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Showing posts from March, 2014

KARACHI DIARIES: The ALI ZAFAR Experience

First Published in Economic Affairs (Islamabad) March 2014



A forlorn figure making portraits in hotel lobbies may not be newsworthy. The flash-forward of him wandering his old stomping grounds however can make headlines. By then he has acquired some elegant titles that go well with stardom, while retaining a measure of humility that keeps him grounded.


Renowned musician and actor Ali Zafar has been in the game for a decade. His name is listed in ‘Wall Street Money Never Sleeps’ (2010) - soundtrack section. He has an array of awards under his belt and a line-up of movies & songs to his credit.


He saunters on stage to take his place as the star of the evening but happily shares the spotlight - with a fan, randomly chosen for a photo-op, with nimble footed celebrities who waltzed in and in some cases, leapt out, and Shahbaz – the surprised looking technician who got his 5 minutes of fame in exchange for some bottled water.

The singer scores with his generosity and endears himself…

KARACHI DIARIES: 5TH KARACHI LITERATURE FESTIVAL 2014

First Published in Economic Affairs - Islamabad (March 2014)

Like Rick’s from Casablanca, people tend to gravitate towards the Karachi Literature Festival (KLF). To rendezvous with authors, (global & regional), journalists (foreign and local), diplomats, filmmakers, celebrities, publishing giants, analysts & social media pundits. To hail divergent views and forge lifelong connections while sprinting from session to session; at author signings by makeshift book stalls, in the midst of earnest discussions, during lively Q/A’s and at coffee stands.




KLF, which became a part of Karachi’s social scene in 2010, is a portal to a realm where discourse is welcome and diversity is celebrated. Where elitism gets shunned, and cultural bonds are reinforced.

Those who ventured out might have come upon beloved idols sans entourage mingling with the common folk, calmly standing by a pillar if they couldn’t find a seat; Zeb (other half of Haniya) or Tina Sani humming to the beat of something ca…