Author Archives: Ahmad Akmal

About Ahmad Akmal

A Political Science Major at the Lahore School of Economics and currently in his final year. He is a football enthusiast, a low-key guitarist, appreciates good music and has a love for everything that is random.

Who’s the real ass?

Video

A news package made for Web Design & Online Journalism. It aims to highlight the problem of animal cruelty in Pakistan. The focus is primarily on donkeys.

By Abdullah Iqbal, Ahmad Akmal, Feroz Qadri & Zahaid Rehman.

Advertisements

Four chords that made a million

Standard
Four chords that made a million

People express themselves in different ways. Self-expression takes up a unique and interesting form for each individual. Whether it is the conventional use of words (more appropriate for the eloquent) or with the help of the seven colours, everyone has their own personal arsenal. For me, the best way has been through music or rather, by playing music. The instrument of choice for me has been the guitar. It all started 9 years ago when I bought my first guitar and it has been a crazy, to say the least, journey since then. During the summer I took guitar lessons for 2 months and after that, it was a year after year routine of sitting in front of the computer screen for countless hours, looking up tutorials to learn the songs that had inspired me to pick up the guitar. Today, this is going to help me finish a college project and frankly, let me show off a little. Two birds with one stone, right?

Apart from the initial push, I am a self-taught guitarist. I studied some basic music theory, as much as I could on my own, after which all the pieces fell in their own respective places. Besides that, it was just hours long of practice that helped me unlock the ethereal world of music. In retrospect, all those sore fingers were well worth it and my battle wounds; the callouses on my fingers (I love being dramatic) are a constant reminder of how nothing is served to you on a silver platter. For me, playing music is an incredible way to express because by toying with several genres, I have been able to vent a wide spectrum of moods just by picking up my guitar and letting the chords do all the “talking” for me.

Now that I have filled you in with my arduous quest to enlightenment, let’s get down to business. I will be done with college in a few weeks. It has been 4 insane years at LSE. Unfortunately, the “London wala nahi, Lahore wala” LSE is not the best college in the world (surprise, surprise). But at the end of the day, you have to make do with what you have. These were 4 important years of my life and like everything else, it had to end some day (thank God).

These are very rough because my playing is rusty these days. Apologies.

 

This is an instrumental and it is called “Farewell Ballad”, originally by Zakk Wylde, which I’ve played over a backing track with a little improvisation. It is my way of saying goodbye to college. So yeah, I bid you farewell, LSE.

 

One the greatest rock solos of all time. “Stairway to heaven” was one of the songs that inspired me to learn the instrument. Thank you Led Zeppelin and Jimmy Page for creating such a powerful piece of music.

 

Here’s a beautiful song, called “Babe I’m gonna leave you”. Just because I felt like giving this post an acoustic touch as well.

Pakistan kay funkaar

Standard

Pakistan is an absolutely wonderful country where you are bound to find something interesting and entertaining in one form or the other. If you are having a dull day, be sure to check you are in the right country because every day of the week in Pakistan is ridden with a wide spectrum of events. All this is thanks to (no, not Almighty Allah) the wonderful, colorful and ever so enthusiastic people who inhabit this lovely place. The level at which the minds of our people function is something which I feel is not stressed upon enough. To make it simpler for you and in spirit of being more specific (something which I battle with on a day to day basis, but that is a story for another day) I am talking about the tag lines seen on the back of cars and rickshaws, amongst other things. Call it their sense of humor or a serious form of self-expression, it is something that has never failed and will never cease to make me give a silent applaud to the dexterity and genius of our people. The day I realized the worth of these, I decided to forever capture these works of art in pictures so that at some point in time I could go through them, have a good laugh and just appreciate the amount of creativity ordinary citizens on the roads are inundated with.

Besides, talking about the funniest and strangest things you have seen on the back of vehicles is actually a good topic for conversation (again, something I struggle with but we will get to that someday. If you are lucky).

Here I share with you my collection; a plethora of pictures I was lucky enough to capture with my forever loyal companion; my dearest cell phone. I have had to tailgate cars to get good pictures so do not think of this as an ordinary endeavour but the height of an enthusiast’s love for art. This is where I shut up and let the people speak for themselves. I hope you all enjoy these as much as I did.

 

ImageImage

 

Let’s start with the most common one. “That’s all dua to my parents” is probably the most used line and it’s such a hot favourite that it has become a classic. “It’s all prayers of my parents” is another take on the original version but with of course the same idea. May we all be blessed with such grateful offspring.

Image Image

Image

Sometimes you come across names that really make you curious as to who that person is and what he/she looks like. “Bablu”,  “Bhalu Don” & “Teddy Pehelwan” are actually very interesting names. I might just name my kids something of the sort.  

Image

Well, if this guy says he’s not a terrorist because his name is Vicky, who are we to argue? He sure convinced me.

Image

Have you ever seen someone with a stick figure haircut? If no, here’s your first. If yes, you can still admire this work of art.

Image

.   I guess this is pretty self-explanatory

Image

Only in Pakistan will you find Uncle Sam on the back of a garbage truck asking you what you have done for mother nature.

Image

I’m not sure I want to know what they put in their shawarmas.

Image

I guess when Saith tells you not to mess with him, you don’t.

Image

Zidi Rajpoot wants his lover back because; well, he needs her love.

Injustices towards men of the 21st century

Standard
Injustice

Injustice

By Ahmad Akmal

Everyone knows about the troubles women have faced. But the largely ignored & in my opinion, the more important aspect is the hardships and absolute cruelty men face today.

Women in Pakistan always receive special treatment no matter what. People are likely to move aside and make way for you when you’re walking through a crowded shopping mall but us men have to force and squeeze our way through the hoard. People will gladly give up their seat for a woman if there are none available but men will have to stand and endure. Say, your car breaks down in the middle of the road or you get a flat tyre. It won’t take long for a stranger to come to the rescue and help out the lady in distress. What about poor guys like me who don’t know how to change a flat tyre? No stranger was nice enough to help me out. (Thank God my dad came to get me or I was stranded for good)

Personal experiences of my friends are testimony to what I’m trying to say here. A friend of mine once bought a product from an online shopping company, which provided some false information by mistake. Disgruntled by the lack of professionalism, she decided to vent in an e-mail and really let them know how disappointed she was.  Miraculously, the company replied the very next day. After that, they called her not once, but twice, to apologize once more. But wait, that’s not the end of it. They even offered her a free discount on the next product she purchases from them. I would’ve loved to receive such special treatment but unfortunately, that’s not how things work here.  I mean, I’ve never been able to get the people in Subway making your sandwich to put in more than 5 olives, ever.  But, I’ve seen a girl say “Olives zyada daalna please” and the guy literally threw in a fistful. Heck, they even agreed to deliver for free to an area where they don’t normally deliver to. Just imagine the kind of double standards at play here.

One thing that I never really understood is about how women get so angry when guys look at them. Okay, I understand that in Pakistan the staring has been taken to a whole new level but still, when a guy “checks out” a girl it means that they look nice and are attractive. I mean, I would be absolutely flattered if random women on the street were ogling over me and turning their heads to get one more glimpse of the incredibly attractive man their eyes are feasting upon. Talk about an ego boost. Instead, women get disgusted and complain about how men are so desperate and always staring. I just don’t get it. Although, I would love to see how women would react if one day, they show off themselves, as usual, and no one even bothers acknowledging their existence. Now that would be interesting. Ungrateful, that’s what women are.

Us poor men crumble under the burden of expectations and stereotypes of what a “real man” is supposed to be. Not all of us are tall and muscular, have plenty of chest hair and coarse voices and have a thick, carpetlike beard. It’s not our fault our DNA made us this way! There’s only so much you have control over. The majority thinks men need to be rough and tough and should not cry. But obviously, it’s okay for women to let the waterworks run. I’ve seen guys been made fun of for wearing pink shirts. Fine, I agree it’s a rather feminine colour but let the poor guy wear whatever he likes! Some guys get their eyebrows made and wax their arms and chests. Instead of calling them metro-sexuals, just let them be! They just want to look nice and pretty, like the ladies do. But no, women won’t be called names for doing the same.

Life is very hard for some men out there. Women just like to steal the spotlight with a bunch of made-up problems. All of this might be a part of a grand scheme, who knows. These women are evil & manipulative creatures. One can only imagine the kind of horror and injustice us poor men face everyday around the world.

To all the oppressed men around the world, stay strong. You’re not alone.