Every year for the past three years Oxford University Press, Pakistan has been holding a competition for fresh budding writers. The event is publicized in papers and their website inviting young aspiring writers to submit their stories on a various topics. Last year it was about the city of Karachi. This year they invited stories from all over Pakistan on four themes, “The bravest place on Earth”, “Paved and unpaved ways”, “The meaning of me” and “Because this is what matters”. All the selected stories have been published in a book titled, “I’ll find my way”, edited by Maniza Naqvi, who happens to be an established writer. The book was launched during the 5th Karachi Literature Festival.
Just three days back my http://nmafzal.wordpress.com became http://nmafzal.com/. I want to share my experience of how it started, how it happened what problems I came across while getting a custom domain. It all started with this…
Every time I would login to my Dashboard to make a post or fine tune one I would see this message prompting me to shift to http://nmafzal.com/ for a paltry $ 18 per year.
I must confess these have to be the cutest and most useful accessories for book lovers, that I have ever come across. Small, crafty and practicable, one doubles up as a bookmark and a book holder and the other an uber-small light for night time book reading. I came across these at a local store and making a decision whether to buy them or not was not at all difficult. They were bought instantly, just about the time it takes to swipe a Credit card and pack them.
Sahibzada Muhammad Ali happens to live in my neighborhood. The 14 year old boy with striking good looks is studying in 8th grade. He loves junk food, which all kids of his age are apt to, he likes music, movies, TV, Internet and really abhors “sleeping early and studying late in exams”. He likes to travel abroad, have fun and loves to spend time with friends and family. These traits he shares with almost all teenagers of his age, but what really sets him apart from the pack is his love for Tennis and his skills at it. The lad is presently ranked no 2 in Asia!!! he has travelled half the world, participated in umpteen tournaments, won many of them and lost quite a few. The young sportsman feels happy on winning a tough match and feels down on loosing an easy one, quite understandably. I just could not stop myself from interviewing this rising star. Here’s some bit of tête-à-tête with the little champ.
I bought this Lilliputian, book on “Native American Wisdom” from the National Museum of the American Indian, Washington. Somehow, it appealed to me, sitting amongst the other mementos in those imposing racks. Time was short and the supply of money wasn’t very promising. Still the little book was hard to ignore.
As I child I was always inspired by the Red Indians that we used to see in the Western and cowboy movies, some starred by John Wayne. The Native Indians were always portrayed as savages in those movies, which was kind of difficult to understand. But after having read this small book I am convinced they had a civilization of their own, strong beliefs, customs, traditions, society and a way of life. I am going to share some of the sayings of those old Chiefs (who are since long dead), for you to read and decide for yourself. But a little something about the book first.
After having read so many books authored by Khushwant Singh, I badly wanted to read some book written on him, but none was to be found. I guess they were all waiting for him to die. It makes more sense to write about the dead, instead of a living person. So this unplanned visit to the Frere Hall had me scouring for something interesting. Lo and Behold, I found this book, “A Man Called Khushwant Singh”, edited by Rohini Singh, sitting in at the bottom of a huge heap of books as if placed in forced state of “solitary confinement.” One look at it was enough, telling me this was a keeper. The shopkeeper wanted 250 rupees for it, I protested, a little haggling followed, finally he won, saying, “original hai”. Meaning, its not a fake. By the way, I don’t like fake copies of books that they make here, its unethical, the paper they use sucks big time and I find the books repulsive, very that is.
The Good, The Bad and the Ridiculous by Khushwant Singh is an anthology of profiles of men and women, some famous others notorious, which the old man has had the honor of meeting or knowing in his lifetime. It contains over 30 profiles of politicians, Ex- Presidents, Prime Ministers, poets, Generals, social workers, dacoits, Viceroys and men like LK Advani and Jarnail Singh Bhinadranwale. In this book Khsuhwant has profiled, Mahatma Gandhi, Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Manzur Qadir, Pholan Devi, Tikka Khan, Ziaur Rehman, Sanjay Gandhi, Indra Gandhi, Louis Mountbatten, Mother Teresa, Jawaharlal Nehru, Faiz Ahmad Faiz and George Fernandes to name a few.
Image Source: http://themangaloretimes.com/
It was well past midnight, the Prince arrived at his place, which was on a small hill overlooking the city. It was quiet and peaceful that night, and not a leaf stirred. He decided to go to his bedchamber, to bed his latest prize who was already in bed an waiting for him. The Prince wanted to do it so badly, but he just could not, because that fateful night he could not get it “up”. That really pissed him off. What is even worse, his prize, the one that wanted to be bedded, jeered at him, made fun of him and called him unmanly. The Prince had to leave the the job undone, but before leaving the bedchamber he vowed to get even with her exactly 2100 times, not one less or more, even it it took a lifetime to do it. Off he went to his advisor on matrimonial affairs His Lowness Al Fonso bin Al Viagrum Al Casanovim III. The advisor after taking a peek at the Prince’s privates and weighing the “options” with his own bare hands murmured is his Highness’s ears two words, “Houbara Bustard”. “Bastard” was the Prince’s reply. “Bastard” said His Lowness Al Fonso bin Al Viagrum Al Casanovim III, in unison. The Prince was happy, he was really happy on being given the advice and asked His Lowness if such an act would get it “up”. “For sure” came the answer. It would make him the envy of Ron Goldman and Peter North, he said. He would be the most wanted virile male this side of the Earth. The Prince ordered him to make arrangements for “The Great Hunt”. A little consultation with his uncle and he was told to proceed to Pakistan, where he could find the treasured bird in numbers, to satisfy his lust and complete his pledge. Meanwhile His Lowness gave the Prince some Viagra to “finish the job”.