Rediscovering Zahoor ul Akhlaq (1941-1999)

Raza Rumi asks if Pakistani state and society are ready to reclaim the great artist on his tenth death anniversary Ten years ago, on…

Imagined homeland

It irks me when I hear simplistic platitudes on Pakistani society, state or people. The heterogeneity of Pakistan is by itself an anthropologist’s dream,…

We shall overcome the trap of violence

As clouds of war hover in the skies of Lahore, I am missing Delhi and lamenting the relatively difficult venture to visit the city.…

Remembering Benazir Bhutto

I am reposting my piece that was written a year ago. It seems that not much has changed in these twelve months It was…

Unfullfiled Civic Longing

Written for The Friday Times, Pakistan After Mumbai, I have stopped watching television. I will not participate in the senseless jingoism of the Indo-Pak…

Data Ganj Baksh: Lahore’s oldest guide

Perhaps the greatest of the experiences at Data Darbar is to find oneself connected to a stream of humanity, shoulder to shoulder, with a…

Islamabad: This too shall pass

Bemoaning Islamabad’s fall from grace Not long ago, Delhi and Lahore were vulnerable to hordes of foreign invaders. The Mongol fear was overwhelming and…

The words of others

My piece published in the Friday Times last week For decades, Pakistan’s poets and writers have defied conventions and the almighty establishment. Rooted in…

Pakistan: IMF Programme needs to be debated

Debating the aid plan The not-so-inevitable is about to happen. After weeks of groping in the darkness of global financial mess, the Pakistani government…

Ajoka Theatre and the Caucasian Chalk Circle

  Who is entitled to keep the child – one who is a better, nurturing mother, or the one who may be the natural…

Ode to Benaras – Ghalib’s grand vision

The cancer of communalism and bigotry in South Asia continues to haunt us. These days, the Muslims are once again a subject of intense,…

The pampered Islamabadites

My piece published by Himal Southasian Islamabad is a very peculiar urban space. Though no longer a town, it is still struggling to become…

Living Lohawarana – a Lahori rambling

My piece for Himal Magazine’s October issue There was a Lahore that I grew up in, and then there is the Lahore that I…

Through a screen, darkly

Pakistani cable operators, following the cyclical escalation of imagined hatreds, discontinued the transmission of Indian satellite channels in 2002. The absence of Indian TV…

The Zardari conundrum

By all statistical estimates and anecdotal evidence, Pakistan’s middleclass has grown during the last decade. The visible manifestation of this historically significant trend was…

Utopia for me- Pieces of my heart

My piece published in the News on Sunday yesterday – Karta hun jama phir jigare lakht lakht ko (I seek to gather the scattered…

Capital shock

My op-ed published in the NEWS. This was also posted at ATP and a robust discussion took place there. A week long sojourn in…

Beyond Borders – with Shubha Mudgal and Tina Sani

My article published in the Friday Times (Aug11-18) Days after the recent skirmishes at the Line of Control, when the composite dialogue between India…

Kabir, Bulleh and Lalon – Petals of a mystic lotus

The subcontinent during the 15th century witnessed the coming of age of a process that started brewing with the arrival of Central Asian Sufis,…

A brush with the new – Asim Butt’s Art

What distinguishes Asim Butt from his generation and perhaps the preceding generations of artists is the sheer originality of his vision and an iconoclasm…