Archive for the ‘Noticeboard’ Category

“This is my country. I love my country.”

For the longest time a faraway land pled for a pink Summer. The auspicious occasion brought on a false promise of hope and commitment. The foreign vision listed a huge asset as a byline for countries and wonders of the World. Be it Niagara Falls, cryptic road messages, colorful Graffiti and old bridge towns, the fortitude just needed five reasons to crisp the waves and smooth oceans. A Nomad falls in a different constituency. His life is a gold stroke. With private conversations and life of a spherical band, the perfect glide is an art. Going to Bali is a commitment. (Subtle reference to engagements aka Baat Pakki in Pakistan that are a vocal deal until the NikkahBali over here refers to a ring that ponders on commitment.) It has ups and downs which releases yet picks up quickly.


Bibi Asma

The point of location is a vivid indicator of immersion; to respect with a bit of love, honey and intention. A vegetable will still give life if you let it grow. The bass of a hold is hollow; yet fulfilling it is a necessity. The blow torch is a sparkle of life that can be planted out in clamors of sparkle and politesse. Getting in the shell is fast, coming out is a process. It’s built with bricks of determination and bronzed out destinations.

“A book should not cost more than a pack of cigarettes” ~Mr. Allen Lane, founder of Penguin Books.

A wise sycophant will portray themselves as weak. A liberated spirit will walk, run, cycle or even take a bus. They introduce an idea that develops and learns. Millions of people in developing countries have their sense of trust, instinct and belief. If you want to belong to a culture, taste their Onions. They will seclude you from any harm. Indulge with baked tomatoes and add meat and/or vegetable with salt according to taste. My sense of aroma would light up in the northern areas. They grasp a strong hold from behind. A sense of peace that only comes from Home. A six hour bed rest makes up for that. Wrong. A home is not just walls and a rooftop. It’s inside you.

‘It’s not the place, it’s a sense of belonging to pour out all your inhibitions and bring you back with bent knees filled with gratitude.” – Kinza T. S. Monga

A nomad is power and curbs your own. Belonging is not my cup of tea. It’s coffee.

Pakistan — Built in the 1940s, I’m from the third generation of hookahs, boiled eggs and cremated cigarettes butts. This form of socialization will get me to meet an Egyptian student, a Turkish navy officer, a Canadian drummer and my heritage of Jalandhar and Amritsar. From the province of Punjab that is famous for “chul” aka Party, Punjabi blood is raw and vivid. Loud, proud and the coleslaw crowd. Habit of listening is an art and I’m learning every day. Distinction is key yet average is also a number. Perfection is sweet yet overbearing. Molten with strong ‘juggad’, acceptance and tolerance is a protective gear.

Follow the rule or follow the door; one must maintain flexibility and demand. Supply will be limited if it lacks give and take. An open mind is a virtue and wisdom is not a privilege. The hold of control must be let go to allow a trust fall. To be instigated, an idea is cult until broken into tiny shards of glass. Exploring and still learning, from mine to yours.

Image courtesy: YoulinMagazine

Coke Studio is all over the place – advertisements, billboards, exclusive airing time on different channels, ring tones, the radio, you name it – its there. Season 2 was much anticipated, and so far two episodes are out – the first titled Individuality, and the second titled Harmony.


Coke Studio has been creating some fabulous work – Season Two has been dealing with more contemporary artists, and a full fledged house band, accompanied by different guest artists to contribute their special feel to different tracks. Some of my favourite tracks so far this season have been Aik Alif and Khamaj is episode one, and Aaj Latha Neeyo , Daastan – e – Ishq, and Janey do in episode 2.

Episode 3 should air this sunday, ie the 12th, at 7 pm. The cool thing about this season is that it ends on 14th August, ie, Independence day. On the plus side, the work being done, though heavy on the sufi side, is being done with songs that are popular, contemporary, and well loved, thus bringing an automatic appreciation in most cases for the mystic feel.

**This year, Coke Studio looks to reignite Pakistani passion and pride by chronicling a journey through a series of episodes, each of which is based specifically, on distinct philosophies showcasing a multi faceted Pakistani identity: Individuality, Harmony, Equality, Spirit and Unity.**


The show has faced some serious criticism this time round for two reasons – the first being that the music from these contemporary artists doesnt live up to the hype created by their being included in this years line up. I personally feel the original version of  Paimona Bitte is much better – im not a fan of the Coke Studio version, to say the least. The mixes aren’t as amazing as last year.

Secondly the lack of a live audience has attracted many hisses and boo’s, but as I was given to understand earlier, having a live audience causes major recording issues, such as the murmers of voices, cellphone calls, doors opening and closing, etc.

However, all in all, for a follow up season, Coke Studio’s not doing badly at all – they’re making music history loud and proud, and will probably go down, even if as a show steeped in branding, as one that helped enrich contemporary music with the sounds of folk lore and a tinge of spiritualism.


Going to the beach on Sunday, we saw these signs up and I needed to get a picture – At firs we only saw- Go America Go, almost like a cheer!

But then, we saw the rest and said…what the hell??

What is the deal with all these protests?

With the increased interest in theater going activity in Pakistan’s most urban and developed city, and the huge response to the cineplex @ sea view the CDGK has now entered in agreement with Cineplex to establish multiplex theater complexes at both Kashmir Road and Safari Park.

This will be a public private partnership and the CDGK will provide the cineplex company with CDGK land at Kashmir road sports complex and safari park to build these theaters. In return the Cineplex group will invest USD 10 million in this venture for the construction of these theaters.

This is great news for all of us as now we wont have to go to the other end of the city to experience premium movie watching. This will also perhaps lead to the promotion of more quality entertainment services for the city so that the youth can have a good time in a good environment without the need of the now requisite drugs and booze.

Full Article

Attention all Karachi women,

Gul Ahmeds got a 70% off grand sale today at IDEAS.

Note – this is not an advertisment, its a warning.

Do not go in there expecting to see everything their catalogue advertises. It’s a big fat hoax. I had to go four times to look for this one handbag, but very intelligently, they had decided not to stock more than 3/4th of the catalogue. Several friends and relatives complained of exactly the same thing. Infact friends came down from abroad with only a few days to spare, checked out the catalogue, got excited and went to shop – only to be turned away.

The usual excuse is that the company hasn’t sent the items, which makes no sense because they have huge factories. And it comes under false advertising if you put something in a catalogue and don”t stock it. Its tricking customers into visiting over and over, and is most distasteful.

So be warned, and happy shopping.

The city of lights has had major work done on it in the last 5-8 years after it was left neglected for a long time due to political reasons and other cities in Pakistan i.e Lahore becoming the focus of the government. However ever since the CDGK has come into the hands of local parties we have seen non stop action in Karachi.

This work includes the road system we see in effect today, with all the signal free corridors as well as major revamping work done to most localities, road carpeting, laying sewerage lines beneath as well as other public development works.

There used to be a time when this city had traffic jams everyday but thanks to our proactive city government, jams seem to be a thing of the past. If you want to see the city now all one has to do is take the liyari express way just ahead of civic centre and marvel as a highway cross cutting Karachi shows us what great work has been achieved. there is still however lots more to be done in this megalopolis and this brings us to our new budget.

The new budget for Karachi and the last one under our mayor Mustufa Kamal was passed unanimously today. This budget indicates total reciepts in this city to the tune of 52.531 billion expected in the coming year and an expenditure of a whopping 52.360 billion, leaving an amount of Rs170.36 million as surplus.


As it has done for previous budgets, the city government gave top priority to the development sector and allocated Rs11.361 billion for its Works and Services department. An amount of Rs400 million has been reserved for the construction of the Signal-Free Corridor IV (on Sharea Faisal), which would be completed with a total cost of Rs2.9 billion during the financial year 2009-10. At least Rs2 billion has been allocated for development and improvement of basic infrastructure.

A sum of Rs10.123 billion is earmarked for the education department, out of which Rs250 million would be spent on establishment of English medium schools in 18 towns of the metropolis, Rs679 million for the development of modern schools and Rs50 million on the training of teachers.

An amount of Rs3.983 billion has been allocated for the health sector. The nazim announced that in the fiscal year 2009-10, Rs400 million has been earmarked for the purchase of 20 ambulances. At least Rs365 million has also been set aside for the establishment of a hospital and a cardiology centre in Baldia Town, Rs250 million for the Karachi Medical and Dental College, Rs160 million for the Karachi Institute of Heart Diseases and Rs130 million for setting up maternity homes in Shah Faisal Colony, Landhi and Manzoor Colony.

The nazim said that a sum of Rs1.524 billion has been allocated for the transport and communication department, out of which Rs500 million has been allocated for the CNG buses project, Rs230 million for the construction of pedestrian bridges and Rs400 million for the construction of new parking plazas in the city.

An amount of Rs2.941 billion has been allocated for the municipal services department, out of which Rs170 million is allocated for the purchase of two ‘snorkels’ and 10 fire tenders.

As a guy born in this city all this allocation of funds will mean life becoming even better here, now only if we could take over KESC somehow and restore the brilliance this city once had, I and most denizens of Karachi would be in heaven.

Looking forward to a great new year of development in Karachi!! I will also highlight the various public works projects that we can see in effect in the coming days ahead and how they will make living in Karachi a much more positive experience.

Inshallah this city will rise further and further on the worlds map until we claim our once lost place, as a vibrant, creative and commercial hub in this neck of the woods.

Dawn has been and is still noted as a newspaper/media house which takes pride in its professionalism and integrity. Its based in Karachi and has always operated out of this city. A few months ago going with the new wave Dawn launched its blog @

Imagine my surprise when I clicked on it as per morning routine to see a “Site attack warning” by google in my firefox browser.

I quote Googles explanation of this warning below available @ google explanation

Safe Browsing

Diagnostic page for

What is the current listing status for

Site is listed as suspicious – visiting this web site may harm your computer.

Part of this site was listed for suspicious activity 2 time(s) over the past 90 days.

What happened when Google visited this site?

Of the 93 pages we tested on the site over the past 90 days, 19 page(s) resulted in malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consent. The last time Google visited this site was on 2009-05-17, and the last time suspicious content was found on this site was on 2009-05-17.Malicious software includes 88 scripting exploit(s).

Malicious software is hosted on 1 domain(s), including

This site was hosted on 1 network(s) including AS11798 (BLUEHOST).

Has this site acted as an intermediary resulting in further distribution of malware?

Over the past 90 days, did not appear to function as an intermediary for the infection of any sites.

Has this site hosted malware?

No, this site has not hosted malicious software over the past 90 days.

How did this happen?

In some cases, third parties can add malicious code to legitimate sites, which would cause us to show the warning message.

Next steps:

Updated 2 hours ago

Did you know there are over 300 companies that produce bottled water in Karachi.


My uncle was telling me about his endeavour to enter the bottled water venture – indeed, a very interesting story.

He was doing his market research before getting in with both hands and kicking in production. He went to visit the site for commercial production. Asking around for where he could view some ongoing production, a man smirked and told him to visit a “Commercial Unit”. The man guided him to this unit which was incidentally rather close by.

My uncle walked in – and was FLABBERGASTED. He told us it was a 4 stage process. There were 30 odd empty 16/17 liter bottles on the floor, all with different brand names.

  1. A man, squatting, was filling each of these bottles with a measure of surf-water.
  2. Another man was taking the soapy bottles, swishing them around, and pouring the soap out – not caring about the soap left inside.
  3. A third man was taking a GARDEN hose and filling these bottles with water.
  4. In a connecting room, there stood a man surrounded by mountains of different coloured bottle caps – and he was forcing red, green, yellow, blue caps on.

Now my uncle was shocked – he thought to himself “there’s got to be more to this process!! This can’t possibly be it!!!”. He went up to the men and asked them – “So where does this water go?”. The men looked at him amusedly and said – “To people’s homes ofcourse. Where do you think it goes? What do we care!”. “What about all the soap left inside”, my uncle asked. “Oh, nothing happens, it dissolves”.

My uncle couldn’t stomach the idea of chunks of soap floating in the water and people drinking it, and paying Rs. 85 per bottle for HOSE water! So he whipped out his cellphone and called up one of the numbers on one of the bottles. A man answered, and when my uncle asked where their plant was located, he said, “Oh we have a very advanced, very sophisticated plant where we produce our water.”. And my uncle scoffed and said ” Yeah, dude, I’m standing in it RIGHT NOW!”

Be careful of what you drink guys – please!

Since the News Instep is ASP and doesn’t link to previous articles, posting this dose of hilarity as a note.

A Facebook history of Pakistani pop music

Instep Today presents how Pakistani music would have looked like from 1990-2000 had Facebook, the
groundbreaking social networking website, been around!

Maheen Sabeeh and Saba Imtiaz

It is the age of the Internet. Facebook, a social networking website, remains one of its biggest phenomenons. We are clued into the lives of each other and nowadays even celebrities through this one addictive website.

Terms like news feed (which tells us who is doing what, events, etc) have become part of the digital language. Uploading videos and writing personal notes (and tagging others) is a favourite past time. One of the biggest attraction are the status updates or as the new terminology goes: ‘whats on your mind’.

Sometimes funny, at times lame and sometimes utterly bizzare, this medium of connecting with friends, family and celebrities is the advent of the new world order. Whether online protests, fan groups and even bash groups, one has become addicted to the virtual world, which connects people all across the world.

The local music industry, much like its Western counterpart is also a part of this virtual world. One can trace upcoming concerts, find new music videos and singles and even interact with some of the stars. Dedicated fans form groups and discuss pros and cons of artists and even pitch them against each other.

In this Instep spoof, we take a comical look at what it would’ve been like had Facebook been around back in the ’90s…

Rohail Hyatt was appointed Admin in the group Vital Signs

Bilal Maqsood and Faisal Kapadia are now friends. They met at the Government Commerce College while wasting time in class!

Junaid Jamshed, Shahi Hasan, Salman Ahmed and Shoaib Mansoor joined the group Vital Signs

Salman Ahmed left the group Vital Signs

Salman Ahmed and Nusrat Hussain joined the group “I Used to Play Guitar for Vital Signs”

Salman Ahmed just had the craziest dream ever! Making a band called Junoon!

Salman Ahmed wrote on Nusrat Hussain’s Wall:

“I feel your pain, brother. Want to make a band together? CALL ME!”

Salman Ahmed wrote on Shehryar Ahmed’s Wall:

“Making a band. Leave your high-paying corporate job at Wall Street and join me here! CALL ME!”

Bilal Maqsood is at the beach shooting my first video!!!!

Faisal Kapadia lost his sunglasses at the beach. Who thought of making ‘videos’ anyway!?

Salman Ahmed and Nusrat Hussain joined the group Junoon

Bilal Maqsood and Faisal Kapadia left the group Strings

Faisal Kapadia wrote on Bilal Maqsood’s Wall:

“Really sad, man. We should meet up in ten years and think about the good old times! Who knows, we might make music again..ha right!”

Rohail Hyatt is working on the new Vital Signs album!!!!

20,000 people left the group “Protesting Against Gorey Rung Ka Zamana… Proud to be Dark-Skinned”

30,000 people are fans of ‘Sanwali Saloni’

Rohail Hyatt and Nadeem F. Paracha are now friends.

Haroon Rasheed, Ali Azmat and Salman Ahmed joined the group “Our English Vocals are better than YOURS!”

Ali Haider is on top of the world after ‘Qaraar’

Rizwan-ul-Haq left the group Vital Signs

Rizwan-ul-Haq was appointed “Guitarist #3” in the group “I Used to Play Guitar for Vital Signs”

Ali Azmat and Assad Ahmed became fans of Hair Styling Products

Shoaib Mansoor is stuck somewhere in Punjab with the Vital Signs boys. HELP! Need to edit Guitar 93!!

Ali Haider is working on a new album

Ali Haider: I am the new pop wonder boy. I have ‘Purani Jeans’

50,000 people join the group “We love Purani Jeans” and discuss the pros and cons of having “Purani Jeans” in their closet

Ali Azmat, Ali Tim and Assad Ahmed joined the group “I’ll Grow My Hair Long Because I’m a ROCKSTAR”

Ali Azmat wrote on Assad Ahmed’s Wall:

“You’re not a rockstar. You sing in caves about diyas!!”

Hadiqa Kiyani left her job as VJ

Aamir Zaki joined the group Vital Signs

Najam Shiraz loves being a pop star!

Hadiqa Kiyani was appointed ‘Pakistan’s only pop diva’ in the group “Music Channel Charts”

Brian O’ Connell joined the Pakistan network

Aamir Zaki joined the group Vital Signs

Haroon Rasheed has lost his jadoo ka chiragh. Heading to the Lahore Fort to look for it.

Aamir Zaki left the group Vital Signs

Aamir Zaki was appointed “Guitarist #4” in the group “I Used to Play Guitar for Vital Signs”

Assad Ahmed joined the group “Vital Signs”

Vital Signs posted a new news item. “Releasing our fourth album Hum Tum!”

Junaid Jamshed joins the group “JJ gone solo”

Hadiqa Kiyani joins the group “I am elusive for no good reason”

Salman Ahmed created the “Sufi Rock” group and appoints himself Admin

Ali Azmat and Brian O Conell joined the group “Sufi Rock”

Ali Azmat wrote on Brian’s Wall:

“What on earth is Sufi Rock, dude”

Brian O Connell wrote on Ali’s Wall:

“What do I know, I’m just the bass player bro… HAHAHAH”

Junoon posted a news item: “Banned for our long hair and “political songs””

Ali Azmat and Salman Ahmed joined the group “Our hair is SUPER LONG”

Awaz posted a new news item: “Celebrating the success of our biggest hit to date, ‘Mr Fruadiya’ by breaking up”

Hadiqa Kiyani joins the group The Matrix

Hadiqa: “I can be Trinity from The Matrix. Watch out Catherine Ann Moss, here I came”

Music Channel Charts posted a new news item: Hadiqa’s ‘Dupatta’ video confuses the entire nation

Haroon joined the group Haroon

Faakhir joined the group Faakhir

Assad Ahmed joined the groups Haroon and Faakhir and became a fan

Junaid Jamshed: Released second album, Us Rah Par

Junoon posted a new news item: Azadi turns us into Pakistan’s biggest rock band

Ali Azmat wrote on Junaid Jamshed’s wall:

“Cheater, cheater. I get Vaneeza Ahmed to feature in ‘Sayonee’ video so you get Rubab for ‘Us Rah Par’… cheater!”

Junaid Jamshed wrote on Ali Azmat’s wall:

“Don’t worry, God is great”

Salman Ahmed: “I am the King”

Junoon posted a new news item: Giving Bullah Shah another glance on Parvaaz

Salman Ahmed posted on his group “Sufi Rock”

“I am Bono and I will bring world peace”

Years into the new millennium, Salman is still going strong in becoming the next Bono by bringing world peace, tolerance, unity, blah blah blah.

Disclaimer: Inspired by’s ‘100 days of Barack Obama’s Facebook news feed’ and The Atlantic’s ‘Facebook Group: World Leaders’

For all those who haven’t had a chance to see the Benazir coin as yet -Here it is. Photography courtesy Jamash and myself