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Showing posts from October, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: The Cricketer, The Celebrity, the Politician Imran Khan, The Biography / Author: Christopher Sandford

Thanks to Liberty Books for the review copy

Reviewed by: Afrah Jamal
Published in Daily Times / Saturday, October 23, 2010

Someone recalls seeing the ‘legend’ from a distance once at a duck shoot. An Imran Khan sighting generally sent mortal men, women, children and tabloids into frenzy.

Not here.

As this chap sheepishly admitted, “a fighter pilot’s ego will rival that of a highly sought after cricketing legend.

And so Imran remained seated in the car seemingly oblivious to the trio while they stayed rooted to the spot pretending to gawk at the ducks.

No duck has stolen Khan’s thunder before or since.

Imran Khan’s popularity can be gauged by a passage that claims that dignitaries from other Commonwealth countries reportedly asked to see two things, one of which was our great Khan and the other was the Khyber Pass.

Over time, Imran Khan would go through several transformations, moving effortlessly between international phenomena, ‘dream catcher’, ‘good Samaritan’ and ‘King of hearts

BOOK REVIEW: Who Assassinated Benazir Bhutto / Author: Shakeel Anjum

Thank you Dost Publication for the review copy
First Published in Daily Times / 09 Oct 2010

Reviewed by - Afrah Jamal

It is not every day one finds the author of a book about murder himself implicated in a triple homicide. In our part of the world, however, it could simply mean that the ‘suspect’ was too snoopy for his/her own good or simply stepped on some VIP’s toes. Fortunately, it was the latter case here (he fell out with the Islamabad police) and an exonerated Shakeel Anjum shakes off the stigma of a murderer and dons the garb of a detective. He is, after all, a crime reporter who has been associated with a local English daily for a long time and has clocked 32 years in the arena. This provides him with the requisite credentials to dive into the deep end but it may not necessarily give him groundbreaking investigative journalistic powers to ferret out the truth about Benazir’s assassination. Yet, this is exactly what the author claims to have done.

The purpose of the book is ost…

BOOK REVIEW: Mehdi Hasan: The Man & His Music/ Compiled & Edited by Asif Noorani

Thanks to Liberty Books for the review copy

Published in Daily Times / Saturday, October 02, 2010 / under the title: National Treasure

Reviewed by Afrah Jamal

(Thanks to Asif Noorani Sahib for the words of encouragement & Liberty Books for the signed copy)

13 June 2012: Rest in Peace Mehdi Hasan (1927-2012)

A quick perusal of Mehdi Hasan’s life will reveal that he was anointed the ‘Emperor of Ghazals’ and ensured that the earliest foundations of Pakistani music would also be the strongest, that his voice easily broke through the cultural barrier and that he was a mechanic before he was a legend. Anyone desirous of taking a closer look at the musical maestro who dominated radio, television and film and ruled the local airwaves for several decades would have been disappointed.

One man, however, will lament the fact that “no book, good, bad or indifferent, on the greatest exponent of ghazal gayeki (singing) of the late 20th century is available in Pakistan or elsewhere”, before setti…