Archive for the ‘photography’ Category

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?


One of the things I love about Karachi is its unusual quirks. Driving around defence the other day, I was tickled pink when I found that Sunday Bazaar has its own SIGNboard!!!!

It kind of reminds me of  a dusty sign pointing to a Saloon in the rambling wild wild west…

Its so utterly fascinating, that the flea market, bargain of all bargains, has its very own signboard, and is frequented by the elite of karachi! Fantastic stuff


Attention all Karachiites,

Blue bottles have taken over the coast line . They are washing up on the shore in scores with every wave, and the translucent bubbles aren’t always easy to spot.

I speak from experience – we were at the beach this Sunday and my friend got stung. Unfortunately we weren’t aware of it cuz all of Karachi’s population was sitting in the surf having a good time, frolicking, laughing, jumping about like there was no tomorrow.

The funny thing is – my friend didn’t step on it – it just happened because the wave washed it up against my friends foot… and now he was in some serious pain, and we didn’t know what to do. Thus I have decided to write a short guide on what to do when stung by a blue bottle!

  • Step one:  Stay away from the water. Do NOT dip the foot in water. Rub stung body part with sand right away.
  • Step two:  Sit patient onto chair and do NOT let them move. Walking about will cause venom to travel up leg via circulation.
  • Step three: Take stung bodypart and carefully wash with warm water, ensuring no tentacles are still stuck on.
  • Step four: Grab some ice and gently press onto the stung area. Hand the patient a bottle of water and get them to start drinking, so that if there is anyabsorption of the venom, it shall get flushed out
  • Step five: Speaking of flushing out, interestingly, peeing on the affected area is supposed to instantly make it better- try at your own risk.
  • Step six: Warning: Patient will squirm – glare at them to get cooperation. If desired cooperation is not given, hitting patient over the head with a bat is permissible.
  • Step seven: Send for some onions, smush them and rub them on affected area. Lemons are said to work as well, but I feel that would burn a lot. So go with onions, rub vigorously on wound.
  • Step eight: Give the patient some painkillers. Try panadol, disprin or Tylenol, whatever is easily available. Also try and get some anti-allergic cream. The pain killers are important, don’t skimp on those.
  • Step nine: Watch for signs that may require you to rush to the hospital, such as the upward travelling of pain, a fever, or pain that ranks more than six on a scale of 10.
  • Disclaimer: Blue bottle stings are not particularly venemous – the pain dissipates in the span of one to two hours. The thigh get particularly painful and the muscles clamp around the venom to keep it from travelling. Do NOT worry. It will get better and light activity can be resumed.


There is another  strike today. Another protest. Another mark of civilian unrest. More bloodshed, more lost lives.

I feel like a bug in a big city, watching out the glass panes as fire rages one side, political strife takes over, and then my attention is diverted by the glittering lights in my own world. Drawn to crystal baubles and gleaming lights, shimmering on the window and I dance in the light.

And there is a boom and I’m drawn out of my reverie.. back to the sadness. Back to the gloom. Back to life in the big city. Watching. Helpless. Slumped infront a big glass window as society rages war.


… Go sit outside and enjoy the summer breeze 🙂 It’s balm for the soul.


How many people reading this post love Falsa? Raise your hands!! say ayeee!!!

LOL> I thought as much. I think it’s a penchant that 99% of karachiites not only love falsa, but wait for the season eagerly. Just the thought of those juicy purplish red berries, sour and sweet and masala covered, melting on the tongue , sets ones mouth watering almost instantly.

Karachi has some pretty cool falsa concoctions to offer. There is your normal falsa fruit, then you can have it in the juice form, or even falsa KULFI for that cool summer treat.

I find that they’re amazing when you wash them well ( and wash you must, theyre filthy), and put them in the fridge for a few hours. Pull it out, sprinkle with the masala and eat after 5 minutes and havingmixed it well… drool. My falsas are calling me…


Something I’ve noticed recently, is that amongst the elite youth in Karachi, it is becoming increasingly popular to play poker. Indeed, one of the most common past times when hanging out in some’s A/C’d lounge is to drink beer and play poker – usually for skittles as opposed to money (which I suppose is the bright side of the situation).

Even if played for money, bets are baby-sized at the moment – playing for 10 ruppees a round, to keep it economical. But again, mostly for skittles. Which adds to the high by the alchohol. It’s a vicious cycle – they play all night long, and eventually pass out sprawled on couches or the floor, mostly because these teenagers are too inebriated to drive home.

So my question is – Why has it suddenly become acceptable to gamble (albeit for skittles and ten ruppees) and drink? Someone I know said that her parents were so glad she was calling friends over for a change and staying in, that they didnt care what they did as long as they were indoors!

It may be starting out small…But it could blow up into something huge tomorrow. When will parents and young kids cash their chips and cut their losses – cut the bad desicions they’ve made.

Thought of the day : You don’t need to be drunk or gamble to have fun

T2f, ie, The Second Floor Cafe is famous for providing a space for exhibitions that provoke discourse. Some months back there was an exhibition by a political cartoonist. Muhammad Zahoor, one of Pakistan’s leading cartoonists, thrives on contentious social and political issues  and much discussion and dialogue was passed on his caricatures. Some of the works that made me smile :





Karachi by Night

Posted: May 15, 2009 by batster in life in karachi, photography
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