Volume 5 Issue 8

August, 2005

Folk theatre changes face
One of last year's popular plays from a 300-year-old Indian folk theatre tradition was called I Am Miss Calcutta, a tacky parable about a policeman's daughter who elopes with a flashy young man to rob the rich and feed the poor. Then the law kicks in and the couple realizes that pillage is not the best way to alleviate poverty. They also pledge to reform themselves. more>

The Rising
One of Bollywood 's most awaited films, Mangal Pandey - The Rising starring Aamir Khan, has opened in cinemas worldwide. Actor and producer Khan's film is set against the backdrop of the Indian mutiny of 1857, with British actor Toby Stephens in a key role. Costing about $10m, it is shot in both Hindi and English, and aimed at the international box office. more>

Shakespeare play in Kabul
A production of Love's Labor's Lost, set in Afghanistan and translated into the Dari language, has played to packed audiences in the capital city, Kabul. The William Shakespeare play is one of the first to be staged in the country since the fall of the Taleban in 2001. more>

George's Pakistan
When Geo TV, a thrusting new channel, ran a teaser campaign this year declaring that "George" was coming to Pakistan, the Islamabad government might have worried. But there was no reason to worry. Instead of the anti-terror Texan, viewers found George Fulton, a burly and amiable Englishman who became a national celebrity as the star of George ka Pakistan (George's Pakistan), the nation's first reality TV show. more>

Creative expression
Zeyba Rehman brings project management experience, gained as an executive on Wall Street, to bear on multi-media projects with cultural and educational organizations in the U.S. and abroad. These have included Asia Society and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She is the chairwoman for the World Music Institute, the North American director for the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music and its Giving a Soul to Globalization Colloquium, and a producing partner for Jungli Billi Productions. Zeyba has been a producer and artistic director of live performances, television, film and forums for more than 16 years. more>

'This amazing lady'
One of the names that stand out prominently when contemporary Urdu Fiction writers are discussed is that of Razia Butt. With 51 novels and 350 short stories to her name and counting she is one of the more prolific Urdu writers in Pakistan today. She was here to visit her granddaughter who lives in Raleigh, NC and was the guest speaker at the Urdu Majlis. Knowing that she was in town, Sadia Khalid of VOA Urdu Service who wanted to hook up with her e-mailed to inquire: "Please tell me how can I get hold of this amazing lady?" more>

Mysticism thrives
The mystical form of religion espoused by Sufi saints for hundreds of years continue to thrive in Pakistan despite opposition from religious hardliners and the authorities. As the sun sets on a Thursday evening, hundreds of working class people descend on a shrine to the eighth-century mystic, Abdullah Shah Ghazi, in Karachi. The shrine is located on a hill in the up market Clifton district of Pakistan's financial capital, flanked by swanky shopping malls and the posh residential area of Defense. more>

Prophet's Medicine
HYDERABAD: Young Rubina eats figs and dates to shed the extra fat in her body while middle-aged Abdul Kareem takes black cumin seeds to keep his cholesterol under check. Elderly looking Zaheeruddin takes syrup made of pure honey to control his abdominal problems while his daughter-in-law Fathima treats her son's throat infection using vapors of incense. more>