another decent effort and Viola Davis might get the sentimental vote for her invigoratingly touching performance in The Help. Glen Close as a cross-dressing butler and Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander – a lean, fierce, anger filled performance – also made their mark last year. However, anyone but Streep would conjure up a massive upset on the 26th of February.


Hanif Jewellers Making Inroads

T

By Rubia Moghees

he enterprising young scions of Hanif Jewelers are all set to capture the imagination of the Pakistani market by utilizing their rich experience in jewellery business as they offer their vision forward by launching the country’s largest jewellery boutique outlet in Lahore on M M Alam Road. Riding on success for the last seven years after their humble launch in Pakistan back in 2003, the young directors of the brand know exactly where they stand. It was in 70’s when Hanif Jewellers was initiated by their father in Muscat, Oman. The slow and steady progress led him to open five more outlets over there before he passed on the reigns to his young sons who have defiantly took the path of expanding the business and bringing it in the limelight. The young guns all in their 20’s; have the dream of taking the name to places as they spoke about how they have established their brand in such a short time. ‘We buy the designs and jewellery in bulk from the international market and then it gets displayed in our stores for the retail market on reasonable prices,’ they observe. The brands available at their outlets are the impressive names like the Versace, Chanel, Tiffany’s, Cartier and Rajkot from India apart from their own distinctive styles. ‘We have come to realize that the idea of numerous chains

of stores will never be successful as we need one mega store to display whatever we have to offer in gold and diamond jewellery,’ they explain. This kind of place they believe will fetch more clients as people always go for the best and all under-one-roof concept will work out for the simple reason that maximum variety, selection and choice will be available for the tasteful lot who won’t have to go here and there.’ Coming on to the most important aspect of jewellery are the escalating gold prices which have gone totally beyond the middle-class reach. ‘Countries like China and Saudi Arabia have started to invest heavily in gold and diamonds after the crisis of 9/11 that wrecked the economy of the world as it found itself in a war-like situation with the currency getting devalued; which led the rich countries to amass gold instead and lead to the sudden surge in prices, according to the Hanif Brothers. ‘Gold still has a lot of potential when it comes to the investment point of view and it is still out of reach for the majority of public as it was when it was only 100 Rupees per tola,’ according to the directors of Hanif Jeweller’s prediction the prices will shoot up by the end of 2012 because of the persisting weak economy of the world. However, if the situation of our country improves along with the possibility of our currency getting stronger; the buying power of the public will automatically perk up which will enable the prices to come down.

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Books

Pride and prejuidice and murder

It’s surprisingly gratifying, while turning the pages of P. D. James’s homage, to find oneself laughing not at the characters but with them By Liesl Schillinger

A

spiring writers take heart: one of the most beloved novels of all time was rejected when it was fluttered in front of publishers in 1797 — or so the historical record suggests. Called “First Impressions,” it was written by a country girl whose father was so impressed by his daughter’s sage and vivacious creation that he sent a letter of inquiry to a publisher, who refused even to look at the manuscript. Never mind. Sixteen years later, the book appeared under a different title. Perhaps you’ve heard of it: “Pride and Prejudice.” Here’s a quick recap. A proud, clever girl named Elizabeth Bennet — who has four sisters; a silly, socialclimbing mother; a smart but passive father; and no family fortune to speak of — is pursued, reluctantly, by a dashing, arrogant wealthy man named Fitzwilliam Darcy, who loves her but considers her beneath him. Eventually, Lizzy teaches him more “gentlemanlike” manners and they marry in a double wedding with Darcy’s friend Bingley and Lizzy’s sister Jane, whom Darcy had initially striven to keep asunder. How did the marriages work out? Almost 200 years

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later, we have an answer in the form of a satisfying sequel called “Death Comes to Pemberley,” a mystery by the ingenious P. D. James. That’s quite an audacious undertaking. So far, the most successful modern reincarnation of Austen was Amy Heckerling’s 1995 movie “Clueless,” a glossy overhaul of “Emma” that clad the ageless bones of Austen’s plot in glossy Hollywood flesh and fashion. Meanwhile, the most grotesque reanimation has surely been the 2009 para-literary niche phenomenon “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.” For that reason, it’s surprisingly gratifying, while turning the pages of P. D. James’s homage, to find oneself laughing not at the characters but with them. Baroness James, 91, a retired British civil servant, former magistrate, BBC governor and author of 20 previous books (many featuring the poet detective Adam Dalgliesh) is far too wise to overstep her authorial license. Her innovation has been to transplant the dramatis personae from Austen into her own suspenseful universe, preserving their likenesses and life force. James clearly understands that many readers feel as close an attachment to Austen’s characters as they do to their own relatives and friends.

How right it feels to learn, as James informs us, that Bingley and Jane moved away from Netherfield soon after their marriage, wanting to put distance between them and the everquerulous Mrs. Bennet at Longbourn. What a delight to read that tone-deaf, humorless Mary Bennet has married a “thin, melancholy” rector, “given to preaching sermons of inordinate length and complicated theology.” How apt that the evil seducer George Wickham, after marrying Lizzy’s frivolous sister Lydia, worked as a secretary for the foppish baronet Sir Walter Elliot (a character from Austen’s novel “Persuasion”) until Lydia’s “open flirtation” with the baronet and Wickham’s simpering attempts to ingratiate himself with his employer’s daughter met “finally with disgust.” And what a treat to see Bingley’s snobbish sisters, Mrs. Hurst and Miss Bingley, get their comeuppance — and Harriet Smith (of “Emma”) her reward. Above all, James will delight Austen’s devoted fans by showing Darcy and Lizzy to be (if anything) more in love and better matched than anyone might have hoped, six years into their marriage. But can their union withstand the stress of a murder on the grounds of Pemberley, occasioned by the unwelcome appearance of Lizzy’s sister Lydia, who gate-crashes the


estate in a careering coach on the eve of the Darcys’ annual autumn ball, having left a body or two behind in the Pemberley woodland? “A murder in the family can provide a frisson of excitement at fashionable dinner parties,” James’s omniscient narrator hopefully remarks, then quickly changes course, concluding, in a perfect Austenlike summation, “But little social credit can be expected from the brutal dispatch of an undistinguished captain of the infantry, without money or breeding to render him interesting.” Lizzy’s father, who comes to offer moral support to his daughter and sonin-law, assesses the contretemps with characteristic levity: “Lydia’s husband seems to have distinguished himself by this latest exploit in managing to combine entertainment for the masses with the maximum embarrassment for his family.” But can these dark doings in Derbyshire be resolved without blotting Pemberley’s escutcheon and blighting the Darcys’ marital felicity? Soon enough, coroners, magistrates, witnesses, peers and plebeians will all make their way to London . . . and tell it to the judge. The greatest pleasure of this novel is its unforced, effortless, effective voice. James hasn’t written in florid cod-Regency whorls, the overblown language other mimics so often employ. Not infrequently, while reading “Death Comes to Pemberley,” one succumbs to the impression that it is Austen herself at the keyboard. When Lizzy observes her girlhood friend Charlotte Lucas deftly wrangling her pompous, tedious husband, Mr. Collins (whose hand Lizzy had spurned), her admiration for Charlotte’s artfulness could scarcely be improved upon by the woman who dreamed these characters up: “She consistently congratulated him on qualities he did not possess in the hope that, flattered by her praise and approval, he would acquire them.” Note to Harper Collins: If you’re still hunting an ideal contemporary ghost writer for Austen’s m o c k - G o t h i c mystery, “Northanger Abbey,” look no further.

How right it feels to learn, as James informs us, that Bingley and Jane moved away from Netherfield soon after their marriage, wanting to put distance between them and the ever-querulous Mrs. Bennet at Longbourn February 05 - 11, 2012 I 51


‘My calligraphic symphonies run in low keys, smoothly. I subtly divide space by writing small pieces around the focal point and fill the focal point with a large word’

Resonance of a tradition By Nadeem Alam

The traditional Islamic calligraphy has always been an emblem of balance and flow that are very close to the basic concepts of Islam as well

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alligraphy has been a unique and pivotal feature when we talk about the Muslim Art and Architecture. Islam is a noniconographic religion

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therefore; it encourages non-figural and non-imitating art forms. When the Muslims gained power and wealth in the Umayyad period (661-750 CE), they concentrated on the development of architecture. The great mosque of Damascus and the Mosque of Cordova

are the masterpieces of that era. However, on a smaller scale under the intensive influence of the Syrian artisans who were actually hired for many architectural and decorative projects, in the privacy of castles and royal bedrooms, the figurative art was


Keeping in view the painting qualities, in Arif Khan’s calligraphic paining, one can find mature and valid tonal effect and colour gradations

also in practice; the fresco paintings, found in the ruins of Qasr-e Amra is a solid proof and example of that activity. The next step was, to ornate these sacred mosques, which might resemble to the local worship places, but were very different in terms of worship nature and the non-iconographic style that had to be adopted in carrying out decorative elements. Therefore, instead of grotesque designs of the Christians, the Muslims developed and used arabesque designs while the floral and geometric motifs took the place

of the western decorative patterns of animal, and reptile based motifs. In addition to the floral, vegetal and geometrical designs, another strong element was the calligraphy that was used as a free-flowing motif as well as a tool to convey Quranic and Islamic ideology. The art of calligraphy evolved and reached at its peak in the magical land of great Persia where this art was introduced to the rhythm and deluge that an art piece should possess along with the skill and scale. In Pakistan, traditional calligraphy

is as old as the country itself. However, the art of calligraphic painting can be traced back in the 1960s when Shakir Ali, along with his semi-abstract western style, experimented with the shape and form of Arabic alphabets. Shamza, one of Shakir Ali’s students and successor, put in the elements of design and motifs in calligraphy together with colourful palette of a painter. Later, Sadequain helped calligraphic painting with solid themes and strong texture while Gulgee gave attention to the natural flow and

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dynamism of the brush as well as the paint. Arif Khan is relatively new talent in the art of calligraphic painting in Pakistan. His qualifications suggest him a Graphic Designer but after completing his degree, he simply fell in love with calligraphic painting. It is the virtue of this genre, or his inclination towards the spiritualism, that forced him to choose his subject matter from the Holy Quran. The traditional Islamic calligraphy has always been an emblem of balance and flow that are very close to the basic concepts of Islam as well. Arif Khan’s brush and Qalam, present that flow which is considered as the soul of calligraphy, whereas he creates a visual balance with the help of colour tonalities. Since he is a novice in this enchanting field of art, he is evolving his art with every new frame and looking for new possibilities at the same time. That is why at one place you may find him with large canvases and grayish tones while at another place, he would express his art in small frames resembling that of miniature painting! In a very recent show, Arif Khan put on display a variety of calligraphic paintings with a combination of large and small words of Quranic verse, formed over and inside the rich absorption of red, blue and yellow colours. When these colours overlap each other, they create a rainbow effect of the red becoming orange, the magenta emerging out of the blue and the green when yellow embraces blue. The artist speaks of his technique for this art form in these words, “If painting is music, then I play it on canvases. My calligraphic symphonies run in low keys, smoothly. I subtly divide space by writing small pieces around the focal point and fill the focal point with a large word” Keeping in view the painting qualities, in Arif Khan’s calligraphic paining, one can find mature and valid tonal effect and colour gradations. On the other hand, as far as the flow and the rendering of the Arabic alphabets are concerned, there appears a need for some breath-holding, so, the flow and the rhythm of the alphabets could rejuvenate with perfection.

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Books

Lahore, the incomparable

A

By Syed Afsar Sajid

nna Suvorova (Dr.) (b.1949), is presently heading the Asian Literatures department at the Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow. She is an eminent orientalist, an expert in Islam in the Indian subcontinent and a bilingual in both Russian and Urdu. Apart from authoring some important books including Masnavi: A Study of Urdu Romance, Muslim Saints of South Asia:–The Eleventh to Fifteenth Century, and Early Urdu Theatre: Traditions and Transformations, she has translated many works of pre-modern and contemporary Urdu prose into Russian. She is also a recipient of the Sitara-i-Imtiaz in recognition of her seminal research in Pakistani literature and cultural heritage. Her book on Lahore: Topophilia of Space and Place is a commendable exercise in reconstructing the history and culture of the city from an interdisciplinary angle involving anthropology, culture, literature, history and geography. Yi-Fu Tuan (b.1930), the

Lahore – Topophilia of Space and Place By Anna Suvorova Publisher: Oxford University Press Karachi Pages: 246; Price: Rs.925/-

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The uniqueness of Lahore lies in its vibrancy, zeal and the spirit of life which is rarely visible in other parts of the world renowned Chinese-American expert on humanistic geography, sought to merge psychology and philosophy into his thoughts on geography with a view to studying the ‘homophily’ of common beliefs, values and education etc. constituting ‘an affective bond between people and place’ with specific emphasis on their perceptions, creativity, creed and experiences in developing attitudes on their environment. The book in view is intended to show ‘how the historical and cultural developments of people build up the cultural landscape of the city and how the geographical place and space, in their turn, influence the behaviour and identity of Lahore’s citizens’. Thus topophilia forms the essential theme of the book meant to examine ‘environmental perceptions and values at different levels: the species, the group, and the individual’. It is akin to a ‘palimpsest’ tending to study ‘the natural and man-made environment’, which includes the home as well as the city, through the phenomenological ‘prism of human consciousness’. Philosopher Gaston Bachelard (1884-1962) in his book titled The Poetics of Space ‘studies the domesticated space of the home, from the cellar to the attic, and its place in the outside world and in human consciousness’. The city is opposed to the open place like the home, and the author regards it as ‘a place that gives the individual shelter, protection, and safety in the space of topophobia’ – the opposite of topophilia. The work being reviewed comprises eight chapters captioned

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‘On Topophilia’, ‘Lahore is Lahore’, ‘Between Mosque and Tomb’, ‘The Name of the Garden: Shalimar and Others’, ‘The Immured Bride: A City Legend’, ‘Bread and Games’, ‘The City of Dreadful Night’, and ‘Down the Cool Street’ followed by the ‘Epilogue’ stipulating a comparison between Lahore and the north-eastern Indian city of Lucknow. ‘Lahore is Lahore’ is a transliteration of the Punjabi phrase ‘Lahor Lahor ay’. It signifies the unique culture of Lahore as an old historic city having a history of some 2,000 years although legend has it that it was founded about 4000 years ago by Loh, son of Rama, the hero of the popular Hindu epic Ramayana. The famous Chinese pilgrim Hieun-tsang (602-664) has described it vividly in his accounts that he compiled after visiting India in the early parts of the 7th century AD. Lahore has a chequered history. Located on the main trade and invasion routes to South Asia, it has been ruled and plundered by a number of dynasties and hordes. Muslim rule began here with the crowning of Sultan Qutub-ud-Din Aibak in 1206. The city, however, touched the zenith of its glory during the Mughal rule (1524-1752). Emperor Akbar adopted Lahore as his capital for 14 years (1584-98). A galaxy of monuments like the (Lahore) fort, palaces, gardens and tombs in Lahore owe their founding to the Mughal rulers. The British also added some buildings in the same style as well as some sprawling bungalows and gardens. The city is thus a showcase of Mughal architecture. The uniqueness of Lahore lies in

its vibrancy, zeal and the spirit of life which is rarely visible in other parts of the world. The Lahori spirit so imbues the microcosm of the city that it begins to zoom in on our memory as a universe in itself. It has been aptly said that ‘this spirit pervades the citadel and the slum alike’, and that. ‘the city has known ages of cultural, intellectual, musical, literary

and

humanistic

evolution,

which has consequently led to the fermentation and over-fermentation of this rich brew we call Lahore’. The book in view thus illustrates the affective bond between the city and its and its citizenry in the context of the topophilia connoting its sub-title. Verily, the author’s knowledge of the topography, topology and toponymy of Lahore is enviable. Apart from a graphic but moving description of almost all noteworthy locales in the city,

she

intimately

mentions

the

names of Thomas Moore, Kipling, Faiz, Manto, ZA Bhutto, Sir Ganga Ram, Kamil Khan Mumtaz (architectural historian), Muhammad Baqir (history), Intizar Hussain, Prof. Siraj (the great teacher of English), Samina Quraishi (fiction),

Iqbal

Hussain

(painter),

Ismat Chughtai, Bapsi Sidhwa, and actors Dilip Kumar/Madhubala (in the context of Anarkali) while highlighting the cultural glory of Lahore. The grace and raciness of her style further serves to enhance the bibliographical value of the book.


Profile

Ruby Hassan

Talent speaks for itself By Rubia Moghees

Ruby came back and opened her salon which generated immense response because of her personalized haircuts. In no time ‘Split Ends’ took shape and she became the darling of the clients who would swear by her natural talent and bargain just about anything to get a snip from her

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ometimes an adversity acts as an advantage; just the way it did it in Ruby Hassan’s case. A personal affliction led this brave lady to stand up and face the world as she managed to get herself enrolled in a Hair training programme being conducted by Toni and Guy in London back in ‘91. ‘I basically started from scratch and learnt the tricks of the trade in a short span of time,’ she says. Ruby came back and opened her salon which generated immense response because of her personalized haircuts. In no time ‘Split Ends’ took shape and she became the darling of the clients who would swear by her natural talent and bargain just about anything to get a snip from her. It wasn’t all that rosy in the beginning claims Ruby as she faced initial teething issues but the customized cuts became a big rage. ‘My salon is like a club where ladies come to unwind, chat and feel at home,’ she shares. The long list of her distinguished clientele includes

the hot-shot begums and regular customers but the salon thrives on the very fact that Ruby is always there to supervise and gives prompt hands-on services; which include skin and beauty treatments along with party and bridal makeovers. ‘I make people feel happy about themselves for they find the confidence when they step out of the salon to meet the world,’ she enthuses. ‘Hairdressing is beyond beauty,’ she says. Keeping one updated and constantly learning from the refresher courses is the key for Ruby who has a singleminded vision when it comes to expanding her enterprise. ‘The training academy of Split Ends is in the pipeline along with an Express Salon at Xinhua Mall. Starting from scratch and taking the name to such dizzying heights means strict business for this lady who continues to break ground by incorporating latest trends and attending yearly events and training forums on hair and beauty in all parts of the world to keep her abreast with the most recent developments in the field of hair and beauty. Stressing on hygiene and using of advanced products, Ruby refutes

allegations of being too expensive as she believes that her cuts are exclusive and the large turnover of the clients is an example of her loyal customer feedback. ‘I offer special discounts to senior citizens and students each time they visit to avail the services.’ Split Ends is recommended for women who are looking for that special look and are not too concerned about denting their already deep pockets, because at the end of the day it’s the quality that matters.

February 05 - 11, 2012 I 57


58 I February 05 - 11, 2012


Lounge February 5th, 2012  

Loung Magazine is Pakistan's premiere fashion Magazine.

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