Archive for the ‘Social Scene’ Category

Royal Valentine Evening

Tale of goat’s murder.

DSC_KMBJ09Every year around this time of the year, sacrificial animals mostly goats, sheep and cows travel from the rural areas of the country to make their way to the urban homes to be sacrificed in the name of Allah on the eve of Eid and with the opening of this whole new seasonal consumer market sellers stoup down to all sorts of cheep tactics the sell their live stalks for higher profits.

Stories of horns of goats glued with super glue, artificially fixed teeth of cows and goats, and those of their sewed ears are all too common but this year a friend of ours bought home a good, healthy beautiful looking which after arriving to his started acting a bit sick and was taken to a veterinarian doctor in Gulshan-E-Iqbal block 2. The doctor for some odd reason diagnosed the goat with phenomena and gave the poor animal a couple of injections.

Only half an hour later the goat seemed like it was almost about to die, and was slaughtered immediately, after which when the butcher opened up the animals stomach he discovered it filled with raw gram flour paste which was probably feed to the animal to make it look more fat and healthy.

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TiECon 2009

tiecon 007-1 Last Wednesday, The Indus Entrepreneurship Conference was hosted at Sheraton Karachi in collaboration of Torque (SoL). It was a one-day networking and learning opportunity for all those who wanted to find the entrepreneur streak in themselves by taking inspiration by engaging with successful individuals in the field.

The day started with the session titled ‘Tales from the Trenches’ where the leading entrepreneurs presented their tales to the audience. If I had to review each in a one-liner then it would be this way. Puzzle by Adil Moosajee, Owner of Ego, was all about, to quote him, ‘Either find a way or make a path of your own. Work with happy people and others should be OUT.’ Reboot by Jawwad Farid, CEO of Alchemy discussed about learning from failures because ‘Before you can win, you have to lose’ and to be an entrepreneur, it is important being comfortable about what you are therefore looking behind is okay unless you don’t get obsessed about it. Adversity by Sameera Raja, Owner of Canvas Gallery, talked about her Breast Cancer Adversity and conquering it while managing her life. She emphasized on scheduling not only your work but how you present it to your audience. Appetite by Shahzad Ali, CEO of Student Biryani talked about how his father through his resilience from his humble beginnings made Cafe Student to a brand Student Biryani. The only favorite story for me was of Jawwad Farid because it talked about starting up a new venture and its hurdles. Others had stories which was about evolution or say an effort to sustain the previous family businesses.

Next up was ‘Investing in Change: Empowering Social Entrepreneurs’ by Batool Hassan, Business Development Manager at Acumen Fund. This was the most fruitful of all. She discussed about the idea of Philanthropy 2.0 where the products don’t need to be free but affordability and dignity should be brought into the market. Examples of Khuda ki Basti, Saibaan and other creatively planned projects were shared to illustrate that businesses can be run for social development and you don’t only get your capital back but reasonable profits can also be generated, if you are not running after the greed of money. She was kind enough to answer our questions even during the lunch break.

TieCon Debate was honestly more about pulling legs of each other. The topic being ‘Conventional Wisdom is becoming increasingly irrelevant’ itself had its flaws. In my honest opinion, any kind of wisdom can be relevant if you know how to mold and use it for your good. Personally Shahjehan Chaudhry stood out because he played the game pretty intelligently and fairly. Unilever representative at the against panel, was all rhetoric and made less sense, still won the debate and as Hassan Rizwan of Prymus Technologies rightly commented that surely ‘our education system is flawed.’ Sadly, people usually like how things are presented than the actual content. Next time it should be a discourse instead of debate. Thankfully lunch came in as a relief.

After lunch it was very apt to have a musical performance when people would usually go into the snore zone. Alan Simon from Taal Karisma introduced his Percussive Fusion Band and gave the people an insight on how band indulges in different beat cycles which haven’t been explored much before. Their each track was a delight and body percussion that they presented was pretty decent as a lot of people claim about the art but their performances eventually come flat. Ustadji their debut single is up on the radio and a must listen.

Skype helped with video-conferencing where Jahanzeb Sherwani, Founder of Jugaari shared his i-phone app experience with techies.

Birds of a feather featured Breakout sessions on various aspects of entrepreneurship skills like Bootstrapping, Branding, PR, Team Building and Social Media, where participants divided into their respective interest groups. Small focused groups surely brought a lot of ideas and learning on board.

Dr. Umar Saif who is Associate Professor at LUMS talked about pitching ideas to VCs. He gave an impression that VCs don’t pay much heed to your product, vision or technology but they invest more on the quality of team. Therefore it is the time when project becomes fund-able, as in at the point of take off, that it needs to be pitched else it would be too early or late. This was followed by Adil Saleem of Seen Report who shared his experience of making dream of this portal a reality which was also incubated by Dr. Umar Saif.

Last up was Asad Umar, CEO Engro Chemcial who talked about Making Your Move! The talk highlighted that once you start running your project, your business model should keep on updating and your passion should be supported by intellect whereby you know how to probe questions on achievements and move forward.

Every speaker highlighted about asking yourself that is it really your dream to become an entrepreneur?, if yes then one should not wait for being experienced as it would never be enough. Moreover an entrepreneur should be reading to take the tough part and learn from the mistakes. Social Media was also discuss at length which become a low or no-cost tool for marketing the businesses. Next time it would be great if Social Entrepreneurship takes the lead or maybe a whole conference can be dedicated on the subject.

Kudos to Sabeen Mahmud, the president of TiE to come up with an interesting line of speakers in such trying times and Shireen Naqvi with her Torque team for managing the conference on such high standards.

PS: The food was really good =D
PSS: I love the conference logo and badge.

and she slammed her car into mine…

KMB_9852A few days back in the evening, I was driving towards bath island from the Lily Bridge, after turning right from the traffic signal on the main road, I was going straight on the main road at a very slow speed with the bumper to bumper traffic when i heard and felt  something slamming  into my car. Immediately pressing the breaks and  looked into the rear view mirror and spotted a black car (the one in the picture), which was attached to the back door of my car and was now slowly backing up. I parked my car on the side of the road and by the time I emerged out of my car the female driver of the other car, was already out on the road. seeing me step out, she almost immediately started shouting at me, “Didn’t you see me coming from the side, You should have stopped !” – I told her in a calm voice that it was my right of the way, as she was entering the main road from a side lane she should have stopped stop and waited for teh traffic to stop, also I told he that she slammed into me after I had almost passed her. At this she started stepping away towards her car while shouting out loud ” you have ruined my car, you could have stopped “. (more…)

Second Critical Mass Cycle Ride – Oct 18th at 7:30am

Critical mass Karachi‘Critical Mass Karachi’ is a cycling movement out there on the streets of Karachi. The group sets out at a fixed location and time, to peddle through set routes. Let’s join together and reclaim our public spaces and view our city through new angles.

All bikes and bikers are free to join and play an essential part in promoting our nation and saving our environment!

Second Critical Mass Cycle Ride
On Sunday, 18th October 2009
At 07:30 a.m.
Approximately 7 km.

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“Yehan Say Shehr Ko Dekho”

MacharARTWe often tend to forget that the underprivileged children living bellow the poverty line in the same city as we do, deemed, uneducated and verminous creatures are equally talented and creative as any other child from the “Educated” and privileged lot, they are equally responsible citizens with great potential to shape the future of this country for a better and brighter tomorrow.

Every year The annual Machar art exhibition proves and reminds us over and again that these children, homed in one of the cities largest shanty town are sheer victims of our arrogance and ignorance, they are no less then any other of us actually even better as they are battling through their tough circumstances and yet they have the patience to politely express their emotions, dreams, stories and thoughts through art with colorful drawings, photographs and pottery.

This year again Concern for Children Trust has brought the hopes, dreams stories and thoughts of these underprivileged children of Karachi’s largest shanty town Machar colony to the privileged of the city with hope that their story might move a soul or melt down a few heart to tears and then maybe we might just break out of this shell of arrogance and embrace them as fellow citizens.

The 4th Annual Machar Art Exhibition titled “Yehan Say Shehr Ko Dekho” will be opening on the 2nd of October, 2009, 7 pm  sharp, at the Zahoor -ul- Akhlaq Gallery, Indus Valley School of art and Architecture. The Exhibition will continue till the 5th, October 2009 (Except Sunday).

For further details and information contact.

Concern for Children Trust:
Web: http://www.concernforchildren.org.pk
Email: info@concernforchildren.org.pk
Phone: (021) 220-1522 & 220-1384

The Day of Eed This Year

eidbulletsIt was a crisp bright morning of Eed as I woke up early and freshened up, there was still an hour for the Namaz so brewed myself a strong cup of coffee and walking out to the garden took a deep breath to inhale the light moist and fresh morning air, It was a perfect Eed day until the morning newspaper landed on the roof of my car.  I quickly remover the rubber band and unrolled the paper and the first headline my eyes landed on announced “Reckless driving claims 76 lives in Ramazan”  suddenly the day was not so perfect as my thought went to the relatives of these victims who would be mourning the loss of their loved ones on a day when the whole country is busy in joyous celebrations of Eed . (more…)

The Reckless Biker Kid

In Ramazan right after the Iftaar mostly all the major roads remain somewhat deserted, devoid of all the days hustle and bustle, presenting them selves as an ideal playground for new young drivers to tryout the limits of their cars pushing them to the top of their speed, racing and screeching on the roads.

This seemingly ideal road condition turned out to be not quite so ideal today when a twelve year old biker, who while zapping on the road probably lost his sense of direction and slammed with full force, a parked car here in Gulshan-e-Iqbal.  The Motorbike which is said to have belonged to his alder brother entered half way into the car tearing through the rear door. Miraculously with the force of the impact the bike tossed it’s young rider clear off and over the car leaving him alive with only miner cuts and bruises.

I have seen countless children riding bikes and driving cars at break neck speeds on the roads of this city. I fail to understand what kind of parents would be so Irresponsible to let their kids be on the roads, behind the wheals endangering other’s lives and theirs as well. I hope the law enforcement agencies take strict actions not only against such but also their parents who allow their children to break the law.

Power Shortage or Power Theft !

KMB01The city of lights is short of electricity, and the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC) has been cutting off power every two hour or so for an hour. Even at night, before and at the time of Sehree or and Iftaar.

What so ever the reasons of this shortage of electricity may be stated by the authorities, one thing is for sure, the countless Kundas, Illegal electrical connections results in a huge power loss and those of us who pay the bills fair and square suffer and pay the cost of the theft.

These pictures of main Tariq Road, clearly show wiring bypassing the meters, these connections hooked in the main power lines are not only a clear evidence of power theft but also pose a danger of electrocution and short circuit which can further result in a fire.

I wonder why there illegal connections are not taken care of by the authorities.

How will the 14th August Celebrations Begin ?

Only two days left, and on the night 13 of August, as soon as the clocks will strike past midnight, shifting the date to 14, the independence day of Pakistan Celebrations around the country will begin and I am sure this year too like the last year in Karachi, we will resort to celebratory firing marking the first half hour of the independence day celebrations, of this land of pure with a gesture of violence which will leave several injured, and may be a few others dead just like we did a few months back to celebrate out victory in the twenty20 World Cup cricket.

Has violence become such an integral part of our lives that it has dominated our protests, arguments, jokes, and even celebrations ? Do we not realize how our irresponsible actions are disrupting the peace of our city destroying it’s warmth and sense of security and what a negative image of our country are we painting for the rest of the worlds ?

And please I know many of you will think this post somehow responsible to tell the world what faults we have, But really do you thing shoving the dirt under the carpet will solve any thing? Has it ever, till this date solved anything ? NO, It is about time we take ownership of our faults, accept them, address and confront them and eliminate them from our lives and tell the world what a wonderful nation we are.

I hope, this year midnight, 14 of August, 2009 the sounds which will fill the air would not be of gunshots but of national anthems and songs of peace and love. I hope this year we will celebrate the independence day of Pakistan in it’s true sprite of joy, peace and love.

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