What no one told you about Pakistan

Kushti as the traditional wrestling is known in Pakistan is a cultural phenomena in old part of the cities and smaller towns. They wake up early in the morning, oil their bodies and wrestle in the Akhara (Earth pits). It does not include much weight lifting beside some dumbbells, just relying on making the boys plough the pit, pushups, jumping jacks and other indigenous exercises. With the summer sun rising the men will cover themselves with the dirt as it claim to cool them off and drink their favourite all-natural-energy drink Sardi made from the smashed almonds mixed in milk. 

Visited Dunga Akhara near Taxali Gate in Lahore at the backdrop of the historic Lahore Fort and Badshahi Mosque on 28th June 2014. Here are some pictures from the day and yes a few of the little Miss who came to visit them with her dog. (via umalik)

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I didn’t know who Sarmad Tariq was… until he passed away

Can someone you’ve never known, someone whose name you’ve never heard of, inspire you enough to rethink your entire life?

Apparently it can.

It was only a couple of Facebook posts and the news of his death that moved me, leaving me feeling a little broken inside.

When I logged on to Twitter this morning, I found my timeline flooded with people mourning the death of Sarmad Tariq and talking about what a great person he was. Initially, I didn’t care much. I mean, people die all the time. Famous people die too. And everyone sings their praises after they are gone. (complete articleumalik)

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Chakwal’s lone Hindu family leads peaceful but secluded life
CHAKWAL: “When I first went to a local college two years ago, students and teachers gave me a strange look,” recalls 18-year-old Manisha Chhiber, a Hindu girl whose family lives a secluded life in Kariyala village located at the top of Surla Hill, some 10km away to the south of Chakwal city.
Manisha’s family is one of the only two Hindu families living in Chakwal district (the other lives in Kot Chaudhrian village located some 40km to the west of Chakwal).
“They gave me a bizarre glance because being a Hindu I was an alien to them and such a situation always hurts me but I don’t express my feeling,” Manisha continues.
But in village Kariyala she and six other members of her family live peacefully and do not feel isolated.
Manisha now waits for her BCom result and wants to become an officer by passing the Central Superior Services (CSS) exam. (more)
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Chakwal’s lone Hindu family leads peaceful but secluded life

CHAKWAL: “When I first went to a local college two years ago, students and teachers gave me a strange look,” recalls 18-year-old Manisha Chhiber, a Hindu girl whose family lives a secluded life in Kariyala village located at the top of Surla Hill, some 10km away to the south of Chakwal city.

Manisha’s family is one of the only two Hindu families living in Chakwal district (the other lives in Kot Chaudhrian village located some 40km to the west of Chakwal).

“They gave me a bizarre glance because being a Hindu I was an alien to them and such a situation always hurts me but I don’t express my feeling,” Manisha continues.

But in village Kariyala she and six other members of her family live peacefully and do not feel isolated.

Manisha now waits for her BCom result and wants to become an officer by passing the Central Superior Services (CSS) exam. (more)

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The glory of Sindh
Sindh, the mystical land and home to the Sufis, is known to harbour the most ancient civilizations of time. Its soil speaks of its rich history and culture. (gallery)
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The glory of Sindh

Sindh, the mystical land and home to the Sufis, is known to harbour the most ancient civilizations of time. Its soil speaks of its rich history and culture. (gallery)

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Poetry World Cup Final: Singapore-Pakistan
It’s time to decide who wins our first (and, quite possibly, last) Poetry World Cup. Over the last month, with the help of nearly 4000 reader votes, we’ve whittled the original 32 poems down to a final two. Both semi-finals followed a broadly similar pattern, with the two poems close to parity until a surge of support in the final hours of voting put the result beyond doubt. Singapore (represented by Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé) and Pakistan (represented by Mehvash Amin) were the two countries that made it through, and they’ll go head-to-head over the next 24 hours. You can vote in the poll or via the comments (both at the foot of this page), and the poem with the most votes will win the Poetry World Cup. Ready? Let’s go! (more)
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Poetry World Cup Final: Singapore-Pakistan

It’s time to decide who wins our first (and, quite possibly, last) Poetry World Cup. Over the last month, with the help of nearly 4000 reader votes, we’ve whittled the original 32 poems down to a final two. Both semi-finals followed a broadly similar pattern, with the two poems close to parity until a surge of support in the final hours of voting put the result beyond doubt. Singapore (represented by Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé) and Pakistan (represented by Mehvash Amin) were the two countries that made it through, and they’ll go head-to-head over the next 24 hours. You can vote in the poll or via the comments (both at the foot of this page), and the poem with the most votes will win the Poetry World Cup. Ready? Let’s go! (more)

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The Robert Alexander Salon: From Lebanon to Lahore
The Nishat adds another much-needed amenity to its premises — the Robert Alexander Salon and Spa. It has created quite a stir in Lahore with its über modern interior and fantastic installations.
“I wanted The Nishat to be a one-stop shop for our clients, and it is important for a hotel to have a good salon,” says Iqra Hasan Mansha, owner of The Nishat.
“Not only is it important to cater to your spa needs, it is also vital to have good in-house stylists,” she adds. With guests flying in from Karachi and Islamabad for fashion and bridal weeks, and choosing to stay at The Nishat, it only seemed fit to have a state-of -the-art salon to cater to their hair and style needs. This is why it is great that Lebanese salon Robert Alexander has opened its doors to the Lahore market.
“I have always felt that the Lebanese have a great way with hair and are very artistic,” continues Mansha, “when I met Robert, I knew it was time to bring his services to Lahore and bring the hotel not just a great stylist but also an international touch.” (more)
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The Robert Alexander Salon: From Lebanon to Lahore

The Nishat adds another much-needed amenity to its premises — the Robert Alexander Salon and Spa. It has created quite a stir in Lahore with its über modern interior and fantastic installations.

“I wanted The Nishat to be a one-stop shop for our clients, and it is important for a hotel to have a good salon,” says Iqra Hasan Mansha, owner of The Nishat.

“Not only is it important to cater to your spa needs, it is also vital to have good in-house stylists,” she adds. With guests flying in from Karachi and Islamabad for fashion and bridal weeks, and choosing to stay at The Nishat, it only seemed fit to have a state-of -the-art salon to cater to their hair and style needs. This is why it is great that Lebanese salon Robert Alexander has opened its doors to the Lahore market.

“I have always felt that the Lebanese have a great way with hair and are very artistic,” continues Mansha, “when I met Robert, I knew it was time to bring his services to Lahore and bring the hotel not just a great stylist but also an international touch.” (more)

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Trending Pakistan’s street cricket
Cricket has always been more than just a sport. A game, to halt every nation in the world, to define patriotism, to devote all the passion, to prove and to fight — a game of thrones.
Those who grew up in a country like Pakistan, know the alterations the game has adapted to survive, or rather innovate.
Street cricket is definition of a cricket loving nation for it has a very unique style, which must surely be documented, to tell the world: hey that’s how we roll! (complete slideshow)
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Trending Pakistan’s street cricket

Cricket has always been more than just a sport. A game, to halt every nation in the world, to define patriotism, to devote all the passion, to prove and to fight — a game of thrones.

Those who grew up in a country like Pakistan, know the alterations the game has adapted to survive, or rather innovate.

Street cricket is definition of a cricket loving nation for it has a very unique style, which must surely be documented, to tell the world: hey that’s how we roll! (complete slideshow)

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Transgender moral police to clap down prices
 “If you don’t stop profiteering, you will go to hell!” shrieked Payal, a transgender as she clapped her hands loudly at a poultry seller.
“Who are you to say that to me?” came the burly man’s meek response. He knew full well that he was helpless against this moral police. These transgender inspectors have been authorised by the city’s commissioner to go around in markets and scold, embarrass and complain against those selling commodities at higher rates.
Two hours before Iftar on Wednesday, transgender Payal and Fouzia, accompanied Karachi Commissioner Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui and the assistant commissioner of Saddar to the Empress Market in raid against profiteers.

The commissioner has included eunuchs in the campaign against profiteering as he feels their presence across the city can be effective. “Their role in the drive will also help them get respect in society,” said Siddiqui. (complete news)
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Transgender moral police to clap down prices

 “If you don’t stop profiteering, you will go to hell!” shrieked Payal, a transgender as she clapped her hands loudly at a poultry seller.

“Who are you to say that to me?” came the burly man’s meek response. He knew full well that he was helpless against this moral police. These transgender inspectors have been authorised by the city’s commissioner to go around in markets and scold, embarrass and complain against those selling commodities at higher rates.

Two hours before Iftar on Wednesday, transgender Payal and Fouzia, accompanied Karachi Commissioner Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui and the assistant commissioner of Saddar to the Empress Market in raid against profiteers.

The commissioner has included eunuchs in the campaign against profiteering as he feels their presence across the city can be effective. “Their role in the drive will also help them get respect in society,” said Siddiqui. (complete news)

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Parkour: The other side of Hazara town

Over the last three years, if you happened to pass by a certain empty plot located in Quetta’s Hazara Town, you were likely to spot a group of young boys being mercilessly put through their paces. As boys leaped over a series of obstacles, it was not uncommon for one of them to fall to the ground with a pulled muscle or worse, a bone unable to withstand the pressure, snapping to the sound of boos from a scattered audience. “My mother tells me, ‘We have enough problems as a community and the last thing I want now is to see you bedridden’,” says 17-year-old Ali Muhammad, a member of the Hazara community in the city. 

Read more here.

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Steel Mill People: So earlier this month I went with some friends to shoot at a Steel Mill near Lahore. It is interesting how scrap from all over the world come to places like this to be melted (at whooping 1700 degree Celsius) and converted to rods to be later re-rolled by men with very little safety gear on. It is a tough job and yes it does present with some interesting captures.

Will try to post some more later. (via umalik)

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