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Showing posts from June, 2014

What to Expect When you are an Expat

Published in Daily Times / 23 June 2014

Come, it is an opportunity to meet people – the kind you don’t get to see anymore.’

Mekel Waqar’s invitation leads to Côté Jardin located inside the French Cultural Centre. A week ago it had hosted a lovely little exhibition by Pakistani / French artists. The cosmopolitan heart of Karachi has been in retreat; it now thrives behind fortified walls, and eyes the changing landscape with increasing wariness. Mekel, the go to person for visiting / resident foreigners brings the twain together. His mission is to roll out the welcome wagon, arrange mixers, and help expats navigate the cultural divide with ease. He is an InterNations Ambassador tasked with overseeing the Karachi Chapter, while manning the bridge linking city dwellers with the invisible expat community.

InterNations was founded in 2007 by a trio of Germans (Malte Zeeck, Christian Leifeld, Philipp von Plato) and is a global network of expatriates with a presence in 190 countries and 3…

E-BOOK REVIEW: A Newlywed’s Adventures in Married Land

Published in Daily Times (Pakistan) / 24 June 2014

Published under the title: Domestic Bliss, Displacement & Desi Wives

Thank you Indireads & Rizwan Tufail for the review copy

Happily ever after’s have not lost their appeal. But Shewta Kumar takes fairy-tale endings, with the land far away as a launch pad, and enlists a newly-wed Mythili busy trading in her journalistic credentials for ‘desperate’ housewife’ as a starter. This is Shweta’s third novel and her first e-book / novella. She is an Indian writer / travel columnist who has worked as a CNN-IBN correspondent, and authored two bestsellers - ‘Between the Headlines: The Travails of a TV Reporter’ & ’Coming up on the Show: The Travails of a News Trainee’.

Here she sets out to sketch Mythili’s new life among fellow expats using Manila as a backdrop where time weighs heavily and the walls start closing in. Having left her crime reporting days as ‘chief-ferreting-out-information-officer’ behind, the characters transform…

EVENT: Alliance Francaise de Karachi Resource Centre Inauguration

First Published in Economic Affairs (Isl) / June 2014

They say it was dark - the lights had been turned off, and doors of the French Cultural Centre locked when a gentleman arrived, and bought 7 paintings – among them was a set of 4 honoring the elements which the artist had been reluctant to break.



Alliance Francaise de Karachi had invited six painters to be a part of the inaugural ceremony of their new Resource Centre. A charming Diptych by Paul Mehdi Rizvi that blended in so beautifully, and was erroneously believed to be a part of the décor was actually from the exhibit.



The Centre which has gone through several iterations over the years, and lay forgotten as a storage space, now offers combined facilities of a study section, cultural corner, a recreational area, and on May 15th - a taste of contemporary art.



Babar Moghal, Omar Farid, Henri Souffay, M. Akram Spaul, Scharjeel Sarfaraz, and Paul Mehdi Rizvi had been enlisted as their opening act. Inside, somewhere by the book …

KARACHI DIARIES: KOMAL RIZVI VDO Launch / Press Conference

First Published in Economic Affairs (Islamabad) / June 2014



This brother / sister duo came highly recommended. Their music video launch / press conference held at Port Grand, (Karachi) will be the talk of town. And their experimental new sound would be put up for review.



Komal Rizvi, who made her debut as a singer / actress / VJ in the 1990’s, was staging a comeback with her new single - ‘Kalli Kalli’ in April 2014. Hasan Rizvi stars in the video with his sister; Sohail Javed directs. It would be Komal’s first launch and Hasan’s umpteenth choreography.



The filming had been eventful, the storyboard toyed with the elements - water, fire,,,, etc, as did the musicians; one was scorched, the other drowned, several times over reportedly. Nothing had dampened their ardour, or kept them from bombarding Sohail with a steady stream of creative input. ‘Add a tabla’ one would say, ‘how about a sitar’ the other would suggest.


The award winning director survived, and was later hailed for his …