Last week was spent between literary festivals. After a weekend in Karachi I was all set to head to Lahore, wondering whether Pakistan could really support two events so close together on the calendar, when I stumbled across this review in The New Statesman… Like the rivalry between England and France, each city’s sense of … More A tale of two literary festivals
It was easy enough to buy a DVD copy of Zero Dark Thirty in Islamabad a few weeks ago. Not so easy now. And even Osombie has been taken off the shelves. THE man in the DVD store looked anxious. A week earlier I’d bought a pirated copy of Zero Dark Thirty. Now I was … More Zero Dark Thirty in Pakistan
One of the best things about Pakistan is the book shops. I spend hours rummaging through the jumbled piles of books in dusty second-hand stores, pulling out Flashman novels, turgid tomes about Pakistani politics or yellowing travel guides extolling the beauty of Waziristan. There’s no apparent system – alphabetical or otherwise – but almost anything … More Karachi and books
The music of Sindh is something I’d never really much come across before. But sitting in the garden at Kuch Khaas with a cup of tea and the warm winter sunshine there was something rather mesmerising or almost hypnotic about the sound of the chang – or Jew’s harp – as it waxed and waned … More Chang in the garden
You can always tell when the ice cream man is near. Growing up in England it would be the distorted strains of a nursery rhyme sounding from the ice cream van somewhere down the street. Here, in Islamabad, it comes from a tricycle and I have no idea where the exceedingly irritating jingle comes from. … More Postcards from Hell: 14. Ice cream men
After the recent egg deviation it’s nice to see the papers return to the dominant winter food narrative
I’ve always been struck by the number of news stories telling me that fish is a winter food, and that prices rise accordingly. Anyway, yesterday’s editions brought me a new twist.