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e all remember the innocent, cute, shy yet naughty groom from the Jazz commercial. Theatre lovers need no introduction to the magnificent actor, Hamza Ali Abbasi. A modest man belonging to a humble background had an up close and personal session with Lounge talking about his education to his career in the police to theatre to his recent film projects, his fans and his love life.
Hamza Ali Abbasi
Staying true to his passions! 40 I June 03 - June 09, 2012
As for my mother, she has not talked to me properly since they day I quit my job as a police officer for acting. I have never stood up to my mother for anything, but this was just something that I had to do Where were you born? Give us a brief account of your educational career? I was born in Multan, completed my early education from Army Public School. I completed my high school as well as my Bachelors in International Relations from the US. After that I moved back to Pakistan and went to Quaid-e-Azam University for my Masters in International Relations. I also appeared in the CSS exam and joined the Police. It has been a year and a half that I resigned from the police to pay full attention to my true passion- acting and film making. Moving to US and then back to Pakistan – why were both the decisions made? How hard were they? When I went to US, I had no plans of moving there, we were only visiting but I was young at the time. Coming from the modest and conservative town of Multan, living in Kansas city and roaming around on the roads of New York, I just did not want to go back. In fact all the time that I did spend there was on a Student Visa – after a while I realized something. Pakistan is home; the country where I was born, the country to which my parents belong. The love, compassion and acceptability that one gets in one’s own country brought me back. Tell us something about your family. My father passed away three years ago. He belonged to a town on the outskirts of Islamabad, called Dharakao, whereas, my mother belongs to a village near Multan. I have
an older sister whom I love a lot. She is not only my support system but also an inspiration for me. What did your family have to say about the career choices that you made? My father and my sister have been my greatest supporters. My father always told me, ‘Even if you wish to become a shoe-maker, go for it, but be the best shoe-maker in the world then.’ As for my mother, she has not talked to me properly since they day I quit my job as a police officer for acting. I have never stood up to my mother for anything, but this was just something that I had to do. How did you get your hands on your first theatre assignment? When I was in QU – I saw the poster for auditions of Dally in the Dark in my canteen, auditioned for the role, got the role and there has been no looking back since then. While doing theatre, did you ever venture into script writing or direction? Most of our plays were adaptations of foreign theatre plays, so we all used to sit together and make the changes in the script that suited the Pakistani audience. How did your film career begin? I auditioned for the acting role in a short film which was screened at the Rome Film Festival, ‘Waar’ came along and MHGD was a story that I thought I must tell. How was the experience of working in ‘Waar’? Tell
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It’s strange and sad that most of the fan mail I get on Facebook is from men and they say things that you won’t be able to print. I have sixteen hundred pending requests, out of which ninety percent are men
us something about your role as well. Waar was an amazing experience. Initially, I was intimidated by the fact that I had to work among such overachievers of our industry but it turned out great. We were all like a family. Shaan is a brilliant actor – the way he used to go over his lines, the charisma and the screen presence that he has is absolutely phenomenal. As far as the role is concerned, if Shaan is Batman, I play Robin in the film. As you have been quoted saying that Mud House and the Golden Doll is a true story; where did you come across the story and how close is it to reality? During my childhood in Multan, I saw this man on the streets a lot. My mother knew his mother somehow and I’ve always been a very curious person so I asked different people, got to know his story and went ahead with the project. Making a film in Pakistan, did it occur to you that naming it in English might hinder its prospects to succeed? Basically the film was made for screening at festivals only. However, we are thinking of an Urdu name for the film as well. How hard was it for you to play the role of the madman in Mud house and the Golden Doll?
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It was very tough and uncomfortable socially. I had a beard and the long hair for about eight months since I was working on two projects that required the same look. Police stopped me and asked for my identity every now and then. People in general seemed scared of the get up too. Production wise, you have mentioned numerous times that it was an absolutely low budget film – at what points did you feel completely helpless and in need of money? The biggest and the only investment that I made was in a camera. I remember going to people whom I thought were friends and asking for a camera and what they said in return was, ‘Yes, you can have it for eight thousand rupees a day.’ Finally I decided to sell my heavy bike that I loved very much because it is absolutely necessary for one to have a camera when you begin shoot. Other than that, at lunchtime, when my cast used to be sitting hungry – I needed
money to get food for them. That’s all I spent on the film. Tell us about the cast? Were they you friends helping you out or did you audition them? Most of the actors were people whom I knew, but as for the kids I had to audition them. The best thing about my cast was that they all did the work for the passion that they had for acting and none of them charged me a penny even. Share an entertaining story from the days when you were filming MHGD. I live in the Parliament Lodges, this one time my car was off dropping members from the cast home and I had to walk home in the Malang get up. The security did not let me enter the area for a good twenty minutes even though
I showed them my card. If filmmaking is your passion, you could have pursued it anywhere in the world. Why Pakistan? Putting it in the simplest words, I’d like to say if God forbid one of your parents gets paralyzed, you wouldn’t get up and say one day that it’s impossible to bear the burden now and I’m moving elsewhere. The reason why I quit on the police was that I felt contribution towards cinema is much more needed than contribution to police. Theatre, film, modeling, writing, and direction – you’ve done it all. Would you work for a TV serial? I want to do everything at least once, so yes definitely! But filmmaking and especially theatre is my first love – can’t let go of them. Plus television is doing well; film is the area that needs to be worked on. Which TV shows do you like to watch? I’m a nature lover. If you lock me up in a room for a week, I’d ask you to provide me with food and access to History Channel. Who are your favorite Pakistani actors and actresses? The ones you look up to or would like to work with in future: I feel Shaan is an amazing actor who hasn’t been used to full potential, thanks to the brigade of Gujjar films. Humayun
Saeed is a great actor and as for the females, I feel Aisha Khan is a very intelligent actress. What are your all time favourite films and film directors? I love Iranian films; ‘Colors of Paradise’, ‘Separation’ and ‘Children of Heaven’ are my absolute favourites. All time favourite director would have to be Robert Rodriguez – what I like about him is the fact that he does not consider money to be a critical success factor of a film. How do people react when they see you in public; markets, cafes etc? I guess I look way different in real life because I have had people come up to me and say ‘I think I’ve seen you somewhere’ but nobody knows for sure, sometimes even when they’re sitting right across a billboard of mine. With the boom in social networking sites, it isn’t hard to look up a celebrity anymore – tell us something outrageous a fan might have said to you? It’s strange and sad that most of the fan mail I get on Facebook is from men and they say things that you won’t be able to print. I have sixteen hundred pending requests, out of which ninety percent are from men. As for the girls, they mostly have fake profiles. Have you experienced love? Love is a tricky concept. I have never been in love in fact I’ve been a flirt all my life but I definitely want to experience what it’s like. I feel I have experienced everything that is not love and one thing that I learnt is that love must not be confused with attraction. Being honest is the key - if you like someone, go up to them, tell them you find them attractive and would like to know him/her better. Saying the L word and proposing to someone too soon is the worst thing one can do and holds no meaning. Do you have any regrets? As humans we tend to forget that we all have to die one day. I feel you should always remember death and also learn to accept the worst that can happen. That’ll rid you of the fear of failure as well as thinking ‘What if I had…’ on your death bed. So yeah I have no regrets! Any message for our readers? Be honest to yourself and the ones around you. Have an open mind – always be ready to learn more. For people interested in film making, please sort out your bread and butter first, do not expect money coming in from films will be able to pay your bills. And lastly, keep those pirated DVDs aside, get out, promote your industry and watch movies in cinemas.
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he film that received mixed to negative reviews from critics held a similar position among the viewers. Fans of Johnny Depp and in particular of the Depp-Burton pairing were in an absolute awe of the film however the younger lot, fans of Vampire Diaries, True Blood etc seemed disappointed. Set in the 18th century, loosely based on the television series, Dark Shadows - the film begins with Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) having an affair with his maidservant (also a witch), Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green). As soon as Barnabas professes his love to another woman Josette DuPres (Bella Heathcote), Angelique makes use of her witchcraft and kills his beloved. She curses him to become a vampire and locks him in a coffin, condemning. Two centuries later Barnabas is resurrected accidently, only to find out that his esteemed family name has been disarrayed by Angelique. After learning that Angelique is still alive and bent on destroying the Collins, Barnabas vows payback. Like all Tim Burton movies, Dark Shadows did manage to create an impact with visuals that are a Burton trademark such as wild trees, exaggerated ocean cliffs and the elaborate mansion. The film is clever and funny at some points and would have worked fine without the extravagant special effects. However, the movie loses its focus as well as the viewer’s interest towards the end. The script treads on rowdily from romance to horror to comedy and eventually to a needlessly action-packed climax. Moreover, what started out as a gripping lust/ hate relationship between Barnabas and Angelique metamorphosed into an array of unremarkable action and special effects. Barnabas surely could have managed to come up with a better solution to get rid of Angelique. The bewildering presence of Victoria Winters was another flaw– after a brief introduction to Barnabas there is a lengthy and captivating chunk dedicated to Victoria, but the minute Barnabas was resurrected; he became the sole focus of the film. Also Depp and Heathcote failed miserably at any attempts of portraying their chemistry. Eva Green’s performance as Angelique is one of the best reasons to the watch the film – her looks compliment the character she is playing, by the end of the movie one ends up loving to hate the enchanted, sultry and manipulative Angie. Characters of the supporting cast have not been developed enough, performances by the Collins Family especially the young Carolyn and David have done a great job however, all they did for the film as a whole was provide a platform to Depp’s behaviour. All in all, Dark Shadows can be regarded as one of the many mundane films Burton has made after Big Fish. The film hugely relies on the immaculate yet enjoyable expressions of Depp. The Dark Shadows is entertaining enough and worth going to cinema for, but that does not compensate for the weak storyline that lacks focus.
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Bid farewell to aches and pains
By Saman Asif
hat do most of us do when we have a pain in our neck, back or spine? We get a massage done, apply or gulp down a pain reliever or go to a physiotherapist who in turn tells us to do some exercises. This according to Dr Khan is not enough and doesn’t offer long term treatment. Dr Khan has established a network of Spine Centers around the world and has recently opened one in Pakistan by the name KKT Orthopedic Spine Center. Located at Maulana Shaukat Ali road, Johar Town this state of the art spine center provides much needed services to patients suffering from herniated disks, muscle strains, spinal degeneration, neck and back pain etc. According to doctor Khan, ‘Around fifteen years ago when I was in clinical practice in Canada, I used to see cases of spinal problems that had no clear evidence based treatment. The procedures prescribed by the doctors did not make sense to me. So I put together a team of engineers and scientists and after thorough research and hard work came up with the most advanced treatment of spine problems. In this non-invasive procedure, we apply specific types of waves called quantum acoustic waves which are applied to the spine in a very special way. These waves restore the position of spine back to normal and also helps stimulate tissues that maintain the integrity of the spine which no other treatment
does. It would not be wrong if we say that KKT is the only procedure that with help of sound waves painlessly realigns the spine to its natural position.’ Before carrying on the treatment, experts do a detailed assessment of the patient. This is done because before applying quantum waves to any patient, their specific signature frequency has to be identified. The patient’s entire medical history along with new tests, examinations and scans are sent to the main server in Canada. The data is deciphered there, which consequently tells the unique features and frequency of the patients. Upon asking why other treatments such as massages and pain relieving ointments or sprays etc are not enough, Dr Khan said, ‘Once the spine is gone away from its normal state you cannot bring it back to normal with the help of surgeries, herbal treatments, steroids or injections. This is the only way to bring it back to its original position.’ While telling about the consequence of not taking spine problems seriously Dr Khan said, ‘I would like to request everyone that if any of you has ever had any pain in their neck, back or spine do not ignore it. Because unlike the common belief, spine problems are directly linked to all the other organs of our body including brain. Problems of spine can affect our brains, cause dementia and so many countless health problems. If any of you ever feels tiny bit of pain go to the nearest KKT centre and have the experts give you a thorough checkup.’
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Insia Sohailmaking her mark
nsia Sohail of Insam Designs, is on a mission to bring about a perfect marriage between tradition and contemporary values. Insam is based on modern and cutting edge interpretations of traditional fabrics such as ajrak. In this exclusive, Insia Sohail shares her hopes and plans with Lounge.
Q. When did you start designing? A. I have been designing for about three years now. Q. Did you go to fashion school? A. I graduated from Indus Valley School. I majored in Textile Designing. Q. Were you always interested in fashion or did you start off as a tomboy? Started as a tomboy Q4: Who or what do you think has been the greatest influence on your sense of style? Nature and simplicity Q5: Describe the first outfit you ever designed. my first was a flair shirt all in chicken and crochet. It was an absolute hit Q6: Where do you stock your designs? Labels KHI, Brands Just Pret and The Designer Q7: Which local designer do you admire? Sonia Battla, Kamiar Rokni Q8: What colors do you enjoy working with?
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pastels Q9: Do you only wear your own designs? Yes!! all the time Q10: Do you feel the market for designers is becoming saturated? Definately, but it helps emerge new and out of the box designers too Q11: How did the idea of working with ajraks come about? It was part of my course, I took it one step ahead and decided to revive it Q12: What different things are you doing with ajrak? making modern cuts using eastern prints Q13: Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years? I shall answer this after 10 yrs Q14: Are you planning to join a fashion design council: if so, which one? Not as yet; I still need to establish myself. Q15: Ever thought of expanding to menâ€™s wear? No as yet; maybe later
4 cups seeded and chopped watermelon Fresh lime juice Sugar Â˝ cup orange juice 1/4 cup sugar 1 tablespoon grated lime rind 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes) 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves Garnish: fresh mint sprig
1. Place watermelon in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze 4 hours or until firm. 2. Coat rims of cocktail glasses with lime juice; dip in sugar. 3. Process frozen watermelon, orange juice, sugar, grated lime rind, fresh lime juice and mint leaves in a blender until slushy. 4. Pour into glasses. 5. Garnish, if desired.
Banana Pineapple Smoothie Ingredients
1/2 Banana 1 tin of sliced pineapple 1/3 cup Milk
Pour all ingredients in blender on high for 40 seconds or until the smoothie thickens.
2 tsp cappuccino powder or 1 tbsp almonds. 48 I June 03 - June 09, 2012
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Lounge Loves Summer line by RB
Frozen Yogurt Frozen yogurt – more popularly known as Froyo is no more an alternate but has become a substitute of ice-cream. There are significant health benefits of eating frozen yogurt. For one, it is lower in fat content due to the fact that milk is used in place of cream. It feels and tastes just about the same and most importantly it can be customisable with fruits, MnMs, cereals, various sauces and other more mouthwatering toppings. At Lounge we believe that Tutti Frutti, an international chain offers one of the best yogurts. It is located on Mehmud Kasoori Road in Lahore. Other than that, Jalal Sons offers a great variety of this delicious dessert. In Karachi Snog at Dolmen Mall also awaits you with tempting toppings.
Designer Rabail Qureshi recently exhibited her latest summer line at Afreen Shiraz’ multi-brand store Ellemint Pret. RB is the brain child of Rabail, a pretty, young textile/ fashion designer from Asian Institute of Fashion Design. Beautifully crafted and tastefully embellished, Rabail’s collection is nothing less than a treat. She has employed bight shades for her colourful and contemporary creations. And then there are the white numbers which are soothing to the eye. ‘I have been designing clothes for two years now. I love experimenting on my clothes and love to play with colour. Recently, we celebrated the second anniversary of my brand RB and the theme for my line was truck art and Mondrian Art,’ she said. FnkAsia’s funky footwear FnkAsia recently launched their footwear collection that carries the trademark touch of the brand- love for rural craft. From intricate beadwork to the indigenous methods of patchwork FnkAsia’s footwear takes women on a journey into the glorious folklore of Pakistan. So don’t miss out on some our favourite styles of sandals, slippers and other summer shoes that will add the right amount of glitz to your feet this season.
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Folds and Fantasies
e all have p l a y e d with clay! We have shaped our innocent childhood dreams in it, and we all have smelled the fragrance of the earth after it gets wet with the first rain of monsoon. We are the inhabitants of great Indus valley civilization where River Indus locked the virginity and fertility of this soil for centuries. This terrain has cradled the ancient civilizations of Mohenjo Daro and Harappa. History shows that mud, and clay has been a source of architecture as well as of visual expression since ages for the inhabitants of this part of the globe. If Mohenjo Daro offers the architectural planning to an astonishing level, Harappan Culture presents the terra cotta figurines as the visual documentation of Indus Valley History. Our homeland Pakistan has always been beautiful and fertile, since the prehistoric period to date, chiefly due to the oxidization by the River Indus. Therefore, the love for this land and respect to the fertility of this soil is the same today as it was in ancient times. That is one reason that in most of our landscape paintings, earthen panorama pleases us to a maximum level in this genre, for which Khalid Iqbal
served in the best of capacities. On the other hand, our ceramists love to explore the delicacy and subtlety of the clay when they shape, mould and then bake this fine clay to create a meaningful statement. In common, the art of ceramics is considered more related to the earthen pottery, which is, no doubt, the most exercised medium for this material. However, all materials have shaped themselves in the hands of artists, not in the hands of artisans, for an expression of high aesthetical and visual quality. In the same way, ceramic which has been a source of serving human civilizations for food in the shape of ceramic pottery, also provided humanity with an art form when it absorbed the imagination, emotions and dreams of the artist. Jamil Hussain, is a new addition to already non-existing ceramic artists who does not use this material for pottery. He is a ceramist, who has used this medium with an approach
Jamil Hussain is a ceramist, who has used this medium with an approach of a sculptor, a mind of a reformer and a heart of a poet; he has given his feelings and dreams, the heat of a kiln to delineate them in the dainty of clay and the shine of sand
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of a sculptor, a mind of a reformer and a heart of a poet. Jamil has given his feelings and dreams, the heat of a kiln to delineate them in the dainty of clay and the shine of sand. Jamil holds an MFA Graphic Design Degree from University of the Punjab and calls himself as a ceramist and a graphic designer. However, when we look upon him closely, we may find a painter, a potter and a sculptor who is in the company of a tourist or a historian, and who is wandering around the perplexities of small-brick architecture of the Punjab. Jamil held his first exhibition under the title of Mit Na Jayen Kahin (Lest It Vanished) where he came up with the idea
of preserving our old heritage, which is, endanger of being vanished, geographically as well as from our memories. He sculpted a sort that could be judged as ceramic-models, showing motifs, architectural trends and conventional aesthetic of ancient architecture of Punjab. Lately, Jamil has exhibited his ceramic-sculptures under the title of “Silent Whispers.” In this show, he has strived to spotlight the need of conservation for our built heritage. Every piece of this show was precisely presented as if it was pleading for attention. Apart from the social and thematic aspect, Jamil Hussain has demonstrated his command and involvement in the material. He has made viewers to listen to the whispers that are veiled just beneath the fluorescent surface of the glazed ceramic-sculptures. Nevertheless, the colours and shades of his pieces are on the same pattern as of the traditional ceramists, but the idiom is of awareness is unfolded with every layer of these sculpts. The artist has put a question in every little niche or in Jharoka that opens in or out of these earthenware art moulds. Along with the artistic and imaginative approach, one can find the realization of practical and usefulness character of these pieces as well. The texture of surface, the sizes of the creation and the potential of these creations to the cast light is also noteworthy. The artist has succeeded in creating his sculptures in a way that, they may respond differently when put under light coming from varying angles, it adds more volume and more absorbing depth in the work. The combination of clay and light, two vital elements of fertility, suggest the artist’s close observation of nature. Jamil Hussain is a neophyte in this genre. However, the way he has adopted this way of expression, one can expect a long journey ahead of him that might be endless, but would have milestones on the way, to achieve sublime excellence.
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Manto’s realism and poetic fancy
Harf-e-Jaffar (A literary periodical) Chief Editor: Dr. Jaffar Hasan Mubarak Publisher: Misal Publishers, Faisalabad Pages: 64; Price: Rs50/-
Pani Par Bunyad Author: Gulfam Naqvi Publisher: Misal Publishers, Aminpur Bazaar, Faisalabad Pages: 172; Price: Rs200/-
Bisat-e-Ishq Say Kaar-e-Sukhan Tak By Manzar Arfi Publisher: Tazkira Publications, Karachi Pages: 255; Price: Rs300/-
By Syed Afsar Sajid
oted poets Gulfam Naqvi (Faisalabad) and Manzar Arfi (Karachi) have lately brought out their new verse collections in Urdu titled Pani Par Bunyad and Bisat-e-Ishq Say Kaar-e-Sukhan Tak respectively. Jaffar Hasan Mubarak, a poet and writer from Faisalabad, edits a literary periodical viz., Harf-eJaffar whose latest issue (April-May)
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is dedicated to the memory of Saadat Hasan Manto (11th May, 1912-18th January, 1955), the world-reputed Urdu short story writer. The three publications form the subject of this review. Harf-e-Jaffar It is a literary periodical. The instant issue being its ‘Manto Number’, contains a pot-pourri of material on Saadat Hasan Manto – that inimitable doyen of Urdu fiction – comprising the
writings of Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi, Qudratullah Shahab, Ashfaq Ahmad, Krishan Chander, Amrita Preetam, Safdar Meer, Shorish Kashmiri, A. Hameed, Habib Jalib, Khalid Hasan, Dr. Salim Akhtar, Krishna Sobti, Dr. Brij Premi, Pervez Anjum, Nuzhat Manto (Manto’s daughter) and Tanvir Alam besidesd Dr. Jaffar’s editorial comments and a poem on Manto by Majeed Amjad. Manto was indicted on the charge of pornography. His historic ‘defence’
of the charge in a criminal court is regarded as a Magna Carta Libertatum of literary creativity. Herbert Read, the renowned art critic, has bifurcated vulgarity as ‘vulgarity badly done’ and ‘vulgarity finely done’ with a view to distinguishing it from obscenity or pornography. Manto would not indulge in vulgarity for its own sake; in fact as a ‘psycho-realist’ (if the term could adequately describe his art!), he was gravely concerned with the plight of a certain section of humanity --the socially neglected nay condemned ‘vulgus’ --- the ‘untidy’ slum-dwellers, prostitutes, pimps and others of their ilk. He had the pluck to call a spade a spade and without of course condoning the aesthetic imperatives of his vocation as a short story writer, he would faithfully but indulgently portray their lives and the apathy bordering on brazen disaffection, meted out to them by the community. His thoughtful probe into their hapless diurnal living embracing their motives, impulses and mental processes, would lead the perceptive reader to the unravelling of their ‘dilemma’ and thus win over his sympathies for them. You may, if you will, call it ‘art for life’! Jokes attributed to Manto (as compiled by Tanvir Alam) sound quite fresh and interesting. The magazine is thus an estimable tribute to the memory of Manto on his centenary. Pani Par Bunyad Gulfam Naqvi is a popular Urdu and Punjabi poet from Faisalabad. This is her fifth verse collection after Saharay Mil Hi Jaatay Hain (Urdu), Karb Ki Kokh May(Urdu), Agar Waqt Ko Tham Sakti (Urdu) and Dil Di Ramz Pichan (Punjabi). An Urdu novel and another Punjabi verse collection by her are in the pipeline. The poet in Gulfam Naqvi seems to be at odds with her personal biography. She has had to struggle very hard in a hostile social milieu infested with all sorts of biases and taboos. Her verse does reflect the severity of her personal distress. But more than that, it also demonstrates her creative ability to coalesce her personal sorrow into the doom that humanity is perpetually poised to suffer on the cosmic scale.
In a feministic environment like the present one, the equivocations of a female poet on gender inequilibrium could not go unheeded: Sach suna kay apno ka/Zarf azmatay hain. The very title of the book symbolises this theme: Taj Mahal taameer na karna khwabon may Gulfam/Rah nahi sakti qaim hargiz pani par bunyad. The collection comprises both ghazal and nazm. Besides this reviewer, Khawar Jilani, Waheed Raza Waheedi, Ghulam Rasool Asif and Jaffar Hasan Mubarak have written introductory remarks/flaps on its biographical, social and literary connotations. In the medley of contemporary female poetic voices (a la Kishwar Naheed, Pervin Shakir, Fehmida Riaz, Shabnam Shakil, Fatima Hassan, Shahida Hassan, Shaista Nuzhat, Irfana Aziz, Rakhshanda Navid, Mah Talat Zahidi, Sughra Sadaf, and Noshi Gilani), Gulfam’s voice is easily distinguishable owing to her suave accent and a lyrical spontaneity in style and expression as randomly exemplified in the following lines of her verse: Waqt ki loot maar say sahib/Hum nay ek khwab hi bachaya hai – Yeh zameen isliya bhi pyari hai/Isko paya hai asmaan daikar – Kisi bi phool nay hans kar na baat ki humsay/Chaman may dair talak hum saba kay sath rahay – Jo uski samt na janay ka band bandha tha /Wahin shigaf hua aansuon kay pani say – Kahan kahan hai tu aey mahve-aaina dari/Jo tairai samt lagi hain shumar kar aankhain – Jo na chaha who hua, aur na jo chaha hua/Ek ajab zid si rahi bakht ko tadbeer kay sath. Bisat-e-Ishq Say Kaar-e-Sukahn Tak Manzar Arfi is a noted poet from Karachi. This is his second verse collection after Paaon May Gardab. Apart from his own detailed foreword to the book, Ahmad Sagheer Siddiqi, Iqbal Khawar, Raziuddin Razi, Mohsin Malihabadi, Dr. Muzammil Hussain, Dr. Shadab Ehsani and Dr. Nuzhat Abbasi have contributed flaps/ critical notes on the book. They have discussed the mechanics of Manzar Arfi’s poetic skill besides focusing on its contemporaneity and other related literary issues as pointed elsewhere. The book comprises Manzar Arfi’s
ghazals. He has ventured to record his emotive responses to the excruciating dictates of life in it. Far from being romantic, the poet in him seems to be mortally appalled at the growing divide between his dreams and their sordid non-fulfillment. The very title of the collection denotes the urgency of the poet’s intent: Waqt ki nabz unglion may rahi/Hum nay jab bhi qalam uthaya hai. At the same time, he seems to assume an introspective stance in his verse:Hamay ek khud talashi ka hunar to seekh janay do/Phir iskay baad sochain gay tumhari aarzu karna. Love is not a labour lost in the poet’s scheme of things; it rather stirs his quest for the ideal: Na zehn ka izterab likhyay, na soch kay paich-o-taab likhyay/Qalam agar mushta’il karay to, muhabbaton kay nisab likhyay … Ek mri soch tawajjoh ki talbgar hai aur/ Aik who dil jo pas-e-deeda-e-tar toota hai. One would readily subscribe to noted poet and critic Ahmad Sagheer Siddiqi’s view that ‘iblagh’ (communication) is no problem with Manzar Arfi. His diction and style are far from being mystique or ornate: Hamari zaat ki tafheem hai yehi Manzar/Kabhi hawain chaleen aur kabhi charagh jala. Dr. Muzammil Hussain takes note of another feature of Manzar’s ghazal that he calls ‘manzar-aarai’ (an artistic narration in time, place or action). To Mohsin Malihabadi, Manzar Arfi’s verse is a transition, as it were, from the personal to the impersonal as the latter seems to voice the collective consciousness of his times in it. Dr. Shadab Ehsani opines that this collection aptly mirrors the gruesome incongruities of human existence while Dr. Nuzhat Abbasi regards it as a compendium of the Zeitgeist when judged on the ‘Ubiquity Application’ scale as propounded by Ezra Pound. Iqbal Khawar thinks that Manzar Arfi, a self-respecting person that he is, has not been granted due attention in the literary circles. Raziuddin Razi deems love as a symbol of life in Manzar Arfi’s verse. Hopefully, endthusiasts of literature would read this collection with curiosity and interest, too.
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The breath is the link between your mind and body. Leaning how to meditate and quieting your mind calms your nervous system down
By Mariam Aftab
editation is generally an inwardly oriented, personal practice, which individuals do by themselves. Meditation may involve invoking or cultivating a feeling or internal state, such as compassion, or attending to a specific focal point. The term can refer to the state itself, as well as to practices or techniques employed to cultivate the state Learning how to meditate and quieting your mind calms your mind calms your nervous system down. Modern life style has high exposure to anger, hate, fear and other negative emotions. These human emotions have a high tendency to duplicate and spread. For example, when a person gets cheated, he starts to suspect everything around him. This also has an impact on people around him. These emotions form strong impressions and opinions on an individual and social level. The result of which is an insecure individual and an unstable society. Meditation helps an individual overcome these emotions to facilitate a calm peaceful mind and a healthy and stress free body. Upon daily practice an individual will blossom into an unshakable personality. With increase in the number of people who are clam, peaceful and healthy will facilitate a social transformation, enabling a society that is trusting, happy and content. You can learn how to manage stress and relax though slowing down the breathing. The breath is the link between your mind and body. Leaning how to meditate and quieting your mind calms your nervous system down. Muslims pray five times a day: once before sunrise, at noon, in the afternoon, after sunset, and once at night. During prayer a Muslim focuses and meditates on God by reciting the Qurâ€™an and engaging in ziikar to reaffirm and strengthen the bond between
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Creator and creation, with the purpose of guiding the soul to truth. Such meditation is intended to help maintain a feeling of spiritual peace, in the face of whatever challenges work, social or family life may present. The five daily acts of peaceful prayer are to serve as a template and inspiration for conduct during the rest of the day, transforming it, ideally, into one single and sustained meditation: even sleep is to be regarded as but another phase of that sustained meditation. This is one form of mediation. Another form of meditation can be done in the form of zikar by chantiong on the names of God. This form of meditation is known as transcendental mediation. Usually the teacher gives a “word” or so called “mantra” to the student to chant on. When the person chats on this “mantra” or “word” he feels relaxed and the thoughts running within his mind settle down. There are some easy meditation techniques for beginners. I remember when I first began exploring meditation. I would hear advice such as “observe the breath” and “let you thoughts fall away”. Well this is important believe me it helps quieting the mind, which is important for mediation. In order to start meditation, follow the basic steps given below:• Just get comfortable and wear comfortable loose clothing. • Choose a time when you will not be disturbed • Keep the phone on silent or switch it off • During meditation, if you have an itch or cramp or the dog starts barking, deal with it. You can get back to your meditative state very quickly without starting from the beginning of your session/technique. • Focused yoga breathing exercise (also known as pranayama): • Next, close mouth and put tongue on roof of mouth. • Breathe at a comfortable and natural pace out your nose. • Close your eyes. • At the top of your inhale, hold your breath for a 3 count. • Exhale completely until you feel like you are at the bottom of your exhale. • Hold your breath for a 3 count. • Inhale completely until you feel like you are at the top of your inhale. • Hold your breath for a 3 count. • Repeat this for at least 5 minutes. As simple as the above breathing exercise sounds, keeping focus on it for a few minutes can drop you into a meditative state. The counting of the breath gives you mind something to put its attention on so that it doesn’t get scattered with a myriad of other thoughts. Try this it really works. Healing tip:: hold yellow Topaz in your left hand it will enhance your meditating ability.
Meditation helps an individual overcome these emotions to facilitate a calm peaceful mind and a healthy and stress free body. Upon daily practice an individual will blossom into an unshakable personality June 03 - June 09, 2012 I 57
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Pakistan Today Lounge issue no 87