Karachi Photo Blog

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Am Reading at LitQuake

Let this be an instance of shameless self-promotion.  Along with four other South Asian writers, this scribe will be reading at LitQuake 2014, on Saturday, October 18, at 6:30 pm.

The readings will take place at 18 Reasons (a-hard-to-define-eating-place/culinary school/event space), 3674 18th St. in San Francisco--the closest BART Station being 16th & Mission.   If you are running out of things to do this Saturday and want to listen to a few writers describe South-Asian-American experiences through short stories, do drop by.  Your presence will be greatly appreciated.

Image courtesy of LitCrawl.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Hannah Graham Found?

What contributed to Hannah Graham's disappearance? Alcohol.  Plain and simple.  An 18-year old drinking (illegally) and getting totally sloshed is obviously putting herself in a very vulnerable position.  How did the University of Virginia sophomore get alcohol when the minimum drinking age in Virginia, like most other places in the US, is 21? Jesse Matthew bought her those drinks.  Jesse is now a 'person of interest' in the Hannah Graham disappearance case.  The two met in a mall and then went to a bar. Although Jesse denies it, it will be very surprising if Jesse did not take advantage of Hannah Graham that night.  After all Jesse did all the necessary work: he bought Hannah drinks and got her drunk to the point where Hannah had no idea of her whereabouts.
How is Hannah Graham disappearance case being solved?  Through security cameras individual businesses and residences own.  Why is the case still unsolved?  Because there are large gaps between the coverage of surveillance cameras…something that is not the case in our intentional community, Elmustee.  All public places in Elmustee are thoroughly monitored.  Video recordings are kept for at least a year.  Even months after an incident, you can look at the video recordings of various cameras to piece together the complete story.  Had Hannah Graham disappeared inside Elmustee, the case would have been solved in hours.  From the moment when Hannah came out of the bar, we could tell you which way she went, which car she got into, where did that car finally stop, and which building she entered in the end.

Photo, courtesy of http://myfox8.com.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Neelam Ahmed Bashir in the San Francisco Bay Area

Prominent Urdu short story writer Neelam Ahmed Bashir was the guest of honor at Urdu Academy North America's September meeting.  Neelam Ahmed Bashir's latest book 'Wehshat hee sahee' was reviewed in the literary meeting held on Saturday, September 28, at the Chandni Restaurant in Newark, California.  Around 150 people attended the program.

Listen to the audio recording of the program here:

نیلم احمد بشیر کی کتاب 'وحشت ہی سہی' کی سان فرانسسکو بے ایریا میں تقریب تعارف
تاشی ظہیر کی سرپرستی میں اردو اکیڈمی کی ستمبر محفل میں ڈیڑھ سو سے زاءد لوگوں کی شرکت۔

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tracing Naqsh-e-Meer

Tracing Naqsh-e-Meer
Eighteenth century Dehlavi Urdu poet Meer Taqi Meer (Mir Taqi Mir) was remembered and his contribution to Urdu language was discussed at the India Community Center in Milpitas on September 7, in a program aptly dubbed Naqsh-e-Meer.
How was the program appropriately named?  Hamida Banu Chopra, Bay Area Urdu teacher and chief organizer of the program, explained why Meer is called Khuda-e-sukhan by Urdu lovers.  Meer is held in high esteem for the words and expressions he gave to the Urdu language.  When Meer started writing poetry in Rekhta (nascent Urdu), very few wrote in that new language.  He was the one who took expressions and similes from Farsi and either used them as such, or altered them to fit in his Urdu verses.  For increasing the Urdu vocabulary considerably, and giving later poets and writers a bigger space to write in, Meer Taqi Meer is known as Khuda-e-Sukhan (God of language/poetry) by Urdu connoisseurs.  Today's Urdu is in fact Naqsh-e-Meer (Meer's footprint/stamp).

Besides Hamida Chopra, Suhail Farrukh, Jafar Shah, Sujata Roashan, Ravi Khurshid, Atiya Hai, Arshad Rashid, Saleem Malik, Ashraf Habibullah, and Dipti Bhatnagar read and sang Meer's poetry in the program attended by over one hundred people.

In all the readings, of special note was Ashraf Habibullah's tribute to Meer Taqi Meer.  The moment Habibullah stepped on the stage, there was light, literally…because Habibullah came donned in a jacket studded with LEDs that blinked and spelled his name on the back.  Meer must have tossed and turned violently in his grave learning his poetry was read in this fashion.  Seeing Habibullah make people laugh off their chairs it was hard to believe Ashraf Habibullah heads an internationally renowned Berkeley firm that makes software for strength analysis of buildings and structures.

Video highlights of the program are here:

Listen to complete audio recording of Naqsh-e-Meer program here: 

نقش میر میں سہیل طالب، جعفر شاہ، سجاتا چوہان، روی خورشید، عطیہ حءی، ارشد عزیز، سلیم ملک، اشرف حبیب اللہ، اور دپتی بھٹناگر نے میر کی چنیدہ غزلیں اور اشعار پیش کیے اور میر کی شاعری اور اپنے انداز بیاں پہ خوب داد حاصل کی۔ حمیدہ بانو چوپڑہ نے ایک مقالہ پڑھا اور حاضرین کو بتایا کہ میر تقی میر کو خداءے سخن کیوں کہا جاتا ہے۔

नक़्शे मेरे

मेरे तक़ी मेरे उर्दू  शायरी

हमीदा बनो चोप्रा, सोहैल, जफ़र शाह, सुजाता, रवि खुर्शी, अतिया हई, अरशद अज़ीज़, सलीम मालिक, अशरफ हबीबुल्लाह, दीप्ती भटनागर