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Tuesday, October  07, 2008, Shawwal 07, 1429 A.H
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Dramas and films are a great source of entertainment for many of us. Normally women enjoy soap operas at home and the daring ones among us like to go to the cinema. Whether it's a three-hour long film or a one hour drama or even a 100-episode serial, we love to indulge ourselves in the fantasy world. Sometimes these fantasies touches our souls and sometimes it seems like too good to be true. But we seldom realise that behind this glitz and glamour there's a lot of hard work involved. Whether a hit or a miss, a director has to be blamed or credited for the production. Direction is by no means an easy job. When we talk about our local entertainment industry we cannot ignore the women directors who have made us proud, because of their ability to reach out to the masses and stir the emotions... after all, they can better understand the complexities of relationships and the humanity of issues. This week You! pays a tribute to some of them...

 

Too real for reel:

Undoubtedly one of the finest directors of our country - Sahira Kazmi has created characters that one can relate to and they feel like one of us. She joined PTV as an actor and delivered strong performances in Teesra Kinara and Purchaiyan. Then she joined PTV as a director and produced some memorable musical programmes and dramas. Sahira has gifted PTV with memorable serials like Tanhaiyaan, Tapish and Dhoop Kinaray, the characters from Tanhaiyan and Dhoop Kinaray still remain afresh in our minds. In fact, actors like Behroze Sabswari and Marina Khan are remembered from the names of the characters they played in the serial. After giving these evergreen plays, she even directed Ali Haider in a play opposite Marina Khan titled as Tum Se Kehna Tha. It was a light romantic comedy and was an instant hit amongst the masses. She then directed Zaibunnisa - based on the issue of domestic violence - which earned critical acclaim.

Here is one director who is willing to stand against all odds. In this age of commercialism Sahira has managed to maintain her credibility as a tough director who refuses to compromise on her principles.

 

Inevitably talented

Name the ten best drama serials of Pakistan in the recent years and you will come across Mehreen Jabbar's name for sure. She is known for her art of touching the souls of the audience. The lady is a 14-year veteran of the industry, with a prolific career as a director/producer of gritty, hard-hitting films for Pakistani Television. She has made plays like Dhoop main sawan, Aur Zindagi Badalti Hai, Sanam Gazida, Kahaniyan and Harjaee to name a few.

Mehreen graduated from UCLA in 1993 with a Film, Television and Video certificate, and returned to Pakistan to direct and produce made-for-TV movies and drama series/serials under the banner of TasVeer Productions, almost all of which were critically acclaimed by the Pakistani press.

This year, she expanded her horizon by venturing into the business of movies and making the critically acclaimed 'Ramchand Pakistani' with a star cast of Nandita Das, Rashid Farooqui, Maria Wasti, Adarsh Ayaz and Fazal Hussein. The movie won praise internationally as well as on the national level. It couldn't be claimed as a second Khuda Kay Liye but it sure has helped pave the way for more of such Pakistani movies in order to revive the dead film industry of Pakistan.

 

The candid director:

Most of the female directors started working behind the camera after learning the technicalities on screen. Marina Khan is one of such names as well. She has played roles in one of the finest plays of Pakistani drama history. Just take any of her play and it's a success. For instance, we saw her spreading her magic in Dhoop Kinare, Tanhayian, Nijaat, Padosi and Tum se Kehna Tha - to name a few.

After fourteen years of working on screen she shifted gears and donned the director's cap for Tum hi to ho. It was shot in USA and did really well on television. Unfortunately, Marina's experience as a director wasn't that good as she mentioned in an interview that she had lots of problems during the making of the play. Plus, she hates to direct as well as act at the same time. It's easier to be a director's actor who can guide you what to do and how to do it. 

But, this play was not her first attempt at direction. She even directed Ali Haider's music video 'Janiya'. Recently, she directed Huma Khwaja's music video 'Laaj' which was the first video from her last album and was fun to watch.

Besides, she has also edited two plays, Satish Anand's Eid dot com and Humayun Saeed's Tu laakh chale re gori.

 

Knows what people want

Whoever thought that the pretty actress from 'Kasak' would be controlling the sets a few years down the lane. On screen she is so easy in her character that it is difficult to separate her from it. Yes, we are talking about Rubina Ashraf! Natural, flawless and extempore... it seems without a script and without any direction but in actual it's her ability to understand things and project it in the best possible way. A graphic designer by education, we remember watching her on screen in 'Sawan Roop', 'Hazaron Rastey', 'Seeriah', 'Tapish' and more recent 'Such Beetian' and 'Muhabbatein Kaisi' has always been a pleasure.

After working on screen for quite some time she tried her hands on direction by coming out with her first venture 'Rehney Do' in 1998. After that, she directed 'Tere Siva' featuring Saba Hameed, Vaneeza Ahmed and Sadaf F. Ibrahim. With a series of twists and turns the serial attracted quite some audience attention towards it. But her recent serial 'Vanee' turned out to be a hit and won accolades from the whole drama fraternity.

 

Playing with perfection:

She started off her career as a host in comedy show VJ that was directed by Ahsan Rahim. VJ came out as a fresh wave of comedy and took the whole media scene by storm. From there Amna got recognised as a comedian that followed Dr and Billaís music video 'Yes Love' further stamping her as a comedian. 

But soon she realised her forte is not just acting but... direction. She started assisting Ahsan Rahim in his music videos and commercials and soon formed a joint production by the name of DreamTeam Films under which they made lots of successful music videos. Not just comedy but serious ones as well. Some noteworthy videos of the duo are Abrar ul Haque's Preeto, Jutt, Punjabi Touch, Shehzad Roy's Sali, Yaad, Khudi Ka Sari Nihan, Ali Zafar's Channo, String's Hai Koi Hum Jaisa, Jawad Ahmed's Dosti and the list goes on and on and on.

She became undoubtedly one of the finest directors of Pakistan and an idol for many young women aspiring to be directors. Recently, she broke off from Ahsan Rahim and started making videos on her own. Haroon's Jeeya Jaye was her first solo video which did amazingly well at the charts and won her appreciation of all and sundry. Right now she is focusing more on television commercials than on anything else. Music videos have taken a back seat as well because she believes that commercials are more challenging as you have to put a whole idea across within 30 to 40 seconds.

Well whatever she does, we just hope she delves more into music videos... after all we are missing the much needed Amna Khan touch from the local music scene.

 

Handling with care...

Alia Imam is hailed as one of the most talented directors in our showbiz industry. She has been around for the last eleven years giving quality plays to PTV and all the other private channels as well. A free-lance director/actor, it is difficult to say what she does better - directing or acting? But whatever she picks up, she tries to do it professionally and with ease.

Starting off her career in early '90s, her directorial debut was 'Saza' which then lead to another hit serial 'Aik Tasveer Aur'. Recently, her soap 'Sirf Ek Baar' is gaining her accolades from the industry as well as from the masses.

Amongst sitcoms, 'Boom boom', 'Mera Ghar No.1' and 'Salma Aur Sitare' are under her credit while her upcoming serial 'Kuch Larkian' will be aired soon from a local TV channel.

She has even acted in a number of plays and few music videos. In her recent project 'Thora Sa Asmaan' she has played a memorable role. And, if you think that's all... you are wrong! She has even hosted a couple of live shows and is about to hit our screens with 'Saturday mornings' very soon.

 

These women are just a few examples from the long list of women achievers in film making whom we have not yet touched. This is just to put forward that women are not just excelling in academics but are doing well in a business that was previously considered to be man's realm. And as far as dramas are concerned, they are being successful because they know how to play around with the dialogues and how to stir the emotions in people. Way to go women! We know this is just a new beginning that you will conquer with your determination and passion.




beauty
Bright bride

Eid is over and now wedding season is in full swing. Keeping the trend in mind, this week our beauty section is dedicated to contemporary brides...

It's all about personal style this wedding season. The overall trend is to break away from traditional attire and wear something that goes in accordance with the present trend. Modern brides are choosing wedding dresses that reflect their personality rather than that of their grandmother's. Brides today are choosing bridal joras with intricate beadwork and embroidery. This year we are seeing more and more colours in bridal wear - along with traditional red, one can see champagne, pink, platinum, blue and even green.

A wedding day is most likely to be one of the most treasured days in a bride's life. Wedding day brings with it lots of hopes, aspirations and anticipations. With brides such as Cinderella and Snow White as role models, it is of no surprise that expectations are at their highest. Therefore, brides expect to look and feel their best. It is what a bride deserves. That is where a makeup artist can enter with the wand and add to the dazzle and elegance of the wedding day. The makeup artist should note that the bride will want to feel comfortable, not confined by her bridal hair and makeup. Being comfortable may also mean keeping the makeup simple, not vibrant. This may not be the day to experiment with a new style. The bride does not want to feel self-conscious of her new look. The ideal bridal make up would accentuate the bride's beauty and conceal the flaws naturally.

Today's bridal makeup is more radiant and natural. No longer do the lips have to be lined heavily and matte foundation with loose powder applied. Another trend in formal weddings is strong, yet sultry bridal makeup. A formal wedding can be complemented using a matte foundation, black liner for the eyes done in a subtle way, pink rouge, and matte red lipstick. Liner must be used to contain the red lipstick and prevent it from bleeding. This is a dramatic, evening bridal look that is perfect for such a formal affair.

When it comes to today's bridal hair, it is essentially soft and subtle. The effect is sexier, less harsh. Hair can be worn down, flowing with loose curls and waves. The updo that once dominated the bridal hair scene has a much softer look as well. Today's updo style is not sprayed, pinned, and tucked to hide every loose hair. The look is pinned and tousled, leaving it soft and stylish. The bridal hair is romantic. In addition to the classic up-do's, brides are also going for 1960's styles, and the "Amy Winehouse look."

It is recommended that you should bring a picture of your dress and as much information about your wedding to your hair consultation as possible when you're choosing your stylist. Keep your mind open to new ideas, but don't go for anything too drastic and dramatic, unless that suits your personality.

While choosing bridal accessories follow your dress motif. If, for example, your dress is adorned with radiant moti, select jewellery with matching accents. Colour is also critical. With taupe and gold embroidery opt for necklaces and earrings set in glittering gold.

And remember - what is trendy today may not look so great in your wedding photos 20 years from now, so keep that in mind when selecting your do.

 

Top makeup tips for the modern bride

- Apply the colour on the eyelid and blend well

- Use a matte eye shadow and an eyeliner brush for a soft look

- Apply the blusher on the apple of the cheek for a pretty flush

- Take your time to blend your foundation well

 

Credits:

                Compilation:

Farisa Jerar Naqvi

                Coordination:

Thomas Fernandes  0300-2206791

                Beautician:

Mona J (0301-2917447)

                Model:

Rubab

                Photography:

Azi Raza

                Outfits:

Sana Safinaz



health
The after effects

Once Ramazan ends and Eid begins we fall back into our routine of eating whatever we want whenever we want. But the three days of Eid are ones where we not just eat what we want, we eat more than we would, should or could otherwise. And it's true that many of you didn't really lose that much weight during Ramazan since come Iftar most stuffed themselves full of pakoras, jalebis, chat and other such mouth watering goodies. But the amount of food - especially sweets and junk food - gets multiplied by the amount of people you visit or the number of people that visit you. With each new relative you consume one more rasgulla, one more kebab and down one more glass of cola.

And those people who actually did lose some amount of weight during the blessed month suddenly begin to wonder when all the pounds you shed during Ramazan crept back into your life and you find yourself wondering 'where all this fat came from all of a sudden?'

Well, it's actually quite simple, whether you're one of the people who actually gained weight in Ramazan or one those who lost a lot, you will need to keep yourself and your health in check after your crusade on Eid where you eat as much as you possibly can!

Start slow!

As Ramazan starts our bodies begin to change and adapt naturally to the lack of supply of food and water. As one might notice the first few days of fasting always seem the hardest while the last ones feel like a walk through the park. Similarly, as our bodies have adapted to having minimal food and water, eating too much on Eid all of a sudden, doesn't give the body enough time to accommodate to the large amount of incoming food. Many thus experience blotting, sluggishness, a sudden increase in blood pressure and even severe head aches. So, ease your self back in to your old breakfast-lunch-dinner routine. Don't rush it!

Avoid the Spices!

During Ramazan your exposure to food is some what limited, even if you had spicy food at Iftari, your stomach's exposure to its effects are the same. Hence over a period of a month your body may have accommodated itself to react a little to the spice. Having spicy food all of a sudden - for at least two out of three meals - will greatly increase the acidity levels of your stomach. Not to mention the fact that it would certainly cause painful cramps for most. People with diagnosed ulcers should especially be careful; eating too much spicy food could re-open some of the wounds your stomach healed over the period of Ramazan. Another reason to avoid those hot peppers would be to stay clear of different kind of skin irritations; these are very apparent in both young and old. Now that Eid is over it maybe a good time to control your diet a little bit. Go for foods that are easy on your tummy and avoid oily, sweet and spicy stuff.

The Killer Kebabs!

The mouth watering juiciness, the colour, the taste, one could literally die of this magnificent piece of grub, but here is the catch, not only are they fattening and spicy, they are mostly either deep fried in oil or in some cases shallow fried in ghee. Where kebab is a generalisation that this scribe makes, eating a lot of meat especially one that fried can cause great discomfort to you. A sudden influx of fat would wreak havoc on your body. Fatty acids come from the break down of fat in our food. A sudden increase of fat in your diet would lead to an increase in fatty acids circulating in your blood. This would lead to increase in secretion of oil from skin making it oily and causing an outburst of acne. Pairing your food with some salads or vegetables would however help lower the risk of acne. For those with known heart problems and blood pressure irregularities it would be best to continue avoiding a high fat and high protein diet. As mostly such food in Pakistan is also laced with a high salt content. The addition of vegetables or a good basic salad would help lower cholesterol and lower risk of a heart attack in the long run.

Get Moving Again!

Yes it was Ramazan and you thought that you don't need to work out; your body will naturally lose weight. But its after the joyous days of Eid where the real work begins. You can'tt avoid working out anymore, so get up and get back on that treadmill. Not only will you keep your shape, you will also rub of any effects of that Eid lethargy that we all find ourselves feeling. And exercise is always the best way to shake off the extra pounds you will probably have added to waist during just the three days!

In the end remember that you need to keep yourself healthy not just during Ramazan or after Eid but throughout your life; don't over eat and most of all eat smart!




Letters

Dear Nadine,

I am a 24-year-old married woman. I got married about six months back. My in-laws are not related to my family, and the match was arranged through mutual friends. However, I am facing many problems in my marital life. My husband is quite all right, but my mother-in-law is an interfering person who wants to run my life for me. She is very domineering and is always ordering everyone around. I cannot even wear the clothes I want! She decides the menu without any consultation and is not bothered about what the others want. My sisters-in-law are meek, uneducated girls from my mother-in-law's village and they don't complain. My husband, however, had stipulated that he wanted to marry an educated girl, so my mother-in-law had to give in. Now she keeps telling my husband that educated girls are no good as they are not very humble. My husband wants me to go along with her, but I just cannot keep on doing it. I have become very cranky because I am not used to the type of interference I have to cope with. When I speak to my parents she asks me to relate my conversation with them, when I go out, I have to inform her where I am going and when I would return. Nadine, is it worth continuing the marriage? My husband is good, but he is not the only one I have to live with, I have to deal with my very daunting in-laws too. I cannot tell you that the six months of marriage seem like 30 to me! At the moment I have no offspring so I don't have to worry about the effects of my divorce on my child. So I feel that this is the proper time to end the marriage. In this way I will do a favour not only to myself, but to my husband too. After all, I am young and can still remarry. What should I do?

Disillusioned Dame

 

Dear Disillusioned Dame,

First of all take a deep breath and let it out slowly. Make a habit of doing that whenever you are excited or emotional. My dear, six months is a very short time to give up on marriage, since you don't seem to have a serious problem. Your husband is a good person and you don't seem to have any problem with your 'meek' and 'uneducated' sisters-in-law. It is only your mother-in-law who is giving you a tough time, and you need to deal with her in a diplomatic way. She is your husband's mother and an old person, so it should not be such a matter of ego for you not to 'humour' her now and then. I am not saying that you should give up your individuality completely, but what's the harm in wearing what she wants you to, once in a while. My dear, you need to have patience and things will be all right presently. What guarantee is there that if you re-marry your in-laws or husband would be a dream come true for you? What if you get a bad husband or even worse in-laws? Divorce is an option when there is dire situation - not just because you don't wish to make any compromises. There are other ways of asserting yourself too. If you don't want to wear a particular dress, tell your mother-in-law what you dislike about it. But just because she sets the menu and asks you to wear a dress occasionally is not a sufficient reason to ask for a divorce; I strongly advise against it.

If you really don't like the menu, ask your husband to take you out. You can respond briefly and vaguely when she asks you to repeat your conversation with your parents. But you seem to think that marriage is a joke. Please don't take the matter so lightly! Good luck!

 

Salam Nadine,

I am a 26-year-old working girl. I was engaged to my first cousin when I was 18. We were to be married after my graduation, but my father died and I had to find a job to support my family. I was dismissed after a month because I was not very 'accommodating' towards my supervisor. I found another job and got and even worse boss. My weakness was my lack of a degree and my boss, a lecherous old man, took undue advantage of this situation. I succumbed half way because I badly needed the job. I have to bear his amorous advances, and be nice to his clients but he has not forced me physically. There is another guy who is very decent and he understands my problems as well. He has proposed to me. I have told him about my engagement, but he says he loves me and wants me to break the engagement. I know that our religion does not permit what I have done and I feel as if I am not clean anymore. Therefore I don't want to marry my fiance for it would be cheating. He doesn't know that I am no longer pure. In this scenario, I am very confused. I don't need to work anymore as my brother has a job now. Whom should I marry, the person at my office or my fiance? The guy at my office is already very jealous and does not want me to interact with any of the male staff. If I talk with some other male person, he gets jealous and angry, which shows his love and sincerity. What should I do?

Worried Leo

 

Dear Worried Leo,

I am sorry about the trial you had to undergo after your father's death, but you have been brave and loyal to your family. Not many people have the conscience you seem to possess, but it is wrong of you to think that you are not pure. The people who tried to exploit your situation are the ones who should be ashamed of themselves and feel dirty. You had a bad time, but now that your brother has a job, you can finally relax. You should definitely leave this job as it is causing you misery, and marry your fiance. You are still pure and should not feel guilty at all, and do not have to say anything to your fiance as there is nothing to say. I think this will answer better than marrying the guy at your work place. Since he has already shown jealousy towards other males, it is possible that he would not forget what he has witnessed between you and your boss. The very fact that he gets angry when you talk to a male shows distrust in addition to jealousy, my dear, and not his love and sincerity. He has no claims on you and has no right to stop you from interacting with people at work place. As a husband he might be a very suspicious one. You might land into more trouble if you decide to marry him instead of your cousin. So, marry your fiance and pray to God for your future happiness. That is the best thing you can do for yourself right now. Best of luck!


Islamabad is now evolving into a viable and lucrative business market for out-of-town designers. This season the metropolis has seen launches of various designers introducing their latest collections. It is a great development for Isloo since big players from the fashion fraternity are now coming to the capital city. Following the opening of the multi-brand store 'The Designers', we now have Maheen Kardar who has opted for Islamabad to set up her first company-owned outlet.

The opening of 'Karma Pink', at the Beverly Centre garnered the desired response from the Islooites with all the fashion conscience of the city converging in droves to check out the ready-to-wear collection on display. The event was organised by QYT.

Pink was the predominant theme of the event; the reception lounge had the 'Pink' effect via the pink drapes surrounding the sitting area from all four sides. The appeal of the ambience was further augmented by the use of pink carpet and candles. The guests included many movers and shakers of the capital city's social scene - who eagerly lapped up and lauded the look that Qasimyar had created for the launch.    

To lend a touch of glamour to the event, three well-known names from the world of modelling Vinnie, ZQ and Natasha Hussain were also present. They mingled and dazzled the guests dressed in exquisite pink creations. Also hand in hand was Maheen's close designer friend HSY who had come all the way from Lahore to attend the launch.

Expounding on the ideology behind Karma Pink, Maheen disclosed, "It is our pret label which includes semi-formals, casuals, T-shirts etc. We are primarily targeting the modern, professional Pakistani woman. A working woman like me would want to purchase outfits that are contemporary - something that can be bought off the rack to wear to the office, dinners and the usual evening out." When viewing the collection one would find out that in order to be up to date with the fashion trend one would have to go all pink. This includes all shades of this specific colour beginning with the sharp and seductive shocking pink to the pretty and petite baby pink. The shade you pick depends on your preference but it's certainly clear that Maheen has selected pink as her personal favourite.  

The lady decided to start the designer house's national expansion strategy from the capital city since her designs are in high demand there. Karma also plans to entice the Karachiites by opening its grand flagship store in Karachi. Plans of taking her act overseas are also in the offing with stores likely to be set up in London, Gulf region and also across the border in India in the next year or so. Incidentally, next month the designs are also being showcased at a fashion show in London. Now that's what you call hot and happening.   

All in all pink, it seems, is the in colour this season. And most of you out there, who are probably getting ready to hit the market, after the hustle and bustle of Eid, for the shadi season; why not do it the pink way?


They are flat, airy, casual, trendy and above all lovely! Gone are the days when chappals were considered as an item of Indian footwear. Today, it not only exists in Pakistan but has gained the status of a high profile foot accessory. It is worn as an item of fashion, with those beautiful designs on them, which make them look trendy as well as casual. Chappals are unique accessories of the feet which ladies today not only love to buy, but also love to show them off. We all are familiar with the notion that shoes were considered an insignia for defining a person's character but now there's a spin to it, today a person's character is judged no longer by shoes but the chappals they wear, the stylish the chappal the more stylish and enigmatic you are!

This new era of chappal fasion has given rise to seperate chappal shops and stores. Everytime we go shopping we witness enormous new variety of chappals decorated noticeably. Beads, colours, laces, straps you name it - they'll have it all. However, some chappaloholics like myself can't stop buying these beauties and if sometimes incapable of doing so cant definitely stop oogling and drooling over them.

Formerly unrecognised Kolahpuri chappals have also gained its true respect and notice after the dawn of the fashion of chappals. We can witness new variety and beautiful designs being innovated which previously didnot exist. Gone are the days when matching footwear was bought along with the dress. Today thanks to the new fashion of chappals,  chappals go first and then the dress to go along with. Formerly fancy shoes ruled the fashion scene, today it is ruled by chappals. It is an admittable fact also that the look that chappals give is much prettier and dressy than those which shoes did. Being flat and casual they are much more comfortable, and above all chappals give you an opportunity to dress and show off your beautiful manicured feet! They are a fashion which can be maintained by all, without any discrimination. Corny it may sound but truely Chappals Rule!

Khao Phad

Ingredients:

Shrimp    5g

Steam rice                250 g

Spring onion                15g

Egg         2

Cooking oil                30g

Salt         2 g                                         

Pepper powder                2 g

White soya sauce                5 g

Garlic      3 g

Sugar      5 g

 

Garnish

Cucumber (sliced)                5 g

Tomato (sliced)                5g

Coriander                1 g

Lemon    1

Spring Onion                9

 

METHOD:

- Start by stirring together the oil, garlic, spring onion, salt, pepper powder, white soya sauce, and sugar and wait for 2-3 minutes before adding the shrimp

- Add an egg and further stir the mixture.

- Top the steamed rice with the mixture

- For garnishing mixture up the cucumbers with the tomatoes, coriander, lemon and spring onion and sprinkle atop your dish. Enjoy while hot!

 

Nuea Manao

Ingredients:

Beef        140 g

Coriander root                2 g

White Soya sauce      5 g

Oyster sauce                5 g

Bird chilli                30 g

Garlic      20 g

Lime juice                15 g

Fish sauce                30 g

Sugar      10 g

 

Garnish

White cabbage                50g

Mint leaves                20 g

Red chilli                1g

Lemon slice                10 g

Garlic      10g

 

METHOD:

- Start by slicing up the beef into thin pieces

- Add to a pan the beef, coriander roots, white soya sauce, oyster sauce and boil

- Now add, bird chilli, garlic, lime juice, fish juice and sugar and further cook for 5-10 minutes

- To garnish your dish, slice up the white cabbage, mint leaves, red chilli, lemon slice and garlic together and sprinkle on top of the cooked mixture.

- Happy cooking!

Those who understand art know how completely volatile it is. Art alone has the capability of moving a million men or moving none at all. Through it one can express oneself or communicate the feelings of an entire city; you can manipulate the earth and heaven with simply a stroke, yes, just through a simple stroke on the canvas you can ignite a fire or defuse one.

Late in the month of August some got to witness to the work of five extremely talented young artists. These girls came together under the umbrella of Karara1. Grandeur, the furniture shop owned by Neshmia, was transformed into Karara1's first show.

The artwork on display was a statement; each piece a reflection of who the girls are, and the spaces they are confined to. The work is an expression of their lives and their experiences. Coordinator of the show, Auj Khan said "This is basically a platform for new artists in Karachi. There is no real space where young people can express themselves. And our aim is to promote fresh blood when it comes to art. It's all about the voice, thoughts, ideas and expression of the new generation of Karachi."

The location was ideal since people from all corner of Karachi could drive by or walk by and experience the art on the main boulevard, simply turning the pieces for a mere two weeks into Public Art.

 

Burqa: fad, faith or fabric

When asked about her work Mariam Agha, didn't have much to say other than "it's just a conversation." Her painting largely consist of thread work on paper and canvas and were by far the most exquisite and unique pieces at the gallery. Her art revolved around a feminist theme and tried to delve into the ideology and concept behind the veil in the contemporary Pakistani society. The lady who has also exhibited her work in London took six months to complete the series. The work mostly speaks for itself; for art lovers it is a treat because of the different facets and ideas pushed forward and for those who do not want to dive into the meaning behind the painting, her work is something that they can hold close to their hearts and eyes.

 

Beyond the obvious

In our fast paced lives, many times we tend to overlook life itself. Saneeya Ghadially's work revolves around that idea alone; the idea of how you need to stand still and probe life in order to really enjoy it. Just like that a simple glance at her pieces will show you nothing but two bars of colour but if you stand still and savour the moment and look beyond the obvious you will find true beauty.

"They (paintings) depict the naturalness of things which has its own tarnished beauty. The idea is that with age everything tends to fall apart but that in itself is what's really beautiful. Elements and material which have a perishable quality, give life quality. And unless you take a deeper look, you will miss out on the most beautiful parts of life," says Saneeya.

 

 Maps

In her introduction to Karara1 Seher Naveed says: "maps; they do not only help us find our way through the complexities of the many interlocked spaces in a city but could also symbolically serve as a security blanket..."

In a way one could lose oneself in her work only to be found again in another space of the same. The collage was made in a way that once you fall into it, it becomes hard to look away, and most of the time this scribe ended up following one single simple thing to another complex one within the piece, and of course all the while my eyes refused to wander anywhere else.

Her collection mainly consists of acrylics, collages and digital prints most of which was created while she was on a residency in Nepal, which is why it is heavily inspired by travelling. "It's about new spaces, places, come apart and fall back together" explains Seher about her work.

 

Awam Pakistan

Samar Zia's main focus was Pakistan. She chose to experiment with extremely diverse media, where she portrayed the awam of Pakistan through photography and elaborated on the political rule of Pakistan through mixed media and oil on canvas. "This body of work is an attempt to understand the current situation of Pakistan by comparing recent political developments to the ideology that forms the basis for the creation of Pakistan and consequently the identity of its people," says Samar about the work. It's a reflection of the lives of the Pakistani people. As a nation, as individuals, their identity is ruled by the unofficial monarchy that the army has created for itself and reinforces over and over again as time goes by. The work is a statement against the military rule.

 

Sunna hai app lut gaien

It's more of a story than a statement really. Karachi ke log have lost their apathy towards the pain and loss of those around them. If its not happening to them it seems it doesn't happen at all. Keeping that in mind Mariam Ahmed created 'Sunna hai ap lut gaein'. "It all began when just before Eid we had a robbery, in response to which an aunty casually walked up to my mother and said 'Sunna hai app lut gaein'. My mother was obviously enraged at the way the other lady was talking as though what had happened was of no consequence or like it was no big deal.My work is a social comment basically; look the people of Karachi are not bad people, if you meet us and you hang out with us you will find that we are pleasant and we are good people. But because so much bad has happened so often people have lost their apathy. How long can you go on feeling blue over the same kind of chaos? There comes a point where people can't process things like that anymore and they act as though they do not matter."

Indeed the people of not just Karachi but Pakistan have created a distance between themselves and reality. The painting depicting a dead goats head on a platter with the words 'Sunna hai ap lut gaien' is an ironic statement where your inquiring of a dead goat all that its lost - when its lost the one thing most precious - its life. The collection also consisted of 'Delhi ki Yaad' which is basically collaboration with another artist called Farah Mahbub. The pen and ink drawings have been sandwiched together and turned into digital prints.

There's a dire need in our country to promote art and through it the myriad of facets of our lives. Unless we promote more platforms such as the Karara1 we cannot hope to move forward; not just on a grand scale, but also on an individual level. The artwork displayed at Grandeur is evident of a variety of different ideas and thoughts, which are not over the top or abstraction to an extreme. They are about life and the experience of life as most of us would see them. Art is nothing one should be afraid of, in fact the work of these artists is proof that true beauty and the simplest level of relation to life comes through art.


Age factor
Here's the scene:

The human species should have ended when I turned 19 and my life would have been just perfect. But nooooo, the dang species just continued on and on....I mean for crying out loud, what was the reason for this when the prototype had already been born. But what can you say about natural events.

Here's the scene: I was living a perfect life -- young, beautiful, extremely funny and intellectual - in short everything nice. I was the centre of attention everywhere I went, women and men alike were smitten by my wit and charm. Life couldn't have gotten any better...and that is exactly what happened. Life took a U turn and the next generation grew up and came "in my face".

But according to the third law of 'everything is about me'......I should have been the centre of attention all my life, an unequal among equals......hmm, that doesn't sound right. How come this didn't happen? Suddenly I have become this 'mature' woman....WOMAN...the very word is distasteful...as it reeks of age. Wine becomes valuable with time, but it is not so with a woman, especially not in this age and 'look' conscious world.

Last year I took the decision to switch jobs, and I landed myself in an organisation where the majority of the people are (yuck) from the X generation. The people at my old office were all younger than me as, but they never made me feel OLD, except when they were talking about the new trends in the new lingo, then I just switched off and hummed my favourite tune - mainly, as nothing can hold my attention for more than five minutes; if it isn't about me.

Coming back to the new office: Who would want to hire these young people? But I guess everyone doesn't think like me. And I think their youth, intelligence and talent was the reason the HR hired this army to torment people like me. But if you ask me, it takes a lot of effort on my part to actually listen to this young kids....I keep thinking what do you know, you were hardly X ages when so and so happened. But age (yuck, yuck) teaches you to sometimes keep your mouth shut. And they expect me to spew pearls of wisdom, because they say I am senior blah, blah blah.

Of course, before I proceed I must give credit to those colleagues who I have worked with before, and who are seniors in the right sense of the word, and respected by all and sundry, are sweet and keep reassuring me by saying again and again that I 'was' their colleague but was younger than them. I think they realise that being a woman, I need to be told I don't look a day older than I feel, and so sweetly try their best, unfortunately failing, because I worked with them so many years ago.....and I can do nothing about that.

Any way, coming back to the present, things promised to go smoothly at the new office, and I met some people who had read some of my articles, and they actually liked them. I was happy to the say the least. And then one day I met HIM...

There was this young (yes I have to admit it), pleasant and handsome man called Haris... He commented on my writings, and I was flattered that he read me. It was all going well, when he suddenly turned around, and without provocation said... "I've been reading your articles since I was a KID." Can you believe that, since he was a KID....implying what...that I am some kind of Pakistani Enid Blyton (okay maybe not), which these children have read all their childhood. I was mortified....here was a young man - not a boy - a man, telling me he had read me since he was a kid....and that too in a room full of people. I hurried the topic on, trying to conceal my anger.

But this would not be the end of my misery...heck no. The X generation was making my life hell. I mean words that used to be cool, are now obsolete. Music I used to hear in my days is now classic, and these brats have not heard of the bands we used to sway to. If that wasn't enough, I have young, pretty women telling me I remind them of their mother....MOTHER. I mean my kids don't see as their mother....but I remind these girls of their mother. They feel comfortable in my company, adding that I exude a sense of serenity and safety to them.

Even a sane, level headed great gal like Kiran, who is the greatest multi-tasker I have seen, has managed to find maternal emotions in me as well. Where does she see these emotions? But since she is so level headed she must have seen something, I wish it had been my high IQ which had attracted her or my ravishing looks, but no! It was the 'mother' in me that brought her close.

I know I shouldn't complain, as long as they are nice feelings, at least for them m but when I am around them, I feel I am some kind of matron...Mother Lubna or something, and it is extremely uncomfortable.

If you think the article should end here, you are so wrong, there is more...

There is one young girl, and I will not name you Urooj, is a sweet heart, but she has a way with words that can shattered your heart and bring reality into your face more than any reality show. She is my dear reality check, and I love her for it.

One day we were all sitting together talking, when a male colleague commented "are you girls gossiping". U got offended and said, "There are only two girls here, Lubna is a woman". I love honest people, but Urooj takes the cake, and unfortunately eats it too.

And as if the women or girls were not bad enough, there is a whole army of young men who call me AUNTY....and a friend of mine, Pesh who thinks I actually am on the verge of becoming the mommy of the whole office....serving coffee, tea, biscuits and the works. I mean come on Pesh, get your eye sight checked. I am at least two dozen years younger than Abraham Lincoln.... But seriously, you'd think that P would be kind and be a chivalrous man and not mention things that may hurt an Old gal's heart.

But sadly, one has to succumb to the opinion of the majority that is what democracy is all about....if the majority sees me as a wise matron with a heart of gold, then who am I to disagree...I've travelled the world and the seven seas, everyone is looking for someone....sweet dreams are made of these....sorry for that....what can a senile mind do...it tends to travel off track.

Why can't I be H. Rider Haggard's SHE, the woman who had been endowed with eternal youth? But come to think of it, even if I did find an elixir for youth, my body may not age, but I would be wiser than the rest...and the how would I be able to bear the noisy young generation. I wouldn't be able to digest their way of living and thinking, which is natural.

I will just have to bear these 'loving' people, who 'respect' me for my wisdom which has come with experience and age, but that does not mean I have to like it. And as Haris puts it, trying to mend my poor OLD heart: "Behind every successful woman is...." Of course I heard, "Behind every old woman is a...."

 


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