Category Archives: Art

Has Anyone Seen Zar Gul?

By Zia Ahmad

A good fifteen years ago, in a previous century, there was this little talk of a film that made tall claims of revitalizing  Pakistani cinema and provide a much needed breakaway point from the atrocious and tedious exercise which goes into defining Lollywood. Salmaan Peerzada, the then reclusive elder of the Peerzada clan, had returned to Pakistan after a lifetime of appearing on British television and odd feature films. Lesser known in Pakistan as his younger Peer brothers, his debut directorial feature, Zar Gul, nevertheless garnered media attention in the mid 90s. Continue reading

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Dramaybazi

The tragedy is that there are some fools who actually buy this crap-  God save Pakistan from such fools-YLH

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Civilizations (Mirrors of Our Existence)

From years of our travel
We look back
Upon these civilizations,
From years of adventure
We look back
Upon these civilizations
From days of our inheritance
The lands and its cultures
The old forms of languages
The mystery of Universe
The old journey taken
By humans and nature together
As they traverse
From place one to another,
In harmony and disarray
As we born and die
From on to another,
As we love and hate
The old circumstances
And situation, intertwined
Through languages and its art,
The trails, lost and visible
As we look back
Upon these civilizations
The old mirrors of our existence

As transference takes place
From one culture to another,
The old social composition, in view
The old need to survive and preserve
Through the feathers of time, curious!
All what we do, all what we gain
There is past, it carries the stains
Of our existence, into the future
To the people and the times they lived
Of lasting impressions and moments
The old intrinsic nature remains,
To pursue, through intellect and reason
The nature’s gift, to exercise
As we look back
Upon these civilizations
The old mirrors of our existence

As we evolve, as we discover
Ourselves, in paint and paper
Through fields of literature and art,
In science and technology
Owe we all portion of our success
To this past, to these trials of humanity
Lie there in the wilderness,
The old landmarks, hidden
To what we lost, and how we lost
As with each fleeting moments
Remains this search to refine
Our history and times we live in;
Those episodes of mankind
Of their gains and losses
In display, throughout the pages of time
As we look back
Upon these civilizations
The old mirrors of our existence

Remain the search, remains in place
The old journey to discover
To seek answers to these questions
The very fuel and catalyst
Driving us forward,
Of languages and cultures
The journey is one,
For truth and purpose,
Some seek it through art,
Some with hands of science
And some through spirituality
To reunite with ourselves
To discover purpose of our creation
Through the landscapes of time
As they learn to strive in their endeavor
Through the old blocks to the new
As we find ourselves on these trails
Of humanity dispersed in wars
And through famine and disease
As we look back
Upon these civilizations
The old mirrors of our existence

As we look back
Upon these civilizations
The old mirrors of our existence
Not the landmarks or the time
The old metaphors of this correlation
But the humans and the journey
Through pain and despair
Through elation of whispered butterflies
To find what is theirs, to discover
What lies, as the hands turn to gold
From the old manuscripts to new
As the earth shifts its burden
As the old clocks go backwards
As we look back
Upon these civilizations
The old mirrors of our existence!

Kashkin

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Filed under ancient civilisations, Architecture, Art, culture, Dance, drama, dynasties, Heritage, History, Identity, Languages, Law, Literature, movements, Music, musings, Nature, Philosophy, Physics, poetry, Politics, psychology

A Realist with a Heart: Remembering Raj Kapoor

By Mohammad Taqi

 چناں قحط سالے شد اندر دمشق

کہ یاراں فراموش کردند عشق

( سعدی شیرازی )

Saadi of Shiraz wrote with great dismay that “the famine in Damascus is so bad that friends have forgotten how to love”.

 Something much worse has befallen our city, Peshawar. It is difficult, if not impossible, to talk about music, art, films or love when the terror reigns supreme and war has ravished the city and its citizens alike.

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Book: The Romance of Raja Rasalu and Other Tales

By Raza Rumi
Story telling has been a primordial urge, never quite expressed in its fullest measure, but always lingering and floating like life. There was a sub-continent before the colonial interaction that brought in its wake an aesthetic hardened by the industrial revolution and its uniformity of life and space. This was a world rich with myriad identities, of whispers and tales all interlaced in a peculiarly complex kaleidoscope. Since the 19th century that particular aspect of folk story telling and transfer of generational accounts gave way to what is now known as education and knowledge – instruments and reflections of power and a linear world view set elsewhere but adapted awkwardly to the local context.
This is why Simorgh Women’s Resource and Publication Centre in Lahore, under the leadership of Neelum Hussain, have undertaken the challenging task of reclaiming the rich heritage that lies in our folklore especially that of the Punjab. “The Romance of Raja Rasalu and Other Tales” is a stunning compilation of the romance of Punjab’s legendary hero, Raja Rasalu and, while it draws heavily on the colonial storytellers, the book twists the narrative in a manner that brings us closer to the origins of our cultural sensibilities. The tales are sheer magic. The romance, the intrigue, the bravery and the integrated nature of human existence where it finds communication even with birds and trees comes to a full life throughout the narrative.
It is one thing to produce an admirable compendium but it is another matter to ensure that the purpose and spirit of the tales are adequately reflected in the illustrations. This particular touch of originality is provided by the eminent artist Laila Rehman whose breathtakingly attractive illustrations add a new layer of meaning and sensibility to the folk stories. It is, therefore, as has been rightly stated in the introduction, a book for pleasure: a pleasure that moves beyond the immediate and the momentary and merges into the real or imagined pleasure of living. Laila’s paintings and sketches are evocative enough to generate a parallel story within the larger narrative. It is as if the reader is traversing into several worlds. One minute Continue reading

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Film Theory in Pakistan: Recognizing the Need for Theory

By Zia Ahmad

 

There are parts of the world where writing meaningfully about films has generally been deemed as a subversive indiscretion; so much so you have to keep looking over your shoulder every two minutes just to make sure nobody’s prying on you. Pakistan finds it effortlessly easy to nudge into the ranks. Films have been consistently and categorically relegated as the most trivial pursuit for any no-nonsense individual to entertain. As an artform, cinema has seldom been seen anything more than means of entertainment in Pakistan. The mere idea that films may have to say anything of importance positively baffles and even offends upholders of our tradition. Hardly a fresh observation, cinema in Pakistan has failed to evolve from its “entertainment for the masses stage. Continue reading

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Pakistani Literature – Evolution and Trends

By Gilani Kamran

The novel in Pakistan

The novel in Pakistan emerged with Qurratulain Heider’s Aag ka Darya (The River of Fire, 1957). It has been generally held that the novel is about the problem of self-identity, yet it moves in a wider orbit and traverses the curvature between self identity and the collective identity of the people who were placed in a criticasl situation on the eve of Independence in 1947. Leslie Flemming has regarded this novel as A Tale of Three Cities, where the whole phenomenon of Independence has been witnessed as a feature film’s scenario. Thematically, the novel intends to discover some equation between geography and history, though in a much wider sense the human existence is not more than mutability and transmigration of human forms. The novel had indeed opened a new mode of perception, and had given a meaningful matter and theme to fiction writing in Pakistan. Continue reading

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Filed under Art, Books, culture, Identity, Literature, Pakistan, Partition, Urdu, Writers