Finally!! Someone has come up with a readers club for the book lovers of Karachi. This readers club has book discussions every week and you can join their mailing list here

Description as per their website :

The Readers Club is a voluntary, informal organization committed to the promotion of reading culture in Karachi.

The Readers Club meets every Friday from 6.00 PM to 7.30 PM at the Shah Jehan Auditorium in the SMF Center. Please click here for more details on how to contact us.

The Readers Club has been meeting since January 2001. The Readers Club does not meet on gazetted holidays and in the month of Ramadan.

We try to keep things as informal and open as possible. You do not need to confirm in advance. There is no fee or requirement of any other sort to attend.

We are a book club of sorts, but our format is a little unorthodox. While most of the Readers Club consists of voracious readers, we realize that it is unfair to expect them to read the same book in preparation for a meeting every week. Instead we adopt a different approach.

The format of the meetings is quite simple.  The facilitator speaks first and presents the book followed by a general discussion among the attendees. The format of the presentation varies with the speaker. Although the discussion is moderated, it gets pretty lively. Everyone is free to express their opinions, and we welcome them. Attendees are free to participate in the discussion or only listen if they wish.

We like to encourage people to present books. After all, the Readers Club is a cooperative effort. If you would ever like to present a book, please do let us know.

Please do not ask us to include/exclude any books/topics. We do not endorse nor censor any ideas/topics/books. Facilitators are free to choose the books they want to present. If you would like a book/topic to be discussed, we would like you to present a book yourself. We are proud of the fact that we try to provide an equal opportunity to everyone to express their views.

Karachi, meet winter; Winter, meet Karachi

Posted: November 19, 2009 by Khaver in beach, life in karachi
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When I woke up a couple of days ago, there was a certain air about Karachi.

I couldn’t put my finger on it, but Karachi was smiling–and she wouldn’t tell why. In the time that followed, the mornings would be draped with a thin layer of fog, the evenings would be shrouded in chill. Karachi was smiling, because winter was here.

Though we don’t get the snow most northern regions get, winters in Karachi has a life of its own. The weather isn’t that cold, but its cold enough that we still enjoy our ice creams, walks in the evening, and eating outdoors. Nobody asks for the AC remote, or reaches for the fan switch, save but a few hardened individuals who still love their fans and ACs even as the mercury drops. We are entertained by the ever cheesy Bonanza ads for sweaters on TV, and bonfires at the beach take special precedence in our weekend plans. There is nothing like an experience of friends gathered around the bonfire, each in their own refuge of thoughts, watching the fire flicker away–and sometimes, hardly a word is spoken between.

Winters in Karachi also brings with it many unwanted guests. Dryness on our skin increases in some as we reach for the chapsticks even more so. The dew in the morning permeates over our cars quickly becoming the bane of our drivers/cleaners. There is increasing susceptibility to flu and other diseases.

But cons aside, winter in Karachi has its special place. People still flock to the ocean, amid high winds and even higher gatherings. We admire ourselves in our brightly colored sweaters, pointing and laughing at scooter drivers wearing funny hats, and nuzzle within our own blankets as we ever so desperately try to break its embrace in the morning–and fail miserably.

Media in Pakistan has taken off like a rocket to say the least in the last eight years. From conventional to creative it has come a long way from its days of infancy to incorporating new and more interactive methods of broadcasting.

Its hub is in no other place except for this city by the sea and these days “main stream media” is busy engaging people of a different and alternative variety…err yeah us…bloggers. From calling us on shows on live tv to having conversations with us on face book or twitter or other social media platforms “MSM” has suddenly adopted the “bring em on” policy and said yes to “citizen journalism” What does this mean for us as parts of alternative media? Does this mean the war for ratings will now extend to our computer screens or does it mean that the future will mean that each one of our voices digital or conventional melds in a national scream of sentiment to show the world what this countries true face is? Questions only time will answer

Among the most prominent “MSM” talk show hosts to blend “new media” and the first one to bring twitter into a main stream  show is the polished and demure Naveen Naqvi of Dawn tv. She entered this realm with hosting Breakfast at dawn and now the show has turned into a digitized hybrid between new media and mainstream media with her including not just comments on the topics via live tweeting but even going so far as to ask  questions tweeted to her by her ever increasing cyber following. Yes you got that right this is happening right now in Karachi…everyday on BAD.

Another name one must mention here is that of Faisal Qureshi, although he does not live tweet stuff into his show’s feed he has recently started broadcasting of his show “Karavan” on ustream. As we all know ustream is a free tool for live broadcasting available to us tech savvy folk for some time but to see a “MSM” host use it so efficiently is to say the least a thrill. Off course this gent is also available on twitter and face book and every time he drops a “jalaybee” online the comments wave shows anyone watching his massive following.

Considering the amount of opposition these people must face from “MSM” in breaking these barriers they seem to be doing a fantastic job. So I thought it would be relevant if we applaud them for their work and urge them on, for the future is not being scared by networks into submission but the open source environment that will take us onto wings of positivity into our destiny.

The shanaakth festival will soon be delighting the hearts and minds of all us karachi wallas from Nov 9th to Nov 11th 2009. 3 days of exhibitions, plays, oral history projects, booths by orgs like T2F and photography from legends such as Amean Jan. Be there or be square people!!!

Full schedule is available here

There was a time in the 1930-1960 era of this city when there were no transport issues. The city had a central artery road or the now M.A Jinnah road called Drig road at that time. On this road used to ply the trams of Karachi, ensuring that the populace had easy access to the city center from different localities close to the tram line.

Then came the modern era of this city and with the explosion of immigrants and the local populace the trams soon became a hurdle rather than a convenience. So the city administration opted for first public transport in the form of a circular railway and then later on when things really mushroomed private transport and the now existent transport minibus mafia took over.

A recent example of the dubious nature of these mini bus cartels was when they allegedly indulged in the burning of 3-4 CDGK CNG buses and bus stops were attacked as well.

Today has brought great news though as The ECNC has finally decided to revive the Karachi circular railway at the cost of Rs 128.5 billion. Although this is easier said then done but at least the first step or the planning stage has been initiated to provide cost effective transport for this cities residents.

Any megalopolis the size of Karachi would have a huge subway system or at least a LFT over head rail system, we must provide for such facilities if we are to see Karachi go to the next stage. Although the last few decades have brought neglect to this city and its infrastructure, work has been done on it in the recent years under CDGK and the results are before us all.

I personally would love to use a service like the circular railway rather than drive my car at snails pace to get to the downtown area everyday where it takes about 50 mins to cross a distance of 7-8 kms.

So here is me hoping for a train ride to work soon 😀

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A.D.P is having a gig! Woo hoo! It’s been a long time since funkytown came around, and The Aunty Disco Project are coming to rock Rangoon Wala Auditorium this Sundayy! Time to get dowwwwn and Bo0ogy! 🙂 Oba has made some super awesome promo’s that are positively hilarious, and I personally think the marketing for the gig is brilliant! The official website is given below:

Get Your Aunty On! Sunday 16th August 2009

Shared via AddThis

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You’ve GOT to check these out! 🙂 Enjoy, and see you at the gig!

The Promos on Facebook:

The joint action committee and civil society have organized a protest rally at the press club on Thursday 6th Aug at 4pm, to support the victims in the gojra incident.

Demonstrations of this nature have been taking place all over the country to protest the atrocity against the christian community of gojra. Where 9 people died due to mob violence in anti christian riots.

Please be aware that the Sipah Sahaba Pakistan has issued threats against people protesting this incident and supporting Christians, therefore we have no knowledge of the security conditions at this protest.

Beachiness

Posted: July 13, 2009 by Sana Saleem in beach
Tags: , ,

The beaches in karachi are the most perfect spot to beat the heat. Sinking away all the craziness of life and smelling in the serenity of the ocean. The best place to relax and have a roll of constructive brainstorming. Just last week I was ubberly excited to see that the hawks bay area was quite litter free. And I tell you nothing like walking around the beach , breathing in fresh air without having to frown at the litter around. Hope to see cleaner beaches all round Karachi. Till then wear your beach hats and get ready to hit the beach, but don’t forget to be cautious we hear a thunderstorm is round the corner !! .

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*image taken from internet*

Yayyy, the prediction says Karachi will have a thunderstorm this weekend! Yippeee.

GEt your chai and pakoras ready people. Now is the true acid test – to see if the drains in Karachi work or not! 😛

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.

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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.**

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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.