Tuesday, December 23, 2008


After over five years with Blogger - this blog is moving house to Wordpress: http://sabaimtiaz.wordpress.com

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Moment of the Year

I was just wondering what could round up the year this has been and then an Iraqi journalist trumps it all by hurling shoes at George Bush.

Hats off to you, Muntader al-Zaidi. I hope they free you from detention soon.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Lota power?

Americans mistook Lotas as weapons
By Abdul Sattar Khan
The News

LAHORE: An annual convention of the recently banned Jamaat-ul-Dawah created ripples in the American security circles a few years back when, while monitoring through satellite, they mistook thousands of Lotas at the Pattoki convention site as potential weapons.

Perhaps not aware of the fact that the Muslims use Lota (one of the toiletries) in place of toilet-paper for washing purposes, the US security officials monitoring the congregation with their rotating satellites were quick to refer the photo images of Lotas to their Pakistani counterparts, seeking their expert opinion if these could be used as weapons.

However, it was only after a flurry of US-Pak exchanges that the Pakistani authorities were able to address the American apprehensions, explaining that such toilet utensils are harmless and were used all over the world by Muslims.


I've been trying to imagine the look on the face of the soul who must've received the initial query from Uncle Sam. (H says it must've been a 'constipated look') I also wish I'd been around for the obvious office joke this must've become. Clearly, with all the intelligence agencies et al in the world; the lota still remains a mystery to many.

Coming next: Muslim showers (called a shatafa in Arabic) becoming the subject of a news item as a possible weapon of mass destruction or means of biological warfare, perhaps?

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Post-Eid vacation blues suck. Majorly. In Jordan it was easier to get back to normal because there were never this many days off for Eid - and it generally doesn't feel like Eid when there isn't any family/Eidi/rivers of blood to navigate on Eid al Adha. (Oh Dickens, how I think of you every Eid)

But this break - combined with the weekend - has truly been ridiculous.
I have watched two seasons of the US version of The Office, replayed and analyzed Gossip Girl's season finale in detail, answered all my email, tried to watch a bad movie (but had to give up in the first half hour). I even saw (and repeated aloud) Shah Rukh Khan's Filmfare speech bit from Om Shanti Om - arguably one of the best pieces of dialogue ever in recent times. (Though nothing can beat Sholay but still..)

However, I did realize I'd hit a new low when I found myself re-reading the adventures of Brer Rabbit outwitting Brer Bear and Brer Fox.

Only in Pakistan..

Overheard on the news, during a report on the Lahore Zoo.

Visitor: Ticket dus rupay hona chahiye, hum jaanwar dekhne aate hain, le jaane nahee.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Is it just me, or was Chuck Bass channeling Heath Ledger playing The Joker (in The Dark Knight) in this week's season finale of Gossip Girl?

I just had to get this out of my system. Phew.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Quotes of the week

We are in a decline. We might recover financially in two three years and may even in a dream scenario become something akin to a modern nation – far-fetched as all this may sound, but the very core, the very essence that defines a nation, that special quality inspired by just a few good men and women that makes ordinary countries become extraordinary – that is long gone. Where we lost it and when is no longer relevant. The sad truth is that as another year closes its doors fitfully on a Pakistan that has no idea where it should be heading, our national standards of right and wrong, our sense of decency or indecency and all the other factors that define a good people, has vaporized into the smog-laden and heavily polluted atmosphere that symbolically and physically has us enveloped in a gray and dull choking light. Our souls are in serious jeopardy.
- Masood Hasan for The News

Mr Friedman, who is an experienced foreign affairs commentator and author, not only ignored protests/vigils/peace initiatives organized by Pakistanis after the Mumbai carnage he also implied that Islam as a religion and Pakistan as a nation support terrorism and the world would take our condolences more seriously if we lit more candles and stopped spiking our breastmilk with Extract of Crazy Murderous Muslim Person. If there is ever a global village, I nominate Thomas L. Friedman for the position of its idiot.
- Kamila Shamsie for The News, commenting on Thomas L. Friedman's article in the NYT

Ashok Pawar, a police constable from the police station nearest the Taj, entered the hotel the night the siege began. It was full of gunfire and smoke. He could not breathe, and he did not know his way around. "It was my first time inside the Taj," he said. "How can a poor man go there?"In The Indian Express newspaper on Friday, a columnist named Vinay Sitapati wrote a pointed open letter to "South Bombay," shorthand for the city's most wealthy enclave. The column first berated the rich for lecturing at Davos and failing in Hindi exams. "You refer to your part of the city simply as 'town,' " he wrote, and then he begged: "Vote in person. But vote in spirit, too: use your clout to demand better politicians, not pliant ones."
- International Herald Tribune

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Change can happen!

Barack Obama has been elected as the 44th President of the United States of America. What a fantastic moment to show the efforts of grassroot change - fundamental change in the way people have looked, worldwide, at the issues that affect the US and their role in world affairs. Can't be coherent - waiting for Obama's victory speech live from Chicago.. :)

Saturday, November 01, 2008

life's like an hourglass glued to the table

aWhen one is confronted with the ghosts of their past; there are two things to do - look on them fondly or wonder where time flew by. But very rarely, you look at the past, present and future with fondness, and realize that something you knew all along is materializing itself in ways you never thought possible.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The world turns round / through silent sound

In the morning,
When you wake up
Daytime fades up
And your make up runs,
Just hold on

It sounds tacky,
but I'm hopeful
There's a reason
That the world turns round,
Through silent sound

- Dark on Fire: Turin Brakes