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Reading: Some Reflections (and the Books I read in 2016)

Reading: Some Reflections (and the Books I read in 2016)

Aslam Kakar I grew up in a small village on the periphery of Pakistan. In childhood and till my undergraduate studies in Lahore, I did not read at all. Perhaps, I did not have the opportunity or perhaps I just did not care. Or may be I did not care because of the environment. There was no library where I lived. I never saw a book store till the age of 18 when I went to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Books, culture, Education, Fiction, Lahore, LGBT, Liberal Democratic Pakistan, Love, Nature, Opinion, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, peace, Politics, psychology, quetta, Religion

The Pakistani Film Industry: A troubled tale

The Pakistani Film Industry: A troubled tale

By Zaid Abro Majestic, troubled, extinct, Revival and more trouble. These words are perhaps the most truthful way to describe the timeline of the once glorious Film Industry of Pakistan. An Industry producing more than a hundred and fifty films per year in the 60s and 70s, came at a stage where it even struggled to churn out a meager two films for the year. So what happened? What went wrong? The Cinema which produced classical … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arts and Crafts, Bollywood, culture, Democracy, Fiction, History, Images, Pak Tea House, Pakistan, secular Pakistan

Filmmaking and human rights

Filmmaking and human rights

By Saad Hafiz   Haider, the recently released Bollywood movie, helps to lift the lid on the brutal conflict in Indian Kashmir. The artistic portrait of modern political rebellion, an exposé of government-sanctioned violence and a vision of hope that continued resistance may galvanise a new future. Set during the 1990s, the most intense years of the ongoing insurgency that has pitted Kashmiri militants and separatists against security forces and their local auxiliaries for more than two … Read entire article »

Filed under: baluchistan, Bangladesh, Bollywood, Democracy, Fiction, human rights, India, Kashmir, Lashkar e Taiba, Pakistan, Pakistan-India Peace Process, Reviews, Terrorism, violence

A nightmare while I was awake

By Qurat-ul-ain Haider Mama and Baba, can we go back to home? You know I am scared. I am in terrible pain – why can’t I speak? This is unfathomable for me. I am uncharacteristically nervous! I want to become free – I want to be safe. After finding myself in the hospital bed, I tried to change my direction several times, wanting to hold my teddy bear back and wanting to stand up, but I found it a terrible and painstaking task. Whenever some time passes while I am awake, an auntie in a white dress injects something in my drip and then things gradually become blurry and I fall asleep. However, since last week, I want to tell mama about the pain, about my nightmares but I do not know … Read entire article »

Filed under: Fiction, human rights, violence

What Do Arranged Marriages and American Author Holly Goddard Jones Have in Common?

What Do Arranged Marriages and American Author Holly Goddard Jones Have in Common?

By Soniah Kamal Fiction writer Holly Goddard Jones is one of my favorite writers. Her short story collection ‘Girl Trouble’ is easily one of the best I’ve read. Holly has real knack for getting into the minds of the misfits be they a coach who has gotten a student pregnant or a adolescent boy who is going blind. Holly has a piece up at Salon ‘I was a Teenage Bride’ about getting married at age nineteen. Not … Read entire article »

Filed under: Fiction

Disaster Porn and Pakistani media

Disaster Porn and Pakistani media

  by Ali Ahsan First of all, my apologies for using an ‘objectionable word’ in the title of my piece given how some 15 year old is already on a self-crusade to note down every single ‘vulgar’ website there is, and try to get the PTA to ban them all for ‘protecting our youth’. Never mind the mental masturbation, but an adult website is the last worry we should have in Pakistan when there are more vulgar and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Citizens, drama, Fiction, human rights, Identity, Islamabad, journalism, Media, Pakistan, Regulatory Affairs, Society

The Dog of Titwal. Translated by Khalid Hasan

Filed under: Fiction

Ayesha Salman: A new literary voice from Pakistan

Ayesha Salman has lovely excerpts from her forthcoming novel. We are posting a few here: Excerpt 1 She dreamt of an old haveli. There is a sweet shuffle, the sitar is playing to the wind, the raj of the Mughals is at its peak, breezy music sweeps the lawns, hinged on an ancestral memory, crackling sounds echo, like a scratched LP with two hundred years of dust to prove its wisdom and worth. Dancing girls dance like birds waiting to be fed, their flat empty bellies moving back and forth to the rhythms of their nawabs’ desires. I can smell their soft, clean dupattas, fluttering in the purple wind carrying them to the edge of reason. I long to touch them even when I know they are buried somewhere where I can’t … Read entire article »

Filed under: Fiction, Literature

FICTION: The Solidity of Things

Posted by Raza Rumi At PTH, we have struggled to retain the balance between politics, history and arts and culture. However, given Pakistan’s turbulent politics and security, it has been an uphill task. We are now inviting new writers to come and express themselves at PTH. Especially since the explosion (pun intended) of Pakistani fiction at a global scale. We are printing a story by Hamza Rehman who is a an Esquire based in Islamabad. Hamza is a practising lawyer who moonlights as DJ for Pakistan Broadcasting Association’s Planet FM 94, where he hosts the Alternative Rock and 80’s shows. He freelances for The Friday Times and pens fiction as much as he can. He primarily writes about characters in Islamabad and experiments heavily with metaphor. The Solidity of Things is … Read entire article »

Filed under: Fiction, Literature, Writers

Linguistics and Islam

Kim Stanley Robinson’s  alternate history novel,”The Years of Rice and Salt” posits a world in which an overwhelming majority of Europeans are decimated by the Black Death in the 14th century thereby Christinaity and the white race never get the chance to shape the world as we know it. History of the world, thus, is informed by dominant cultures of the day; the Islamic world, India and the Far East. One of the qualities that sets this novel apart from other novels of the what-if genre is the  intelligent observations, commentary and inquiries the writer makes into the nature of Islam. The following extract is taken from a book within this book entitled “Mohammed [pbuh] Meets Confucius”.    Zia Ahmad … Read entire article »

Filed under: Books, Fiction, History, Islam, Literature, Religion

Another Interview

By Zia Ahmad   Making eye contact with words ending with a Y does not make you chinky. Making eye contact with a prospective employer in this pure land of ours doesn’t do you any favors.  At best it only makes the tongue of your mind go flat for some brief period of time. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Fiction, men, musings, Uncategorized, urban

The White Tiger of Pakistan

The White Tiger of Pakistan If Billo Halwai Lived in Pakistan You Chinese are far ahead of us in every respect, except that you don’t have entrepreneurs and our nation- though it has no drinking water, electricity, sewage system, public transportation, sense of hygiene, discipline, courtesy or punctuality- does have entrepreneurs. Thousands and hundreds of thousands of them, especially in the field of technology and these have setup all these outsourcing companies that virtually run America now. Only three nations have never let themselves be ruled by foreigners: china, Afghanistan and Abyssinia .these are the only three nations I admire. My country is the kind where it pays to play it both ways. The entrepreneur has to be straight and crooked, mocking and believing, sly and sincere at the same time so I am … Read entire article »

Filed under: Activism, Afghanistan, ancient civilisations, Books, Colonialism, culture, Democracy, Economy, Europe, FATA, Fiction, human rights, Identity, Iran, Islam, Justice, Literature, Philosophy, Politics, Punjabi, Religion, Sufism, Taliban, Writers

Poem: Waris Shah Vs Aitzaz Ahsan

by Bradistan Waris Shah Vs. Aitzaz Ahsan (In the Court of Supreme Judge ALLAH The Almighty) A Tribute to Late Amrita Pritam aaj aakhaaN Aitzaz nuuN aaj aakhaN AITZAZ AHSAN nuuN, kitoN Chamber vichchoN bol, te aaj kitab-e -Knoon daa koii aglaa varkaa phol ik Uthyaa sii Wada Kanoon Daan, tuuN likh likh maare Byaan, aaj SWAT DE Dhiyaan rondiaa, tainuN Aitzaz Ahsan nuN kahen Jaag dardmandaaN diaa dardiaa, Jaag Pakistani Jaag … Read entire article »

Filed under: Activism, ancient civilisations, Arts and Crafts, Citizens, culture, Democracy, Europe, Fiction, Heritage, History, human rights, Identity, India, Islam, Islamism, journalism, Justice, Languages, lawyers movement, Left, Literature, Love, Media, minorities, movements, Music, North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan, Philosophy, poetry, Politics, Punjabi, Religion, Rights, Rural, Society, south asia, Sufism, Taliban, Terrorism, youth

Interview:British-Pakistani Novelist Tariq Mehmood

UK Political Debate: Q & A with Tariq Mehmood Tariq Mehmood is a broadcaster, writer and filmmaker. His first two novels are both set in Bradford UK. He has published two illustrated books for children. Tariq co-directed the award winning documentary Injustice. He is the editor of Sangi, the only magazine in his mother tongue, Pothowari in UK. Tariq and Rock musician Aki Nawaz host the Political Show “The Point” in UK on sky satellite 836. Tariq is visiting Pakistan to cover current  political situation. … Read entire article »

Filed under: Activism, Arts and Crafts, Books, Cinema, Citizens, culture, Democracy, Education, Europe, Fiction, Heritage, human rights, Identity, Images, India, Islam, Islamabad, journalism, Kashmir, Languages, Left, Literature, magazines, Media, minorities, movements, Music, New Writers, Pakistan, Politics, Religion, Society, south asia, Sufism, Travel, video, Writers, youth

The Half-Burnt Cigarette : A Short Story

by Awais Aftab He took a puff of his cigarette, blew the smoke and observed with purposeless acuteness the amorphous wisps of smoke diffusing into the air, thinning out of existence. His lifted his gaze to a yellow taxi, a few cars ahead of his at the traffic signal, to make sure it was still there. ‘Yellow, yellow like guilt,’ he thought, taking another draw. His eyes fell on the rear-view mirror, and he saw a partial reflection of his own face: black, warm eyes; a handsome charming face in the early thirties. His wife, his former college fellow, had often told him how he used to be the crush of a dozen girls during the college days. He had felt a strange, meaningless pride in that revelation by his wife … Read entire article »

Filed under: Fiction, Literature, Pakistan, Writers