Archive for August, 2009

Rain – Its coming !!!!!!

[ Image : Shariq ]

Rain (more…)

Just before and after the Cloudburst

It’s been beautiful weather all morning in Karachi. I got a chance to snap a few photographs immediately before and during the sudden cloudburst that took place at about 330pm today. Here are the sequential shots.

Traffic Cameras on Shahrah-e-Faisal

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The CDGK is busy installing a set of high tech security / traffic cameras on the junction of Shahrah-e-Faisal & Tipu Sultan

Unilever reality show claims the life of my friend Saad Khan

A little over a week ago, I got one of the most shocking news of my life. An ex-colleague and a good friend Saad Khan passed away during the shoot of a reality show being shot in Thailand. The show was organized by Unilever as part of their ad campaign for Clear Shampoo for Men. Saad died of drowning during an under water challenge which involved pulling weights across the water.

Hearing the news of a friend passing away is in itself devastating, not to mention he was merely 32, a father of 4 very young children, aged between 7 & 2. He was probably the most cheerful person you’d ever meet, and was the 1st in everything among friends, now including leaving us all with memories.

Apart from my personal account, Saad’s death is becoming a closely guarded secret by the multinationals involved in the campaign of the show. Ironically, that has become the very reason of it being widespread internationally on blogs and social networking websites.

Unilever and Mindshare, the 2 advertising giants involved in the promotion of the show are making all efforts to cover the incident across the media, to the extent that all blog posts are being slowly blocked. I still can’t understand why this is being done, but with this post, I want to set some facts straights and publicize some questions that I’m sure would arise in your minds as well upon hearing the details of Saad’s death:

Here’s what is known about the show / event which took his life:

According to the details given by Unilever, the fateful challenge involved 4 participants to carry a 7kg weight on their backs across a pond. Saad reportedly drowned as he lost his balance. It is also reported that he suffered a cramp and could not stay afloat, and yelled for help before going down for the last time. It is to be noted that he was an excellent swimmer and had an athletic build of height 6’2″.

GEO news went on air with Saad’s news for the first time on 28th August at around 5 PST.
The Head of Corporate affairs Unilever Pakistan (Farishtey Gati Aslam) spoke to Geo claiming this to be an accident. She said that the participants were given the option of wearing life jackets but Saad opted out of it. All safety measure were taken.
She never spoke about the 7 kg bag which was fixed with each participant during this stunt, or the fact that none of the participants wore life jackets and the jackets were NOT mandatory.
She also said on air that Unilever is also trying to compensate the family and is in touch with the family, friends etc.

Please note that Farishtey Gati Aslam is the wife of Imran Aslam who is the CEO/President of GEO network. The questions which Geo asked were most likely the questions which were told to them by Unilever to ask!

As a representative of the grieved family & friends, I would like the following questions to be answered:

1. Corporate Social Responsibility of Unilever & Mindshare in the making of this reality show? Was there ever a document regarding the planning of the event?
2. Were the safety precautions adequate at the time of shooting any stunt?
3. Were the participants given any safety trainings / briefing for the stunt?
4. What are the credentials of Unilever & Mindshare to host and manage a reality show? Any corporation while undertaking any project develops a project plan / manual. We would like to see the project manual for the show.
5. Were the contestants insured?
6. On what criteria were the candidates selected? Did the organizers inform the participants of potential danger involved?
7. If the stunt involved danger of drowning, why was the life jacket optional especially when there was a 7kg bag affixed with every participant?
8. How may lifeguards were present? In other reality shows like Fear Factor, there is usually 1 guard for each participant who is responsible to look after that individual. Why did it take around 15 minutes to search and take out the body when there were cameras watching the precise spot where Saad went down?
9. The pond in question is located in Chatuchak park in Bangkok. The pond is reported to be muddy with precise depth unknown. Why was the pond selected without measuring the depth and being tested by professional safety officials before the stunt?
10. Was this place randomly selected or through a series of approvals?
11. Why is Unilever / Mindshare avoiding the media on the subject if they took the necessary precautions? Has any staff from Unilever (the main organizer) actually scene the place before / after the incident?

There are many more such questions in the minds of people who have heard or read about the incident. We demand an official explanation from the officials at Unilever and Mindshare in an open forum.

I was probably the last among the friends to see Saad Khan alive a couple of days before he took off for Thailand. He was very excited and though never told me about the show, said there was a big surprise for everyone out of this trip!

I request you to spread this post as much as you can so that more and more people are aware of the incident. Please also take part in the Official Facebook Community.

May Allah bless Saad Khan’s soul & give his family (wife & 4 small kids) the strength to overcome this irreplaceable loss. Ameen.
Saad Khan

Bata ki Servis

So I went for some shoe bashing, i mean shoe shopping in Karachi sometime ago and too my amazement Bata ki servis(service) is quite pathetic. They have shoes on display but they mostly don’t stock those. I went to more than 4 stores to find two designs but sadly couldn’t find them anywhere. Though I found a better design but hello, if you don’t stock stuff and your generators don’t work in such big outlets , that is still tolerable but when your representatives don’t know how to talk then what else can you comment on the quality of customer service. At least they are consistent everywhere in terms of the customer service they boast :p

PS: Servis can only rule itself on Don Carlos line. Their sneakers aren’t that good from any aspect.

Jinnahpur fuss – One more dirty game to save Musharraf ?

karachi1[1]Our establishment’s competency is well proven without any doubt. Controversy manufacturing is their core area of expertise. One retired Brigadier (whose notoriety needs no discussion) & whose conscience took 17 years to wake up is behind this noise. What he said is this:  That the Jinah Puur map fuss was not true PLUS that Mr. Nawaz Sharif as PM had not been taken into confidence about the operation against MQM and he was only informed about the anti-dacoits operation in interior Sindh. Guess what, the 90 INC. immediately started thrashing PML with the first part saying why Mr. Nawaz, then PM, didn’t stop the 92-operation, though mostly it was PPP from 93-96 & Naseerullah Babar is absent in their attack. And if we recall correctly, their own best friend Mr. Ch. Shujaat Hussain was Interior Minister then, where his name dissappeared ? Answer coming shortly but first a new twist: One Major rtd. Nadeem Dar says Brigadier is all lies and indeed maps were found and showed in a press conference but later on ISPR put pressure on media to stop it. He didn’t tell you why though we can figure it out, that too coming shortly. Now 3rd twist, a list submitted to court in 1994 by RAM Asghar Khan has also been dug up on money distributed to IJI by our “honest and clean” ISI.

But first over to what Nusrat Javed has tried to exposed on LVT and he is on spot without wasting time. This is neither about 92 operation, nor about PML vs MQM and nor about what really happened in 92, this is actually a new stunt to save Mr. Musharraf. Let’s expose the script: (more…)

Sehri & Iftar Deals in town this Ramazan (Ramadan)

BBQ TONIGHT
IFTAR DINNER BUFFET: Rs. 750 Including Tax

PIZZA HUT
IFTAR DINNER BUFFET: Rs. 550 Including Tax

KFC
IFTAR DINNER BUFFET: Rs. 500 Including Tax
RAMADAN SPECIAL: 1 Zinger & 1 Drink: Rs. 150
RAMADAN SPECIAL: 9 Piece Bucket of Chicken & 1.5 liter Soda: Rs. 750

MCDONALD’S
RAMADAN SPECIAL: Order any medium meal deal for Rs. 260 Including Tax
RAMADAN SPECIAL: Buy any dessert or shake of over Rs. 90 and get 1 free (both deals valid 7:30-9:30pm)

For more KarachiSnob

“Sasta” aata

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Surah Yusuf Sessions at TDC

Surah Yusuf will be discussed this Ramazan in Saturday sessions at Teachers’ Development Centre, Karachi (sponsored by Iqbal Academy Pakistan). Each session will be of 90 minutes each on August 22 and 29, and September 5 and 12 at Teachers’ Development Centre (3:00 pm to 4:00 pm every Saturday during Ramazan). Attendance is free but registration is required through email to Dr. Hena Jawaid (henajawaid000@hotmail.com)

As someone has pointed out that such posts doesn’t have reviews. As I have attended sessions on same topic before, I can give a preview. The sessions might shed light on the art of interpretating dreams which Hazrat Yusuf mastered in his life. It would also cover the concept of justice and how it can be exercised at personal, family and state level. You might also have a chance to hear that how Surah Yusuf is a genius in art of storytelling and screen-play writing. There would some references of Iqbal as well.

Ponderosa

Ponderosa is a small restaurant in the mini food street of Mohamamad Ali Society, next to Kaybees. It has the most yummiest South Indian food with prices which doesn’t come hard on your wallet.

I wanted to try Idli Sambar for quite a few time and it was there in their menu. Though taste was good but it felt that Idli were either not cooked properly or were not cooked fresh. Still the Masala Dosa was a delight, cooked to the perfection. We also ordered Daal Fried which was the most delicious daal I have ever eaten, even better than the dhaba ones. The highlight is the madrasi thaali with a variety of daals, puri, rice and achar. And there they didn’t believe in serving soda water with no taste and call it fresh lime as most of the restaurants do.

It is a must visit with family or friends and the bonus is you will have a chance to try a new cuisine too. They also have Pakistani and Seafood entrees on the menu but as I haven’t tried anything from it so there is no point in recommending. I don’t think it would be more than Rs. 200 to 250 per head as the food has good serving size and quite heavy too. They would surely see me next time.

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