Publisher’s Note

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]C[/fdropcap]ongratulations to Pakistan! General Raheel Sharif has willingly and cheerfully handed the baton to his replacement, which is a sign that democracy is coming of age in Pakistan. We are grateful to the outgoing Army Chief for doing his job well, for making us feel safer at a time when we were at our most vulnerable and fearful.

      Internationally, it’s the end of an era with Fidel Castro’s passing. Everyone likes a strong man and leader who stands up for himself and his people, a David to a Goliath. Castro portrayed just that figure for decades defending his tiny island country against America, the superpower, despite all odds. Though he was a controversial leader whose ideology you may not agree with and Cuba is a country caught in a time warp, but on such vital matters as health care for example, the tiny country far surpassed its giant neighbour the US, which is still trying to figure out how to provide universal health care to its citizens.
      And speaking of the US, our younger readers especially must check out this issue’s Memorable Romance about Donald Trump and Marla Maples. The New York Post headline from over 25 years ago that first propelled him to the stratosphere was Marla’s confession to a friend that Trump was “The best sex I’ve ever had.” To someone with The Donald’s massive ego, this was catnip that he just licked up. And he even married her briefly. Though he still has issues with dignity and political correctness, he is now the President-elect of the US, proving it’s still very much a man’s world out there, for better or for worse.
      Jeewan Hathi is a smart movie made by smart people. It’s also Pakistan’s first short film that has been released in cinemas here. Do check out our interviews of the director and cast for this. We also met and chatted with the attractive leads of Mehreen Jabbar’s highly anticipated movie Dobara Phir Se.
      Winter is fun time here with parties galore cramming our weekends. So GT is the place to see all the fun photos of the happening parties. La Dolce Vita!Untitled-1
November 16-30, 2016, Vol. XII, No. 22

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]S[/fdropcap]o we have all said our penny’s worth regarding the Trump Presidential win. I, for one, predicted it as he speaks like and for the Average Joe. Racism Stateside has suddenly become more blatant with Pakistani families in areas such as the South facing daily racial slurs. “Moslems go home” is being hurled even at children in school buses as told to me by friends and family living there. Scared for the safety of their children, many are contemplating moving to California or the North East where it’s more tolerant. I’m sure Trump’s own stance will soften over time as he realizes that some of his election promises are unrealistic. Moreover, the American Constitution protects all citizens regardless of race and religion.
      What can we learn that’s positive from his win? Definitely that self promotion, self belief and pig headedness can take you a long way. Don’t give up and believe in yourself and others will too.
      Speaking of perseverance but in a very different way brings us to our latest Memorable Romance: that of Dr. Mohammad Din and Christobel Taseer, the late Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer’s parents. Muhammad Din was an orphan who was mentored by Allama Iqbal and attained a PhD from Cambridge University, becoming the first South Asian to do so. She was an English girl who followed him to Lahore to become his wife. It’s interesting because the gentlemanly MD, an educationist and literary figure, was the antithesis of someone like Trump, a brash reality TV show host and flamboyant real estate developer, perhaps he was more like Obama who I’m already feeling nostalgic about.Untitled-1
November 16-30, 2016, Vol. XII, No. 22

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]N[/fdropcap]ow that the threat of conflict has abated and the summer has come to a close, the country has started celebrating again. To kick off the festive season, the PFDC L’Oreal Bridal Week took place in Lahore at the tail end of September. This year, attendees graced the red carpet with more relaxed, laid back looks. It balanced out all the heavily worked shaadi joras (wedding outfits) on display on the runway. On the whole, the collections this year were even more laden with embroidery and embellishment than before, if that were even possible. Barely a square inch of plain fabric was to be seen. Abroad, outshining the bride is a serious no-no, but here it’s seen as a challenge. Few women abide by the “less is more” fashion mantra at weddings here. To top it all, according to what we saw on the runway, now the bridegroom gets a matching outfit with the bride, complete with matching brocade, colour palette and embroidery motifs, and ends up looking like a veritable popinjay. Obviously the higher the cost of the outfits, the greater the fashion designers profit margin. So questioning whether fashion designers are merely giving their clients what they want, or are they setting the trend for seriously OTT outfits is like asking the proverbial question what came before, the chicken or the egg?
       And now from here to the world, we all knew it was coming, the break-up that everyone has been predicting since the couple first got together on the set of Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Now that the much talked about break-up of larger than life couple, Brangelina, has finally happened, we trace back their history and try to answer the question on any fan’s mind: why did it happen? You also meet the pretty Sarish Khan, Miss Pakistan USA 2015, within the pages of this issue. Though a lawyer, she plans to carry on the legacy of her maternal grandparents, yesteryear film stars, Santosh Kumar and Sabiha Khanum, by joining Pakistan’s film industry. 
       The ultimate in luxury are high thread count bed sheets. Newly opened, The Linen Company has 1,000 thread count bed sheets that are silky smooth to the touch and priced well since they are locally produced. Now you can turn your bedroom into a 7 star hotel room. Aah, energising, blissful sleep!Untitled-1
October 16-31, 2016, Vol. XII, No. 20

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]T[/fdropcap]he monsoon season with its refreshing rains washing away the heat and dust, is coming to a close. Holiday makers have returned, armed with their spoils of victorious shopping jaunts. It’s back to school time for the kids and moms on school runs; it’s also time to start planning for the next wedding season’s wardrobes. Keeping this in mind, for your perusal we have Saira Shakira’s glamorous bespoke bridal collection, as well as styling tips for BTW’s key pieces for a casual daytime look. Shafaq Habib tells us how yellow gold jewellery is back in fashion with a bang and Maliha Aziz, the stylish daughter of Farah Talib Aziz, shows us how to effortlessly dress like a contemporary, chic Pakistani woman. Moreover, we have tips on applying the perfect eyeliner to maximize the hypnotic appeal of your eyes. Kareena Kapoor’s pregnancy style has also been tracked and apart from loose shirts and dresses, she is seen to favour a kameeze and palazzo pants combo. If you have always wanted to trek to Rakaposhi base camp, we have one account to inspire you and if you are a fan of Noor Jehan’s music, her climb up the ladder of success makes for a fascinating story. Untitled-1
September 01-15, 2016, Vol. XII, No. 17

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]T[/fdropcap]irst the good news: This past fortnight, two historic landmark bills regarding honour killing and rape were passed by a special parliamentary body to ensure women’s and minors’ rights. Under the new law, the victims of honour killings “would only be able to pardon the killer of capital punishment, but he/she would regardless face a mandatory life sentence of twelve and a half years.” In the anti-rape bill, “a provision to conduct DNA tests on both the alleged victim and perpetrator has been added for the first time. The rape of minors, as well as the mentally and physically ill, will be punishable by death,” the Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid said to the media. These bills are the culmination of tireless efforts of all women activists since Independence, who have each contributed in their own way, for acknowledgement of our rights. In the forefront are Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, documentary maker of Oscar-winning Saving Face about acid attack victims, for bringing worldwide attention to the plight of women in Pakistan, ex-Senator, Ex-MPA of Punjab and ex-Punjab Minister for Social Welfare, Sughra Imam for drafting and tabling both the bills as well as ex-Chairperson of PM’s Youth Wing Mariam Nawaz Sharif for getting the bills passed in Parliament. Last but not least is the late social media star Qandeel Baloch who in her death managed to have the last laugh. Like it or not, from a scantily clad wanna-be she has gone down in Pakistan’s history as the woman whose murder by her brother served as the catalyst for these much needed reforms. Let’s see how well this new law is now implemented.

Now the bad news: At a wildlife safari park near Beijing, China, a family outing turned gruesome. A typical husband and wife quarrel was taking place in a car. The wife was so engrossed in fighting with her spouse that, flouting the rules, she got out of the car while a tiger was freely roaming nearby. The tiger lunged at her and mauled her. Her poor mother, taking care of the couple’s child in the backseat, quickly got out to save her headstrong daughter and was killed by the wild beast, the tiger, in the process. Such are spousal battles; no one really wins, except anger and regret.

To mitigate the almost daily news of copycat terrorist attacks perpetrated by young Muslim men the world over, we take you back to what seems like a simpler time in retrospect – 1968 when, after the previous year’s Six-Day Egyptian-Israeli war, the worst offence committed by a young Muslim man that made global headline news was Omar Sharif carrying on with the very Jewish Barbra Streisand during the filming of box office and critical hit Funny Face. And to make you feel even better, GT is resplendent with fabulous shoots of Emirati It girl Tamara Al Gabbani, as well as local hottie Sikander Rizvi. We have everything from the Pakistan Fashion Extravaganza in Berlin to on-trend flats, and from Sanie Bokhari’s boundary pushing paintings to tips on buying a standout men’s suit. Enjoy! Untitled-1
August 15-31, 2016, Vol. XII, No. 16

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]A[/fdropcap]s you may have heard, a Pakistani Hindu senior citizen, Gokal Das, was recently beaten up in Sindh by an off-duty policeman for eating during Ramzan. This is despicable to say the least, but it points to a culture of religious intolerance bred by years of toxic state policies. To say, “This is not the spirit of Ramzan” is not an adequate response to the brutality. The beating or bullying of a non-Muslim because he chose to eat in front of a Muslim is unacceptable. In Pakistan, alas, years of institutionalised intolerance have bred violence and hate. A glimpse of the televised piety on show these days will give you a sense of what I am talking about.Untitled-1
June 16-30, 2016, Vol. XII, No. 12

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]I[/fdropcap]spent the last week shooting a drama serial with a group of blind actors. The summer was (and is) truly and madly upon us, and shooting under the unforgiving Karachi sun was proving to be difficult. And then I met a group of children, with whom I was to record a scene of all of us singing and clapping. They didn’t care about the heat. They were oblivious to it, interested only in crooning loudly, fiercely, smilingly, plumbing stunning notes from the depths of their bellies. Watching them, my sun-struck head cooled, my headache vanished. I began singing and laughing with them, matching their zeal. Often, in life, all it takes is a little dose of context to set us straight—context that leads to a reality check that leads to gratitude.Untitled-1
May 16-31, 2016, Vol. XII, No. 10

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]T[/fdropcap]he other day, while shopping for food items in a store, I saw a middle-aged woman — she must’ve been in her early 40s — who made me reconsider the notion of makeup. She was not drop-dead gorgeous, but she looked elegant and calm and happy in a makeup-free face. She had moisturised well and was wearing some blush. That’s it. She radiated contentment. No makeup or little makeup really is the last fashion frontier: there is nothing more attractive than women who, as a rule, wear as little makeup as possible. Because of my work, I have to slap on a thin veil of foundation when in front of the camera, but it is so freeing and wonderful to go without all that muck on one’s face. To each his own, of course, but the summer months demand restraint! Untitled-1
May 01-15, 2016, Vol. XII, No. 09

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]B[/fdropcap]y mid-April, most of Pakistan begins to feel the onset of a blistering summer. But not this year. Thus far, we’ve been blessed with bonus boon weather that has given us particularly pleasant evenings. And while farmers may be anxious about the wheat crop not ripening on time, in Pakistan’s urban centres at least, citizens are grateful for the reprieve. This reprieve is at its most marvellous in the evenings, particularly in parks and gardens. While the air is fragrant with petunias in the afternoons, it’s positively perfumed in the evenings with star jasmine and raat ki rani. Day lilies are beginning to flaunt their orange and yellow flames and will be in full bloom in high summer. Best of all, the green of trees and plants still retains some of its spring freshness and isn’t yet dull and dusty. Let’s enjoy this bounty while we can, and let’s not dwell on the oven in which we’ll bake for the next three months! Untitled-1
April 16-30, 2016, Vol. XII, No. 08

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]T[/fdropcap]his week, it feels strange to write about anything other than what happened in Lahore on March 27. Who hasn’t gone to the park as a child, played on the slide, or the jungle gym, or the swings, and looked up to grin at the adult watching and supervising to make sure there’s no fall, or scrape, or nasty tumble? To think that a man would set off a bomb by the swings is to confront the darkest impulses of the human mind. More than 65 have perished. The children presumably went dressed in their finest—frocks and plastic sunglasses and bright headbands. The ID card of the suicide bomber shows that he was 28 years old—not young, not old, just a terribly misguided man who became a murderer one sunny afternoon. Untitled-1
April 01-15, 2016, Vol. XII, No. 07

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]I[/fdropcap]recently had the delight of meeting a Pakistani who made me hopeful for the future of this country. Adnan Ansari is a Karachi-based makeup artist. He walked into the makeup room with the brisk confidence of a CEO gliding into a meeting. Adnan worked quietly, patiently, asking me if I were comfortable as his makeup brushes danced across my face. We were shooting for a TV commercial, and Adnan’s courtesy combined with an old-world professionalism was a sight to behold. With impish confidence, he worked magic on the artists. And he worked with modesty, always focused on his craft, the angle of his strokes. Later, on set, he reminded us to throw our shoulders back. He was meticulous and he was watching. It was a delight to meet a young Pakistani so committed to his work. Adnan’s respect for his craft is infectious: because he respects his work so much, one returns the respect in awe and in gratitude. Untitled-1
March 15-31, 2016, Vol. XII, No. 06


[fdropcap]I[/fdropcap]recently went to Dubai for the first time. The skyscrapers reminded me of Manhattan — they were cleaner, sparklier — but they were also bereft of character—of dirt, city fumes, the jostle of human life. The city-state seems like a place where the rich meet to chalk out plans for world domination, where tourists congregate to cruise on the Arabian Sea and to shop at the city’s many malls, and where immigrant workers from all over South Asia converge to make a living. I couldn’t help feeling the skyscrapers were sandcastles, with the same brittle beauty, the same impermanence. Untitled-1
March 01-15, 2016, Vol. XII, No. 05

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]I[/fdropcap]n stunning Prague, with its glimpses
of St Petersburg, Paris, Rome, its powder pink buildings in one street, and looming black towers studded with gold in another. The beauty is so ubiquitous, it immediately made me sad for Pakistan. Ours is a brutalised land, which ever way you cut it. The rivers here have water in them! I had forgotten about that. You see, the eyes are accustomed to shrinking, mud-glinting ones. Prague’s buildings survived the ravages of WWII. Between the terrorists and the modern developers keen on Orange Lines, humara kya bane gaa? Untitled-1
Feb 16-29, 2016, Vol. XII, No. 04

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]W[/fdropcap]aiting in the lounge at Karachi airport, I overhead a sweet voice pipe up: “Un ke naseeb kitne acchey hain jin ki flight abhi jaa rahi hai.” Smiling, I spun around to see a six-year-old boy. How many six-year-olds in this country speak Urdu in this fashion? It warmed my heart so I complimented his chuckling mother, who replied, “He surprises me too!” I asked her if she spoke to him exclusively in Urdu at home. “No, it’s Urdu as well as English. I don’t know where he picks up this sophisticated Urdu. Probably from our drama serials!” It made my day seeing this budding little Urdudaan. Kaash hum sub ke naseeb itne acche hote ke hum itni shusta Urdu bolte! Untitled-1
January 16-31, 2016, Vol. XII, No. 02

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]O[/fdropcap]n the eve of the New Year, I find myself thinking of my late Dadi and the Lahore I grew up in. I think of my dadi’s sloping pink nails, bright without varnish, and how much she cherished going to Fortress Stadium to buy cassettes for Raja Hindustani and Dil Tou Pagal Hai. I think of the chipped metal swing-set in her garden from which leaked coldness; the way in which the gates in Dadi’s home remained always open—open to dogs and cats and raddi-wallahs and, in the forlorn afternoon spell, to the tinkling chimes of the Walls ice-cream man. I think of a time when the walls were shorter—so short you could hop over them and be in your neighbour’s lawn. I think of Polka Parlour (now securities exchange company), Off-Beat (now a haven for body builders), Kebab beesh, the only open-air restaurant at the time. I think of the excitement of seeing the Pirate Ship and ferris wheel in Joyland from miles away. With all the development around it, Joyland is now firmly blocked from view. I think of the flower clocks on Mall Road. A blinding beautiful circle of flowers. Happy New Year, folks.Untitled-1
January 01-15, 2016, Vol. XII, No. 01

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]T[/fdropcap]his week, we bring you an exclusive interview with the glamorous cast of upcoming movie Ho Mann Jahaan. The movie, a coming-of-age musical drama, stars Adeel Husain, Mahira Khan, Sonya Jehan and Shehryar Munawar. In their interview with GT, the stars share their most vivid memories of shooting. Mahira recalls a moment when she and Adeel shot a song in the mountains of Chitral, and when they came back to see the monitor, the director had tears in his eyes—of happiness. She likens the experience of shooting Ho Mann Jahaan to living in a joint family system! Meanwhile, asked what he makes of his “sex symbol” status, Shehryar responds: “I don’t know how I should feel, but it should make me slightly richer. Can someone please pass on this observation to top beauty brands?” Adeel, Sonya, and director Asim are similarly articulate and funny. So, flip open the magazine to see team Ho Mann Jahaan’s moody, jazzy shoot for GT and to read their fantastic interview.Untitled-1
December 01-15, 2015, Vol. XI, No. 24

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]T[/fdropcap]he British actress Emma Watson recently interviewed Malala Yousafzai after the screening of
“I am Malala,” a documentary about the activist’s life. It was a delight to watch these two young women hold forth on all the things they are passionate about: education, human rights, feminism. At one point Watson told Malala she had been hesitant to ask her if she identified as a feminist, given the baggage associated with the word. Malala smiled and replied in the affirmative: “Interestingly, this word, feminism, has been a very tricky word. [But] I’m a feminist and you all should be feminists, because feminism is another word for equality.” Kudos to Malala for claiming back the word; for being, more significantly, an exemplary model of one: a woman who is confident and comfortable in her skin, someone who instinctively understands that, as Hillary Clinton once said, “women’s rights are human rights.”Untitled-1
November 16-30, 2015, Vol. XI, No. 22

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]A[/fdropcap]s I went jogging at a local park in Lahore the other day, it occurred to me that I had not felt such elation in a long time. Elation at the glorious weather (a blue sky, a crisp chilly wind, large spreading trees dotted around the track); elation at seeing children shrieking and laughing as they climbed monkey bars and came tumbling down slides, their faces flush with energy; elation at the simple fact of being able to go for a run, for as long as I wanted, in the city I call home. As violence and terror have taken root all around us, our minds too have become clenched with fear. It was nice to just run, and run run run.Untitled-1
November 01-15, 2015, Vol. XI, No. 21

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]T[/fdropcap]here is an old (drawing-room) saying that no matter how many bombs go off in Pakistan, nothing comes in the way of fashion week(s). It is a complicated statement, both absurd and technically correct: absurd because fashion week could be a target of violence; technically correct because fashion weeks have powered on despite bombings, often on the same day, in different parts of the country. At heart, though, the emotion underlying the statement is one of optimism: Pakistani fashion is here to stay. Pakistan Loreal Bridal Week 2015 was a vivid testament to the unstoppable energies of Pakistani fashion. In the collections presented, there were highs and lows, certainly, but what stood out was the master craftsmanship of every single designer. It is almost as if the fashion industry, with its singularly high opinion of itself, is determined to boast Pakistan’s best image: creative, colourful, full of untapped energies. And we are luckier for it.Untitled-1
October 01-15, 2015, Vol. XI, No. 19

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]T[/fdropcap]en years ago, we launched GT in a Pakistan more mild and subdued than today: there was no social media, no PR firms to speak of, event management was just taking off, sponsorship and branding had yet to take their hold on fashion weeks. (Fashion weeks were yet to arrive!) We live in a different country today. Social media has transformed marketing, fashion, “image-ing,” if you will. And, so, we bring you a revamped GT packed with the latest on fashion, food, health, travel, romance, as well as the lives of your favourite celebrities. You’ll find features here — Great Romances and For Art’s Sake — you are unlikely to find elsewhere. So sit back (with a mug of chai or a glass of nimbu paani) and enjoy your heavier, savvier, prettier GT.Untitled-1
September 16-30, 2015, Vol. XI, No. 18

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]F[/fdropcap]rom the recent crop of Pakistani movies in theatres these days, “SHAH” is probably the most important. It is important because it tells, with a small budget and relatively simple camera work, a moving story about a forgotten Pakistani hero: a boy who grew up on the streets of Liyari, destitute and frail, who was taken into the care of a gentle soul who sent the boy, Syed Hussain Shah, to a rundown boxing facility to pass the time. The journey saw Shah becoming a champion pugilist who brought home a bronze medal in the 1988 Olympics, one of two individual medals the country has won, to date, in the Olympics. It is what happened to Shah after the games that is the wounded heart of the story. “SHAH” is a must-watch for those interested in good storytelling and in yet another instance of national shame, hidden and swept under the carpet, until now.Untitled-1
September 01-15, 2015, Vol. XI, No. 17

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]W[/fdropcap]e have worked hard to bring you an exciting issue. In Ally Adnan’s interview with Sikander Rizvi, the actor talks about show business, growing up without a father at home, as well as his illustrious grandmother, about whom he says, “I remember Nur Jehan as my loving and doting Daado.” In her conversation with GT, actor Humaima Malik speaks candidly about the difficult pleasures of being a successful woman in Pakistan. “People don’t like self-made, confident women; I’ve always been one.” In this country, no heaven for anyone looking to break the mould, may a thousand Malalas and Humaimas and Naseem Hameeds and Mukhtara Mais bloom.Untitled-1
August 16-31, 2015, Vol. XI, No. 16

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]T[/fdropcap]here was a time when you could get an infinite variety of mangoes every steaming summer. These varieties of fruit had the most poetic, romantic names, and you could almost visualise Mirza Ghalib partaking of the delights of this cornucopia in Koocha Bali Maraan of Old Delhi. Here are some of those magical names: Saharni (a variety originally developed in Saharanpur), Dussehri, Maalda, Samar Bahisht (literally, Fruit of the Heavens), Langra, and many more. These varieties are scarce now, and only the select few can enjoy them. That small nugget of a desi mango, which was just one gulp of the sweetest juice, has all but disappeared. The varieties which we normally get to eat now are Anwar Atol, Chaunsa and Sindhri. Chaunsa is the most ubiquitous mango; it’s grown widely because it has the greatest export potential. The other exotic varieties are sorely missed. Untitled-1
August 01-15, 2015, Vol. XI, No. 15

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]T[/fdropcap]his may qualify as mindless optimism or clutching at straws but there are some small, discernible signs of progress on Pakistan’s rocky road to peace and stability. Finally, the military is fighting terrorism, albeit selectively. Finally, Afghan-Taliban talks, or talks about talks, are underway. Finally, the judiciary seems to have found some equilibrium. Finally, the media’s biggest house has survived a vengeful onslaught. But these may be ephemeral gains if the next army chief reverts to form and doesn’t share the current chief’s integrity and courage. These may be ephemeral gains if the Supreme Court returns to the hanging judge’s ways and takes up the suo motu sword again. These may be ephemeral gains if there is a terror attack a la Bombay 2008. Are we condemned to live forever on the precipice?Untitled-1
July 16-31, 2015, VOL. XI, NO. 14

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]I[/fdropcap]recently saw the Bollywood movie “Dil Dharakne Do” and was, unexpectedly, quite moved by it. Zoya Akhtar, the director, elicits strong performances from mostly all her actors but Anil Kapoor and Shefali Shah are like bolts from the sky: sharp, piercing dialogue delivery when needed; edgy and uncomfortable emoting throughout the rest of the film. Ranveer surprised me with his easy-going charm, and the facial expressions — otherwise a bit much in other movies — work here quite nicely. The thing that got me: the movie is ostensibly breezy with great eye candy, great cinematography and great music. But it is wise and knowing about how chronically dysfunctional most families are, and how, in the end, inescapably close, too.Untitled-1
July 01-15, 2015, VOL. XI, NO. 13

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]T[/fdropcap]his week, we bring you a roundup of the identities and inspirations behind some of the best novelty cakes in Pakistan. After reading the thoughts of the creators of these mind-bogglingly fantastic cakes,
I am struck by the obsession and dedication involved in the making of superheroes and funny faces and labyrinthine gardens. From the meticulousness required in dealing with gum paste to getting a helping hand from one’s husband to reflecting back over how a rose-coloured hue would’ve been better than a darker red, these are maestros truly obsessed with their craft. It was nothing short of a delight peaking into their minds.Untitled-1Good Times Issue: June 16-30, 2015, VOL. XI, NO. 12

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]L[/fdropcap]ast week, international cricket returned to Pakistan. It was so heartening to see hundreds and thousands of Lahoris throng Gaddafi stadium. They cheered on their team as if we were playing a world-cup match: such is the power of and thirst for cricket played on home turf. When Shahid Afridi hit a sixer on the match played on May 24, the crowd roared—Pakistanis just love Lala, especially when he plays well. Interestingly, half the Pakistani team had never played on home soil before. After the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in 2009, when international cricket was paused for six years on account of terrorism-related worries, we finally hosted a team. And in the hosting of Zimbabwe, there was fervour and madness and an almost miraculous happiness that things were back to normal.Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: June 01-15, 2015, VOL. XI, NO. 11

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]T[/fdropcap]his week, Jalal Salahuddin graces the pages of GT after a long hiatus. He talks about how, after working in Pakistan for 12 years as part of the group of event managers that started the industry at home, he wondered: if Pakistan can export music and other talent to India, why not services? And so, with his characteristic optimism and creative brilliance, Jalal decided to partner with Rohit Bal, known as the Yves Saint Laurent of India. But Jalal is not the only one who has tapped into the vast possibilities of Indo-Pak collaboration. Mahira Khan is co-starring in a movie with Shahrukh Khan; Zeb and Haniya have mesmerised Indian audiences with their songs; our authors and designers are rockstars in Indian cities. Imagine if this spirit of entrepreneurial freedom extended to our traders and businessman and tech geniuses. After all, how long can the governments of both countries prevent this from happening?Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: May 16-31, 2015, VOL. XI, NO. 10

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]I[/fdropcap]lived away from Lahore for nine years — in Gloucestershire and Oxford and Delhi and Paris and Boston and New York — but nothing unnerves me as much as moving to Karachi. Karachi is both exhilarating and dangerous, violent and beautiful in the sense that it’s Pakistan’s only real (cosmopolitan) city. It’s easy to adjust to the rhythms of this vast port city. At night, when one comes home exhausted from work, a powerful breeze blows across the road. You can often stand on your balcony and look out at the swaying palms and rushing cars: here is life, here is growth. But here is death and decay too.Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: May 01-15, 2015, VOL. XI, NO. 09

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]T[/fdropcap]he magazine this week is packed with exciting features: actor Fahad Mustafa, in his interview, talks about how the best of Pakistani creativity is slowly moving towards cinema. For a long time, Pakistan’s drama industry was the only growing and vibrant industry around. Films are changing that trend. The rise of the entertainer film, in particular — movies centred around love and comedy rather than jihad and Islam — is a good omen. Also check out our interview with designer Syeda Amera, the only Pakistani to present at the J. Spring Fashion Show in New York which took place on the Hudson river. Finally, for some fashion-related humour, don’t miss our Q&A with ace designer Ali Xeeshan.Untitled-1Good Times Issue: April 16-30, 2015, VOL. XI, NO. 08

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]T[/fdropcap]his week’s issue includes our annual Lawn Survival Guide, a round-up of the top collections in town, funny things overheard at launches, and, finally, what our designers have to say about the lawn madness that descends on Pakistan every summer. Hassan Shehryar Yasin’s quote is a winning defence of the mania: “The ladies wear lawn 9 out of 12 months so it’s not just craziness. The industry is growing: because of the designers, because of magazines, because of fashion weeks, because of the television channels, because of so much that is taking place together. We are catering to that demand.” On a lighter note, designer Arjumand Amin had this to say: “Isn’t it ironic that a casual everyday cloth to keep the heat at bay should bring madness, insane competition, Indian actresses, bloggers gone bonkers and the unbelievable cry, ‘It’s sold out!’ two minutes into the sale?!”

Happy shopping, ladies. 🙂Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: April 01-15, 2015, VOL. XI, NO. 07

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]I[/fdropcap]t was Women’s Day last week and I was thinking of the various Pakistani women whom I admire. Each of them has in some way embodied the spirit of courage combined with grace. Asma Jehangir has worked for one cause — women’s rights — all her life, always rising to the occasion in fearless fashion. Malala Yousafzai’s stunning maturity at age 17, combined with an even more remarkable modesty and poise, is something all Pakistani women should admire. My own mother, Jugnu Mohsin, has demonstrated to me the definition of strength and love. This is something women understand far better than men: that it is possible to be both fearless and kind, and often it is this combination that is most beautiful, and works best. Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: March 16-31, 2015, VOL. XI, NO. 06

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]T[/fdropcap]his week, we bring you a shoot from the design house Rano’s Heirlooms, one of my personal favourites in Pakistan’s chaotic fashion industry. Examining any small piece of Rano’s will tell you of the many different elements that went into the design sewn onto a light muslin fabric: cotton, gold cotton, thread, pearls, metallic materials. Perhaps the thing I like most about Rano’s Heirlooms is that the embroidery is the result of an artistic conversation between Rano and the wearer, where the designer explains what she has in mind and the client sets out her own particular vision. The results are stunning, intricate, unfussy creations befitting princesses of a bygone era. Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: March 01-15, 2015, VOL. XI, NO. 05

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]I[/fdropcap]recently finished watching “Dhoop Kinare” for the first time. What a wonderful, playful, sensitive, funny, all-round beautiful drama serial. I watched it with a friend and all we did was laugh and chuckle and sigh at the beauty and wit of it all. There are no anguished tears, no dramatic monologues about life and death, nothing stagey or artificial-seeming. A dazzling lightness runs throughout the play, which I believe is its principal charm. I was mesmerised by Haseena Moin’s dialogue (when I bumped into her at the Karachi Literature Festival I introduced her to the idea of a selfie!). I also had the pleasure of meeting Rahat Kazmi, the immortal Dr Ahmer, as well as Dr Irfan, played to silky-smooth perfection by Sajjid Hassan. “Dhoop Kinare” is that rare thing: a drama serial that delights. Here’s hoping our TV industry can produce — alongside the hundreds of serials of women beating their chests — something as light and charming as “Dhoop Kinare.” Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: February 16-31, 2015, VOL. XI, NO. 04

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]I[/fdropcap]n our second installment of interviews with Pakistan’s leading event managers, we asked Jalal Salahuddin, Aamir Mazhar, Frieha Altaf and Zahra Aslam all the questions you have been asking us: Why is there an increasing trend of having bigger haan and nikkah functions? How, mainly, does hiring an event manager benefit the host? For product launches, what’s the recommended way? Is there such a thing as too much hype? The answers are varied and fascinating, providing insight into the needs and wants of Pakistan’s burgeoning consumer class. Also check out our interview with trailblazing journalist Reema Abbasi as well as our conversation with actor and musician RUP of JoSH fame. Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: February 01-15, 2015, VOL. XI, NO. 03

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]L[/fdropcap]Lahore has a wonderful new bookstore, Books n Beans. A joint venture of Vanguard Books and The Elbow Room, the space is a vintage bookstore-cum-coffee-shop. From memoir to literary fiction to history, the shop has it all — at amazing discount prices. Books n Beans also has one of the best collections of Urdu prose and poetry. Twice a month, the bookstore hosts discussions and panels with Pakistan’s leading writers, thinkers, and artists. Lahoris looking for a comfy space buzzing with intellectual excitement, you have a new home in Books n Beans! Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: January 16-31, 2015, VOL. XI, NO. 02

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]B[/fdropcap]y the time you read this, 2015 will have begun. But my mind goes back to that clear winter’s day, on Dec. 16, in Peshawar, when 134 schoolchildren and some of their teachers were murdered in cold blood. As Pakistanis, we have reached the point where it is hard to know how to even think about such tragedies: there have been so many. If Peshawar is to be a wake-up call, let it remind us that these acts of terror are not isolated events happening to “minority” communities. Pakistan has become a terror-maddened place, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to reconcile one’s love for this country with the terrible, self-mutilating pattern of its existence. Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: January 01-15, 2015, VOL. XI, NO. 01

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]I[/fdropcap]I recently returned from a short trip to Karachi. The moment I landed at Karachi airport, I noticed how light the air was, how easy it was to breathe. Lahore’s air is thick with pollution; a pall of smog hovers. The Indian writer Pankaj Mishra describes Karachi thus: “I had expected a meaner place, acting out its reputation as the setting for violent battles between militant groups of Muslilm migrants from India and the police; and instead, with the spies gone, in this port city — its warm sea-scrubbed air and clear light and colonial buildings so much like Bombay, and so unlike the ingrown seediness of Peshawar or the diseased grandeur of Lahore and the wide suburban vacancies of Islamabad — suddenly I felt freer than I had ever before in Pakistan.” Whenever I go to Karachi, I feel the same way. Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: December 16-31, 2015, VOL. X, NO. 24

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]W[/fdropcap]e’ve worked hard to bring you a fantastic issue this week. In an exclusive feature, “Master of Ceremonies,” we ask three of Pakistan’s most versatile event managers everything you need to know about the business: insider tips on how to make weddings memorable, the importance of lighting, the logic of having a soft launch vs a splashy one, the beauty of thinking out of the box when it comes to clothes, and why a shaadi stage must always be curated in muted tones — these maestros dish out generous advice on all things eventsrelated. Don’t miss GT’s “Tweets of the Week” from your favourite singers and actors, as well as our conversation with blogger Sadaf Zarrar of SiddySays fame. Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: December 01-15, 2014, VOL. X, NO. 23

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]S[/fdropcap]hama Bibi and her husband Shahzad Masih perished last week at the hands of a violent mob. The Christian couple, falsely accused of blasphemy, were beaten to a pulp and then thrown into the brick kiln where they worked as bonded labourers. Pakistanis have expressed outrage, shock, and shame at this gruesome crime. But until our state decides to do something about a man-made law introduced by the British and tightened under Zia ul Haq’s rule, nothing will change. It is telling that Parliament does not debate the issue, nor, after Shaheed Salmaan Taseer’s murder, does our otherwise “vibrant” media. We are living in a country where the popular discourse and education curricula are full of religious exhortation. Greater religiosity is not necessarily greater extremism. Institutionalised intolerance, however, is a monster with endless appetite.Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: November 16-30, 2014, VOL. X, NO. 22

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]F[/fdropcap]oodies in Lahore: your city has a new restaurant and I feel it my moral duty to tell you about it. The Lahore Social (TLS) is a gorgeous, continental food-serving eatery by restauranteur Sohail Salahuddin. We began with duck rolls that were nothing short of revelatory: fragrant, light, crunchy. I’m a sucker for risotto and have, over the years, sniffed out some of the best in Italy. The seafood risotto I had at TLS was stewy and delicious. I could hardly believe I was in Lahore. Their pasta, by the way, is all handmade. So when my Tortellini arrived I practically inhaled it. The three-cheese Tortellini is utterly fresh and light and leaves you craving more (the portions are sophisticated!). We ended with the seasonal fruit crumble — hot and piping and bursting with goodness. Head over to TLS and feel your heart (and stomach) burst with pride and satisfaction.Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: November 01-15, 2014, VOL. X, NO. 21

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]A[/fdropcap]s I write, Malala Yousafzai has become the youngest person ever to receive the Nobel prize. This is a moment of joy and pride for Pakistan, and I hope the “haters” will learn something from it. When I met Malala in London exactly a year ago and asked her what she made of all those calling her a CIA agent, she said, “I don’t blame them. There is a severe dearth of leaders. The people don’t trust anyone anymore. They are constantly searching for answers, and there are no good answers, so I don’t blame them.” A generous and subtle statement from then 16-year-old Malala, now Pakistan’s second Nobel Laureate. When I asked Malala if she missed home, she said, “yahaan Swat ki tarah darakht hain, darya hain, sabza hai — laikin voh khoobsoorti nahi.”Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: October 16-31, 2014, VOL. X, NO. 20

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]A[/fdropcap]few months ago I read something that stayed with me. A blogger for Slate wrote, “No makeup is the new fashion frontier.” In other words, a clean bare face is a bold and confident “look” in and of itself. Some of the women whose style I admire most tend, often, to have very little makeup on. Instead, their style — which may or may not be relaxed — speaks for itself. I admire these women because they appear comfortable in their skin. Some of the world’s most famous fashion designers, including Stella McCartney and Diane von Furstenberg, wear very little makeup (the muted look has become fashionable on runways too). Of course, once in a while every woman wants to glam up; it’s fun. But as DVF famously said: “No one should notice how your eyes are done or the color of your eyeshadow. They should just notice you and notice that you’re beautiful, that you have beautiful eyes.”Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: October 01-15, 2014, VOL. X, NO. 19

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]I[/fdropcap]’m currently in New York for a friend’s wedding. I lived and worked in this city for two and a half years after college, and every time I visit, I am struck by my relationship with the city I once called home. I like New York much more as a visitor: when the streets seem newly lit, the music around cafés and bars a generous gift, the flitting faces a thing to observe. Every morning, strips of sunshine lap across my window. The light is clear and sparkling; below, a hum of cars and people. When I lived here, I floated around in my universe, oblivious, often, to the magical shape of life around me. Distance is a good education..Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: September 16-30, 2014, VOL. X, NO. 18

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]T[/fdropcap]his week, we bring you some wonderful items from the world of entertainment and fashion. GT profiles Adnan Siddiqui, arguably Pakistan’s longest-standing heartthrob. If actors should cultivate an X factor, Adnan’s is his unparalleled grace. We also asked Khadijah Shah, the brains behind Elan, about her favourite designers and the items she cherishes most in her closet. It is not surprising that those items are things invested with meaning, evoking Khadijah’s memories, for example, of her grandparents. Don’t miss GT’s tribute to Robin Williams, he of the soft eyes and melting smile. I remember watching Mrs. Doubtfire as a child. How he made us laugh.Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: September 01-15, 2014, VOL. X, NO. 17

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]I[/fdropcap]recently returned from a short trip to India. I went to Simla, the summer capital of British India, to Delhi, and to Amritsar. Crossing Wagah by foot, I was struck by the similarities between Lahore and Amritsar: long rows of eucalyptus, kikar, neem and mango trees. The summer heat had wilted the vegetation but, on my way back, the downpour by the south-west monsoon had returned the land to its lush green colour. Just as I was settling into a comfortable thought, that “this is JUST like Lahore,”
I saw a woman whizz past me on a motorbike. She was middle-aged, in jeans and a bright kurta, and she swung through the traffic with confidence. No one stared; no one looked. It reminded me of what Manto said: “Hamara maashra ek aurat ko kotha chalane ki ijazat tou deta hai. Taanga chalane ki nahin.”Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: August 16-31, 2014, VOL. X, NO. 16

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]L[/fdropcap]ast week, on a muggy July night, I rushed to the Gulberg Galleria in Lahore to buy a few shalwar kameez for work. The building is so well-lit, and raunaqqi, that you can’t help but wander into every shop. And so I did. For those of you who haven’t visited MUSE yet, you’re missing out. The quality, and beauty, of their summer collection matches the best of European fashion: exquisitely tailored, meticulously thought-out outfits. There are stunning voluminous skirts in silk, A-line shirts in white cotton that look straight out of a Parisian boutique: minimalist, chic, gorgeously cut. It is a pleasure, and a delight, to see Pakistani fashion matching the best.Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: August 01-15, 2014, VOL. X, NO. 15

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]E[/fdropcap]very week, we work hard to bring you an interesting issue. We’ve put together a fantastic feature on Game of Thrones that fans of the show will enjoy. Sana Shah writes a moving piece on her thoughts on leaving New York, the most cosmopolitan city in the world. We’ve also curated, for the fans and followers of Kate Middleton, a collage of some of the iconic “looks” she shared with her late mother-in-law. Since this is the month of fasting and, intermittently, feasting, we asked some of Pakistan’s leading lights what they eat for iftari and sehri. Was happy to see parathas popping up everywhere. On the fashion front, don’t miss GT’s “Spotlight” featuring chikankari, eminently wearable in the summer, as well as Cynosure’s elegant Eid collection. Enjoy!Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: July 16-31, 2014, VOL. X, NO. 14

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]T[/fdropcap]elevision is the most powerful medium in Pakistan. And we are getting terrific feedback on our profiles of your favourite stars and shows. This week we bring you a review of A-Plus’s drama serial, Marasim, an exquisitely directed story about a done-to-death concept (watta satta). Saba Hameed’s understated brutality is a thing to behold. On the fashion front, we have a nostalgic look back at high-waisted trousers (with the likes of Waheed Murad, Zeenat Aman and Elizabeth Taylor modelling them). We profile Lahore-based designer Arjumand Amin, whose aesthetic veers away from the current trend of hectic ornamentation. Finally, we bring you summer selfies of your favourite celebrities, grinning and pouting under the not-so-Tuscan sun. Enjoy! Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: July 01-15, 2014, VOL. X, NO. 13

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]T[/fdropcap]his week, we interviewed actress Hina Dilpazeer, arguably Pakistan’s most talented comedic artist. She is most famous for having played several different roles, with great energy and verve, in “Quddusi Sahab ki Bewah.” Hina is luminous in these roles chiefly because she is an inspired and inspiring human being. She also played the character of Momo, Ayesha Omer’s absent-minded mother-in-law in Bulbulay, one of Pakistan’s most successful comedies. Don’t miss our feature “Doing Dubai” in which we ask a clutch of Pakistani women about their lives in Dubai — where to shop, where to dine, but more broadly, what they like about their lives in the Middle East and what they miss about home. Their answers are honest and moving.Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: June 16-30, 2014, VOL. X, NO. 12

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]I[/fdropcap]n 1998, Zil e Huma sang at my house. I was a child, but I remember being mesmerised by her voice, her green silk shalwar kameez, her white and pink and sparkling cheeks. She sang her mother’s most famous songs and we listened, and watched, in awe. Now, Huma ji is no longer with us. But as Ally Adnan says in GT’s tribute to her, “there are the incredible performances that made many Pakistani weddings memorable that we will miss. And the warmth of her persona that made everyone around her feel loved and important.” Her children and sisters share with us their personal memories of Huma ji, from her love of feeding her siblings with her hands, to the unstinting encouragement she gave her boys. The tributes are full of love, as she was. We will miss you, Huma ji. Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: June 01-15, 2014, VOL. X, NO. 11

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]S[/fdropcap]ummer is upon us! We’ve put together a delicious spread featuring desi thirstquenchers — kaanji, chachia, imli ka sherbet — that have amazing health benefits to boot. The recipes are from GT’s Saba Ahmed, whose family has been making homemade squash and jams for as long as she can remember. We bring you a review of the drama serial “Bashar Momin,” with an exclusive interview with Faisal Qureshi and behind-the-scenes photos of what is being billed as Pakistan’s most expensive production yet. Check out our list of “What’s Hot” — and what’s not — for your monthly dose of food and fashion trends. There’s lots more: flip open and enjoy! Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: May 16-31, 2014, VOL. X, NO. 10

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]Y[/fdropcap]ou hold in your hands an action-packed issue. We bring you the lowdown on Pakistan Sunsilk Fashion Week, from bestdressed to the top five collections. We loved, in particular, the designs of Khaadi Khaas, MUSE, Elan, Nida Azwer and Body Focus Museum. Don’t miss GT’s profile of producer Nida Bano Qureshi, the latest entrant into the world of video-making. Nomi Ansari’s shoot, Gravity, is one of our most delicious yet. Finally, check out GT’s review of the forthcoming documentary, “Pakistan Four,” that follows the careers of four Pakistani superwomen — a weightlifting champion, a comedian, a chef, and a fencer. You will be be amazed.Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: May 01-15, 2014, VOL. X, NO. 09

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]I[/fdropcap]n this issue, we bring you all things “Mera Sultan.” Our obsession, and that of large swathes of the Muslim- Arab world, with the 16th century TV saga of the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman, is a thing to behold. With production values to rival the best international serials, the story’s high drama is captivating, not least because it seems like a slice of “our own” history. Sultan Suleiman is a man of magnificent achievement and a monumentally flawed personal life. Falling prey to harem intrigues, the Sultan eliminates his talented wazir, then his heir apparent and finally his last son with some ability. At the end of his life, he hands over power to his least able son, Selim the Sot, from whose reign begins the decline of the Ottoman empire. There is plenty to heed in this tale of the futility of power without principles and magnificence without morality. Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: April 16-30, 2014, VOL. X, NO. 08

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]T[/fdropcap]’s ‘Beauty Bible’ meticulously catalogues the best tips in town: from advice on which foundation NOT to buy to makeup artists Sabrina and Natasha’s own account of products they can’t live without. Our big feature this week is the Lawn Survival Guide, a humorous (and deadly serious) account of the shapes and forms that lawn madness takes in Pakistan. Case in point: an exuberant shopper was seen exiting a launch accompanied by a maid clutching a large bottle of mineral water and a plastic bag. The shopper was seen removing her cloth from the paper bag and handing it to said maid who proceeded to rapidly shrink the cloth with the bottled water. Somewhere in Lahore, a tailor restlessly awaited them. Don’t miss this delicious feature. Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: April 01-15, 2014, VOL. X, NO. 07

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]L[/fdropcap]ast week, I returned from the US to Pakistan. When I got to the airport at Washington DC, I heard the flight had been cancelled. Hundreds of us were standing in lines to get rebooked. After an hour and a half of waiting, I reached the ticketing counter. I slid my passport forward, and discreetly looked at the name tag of the ticketing agent: Riaz Hussain. He was silent. After about ten minutes I couldn’t take it anymore. “Hussain Sahab, are you from Pakistan?” I asked. He nodded. His fingers were flying over the keyboard. “Hussain sahab, mein ne Lahore zaroori pauhanchna hai. Dost ki shaadi hai.” He looked up, but didn’t say anything. After 20 minutes, he handed two spanking new tickets to me, on a new airline. The other passengers, meanwhile, had been issued vouchers for hotels, told to come back the next day. At that moment, I was so grateful for Pakistani immigrants in the US. “Thank you so much, Hussain sahab!” I said, breathless. As I wheeled my suitcases away, he said, with a smile, “Beta, run.” Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: March 16-31, 2014, VOL. X, NO. 06

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]C[/fdropcap]ome February, bright flyers appear on the boulevards of Mall Road: The Lahore Literary Festival, or the LLF, is coming back to town. For three days, students, professors, musicians, artists, homemakers, designers, mothers, grandmothers, and indeed nani’s old group of school friends, get ready to hit Alhamra. There are sessions on politics, on satire, on movies, on books, on the making of books into movies. And Lahoris love every minute of it. It’s not just that in a country where good news is in short supply, events like the LLF cheer the spirit and gladden the heart. The KLF and LLF are attempts to reclaim spaces of artistic and cultural activity in Pakistan. May we have more festivals. May a thousand LLF’s bloom. Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: March 01-15, 2014, VOL. X, NO. 05

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]T[/fdropcap]his week, we used Valentine’s Day as an excuse to ask some of Pakistan’s most famous faces: what does it take to have a happy relationship? The echo of similarity in the responses surprised me. Repeatedly, our contributors said: “Give your partner space,” “Support and respect each other.” They did not say, “have more candle-lit dinners together.” In other words, be kind and be practical. My friend Aamina Sheikh is worth quoting here: “[A relationship] is like chewing gum. We stretch it. Chew it. Savor it. Get irritated by it. Blow bubbles with it. Squirm at its redundancy. Wonder at its longevity. Giggle at its idiocy. It’s all this and more.” But perhaps most moving are Anwar Maqsood sahab’s words. He says: “We give each other roses wrapped in plastic. Plastic is the worst thing for any flower. All…poetry tells us that every day is Valentine’s Day. The 365 days of the year should be spent loving each other. Then there would be no terrorists and children would be able to get an education. Love these children by giving them a bag of books. Love them by lightening their burden so that they may continue to educate themselves. This to me is what Valentine’s Day stands for.” Enjoy, folks!Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: February 16-28, 2014, VOL. X, NO. 04

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]K[/fdropcap]iran Chaudhry Amlani went on a gorgeous holiday to Australia and didn’t want to return. When she did, she found Bombay more welcoming than ever. Kiran’s diary this week is a moving account of what it feels like to have more than one home. In GT’s roundup of the week’s most amusing tweets, Indian actor Anil Kapoor tweets that Leonardo DiCaprio is the best actor in the world. While it is hard to calibrate who is The Best, DiCaprio has proven again and again (“The Departed,” “Django Unchained,” “Wolf of Wall Street,”) that he is one of the greatest actors of our time. Check out GT Spotlight to find out why blazers are the chicest item of clothing this winter; see also Maram & Aabroo’s exquisite shoot of designer Fahad Hussayn’s customdesigned jewels. Finally, don’t miss our conversation with artist Julius John, whose recent show at Rohtas Gallery in Lahore has left viewers stunned and a little bit speechless. Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: February 01-15, 2014, VOL. X, NO. 03

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]F[/fdropcap]rom dress malfunctions to collapsing marquees: there are a number of things that could go wrong on the day of your wedding. Don’t miss our “Shaadi Manual” — an indispensable guide featuring last-minute disasters as well as remedies from experts in the field. On the fashion front, Nickie Nina’s shoot is a delicious twist on the European idea of a backyard fete. GT’s Saba Ahmed talks to members of the band ‘Poor Rich Boy’; Jalal Salahuddin reports on the creation of authentic Lebanese and Italian cuisine in Pakistani kitchens, and Natasha Noman gives us a hilarious lowdown on what’s hot on American television. Check out if you haven’t already. Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: January 16-31, 2014, VOL. X, NO. 02

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]I[/fdropcap]t’s the first day of the New Year, and we have worked hard to bring you an action-packed issue. GT has shortlisted the ten best places to brunch in Lahore, Islamabad, and Karachi. In an exclusive feature, the members of the Pakistan cricket team have shared with us their New Year Resolutions (read also the New Year rezzies of our top designers, artists and film stars). GT’s shoot this week features a stunning formal collection by Fahad Hussayn. Finally, actor Mohib Mirza shares his thoughts on hosting the hottest show in town, Pakistan Idol. Here’s hoping 2014 brings peace and calm to our poor, benighted land. Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: January 01-15, 2014, VOL. X, NO. 01

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]I[/fdropcap]n the first installment of their diary for GT, makeup experts Maram and Aabroo share tips on beauty as well as insider news from the world of fashion; London-based filmmaker Numra Siddiqui discovers the jhoolas outside the Edhi center, where unwanted babies are dropped off. These are swing bassinets placed outside each Edhi center with a message in both English and Urdu saying, “Do not kill, leave the baby in the cradle.” We bring you an exclusive shoot from Generation’s Aafreen Collection, a gorgeous ode to eastern minimalism; we bring you a sampling of the most amusing tweets of the week, from Amitabh Bachhan’s words of humility to Mathira’s defense of herself and the inimitable Taher Shah of eye-to-eye fame. Get comfy with a steaming mug of chai, and enjoy! Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: December 16-31, 2013, VOL. IX, NO. 24

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]T[/fdropcap]his week, we bring you an exclusive Maram & Aabroo shoot featuring the gorgeously versatile Juggan Kazim; a profile of Lahorebased makeup artist Leena Ghani, who is doing Pakistani women a service by shattering the conventions of bridal makeup; a peak into the world of celebrity tweets, from the silly to the serious (Madhuri Dixit-Nene — yes, that’s her new name — loves twitter, it turns out); a look back at actors wearing denim, a blast-from-the-past bound to amuse; and finally, Kiran Chaudhary Amlani’s moving dispatch from Mumbai on the reception of Pakistani Art in India. If you haven’t yet, check out GT’s website, for some fun, friendly browsing.Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: December 01-15, 2013, VOL. IX, NO. 23

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]I[/fdropcap]n a country reeling from five years of unabated terrorism, an exceedingly important debate is raging in Pakistan: Is Hakimullah Mehsud, the former leader of the Tehreek-e-Taliban — a famously cruel man, responsible for the deaths of thousands of civilians, soldiers, and police officers — a martyr? The government, media and opposition have displayed unprecedented unity in condemning the death of Mehsud. No matter that one of the central aims of the Taliban, irrespective of the success or failure of “talks,” is the dismantling of the government as we know it. We can only draw one conclusion from this: that Imran Khan and Chaudhary Nisar are ready to sacrifice this haraam democracy nonsense for the collective peace of mind of the Pakistani nation. JUI-chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman was the most clear-eyed: “Anyone killed by the US, even a dog, is a martyr.” Why does the world continue to look at us with pity and alarm? Must be a conspiracy.Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: November 16-30, 2013, VOL. IX, NO. 22


[fdropcap]Y[/fdropcap]You hold in your hands one of GT’s most exciting issues to date. Kiran Chaudhary Amlani reports on the incredible reception of Pakistani fashion in India, noting that Lahore designers fared better in Delhi, Karachi designers better in Bombay. We profile Nina Kashif, a Karachi-based producer who gives us the lowdown on the drama involved in making dramas. We bring you a blow-by-blow account of Bridal Week in Lahore, from back-stage quips to the best-dressed. GT’s shoot this week showcases the efforts of actress Aamina Sheikh in helping spread breast cancer awareness in Pakistan. ‘YouMatter’ is a free, multi-lingual app that teaches women across Pakistan how to conduct self-examinations in the privacy of their homes. Some of Pakistan’s leading designers, including Sania Maskatiya, have leant their support to ‘YouMatter,’ creating scarves whose proceeds will go towards breast cancer patients unable to afford treatment. These are gorgeous, startling images that we hope will bring attention to an important cause.Untitled-1
Good Times Issue: November 01-15, 2013, VOL. IX, NO. 21

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]I[/fdropcap]n this issue of the magazine, we bring you music (a profile of Sufi songstress Sanam Marvi), a delightful DIY-manual on planters, a summary of current fashion, and a nostalgic tour of what styling looked like in the 90s. Some of Pakistan’s most iconic models — Aaminah Haq, Vaneezah Ahmed, Bibi — began modelling then. Untouched by photoshop, their look was fresh and powerful. As Stardust, Cineblitz and Filmfare magazines made their way into the market from the across the border, local shoots became more Bollywoodized: big hair, pink lipsticks, shiny eyeshadows. (Thank God our models didn’t go the way of Kajol in ‘Yeh Dillagi,’ prancing around in a school-girl frock, or Karishma in ‘Andaz Apna Apna,’ sporting a frilly dressing gown with a veil). In the early 2000s, influenced by French Vogue and Elle, styling changed again, this time influenced by the subtler touches of Europe. Don’t miss this exclusive feature.
Good Times Issue: October 16-31, 2013, VOL. IX, NO. 20

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]I[/fdropcap]recently had the misfortune of seeing “Diana,” a new film about the Princess of Wales. There isn’t just one thing wrong with the movie: wooden, soppy dialogue, a bland storyline detailing nothing new about Diana’s life (good biopics always reveal, or attempt to reveal, hitherto unknown aspects of their subject’s lives), and bad casting. The film follows Diana’s love affair with Hasnat Khan, a Pakistani heart surgeon she met by chance while visiting a friend in hospital. A wide-nostrilled, slightly portly, British-accented Naveen Andrews is terribly miscast as Khan: he looks nothing like the Pathan doctor. And about Diana we learn nothing new: she is the “most famous woman in the world,” we are reminded again and again. Khan quotes Rumi to her, without a hint of irony or playfulness, and she swoons, batting her heavily-mascaraed lashes. At one point, she lands up in Lahore to introduce herself to Khan’s family. The movie is unintentionally hysterical. Watch it on a night when you have nothing to do, and you’ll laugh yourself to sleep.
Good Times Issue: October 01-15, 2013, VOL. IX, NO. 19

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]I[/fdropcap]recently saw the documentary “Scatter my Ashes at Bergdorf’s,” which pays tribute to the most iconic department store in the world: Bergdorf Goodman, located on Manhattan’s legendary Fifth Avenue. The documentary features interviews with the world’s best designers, celebrities, and style icons. The “cast” comprises Karl Lagerfeld, Oscar de la Renta, Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, Vera Wang, Georgio Armani, and many, many others. The designers are positively radiant with praise (A designer is taken seriously once he or she starts stocking at Bergdorf). But the most enchanting part of the documentary deals with the creation of the annual Christmas window displays: the behind-the-scenes toil, the artistic vision attached to each display, and finally, the breathtaking final product, which often rises to the level of an art installation. If you’re interested in high fashion, go watch “Scatter my Ashes at Bergdorf’s.” More than anything, it is a tribute to fantasy.
Good Times Issue: September 16-30, 2013, VOL. IX, NO. 18

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]E[/fdropcap]gypt is, once again, a police state. As I write, the death toll has passed 1000. Not only has the coup set back the country’s democracy project for God-knows-how-long, but it will also empower the region’s autocrats: Bashar Assad will continue the ruthless massacre of his opponents in Syria, the Saudi and Bahraini regimes will continue to muzzle dissent, and potential coup-makers at home will watch and take note. Meanwhile, the Obama administration’s rhetoric about democracy will continue to ring hollow. The Muslim Brotherhood may not be ideal, but the violent, unlawful suppression of such groups will breed extremism all over the Muslim world.
Good Times Issue: September 01-15, 2013, VOL. IX, NO. 17

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]A[/fdropcap]s I write, Ramzan is ending and Eid shopping is in full bloom. In Lahore, strings of fairy-lights adorn the British-era buildings on Mall Road, many of which have been converted into shops; at Liberty market, as the temperature drops slightly in the evening, middle-aged women and their teenage daughters step out to buy cloth and shoes and jewellery; at M.M. Alam road nearby, a more upscale crop of shops has emerged offering a wide selection of Western wear. All these shops — from the cramped lanes of Mall Road to the broad avenues of M.M. Alam — are thronged with people. For a country where good news is in short supply, it’s nice to see people mingling, laughing and mulling intensely over whether to buy a khussa or a pair of stilettos. Sometimes, it’s the small things that count.
Good Times Issue: August 16-31, 2013, VOL. IX, NO. 16

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]A[/fdropcap]s I write, Ramzan is ending and Eid shopping is in full bloom. In Lahore, strings of fairy-lights adorn the British-era buildings on Mall Road, many of which have been converted into shops; at Liberty market, as the temperature drops slightly in the evening, middle-aged women and their teenage daughters step out to buy cloth and shoes and jewellery; at M.M. Alam road nearby, a more upscale crop of shops has emerged offering a wide selection of Western wear. All these shops — from the cramped lanes of Mall Road to the broad avenues of M.M. Alam — are thronged with people. For a country where good news is in short supply, it’s nice to see people mingling, laughing and mulling intensely over whether to buy a khussa or a pair of stilettos. Sometimes, it’s the small things that count.
Good Times Issue: August 16-31, 2013, VOL. IX, NO. 16


[fdropcap]A[/fdropcap]s the world watched and lauded 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai during her speech at the United Nations, many of her fellow Pakistanis condemned her and called her a stooge of the West. The scorn heaped on Malala drips of irony: the same people condemning her for cosying up to the West are jostling outside the US embassy for visas. When the West ignores non-terrorist Pakistanis, we say, “Why don’t they highlight the positive aspects of Pakistan?” When they do acknowledge and promote Pakistanis doing good things, we condemn those very individuals for having ‘sold out’ to the West. Why are we so full of rage? As the Irish poet W.B. Yeats wrote, ‘The best lack all conviction / while the worst are full of passionate intensity.’
Good Times Issue: August 01-15, 2013, VOL. IX, NO. 15

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]A[/fdropcap]s I was grocery shopping the other day I saw a woman in her mid-thirties with a bright, happy face, wearing a loose chicken kurta. She had applied a slim streak of eyeliner, a dab of blush, and some lip balm on her lips. And she looked wonderful. It’s hot, it’s bright, it’s sunny; so, ladies, go easy on the makeup. The more foundation you paste onto your skin, the more likely it is to melt and leave creases on your face. Substitute every puff of foundation for a glass of water — we should be drinking at least ten glasses every day — and see the difference it makes. As you browse our photos of the Lux Style Awards, you’ll see some radiant faces. They are radiant precisely because they are not caked in a haze of indiscriminate colour.
Good Times Issue: July 16-31, 2013, VOL. IX, NO. 14

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]M[/fdropcap]y heart sank when I heard the news of ten foreign tourists and a Pakistani being shot to death while hiking in the Nanga Parbat mountains, an area that until now has been largely peaceful. At least a dozen militants wearing uniforms used by the Gilgit Scouts ambushed the trekking tourists. Our tourism industry has shrunk over the decades, and it is poised to shrink even more after this ghastly episode. If the Taliban have claimed responsibility, why can’t the state go after them? Pakistan is the only country in the world where, in the span of a few days, an MNA can demand the release of Mumtaz Qadri, the Taliban can kill foreigners, as well as women, children, and polio workers, and yet we continue to think the US or India are our biggest enemies.
Good Times Issue: July 01-15, 2013, VOL. IX, NO. 13

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]P[/fdropcap]akistani summers are intolerably hot, and we all need cool drinks to keep us going. Two of my favourite thirst quenchers are mango lassi and nimbu pani. The lassi is more of a dessert, to savor and sip after a heavy meal in the afternoon, especially if one plans on taking it easy. Nimbu pani, however, can be had multiple times a day, takes less than five minutes to make, and is, depending on how much sugar you like, a wonderfully healthy drink. It cures indigestion and protects from dehydration. My favourite recipe involves throwing some coarsely chopped mint and a pinch of cumin into the blender along with the usual stuff: lemon juice, sugar, salt, pepper. Try it this week?
Good Times Issue: June 16-30, 2013, VOL. IX, NO. 12


[fdropcap]I[/fdropcap]n this whole din of the elections that we’ve just gone through, one snapshot on TV stands out in my mind. It is of a man from Rawalpindi, speaking in desperation of his sleepless nights, wailing children, lack of water and his workplace shutting down — all because there’s no electricity. This, along with terrorism, is Pakistan’s problem number one. The new government must address these issues immediately, and by giving Nawaz Sharif a thumping majority, the electorate has shown that it doesn’t care about anything other than governance and delivery. Realising this, Mr Sharif will deal with whoever provides relief, be it India or the US. The Establishment can rail all it likes against supping with the devil but if the government delivers, we will not look a gift horse in the mouth.Untitled-1

Good Times Issue: June 01-15, 2013, VOL. IX, NO. 11

Editor-Pic[fdropcap]B[/fdropcap]y the time you read this, Pakistan’s historic elections will have taken place (fingers crossed). I say historic because this is the first time that one democratically-elected administration will transfer power to another democratically-elected civilian administration. The fierce battle in Punjab between the cricket bat and the lion will likely determine the outcome of the elections, but one thing is certain: Pakistan’s middle-classes have come of age. These urban voters are articulate, opinionated, and media-savvy; they are politicized people who want a say in the system. And that is a good omen for democracy.Untitled-1

Good Times Issue: May 16-31, 2013, VOL. IX, NO. 10

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