Sunday, October 31, 2010

The vivacious VJ - Natasha Saleem


As the boom in the Pakistani pop music industry during the last decade led to the emergence of 24-hour music channels, Natasha Saleem became one of the most visible faces on music television. Her contagious cheerfulness and bubbly disposition has made the video jockey (VJ) a standout media figure, and her charismatic personality shines through in everything she does, be it hosting shows, interviewing celebrities or even acting.

The VJ-turned-actress has a BSc. in Economics and Management from the London School of Economics (external degree) and entered the media industry by chance. “My friend was going for a VJ audition at The Musik and I went along for moral support. While I was there, they asked me to try out and made me an offer then and there!” Natasha had previously gone to McGill University for her B.Com but had to return due to financial reasons. The job offer, therefore, seemed like a great opportunity. “I wanted to contribute towards my education and thought it would be a great way to save up. I never went back to McGill but I did fall in love with what I was doing and eight years later, here I am!”

Not only did being a VJ bring her success and recognition, but she says some of the most cherished moments in her life also came through this profession. “The industry was still in its infant phase; the concept of being a VJ was new – the excitement, the wonderment, it never grew old. I loved the fact that I could walk out on stage and have 8,000 people scream my name. It’s a totally different high. I have so many memorable moments,” she reminisces, “but there was a concert I was hosting in Lahore and the crowd was going crazy, including one guy hanging off the side of the building from above (to access the backstage area) who had his friend holding his feet screaming for me to sign his hand!”

The multi-talented star has tried her hand at modelling, hosting as an RJ and has now turned her attention towards acting. “Since I’ve recently started freelancing, I’ve had the opportunity to host for a bunch of channels, and while it is different from hosting as a VJ, it still comes to me naturally. Acting admittedly is new to me and poses a more exciting challenge.” It comes as no surprise that Natasha is motivated to broaden her horizons. “I was looking for something to challenge myself with and had just come back from doing a course in direction and filmmaking from the New York Film Academy when an opportunity to act in a great production came my way. I was surprised and excited at the prospect of this new challenge and thought it was time to venture into new arenas because as far as being a VJ was concerned, I’d done it all.”

“It has only been a few months since I’ve delved into the world of acting,” she says. “The work so far has involved Don’t Jealous —  a soap opera which is currently on air.” Her upcoming projects include soap opera Zip and a serial called Madhosh, both of which are expected to be aired soon. “The experience of working in all these projects has been great. The best part has been to act with some of the finest actors in the industry, like Amina Sheikh, Imran Abbas, Aisha Khan and Mohib Mirza to name a few, because there’s so much to learn from them.”

When asked what she enjoys the most about acting, Natasha replies, “Acting gives you the freedom to express the most intense emotions and the free pass to live life onscreen in a way that you normally wouldn’t.”  However, acting has drawbacks as well. For Natasha, the downside is “trying to get a regular routine in my everyday life, like going to the gym!”

Her hectic career gives her little free time. “I get to spend a lot less time at home or even with my friends but thankfully everyone knows my workaholic side well enough to understand.” She also tries her best to accommodate her hobbies. An avid reader, the VJ/actress has no qualms about describing herself as a bookworm. “I’m a big bookworm and I’ll even take my books on set with me. Travelling is another passion of mine. I love backpacking through countries, trying out new things, be it the local cuisine of any country or even scuba diving, which I recently ticked off my to-do list!” She also says that she is extremely close to her family.

“My brother is younger than me and is currently studying in Croatia and my mom is a famous tarot card reader along with being my best friend. My dad, a pilot by profession, lives in Turkey and I just got back from vacationing there!”

To do something well, she believes you must like what you do. “You need to be madly in love with what you’re doing. Any profession, be it banking, teaching, journalism or even running the country for that matter, needs you to constantly work at improving yourself. A career in the media is no different. This is not for an increase in pay or the boss’s approval but it’s purely to know you’ve done justice to your profession.”

Natasha lists “putting myself through college and knowing at the end of every day that I’ve given 100 per cent at work” as her biggest accomplishment so far. As for the future, she’s eager to go wherever life takes her. “Success is not a destination; it’s a journey. The plan is to make the most of that ride by staying hungry (striving for more) and staying foolish (never thinking I know it all)!”


If I could be present at a historic event, it would be…
The period right after Independence. I think we’ve forgotten what the struggle was all about.

If I had to pick another career, I’d choose…
To be a vet.

If I had to banish one word from any language, it would be…

If I could interview one person (out of anyone that ever lived), I’d love to interview…
Rumi, and maybe try to discover some of that beauty, love and madness he wrote about.

If I had to record the cover version of any song, I’d pick…
Rangoon Mein Khoya by Junoon, or Orange Sky by Alexi Murdoch. Of course this is assuming I could carry a note!

If I could change one thing about yourself, I’d change…
My selective memory.

If I could cancel a TV show, I’d choose…
So many! Haha!

I am looking forward to…
What the rest of my life has in store for me.

If I could make everyone read a book, it would be…
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom.

If I could change one thing about the world, I’d…
Get rid of sickness in the world. I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like to have kids with lung problems or heart defects. Realistically though, I’d want everyone to be more aware of people with special needs.
- Sameen Amer

The Express Tribune - 31 October, 2010

From voice acting to distracting

Are celebrity voice-overs in animated films really necessary?

A few years ago, when the animated film The Incredibles (2004) came out, the world was abuzz with just how awesome Pixar’s latest release was. I sat down to watch the film; all was going well until Mrs Incredible opened her mouth and out came Holly Hunter’s excruciating drawl.

Events repeated themselves a few months later when Madagascar (2005) was released. I got roped into watching it on the insistence of a friend who I discovered had never seen the TV show Friends and had no idea who David Schwimmer was. A decade-long obsession with the sitcom, however, turned out to be a serious interference, because every time Melman spoke, my mind went on an “Oh dear, I think that giraffe ate Ross!” overdrive. While I’ll reluctantly concede that it may be a tad too finicky to not be able to look past the celebrity voice-overs, I still think that it doesn’t seem like too much to ask of the filmmakers to use voice talent that can make us forget there is an actor behind the animation and focus on the character. Instead they leave us with an image of a celebrity speaking into a microphone.

For much of animation’s history, animated characters were voiced by trained voice actors (often doing a number of characters within the same film), who usually remained out of the spotlight. Then things started to change; Robin Williams became the voice of the Genie in Aladdin (1992), and Woody and Buzz Lightyear got their voices from Tom Hanks and Tim Allen in Toy Story (1995). And then instead of creating characters and then finding the fitting voice talents, studios started creating characters to fit celebrities.

Presumably, the idea is to attach star-power to a project but does showering big bucks on the Hollywood elite actually pay off? You could give examples both for and against this concept. Shark Tale (2004) and Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003) both featured celebrity voices — one was a success, while the other was not. Do people — especially children, the major target market of animated movies (and presuming they even know who most of these stars are) —  really care if a penguin is sharing its vocal chords with Shia LaBeouf or Elijah Wood?

Some don’t seem to think so, including veteran voice actor Billy West, who has pointed out that trained voice actors are asked to guide movie stars for their roles in animated films. The only glimmer of hope comes from the fact that since studios like Pixar have made their brand synonymous with excellence, they may not feel the need to get celebrity endorsement for their films. Indeed some of their latest releases have suggested a slight tilt in this direction. For instance, WALL-E (2008), which turned out better than perfect, did not heavily rely on film actors; and Up (2009), which used star voices aptly, just might be the best film I’ll never want to see again (but only because I have a strict share of saltwater allocation per film, and Up made me use up my entire tear quota in just the first viewing). Anyhow, my point is this: film actors don’t necessarily make good voice actors, and it would make things better if studios would hire voice actors based on talent and not just star- power. Possibly, I’m just over-thinking or is it that people are so celebrity-obsessed that they will watch an animated film simply because they recognise a name in the credits, in which case, I apologise for wasting your time. Nobody is objecting to the use of big names when they actually fit — for instance, Ellen DeGeneres was a lovely Dory, Eddie Murphy made an entertaining Mushu and Donkey, and the Pixar-John Ratzenberger alliance is (still) quite amusing. However, in most cases, using recognisable celebrity voice-overs makes for a distracted viewing experience which only diverts one from the storyline.

- Sameen Amer

The Express Tribune - 31 October, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Magic On Two Wheels – Kenny Belaey

cover story

Kenny Belaey
Nickname: The Magician
Date of Birth: 26-01-1983
Nationality: Belgian
Profession: Pro Rider
Disciplines: Trialbiking (20"& 26")

International sports activities in Pakistan have come to a crawl due to the reluctance of foreign athletes to visit the country. So it was hardly surprising that trialbiking world champion Kenny Belaey's recent tour of Pakistan served as a treat for the audience. The 27-year-old Belgian, who has mastered the art of merging daring bicycle moves and stunts with creativity, performed at various venues in Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad in a bid to promote the sport in the country as well as raise funds for flood victims. Us was lucky enough to get an exclusive interview with Kenny and ask him about trialbiking and his trip to Pakistan. Here's what he had to say…


Us: Please tell Us a bit about yourself.
Kenny Belaey: I started doing trials when I was 9, with only one goal, and that was winning! So anything I did was all in preparation of my performance. That also meant that I wasn't really a good student actually, because it's hard to combine school and hard work, plus I didn't get the support of the school to make my life easier. I always passed classes and topped sports education when I was 18 (high school) but never went to University. Let's just say I had different plans than the other school kids, and I'm glad it turned out fine. My parents have always been very supportive in what I did, because they saw that I was determined and not fooling around, so they let me do my thing, which I respect a lot; not all parents would do that. My brother Wesley is 4 years younger than me and is doing the same thing. He mainly does shows now. He stopped competing for a year and is taking care of our bike sales business that we both are running; we are importers of a Spanish bike brand, Monty.

Us: How did you become interested in bike trials? What prompted you to take up the sport?
Kenny: Our dad, a national motortrials champion, took us with him to his races. When we saw his colleagues' kids doing the same thing on a bike, Wesley and I wanted to do that too. Dad sold all of his gear and started driving us all over Europe so we could compete.

Us: What was it like winning your first championship? Have the subsequent wins felt different in any way?
Kenny: The first race I ever competed in was somewhere in the early '90s; I got the 3rd position. A couple of years later, I won my first cadet UCI World Championship in 1998 – that win and the last win in Canada (September 5, 2010) feel the same; only, the impact is bigger because now it's not just a hobby any more and a lot more is depending on it.

Us: You recently won the Elite World Championship for the fourth time, your ninth title overall. First of all, congratulations! Secondly, what do you think makes you so successful and able to stand out amongst all the competitors?
Kenny: Dedication, hard work and self-discipline, and most important of all: 'planning', because if I wouldn't [plan], I would go mad. It's not easy to combine training with a globetrotting lifestyle, but it works.

Us: What is your daily routine? How many hours a day do you train/practice?
Kenny: I train every day from 10 to 12 and from 3 to 5. That includes gym/bike specific rehearsals and improvement of jumps, running, cycling and plyometrics. In between, I try to rest as much [as I can] and take care of my businesses because I take care of my own management.

Us: Have you sustained any particularly bad injuries while training/competing?
Kenny: Apart from scratches and scars, I haven't broken a single bone in my body, but touch wood and hope for the best because in this kind of sport it's easy to get injured, of course.

Us: You're sponsored by various big brands. What importance does such sponsorship hold for an athlete?
Kenny: It's everything, because without sponsors we can't make a living out of it, and an athlete should only focus on his 'thing' and not be worried about 'how will I pay the bills by the end of the month?' For me, Red Bull has been the greatest brand to work with; it's all because of them that I have seen 20 countries, and they treat me like a king… although I know that's temporary, because when I come home I'm not a king any more and just Kenny, haha! But it's hard work, too: interviews, shows, touring, airplanes and squeezing training in isn't easy, but nothing comes for free, does it?


Us: How has your experience of visiting Pakistan been so far? And would you consider touring here again?
Kenny: I was very scared of coming because of [what I saw of Pakistan through] the media, but I would recommend people to definitely come here, especially to Islamabad in the mountains; it's very nice over there. And if my sponsors ask me to do it again, I would for sure!

Us: What are the things that you have liked the i) best and ii) least during this visit?
Kenny: The crowds were the best one by far from all my tours! I am not saying this to make you feel good, really. I didn't know 750 people could sound like 2500! The least: the bomb blast in Karachi really concerned me because I've been on that spot earlier, so you think about it differently than when you just see it on the news. I can't believe people can actually do that and I hope that will stop one day.

Us: What do you think is the scope of trialbiking in Pakistan?
Kenny: I don't think there are any trialbikers in Pakistan, but by showing this sport to the people they might be influenced to go out and try some basic moves on regular bikes, like standing still for example… you'll be amazed by how much this can help you, even in traffic from a safety point of view.

Us: Do you have any suggestions on how sports can be improved here?
Kenny: It needs awareness and people must really do sports; I am convinced 'sports' in general is good to do. It will make you feel better, and a person who feels better also has a clearer mind, and that's good for everything you want to do in life after sports, whether it's business, studying or just relaxing afterwards. Go for it!!

Us: You're supporting the 12-12 charity programme. Could you please tell Us about that?
Kenny: I always planned to support this charity fund, and when I knew I was coming to Pakistan, there was no doubt that I wanted to support the people in rebuilding their lives. My target is 2000 Euros for the next couple of weeks, and I already have over 500 now, plus when I return to Belgium I'll try to exceed that target; should be possible.


Us: Is there a lot of travelling involved in trialbiking? Does it in any way affect your personal life?
Kenny: Well, I like travelling a lot; otherwise I wouldn't be doing it for so long. My girlfriend [rider Fien Lammertyn] needs to accept it, for sure; she does it perfectly so I'd say there are no issues. Whenever I am home everything is better then; there is no routine in my life and that's how I'm used to it and how I like it so far. I think once I'll get older I might take it easy but right now, I'm far from that.

Us: If you weren't a trialbiker, what profession would you have chosen?
Kenny: That's very hard to say. I have really no idea but I know one thing… since I can't imagine a better life, I would most definitely not be as happy. And one thing is for sure, I am an entrepreneur; so I think I would start my own business and realise things… that's what I like – create what hasn't been done before and always aim higher. The sky is the limit.

Us: Do you have any hobbies? What do you do in your spare time (presuming you get any)?
Kenny: Playing the guitar, listening to music, watching a movie, fishing, but it's been awhile. And in winter, I do snowboarding.

Us: What's your favourite book, television series, movie, and band/musician?
  • Book: I only read magazines, no books. I like bike magazines and National Geographic because I like bikes and nature.
  • Television show/series: The Simpsons, but I have to admit I rarely watch TV.
  • Movie: The last one I saw was Knight and Day; that was cool. No real favourite, though.
  • Band/musician: Got so many! I like Joe Bonamassa's guitar skills; he's a Blues player. I like Metallica a lot because they have been there for so long and are still kicking it, big time. Also, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, so basically a lot of old school rock and roll.

Us: What do you hope to achieve in the future? What are your goals?
Kenny: I'll continue what I am doing already part-time right now while competing, which is promoting trials by organising competitions, managing riders, and selling bikes, and trying to bring [the sport] to levels that have never been seen before.

Us: Any message for the readers?
Kenny: I'd say go for it. Whatever dream you have, chase it and work hard because no one is going to ask you to live the dream for free. Try to find out what you like and make this your target. Once your target is reached, set a higher one and don't try to force it; it might take time though.

- By Sameen Amer

Us Magazine, The News - 29 October, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

At The Movies (VI)

movie reviews

Hollywood walks down familiar paths with stories of self-destruction, friendship, war, and zombies

How To Train Your Dragon
Voice cast: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jonah Hill, America Ferrera, and Craig Ferguson
Directors: Chris Sanders, Dean DeBlois
The sweet tale of an unlikely friendship, How To Train Your Dragon follows the story of a young Viking named Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) who hopes to please his father (Gerard Butler) by becoming a dragon slayer, only to realize, after finally bringing down one of the most dangerous and elusive dragons in existence, that things aren’t how they should be. A cross between E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Lilo & Stitch, How To Train Your Dragon follows the same road that many have gone down before, but it does so in a delightful way. Based loosely on English children’s author Cressida Cowell’s novel How To Train Your Dragon, the action packed fantasy possesses characters that are endearing and encapsulates a bright message; sure there are parts of it that are clichéd, but on the whole it’s charm lies in its simplicity. Plus the animation is stunning and it isn’t hard to imagine that the film – especially the overhead shots of the realm of the Vikings and dragons – would’ve looked stunning on the big screen and in 3D. So while it follows a predictable story arc, the film works because of it’s simple charm and makes for an enjoyable watch.

Crazy Heart
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Colin Farrell, Robert Duvall, Beth Grant, and Jack Nation
Director: Scott Cooper
Following a drearily hackneyed storyline, Crazy Heart chronicles the tale of a washed up, self-destructive country singer (Jeff Bridges) who meets a smart and charming woman (Maggie Gyllenhaal) who inspires him to rebuild his life. After trotting down an obvious narrative path, the film comes off as a superficial version of many films that have come before it – including its most recent counterpart, the vastly superior The Wrestler – recycling the same plot sans all the authenticity and charm, and eventually leading to an ending that is less than convincing. That said, some of the songs in the film (especially Fallin' & Flyin') are quite good, but as far as the film itself stands, there’s nothing here that you haven’t seen before. It isn’t abysmal; it’s all just too corny. Over-hyped and extremely overrated.

Green Zone
Starring: Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Amy Ryan, Brendan Gleeson, Jason Isaacs, and Khalid Abdalla
Director: Paul Greengrass
A fictional story inspired by Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s non-fiction book Imperial Life in the Emerald City, Green Zone tells the story of an army warrant officer (Matt Damon) who is on a quest to find the elusive Weapons of Mass Destruction that were used as a pretext for the 2003 Iraq invasion, and becomes increasingly sceptical of the intelligence reports after repeated attempts fail to uncover any WMDs. Off he goes into conspiracy theory land, and you can easily guess the truth he will eventually stumble upon; not only do you know where the film is going, but unfortunately none of it seems even close to authentic. The movie relies on a highly predictable plot suffering from oversimplification of a complicated issue told through characters we never really get to know, and is, overall, a thriller that is disappointingly short on thrill.

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs
Voice cast: Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Neil Patrick Harris, James Caan, Bruce Campbell, Andy Samberg, Mr. T, Bobb’e J. Thompson, Benjamin Bratt, Al Roker, Lauren Graham, and Will Forte
Directors: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
When endearingly clumsy inventor Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) discovers a way to turn water into food and invents the Flint Lockwood Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator (or the FLDSMDFR for short), it is safe to assume that trouble can’t be far behind. Sure enough, things do go wrong, leaving him to make amends, along with the help of geeky weathergirl (and the object of his affection) Sam Sparks (Anna Faris), Sam’s cameraman Manny (Benjamin Bratt), the local hero ‘Baby’ Brent (Andy Samberg), and Flint’s pet monkey Steve (Neil Patrick Harris). Inspired by the children’s book Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett and Ron Barrett, the film is an imaginative blend of humour and morality, and even if you figure out where the story is heading, it still remains delightful as the events unfold. And it is powered by an awesome voice cast who make the characters come to life and brilliantly complement this unique comedy. On the whole, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs is an amusing 81-minute long fun-filled adventure, likely to be enjoyed by viewers of all ages.

Kick Ass
Starring: Aaron Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Nicolas Cage, and Mark Strong
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Based on the comic book by Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr., Kick Ass is the story of a comic book obsessed teenager who decides to become a super hero (which doesn’t go too well), while an 11 year old girl Mindy Macready (Chloe Grace Moretz) adopts the persona of Hit Girl, and along with her father, Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage), sets out to take revenge from a crime boss (Mark Strong). In equal parts a parody of the genre and possibly one of its finest specimen, Kick Ass both embraces and satirises the comic book/superhero idea. It is hilarious and action-packed, although the violence and profanity therein is more than likely to be a huge turnoff for many and will ensure polarizing opinions from its viewers. My only gripe with the film, though, is that it starts off as the story of Kick Ass and turns into the story of Hit Girl, and while Hit Girl does steal the show (which is awesome because it makes the film fun), at the same time this makes one wish that the film had focused more of Kick Ass and his superhero-without-superpowers antics in this instalment and saved more of Hit Girl’s story for the sequel; yes, it probably wouldn’t have generated the same interest that this film did – which is why I’m sure many people would’ve preferred even more of Hit Girl in the movie – but I think the current film changes direction midway and it might’ve been fun to see it continue along the initial storyline; but that’s just my two cents. On the whole Kick Ass is an enjoyable dark comedy, but it certainly isn’t for everyone.

Youth In Revolt
Starring: Michael Cera, Portia Doubleday, Jean Smart, Mary Kay Place, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Long, Ray Liotta, and Steve Buscemi
Director: Miguel Arteta
Youth In Revolt, an absurdist coming of age tale adapted from C.D. Payne’s book series, narrates the misadventures of Nick Twisp (the increasingly typecast Michael Cera), who lives with his divorced mother (Jean Smart) and her succession of boyfriends, meets the charming Sheeni Saunders (Portia Doubleday), and then, with the help of his alter ego Francois Dillinger, proceeds to wreck havoc as he lives his vow of doing whatever it takes to be with her. The result is more pretentious than it is profound, as the film lacks the depth it wished it had, and tries too hard to be more artistic than it really is. The story is familiar, the humour doesn’t do more than deliver a few feeble laughs, and the cast has not been used to their full potential. My friend who recommended this film to me, however, maintains that he really enjoyed it, so maybe it’s just that I didn’t resonate with the protagonist…and thank heavens for that!

Starring: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin
Director: Ruben Fleischer
After the world is taken over by zombies, a group fights for survival in Zombieland, probably the best (or at least the most prominent) horror/zombie comedy since Shaun of the Dead (2004). With an impressive performance by the cast, especially Woody Harrelson, Zombieland is filled with humour, action, and quite a bit of gore, and is a captivating ride from start to finish. Sure there’s nothing profound about the movie and it isn’t aiming to change the world, and yes it doesn’t cover some groundbreaking new territory, but it is quite funny, and very likely to entertain its viewers.

- By Sameen Amer

Ink Magazine - Oct-Dec, 2010

Jukebox (VI)

album reviews

iCarly star Miranda Cosgrove makes an unremarkable debut, Hanson return with a solid pop record, while The Killers’ singer impresses with his first solo release

Brandon Flowers
Genre: Rock
The Killers’ frontman Brandon Flowers has embarked on a solo career with the release of his album Flamingo, a set of songs he originally wrote for his band’s next album before they decided to go on hiatus. Not surprisingly, the album – which takes its title from Flamingo Road in the singer’s hometown that is also the location of the Sam’s Town casino (which lent its name to the group’s second album) – retains the overall vibe of The Killers’ music. Flamingo includes a rueful ode to sin city in Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, a duet with Rilo Kiley vocalist Jenny Lewis in the form of Hard Enough, and Springsteen-esque storytelling in songs like Jilted Lovers & Broken Hearts and Was It Something I Said. But the thing that makes the album particularly impressive is that, minus the filler (and there isn’t much of that), all the songs are distinctive, and while the singer has stuck to what he knows best and made an album that sounds pretty close to something The Killers would do, the record is both very listenable and enjoyable; fans, especially, will not be disappointed.
Highlights: Magdalena, Crossfire, Was It Something I Said

Eliza Doolittle
Eliza Doolittle
Genre: Pop
Released to much success in the UK, 22-year-old English singer Eliza Doolittle’s debut album is a collection of breezy summer ditties, not particularly original, but pleasant enough to warrant a listen. The bouncy soul influenced pop obviously reflects influences such as Lily Allen and Kate Nash. The songs are propelled by the singer’s lovely voice, although the jaunty melodies sometimes fall into the chasm of sameness and hence lack memorability, but the album clearly demonstrates that the young songstress offers a lot of promise. The highlight of the album is the single Pack Up; with a chorus inspired by the 1910s marching song Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit-Bag, the single is the standout track in the set, and while the rest of the album doesn’t mirror it’s strength, it does showcase the singer’s ability to produce likeable pop. It now remains to be seen whether she can build upon the strengths and work on the weaknesses when she makes her sophomore effort.
Highlights: Pack Up, Missing

Shout It Out
Genre: Indie Pop Rock
Hanson have come a long way since the Middle of Nowhere days, when the release of MMMBop made the young band a global teen sensation. Since then, Isaac, Taylor and Zac Hanson have grown up musically, started their own record label (3CG Records), and released fairly good pop songs like Penny & Me that really ought to have garnered them more attention that they did. Now, more than a decade after hitting the mainstream, the brothers have released their eighth album, Shout It Out, a pop record that is driven by catchy hooks and ‘70s/‘80s pop sensibilities. The album includes infectious up-tempo songs, like Waiting For This and Thinkin’ ‘Bout Somethin’, that offer instant sing-along potential; however, the momentum starts fading towards the second half of the album, although it still remains quite listenable. Hanson fans, especially those who have been following the band since the beginning, will surely appreciate the band’s musical growth and enjoy this set.
Highlights: Thinkin’ ‘Bout Somethin’, Waiting For This, Kiss Me When You Come Home, Give A Little

Hey Monday
Beneath It All (EP)
Genre: Pop
After downsizing from an eight-song album to a six-song EP, Hey Monday have released their second offering, Beneath It All. Not so much Paramore-lite as something that would probably work if it were being marketed by Disney along with a Demi Lovato album, the band offers commercialised pop music that would be better suited to Kelly Clarkson or Hilary Duff. The upbeat sing-along pop songs are karaoke ready, even though a casual listener would have trouble distinguishing one song from another. Cassadee Pope’s vocals seem like a cross between The Veronicas and Avril Lavigne, and your response to them is likely to depend on how long it’s been since you were a tweenager.
Highlights: I Don’t Wanna Dance, Where Is My Head

Jason Derülo
Jason Derülo
Genre: R&B
After writing songs for the likes of Diddy and Sean Kingston, Haitian American singer, songwriter, and dancer Jason Derülo has launched his solo career with a set of songs tailor-made for Top 40 radio but bereft of any individuality. The kind of singer who likes to sing his own name at the start of his songs (for reasons best known only to him), the newcomer had a massive hit with the song Whatcha Say, the chorus of which samples Imogen Heap’s brilliant Hide and Seek which deserves a huge part of the song’s success; in fact, no other song on the album offers the same bite that Heap’s song adds to Watcha Say. The track The Sky’s The Limit, which is based on the ‘80s Irene Cara hit Flashdance…What a Feeling, offers some hope, but little else stands out on the record. The rest of the album just comes off as R&B-based dance pop, overproduced and auto-tuned to the point of indistinguishability. If he can add more of his personality to the songs and hold back on the auto-tune, then we might be on to something. Otherwise, this brand of catchy urban pop will not make him stand out in an already competitive landscape ruled by the likes of Usher, Chris Brown, and Ne-Yo.
Highlights: Whatcha Say, The Sky’s the Limit, In My Head

Miranda Cosgrove
Sparks Fly
Genre: Teen pop
We’ve grown accustomed to the fact that nearly every Disney starlet, no matter how vocally challenged, will try to enter the world of multi-hyphenates by adding the word “singer” to her resume. Following the same path is Nickelodeon’s Miranda Cosgrove, who you may better know as the star of iCarly or as Drake and Josh’s bratty little sister in Drake & Josh, whose debut album recently hit the shelves. The negatives would be that it is your average synthesized music that comes off as nothing more than homogenized pop fodder. But on the bright side, it’s only eight songs long, so it’s almost over even before it even begins; it’s like they knew going over half an hour would make the listeners suffer too much (although there is a deluxe edition that contains four extra tracks, but that’s clearly too many!). If you fall in the singer’s target market and/or happen to own records by Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, and Taylor Swift, then you might think differently about this album as well. As for everyone else, this is just another disposable bubblegum pop set that suffers from weak vocals and overproduction; you’re not missing anything.


Pearl Jam
Backspacer (2009)
Genre: Rock
Since both defining and being defined by the grunge scene of the early 90s, Pearl Jam have continued to be a vital presence in the world of rock for over two decades. While many of their releases in the last few years have been met by a mixed response, that doesn’t come as much of a surprise considering the colossal status of the band’s early catalogue; it can’t be easy to not get weighed down under your own legacy after having released something as definitive as Ten and Vs.. With their ninth and latest offering Backspacer, PJ have produced one of their most accessible records, marrying rock with pop sensibilities. From energetic rock anthems to contemplative mid-tempo ditties and bittersweet guitar-driven musings, Vedder takes a reflective look at love and loss in the eleven songs that make up the set, and even the occasional cliché comes off as heartfelt. Overall, the album may follow a lighter approach than their earlier work, but you can tell that the band are enjoying themselves, and hopefully the listeners will enjoy it too.
Highlights: The Fixer, Just Breathe, Amongst The Waves, The End

Daniel Powter
Under The Radar (2008)
Genre: Pop Rock
Not many of us had heard of Daniel Powter prior to the release of his self-titled sophomore album in 2005, but following the success of his single Bad Day, the Canadian singer-songwriter found himself in the spotlight. Bad Day was one of the best pop songs of 2005…and then it ended up becoming one of the most annoyingly ubiquitous songs of 2006. It was played repeatedly on TV and radio, it was the elimination/send-off song in the fifth season of American Idol, and it even made an appearance in a commercial. The singles that followed it, however, couldn’t mirror the success of their predecessor and most of them failed to find home in the minds or hearts of listeners. Three years later, Daniel Powter returned with a set of catchy mid-tempo tunes and piano ballads in his third album Under The Radar. Produced by Linda Perry, the set features twelve songs, including a new version of Love You Lately (which previously appeared on his second album), and Negative Fashion (from his debut album I’m Your Betty), along with a live rendition of Bad Day. Powered by pleasant melodies, the album offers more of what made Bad Day a hit; yet, at the same time, there is something that keeps the songs from being truly memorable. The best moments come in the form of the album opener Best Of Me, the eventually-uplifting My So Called Life, and first single Next Plane Home. But as Daniel Powter sticks to the same sound throughout – which does lead him to produce a set of decent, albeit samey, pop songs – the shortfall is that the album covers familiar territory and doesn’t offer much in terms of variety.
Highlights: My So Called Life, Next Plane Home

- By Sameen Amer

Ink Magazine - Oct-Dec, 2010

The Tube (VI)

tv series reviews
A look at the latest seasons of some of television’s prominent sitcoms and dramedies


Cougar Town
Season 1
Cast: Courteney Cox, Christa Miller, Busy Philipps, Dan Byrd, Josh Hopkins, Ian Gomez, and Brian Van Holt
Director: Bill Lawrence
Genre: Sitcom
Courteney Cox returns to the small screen in Cougar Town, the story of a middle-aged divorcee Jules (Courteney Cox) venturing back into the world of dating while raising her teenage son Travis (Dan Byrd). The series starts with the cougar (older woman going out with younger men) premise, but soon switches gears as the protagonist’s interests land on her recently divorced neighbour Grayson (Josh Hopkins); her caustic friend Ellie (Christa Miller), Ellie’s husband Andy (Ian Gomez), giddy assistant Laurie (Busy Philipps), and ex-husband Bobby (Brian Van Holt) round up the rest of the gang. Aided by an impressive cast, and occasionally featuring guest stars such as Sheryl Crow, Scott Foley, and Lisa Kudrow, Cougar Town clearly has a certain charm about it. Yet there is something oddly frustrating about the show from its very onset, primarily rooted in the show’s premise. For one thing, there’s the whole thing regarding Jules’ neuroses about aging, which probably wouldn’t have been nearly as annoying if the character hadn’t been played by someone as gorgeous as Courteney Cox; if anyone else in their 40s had her looks and body, they certainly wouldn’t have been complaining about it. And then there’s the occasional whiff of creepiness that the sitcom gives off every now and then that might put you off. As summed up in the exchange in one of the episodes – in which Jules asks her son why he doesn’t laugh at her jokes; “because they make me sad”, he replies – unfortunately some of the viewers might have a similar reaction to some of the shows attempts at humour. Then again, it can be hard to resist Courteney Cox’s charms, so ultimately, what you feel about Cougar Town will largely depend on whether it strikes a chord with you or not.
Status: Picked up for a second season.

Season 1
Cast: Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Chris Colfer, Jane Lynch, Matthew Morrison, Dianna Agron, Amber Riley, Mark Salling, Jenna Ushkowitz, Kevin McHale, Jayma Mays, Naya Rivera, Heather Morris, and Jessalyn Gilsig
Genre: Musical comedy drama
Last season’s biggest hit (especially among teens with Twitter accounts), Glee follows the story of William McKinley High School’s glee club New Directions, as it struggles to return to its formal glory while the club’s members – a motley crew of divas, jocks, cheerleaders, and nerds – deal with personal issues; singing and dancing ensues as the underdogs prepare to compete on the show choir circuit. In short, the show comes off as High School Musical meets 90210 by way of Camp Rock, and while it doesn’t offer much in terms of smart, it makes up for this by offering heaps of mindless fun…presuming you can ignore the implausibility of its storylines (which you almost certainly can since you probably wouldn’t have turned to a musical comedy drama if you were in search of realism in the first place). The series also features guest appearance by the likes of Idina Menzel, Kristin Chenoweth, Molly Shannon, Neil Patrick Harris, and Olivia Newton-John, and it’s mixture of pop music covers and teen drama will surely make some people absolutely love it…while the rest will hate it for pretty much the same reasons. You could look at it as a corny, predictable, over the top, tired mix of clichés, or you might see it as a show that in part lampoons teen drama and in part embraces it. But it’ll be hard to resist television’s newest guilty pleasure, especially if you fall in the show’s teenage target demographic.
Status: Picked up for a second and third season.

Romantically Challenged
Season 1
Alyssa Milano, Kyle Bornheimer, Josh Lawson, and Kelly Stables
Director: James Burrows
Genre: Sitcom
Never have I been more certain of the impending demise of a TV series than I was while watching the premiere of Romantically Challenged, a sitcom following the well trodden path of a comedy centred around a group of friends who often find themselves in a coffee shop exchanging banter as a laugh track provides instant gratification to their wit. The plot, somewhat like Cougar Town, revolves around a divorced single mom Rebecca (Alyssa Milano) re-entering the world of dating, guided by her sister Lisa (Kelly Stables), and friends Perry (Kyle Bornheimer) and his roommate Shawn (Josh Lawson). Unlike Cougar Town, however, Romantically Challenged lacks humour, chemistry, and just about everything that would make a sitcom appealing; in fact, it almost makes Cougar Town look like a masterpiece in comparison. The setting is bland; the characters lack charm; the humour is scarce and forced. The material they’re provided with does a disservice to the cast, especially Kyle Bornheimer who got rave reviews for his starring role in Worst Week. And while it was clearly going for the elements that made shows like Friends a hit, Romantically Challenged just comes off as an unoriginal and predictable mess that can more aptly be described as comedically challenged. Uninspired and forgettable.
Status: Cancelled after four episodes.


The Big Bang Theory
Season 3
Cast: Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, and Kaley Cuoco
Genre: Sitcom
The brainchild of Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady, The Big Bang Theory, a sitcom based on a group of socially awkward friends, wrapped up its third season a few months ago. The series chronicles the lives of experimental physicist Leonard (Johnny Galecki), his theoretical physicist roommate Sheldon (Jim Parsons), their friends, aerospace engineer Howard (Simon Helberg) and particle astrophysicist Rajesh (Kunal Nayyar), and neighbour Penny (Kaley Cuoco). But everyone who’s been following it for the last few years knows that it’s actually the Sheldon Cooper show, and at the heart of it’s success lies Jim Parsons, who just won an Emmy for the role (and seriously deserved to win, even according to Sheldon’s nemesis Wil Wheaton!). Jim Parsons continues to be amazing in the third season, and Sheldon and his fellow characters continue to be powered by a unique blend of nerd humour and clever writing; you might have to be a bit geeky to relate to it, which is why this might not appeal to everyone, but for those who are willing to embrace their inner geek and tap into the shows unique hilarity, they will find The Big Bang Theory absolutely addictive.
Status: Renewed for a fourth season.

Season 6
Cast: Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara, Jeremy Piven, Perrey Reeves, and Rex Lee
Genre: Comedy drama
Having been on the air for more than half a decade, everyone is likely to have made up their mind about Entourage, the HBO series about a young actor and his group of childhood friends as they try to make it in Hollywood. Some of us adore it; the rest can’t understand what the fuss is all about. But no matter which group you fall into, season 6 isn’t likely to change your mind. The show continues to satirize Hollywood, but the focus has shifted from Vince’s (Adrian Grenier) career to more individual storylines for the other characters – Eric (Kevin Connolly) tries to establish himself as a manager while trying to win Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui) back; Turtle (Jerry Ferrara), who’s seeing Jamie-Lynn Sigler, starts college; Drama (Kevin Dillon) stars in a successful TV series; Ari’s (Jeremy Piven) frustrated when his friend’s domestic issues interfere with work. Yes, this shift brings the series down, but Entourage has spent the last six years making us care about the characters, and even if it isn’t as good as it used to be, we’re too invested in the characters to give up on the show now. And yes, Jeremy Piven is still brilliant, plus there are still many amusing guest appearance (Matt Damon in the season finale particularly stands out). So while it’s a lot more fun when it concentrates on Vince and Ari, for those who have stuck with it all these years, it’s still worth a watch. (That said, season 7 seems to be going even further downhill, but we’ll talk more about that in the next issue.)
Status: Seventh season currently underway; renewed for an eighth (and supposedly final) season.

United States of Tara
Season 2
Cast: Toni Collette, John Corbett, Brie Larson, Keir Gilchrist, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Patton Oswalt
Genre: Comedy drama
United States of Tara, the comedy drama based around a woman who has Dissociative Identity Disorder, returned for its second season with a more stable Tara, living without any visits from her multiple personalities, although predictably it doesn’t take long for her alters to return; this time Buck, Alice, T, and Gimme are joined by Shoshana Schoenbaum (her therapist alter) and Chicken (a representation of a 5-year-old Tara), making the gang a little overwhelming. As for the rest of the family, Tara’s husband Max (John Corbett) is on a mission to renovate a house he has bought; daughter Kate (Brie Larson) finds a job and then ventures upon an unconventional side project; son Marshall (Keir Gilchrist) struggles with his identity and tries to discover who he really is; and sister Charmaine (Rosemarie DeWitt) celebrates her engagement. There are instances when the banter feels too scripted or when the premise begins to crumble, and during these times, when even the viewer can’t help but echo Charmaine’s scepticism about the validity of her sister's disorder, a lot of credit goes to Toni Collette for making the character still feel interesting, and to their credit, the rest of the cast supports her admirably, because as outrageous as the show is, it’s strength lies is making the character’s struggles feel relatable, even though the setting might not be one that any of us are actually familiar with.
Status: Picked up for a third season.

- By Sameen Amer

Ink Magazine - Oct-Dec, 2010

The Game Zone (VI)

video game reviews

Video games that you'll regret you missed...or maybe not!

Dragon Age: Origins
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, and Mac OS X
Dragon Age: Origins, the recent release from BioWare (the company best known for creating classics like Baldur’s Gate and Mass Effect), is based on the standard premise of dark forces threatening the world while you, the hero, find a way to defeat them. The single-player role-playing game takes you into an imaginative fantasy world where your choices help lay down the route you will follow as you fight evil creatures and seek hidden treasures to fulfil your quest. Set in the mythical land of Thedas, where once every few hundred years a demon army rises from the underworld and tries to take over the world, the ancient legendary order of the Grey Wardens must fulfil the task of driving the demons back; you, the player, become a part of that order and must unite the elves, dwarves, mages and humans to gather an army powerful enough to fight back the demons. The gameplay is fairly complex and requires many tactical decisions, including which character to use when, and while the environment is a little bland and the graphics aren’t exactly stunning, the interesting storyline and characters will still keep you enthralled and the game is sure to keep you occupied for hours (even though you might face some issues if you’re playing on a console, as some tasks require complex button combinations to accomplish). It could take you as many as 50+ hours to complete the game the first time round; also, as the game changes based on your decisions and how you play, it has a high replay value, and you might enjoy it even more when you’re playing it for the second time.

Fallout 3
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Microsoft Windows
A decade after the release of Fallout 2, Bethesda Game Studios unleashed Fallout 3, the post-apocalyptic action role-playing game set in 2277, that sees the player living in a survival shelter following a nuclear war. After his father’s mysterious disappearance, the player must leave the safety of the vault and journey through the ruins of what was once Washington D.C. to search for his father, unravelling clues and dealing with mutants and other brutal creatures while performing various side missions along the way. The story is captivating, the combat system is brilliant, and every mission in the game is different which keeps Fallout 3 from feeling repetitive. There is a lot of variation between different areas and cities, and you can explore what you want and move around in the world freely, which gives the game a more realistic feel. Also, the side missions are awesome; we only wish there could’ve been more of them!

Platform: PlayStation 3
Media Molecule’s LittleBigPlanet is a platformer video game that also works as a social game you can play with your friends and other LBP players online. The game puts you in control of a little character called Sackboy or Sackgirl, and you travel around in a fun-filled world and do missions in areas that are based on different parts of the globe. On your journey, you can also collect things that you can use to customize the looks of your character, changing its appearance as you please. If it’s brief story leaves you wanting more, you’re given the chance to use your imagination and build your own levels; the levels you make can also be made accessible online, so anyone can play a level you have created and vice versa; players have even created levels based on classic platform games using the LBP elements. The game lets you unleash your creativity (since you can build your own levels and decorate your Sackperson, box and landscape) and also doubles as a fun game to play with friends (you can cooperate with others to get your Sackperson through the levels). And it’s a game that suits all audiences; kids can enjoy the game’s playful look and run around in the fantasy world, while more advanced players can play and create more challenging levels. Yes, the main story feels a bit short, but the game makes up for that through it’s use of imagination and humour, and absolutely amazing graphics.

Midnight Club: Los Angeles
Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, and Xbox 360
The fourth game in the Midnight Club series, Midnight Club: Los Angeles is a street racing game based in, as its name suggests, the streets of Los Angeles. The main goal of the player is to drive around LA and participate in different street races; the more races you win, the better reputation you gain, which in turn will lead you to bigger contests and more prize money. You can participate in different kinds of races, including tournaments, pink slip races and freeway races, and choose between a wide variety of cars and motorcycles; you can also customize your vehicle and buy upgrades for it with the money you have won. But while all the races are of varying difficulties, they’re still too similar and don’t offer enough variation to keep the game fresh, and combined with the fact that there are already various other similar street racing games, Midnight Club: Los Angeles doesn’t really offer anything new. For a game coming from Rock Star Games, a company known for pushing the limits in gaming, you would expect something different, but there isn’t much that is unique or innovative about this game. Overall, Midnight Club: Los Angeles is a decent racing game with stunning visuals and a lot of vehicle choices, but chances are you might get bored with it after a little while.

The Uncharted Series – Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Platform: PlayStation 3
Treasure hunter Nathan Drake travels around the world to search for lost treasures in the Uncharted series, a set of action-adventure third-person shooter games that bring the Indiana Jones style to mind. The player seeks the treasure of El Dorado in the first game, Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, while the second game, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, takes Nathan on a quest to find Marco Polo’s lost treasure. The games aren’t very long and you’ll probably be able to finish them fairly quickly, but on the whole Uncharted is an enjoyable adventure series that merges good treasure hunting stories with action elements, like jumping over cliffs, avoiding snipers, and solving mysteries; plus Uncharted 2 is a great multiplayer game and is fun to play online.

- By Daniel & Sam

Ink Magazine, Oct-Dec, 2010


web-based collaborative tools

“In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed”Charles Darwin

The importance of teamwork is instilled in all of us as part of our education with a seemingly endless barrage of group work and team assignments, and the concept of collaboration usually follows us into our work lives, playing an intrinsic role in almost everything we do. Whether we have to work on a school project, a college research paper, or even a work assignment, chances are we will, at some point, want (or need) to collaborate with our class-fellows or colleagues. The powers of technology have made it possible for such collaboration to take place without the need to be at the same location, and various browser-based tools are making such collaboration even easier: no need to shuffle emails and messages back and forth; no need to install additional software; you don’t even have to sign up or create an account (although you have that option if you want to save your data online and use advanced features). And while you can always use Google Docs for this purpose, there are various standalone web-based services if you’d rather use something that doesn’t plug into Google. So if you have to write a group report, plan a meeting with co-workers, figure out the best route for a carpool, or even doodle with your friends just for fun, the following tools might be a good place to start:

1. iEtherPad ( Based on the EtherPad software, iEtherPad is a web-based word processor that allows multiple people to work on the same document simultaneously, instantaneously showing the changes that are made by any of the users. The service is extremely easy to use; simply open the website, start a public notepad right away, and invite your friends or colleagues to join in; you can also import your existing documents to iEtherPad, and export the final version and save it to your computer. If you want to share your documents privately within your team, then you can start a secure pad and create a password-protected team site to keep track of your documents.

2. Twiddla ( Twiddla describes itself as a web-based “meeting playground” and lets users brainstorm on a background of their choice, which can range from a blank canvas to a website, graphic, or photo. The website requires no plug-ins or downloads, lets you get right to work, and allows you to productively work with your friends without any hassle.

3. Stixy ( Stixy offers users an unlimited number of shareable Web-based bulletin boards (called Stixyboards) that let you organize your information. The website allows you to create tasks, appointments, notes, and bookmarks on your Stixyboards, and also add photos and documents using the drag and drop widgets. You can make your Stixyboard public and accessible by anyone anywhere, or share your boards with your friends only and give full or limited access to your colleagues as required.

- By Sameen Amer

Ink Magazine - Oct-Dec, 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

"I would like to live as US President for a week" - Nomi Qamar


Nomi Qamar was one of Pakistan's top male models and runs his own production company

If I could live in another time, I'd choose...
I would choose to live in the time of the Romans, because I’m fascinated by the grandeur of their culture and architecture. I love the attire and costumes and the real image of a strong male.

If I had a week to live, I would…
Live as the President of the USA, and fix a few things possible only in such a position.

If I could go anywhere in the world, I’d pick…

If I could make everyone watch a movie, it would be…
Bheja Fry. I’m a big fan of the main character.

If I had one wish, I’d wish for…
I would wish for a stable, respectful, and united Pakistan.

If I could destroy the master copy of any song so that nobody could listen to it again, I would pick...
Hawa Hawa by Hassan Jahangir and It Must Have Been Love by Roxette.

If I could bring back any cancelled TV show, I would choose...
50/50 and Prison Break.

If I had a million dollars, I would…
Go on a seven star VIP expensive vacation with my wife, with all the parties and drugs sorted in advance.

If I could change one thing about myself/my life, I’d change…
My carelessness.

I’m looking forward to…
I don’t look forward…I plan and execute it.

- Sameen Amer

The Express Tribune - 10 October, 2010

Sunday, October 03, 2010

"I wish to be the biggest rock star of all time" - Naukhez Javed


Naukhez Javed is the vocalist for the Pakistani band Inteha

If I could change one thing about the world, I’d change…
Racism, because we are all created by Almighty Allah; we breathe, we walk, we eat, we think, we function the same way – then why have we created racial differences?

If I had one wish, I’d wish…
I’d wish to be the biggest rock star of all time.

If I could collaborate with any musicians (past or present), I’d work with…
Nazia and Zoheb – I grew up listening to them.

If I had to record the cover version of any song, I’d pick…
Lithium by Nirvana, as to me it is the best rock song.

If I could have a super power, I’d choose…
X-ray vision and mind reading, so that I can read and judge people (because I am very bad at judging people).

If I could go anywhere in the world, I’d pick…
Las Vegas, because I love the city – casinos, money, girls, cars…what else can one want?

If I could make everyone watch a movie, it would be…
Andaz Apna Apna. It is my favourite movie of all time. I think I have watched it over a hundred times; I even remember its dialogues!

If I could only eat one dish for the rest of my life, I’d want….
Aalo gosht with rice. My mum is the best cook and I just can’t stop loving it.

If I had a million dollars, I would…
A million? That’s it? I already have this much, give me some more…

I’m looking forward to…
The release of my band’s second album, Inteha-e-Rock, which will be released at the end of this year, and I am dead sure it will make history.

- Sameen Amer

The Express Tribune - 3 October, 2010