Sunday, June 25, 2006


Kind of caught up in a whirlwind right now. Three days ago I directed my first TV advertisments. They are for Radio One FM91 and should be on television from the 1st onwards. My directorial debut involved missing crew-members, a broken boom mike and exploding lights. But with the wonders of excellent editing and sound treatments the ads look great (by my admittedly biased standards)!

And then yesterday I came home to find my passport back from the Australian Embassy in Islamabad, with a glossy new Australian visit-visa glued to one of the inside pages. Quick call to the travel agent and I am booked to fly out to Melbourne on the 29th of June. Which means that by the 30th of June I'll be holding my gorgoeus wife after 5 long, lonely months.

Right now, I am sitting infront of my computer in just my underwear (a visual you will all thank me for, no doubt), trying do download audiobook versions of old William Gibson books so that I can listen to them on the long long flight.

God it's hot. Winter in Melbourne though. And the water swirls down the drains in the opposite direction. That I can't wait to see.

Posting shall become even more sporadic than before for the next 20 or so days.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


So my road has undergone a new transformation. It has gone from rememnants-of-gigantic-earthworm-passing to Basra-on-a-bad-day. The Tora Bora hills have better roads than this.

The current theory is that maybe the Area Nazim is actually looking for something. Treasure buried centuries ago that he has obtained a tattered map for. That's why they are digging up all the roads. The seek the tomb of an ancient king who once resided in the area. The only proof of his buried treasure were cryptic words in ancient Sumerian tattoed on the shaft of a sailors penis. He traded the member in at a sea-front bar in exchange for a Pakola and a packet of chilli-chips. It found its way into the hands of an intrepid and attractive young woman who works in the Archives section of the Karachi Municipal Corporation. Finding herself in accidental possesion of a whithered penis with cryptic writing she became the target for a secret society of Memon cultists who started to chase her down dimly lit alleyways and echoing car-parks, until she found sanctuary in the hairy yet muscular arms of a traffic policeman who has been tracking the cultists for years. He goes to his SHO with the evidence who dismisses him because of wild and uncontrollable penchant of property-damage and off-the-wall policing tactics. But dammit HE GETS THINGS DONE! Together the two of them unravelled the secret of the hidden tomb by giving the benefit-of-the-doubt to a wrinkle on the length of the fast decaying penis, and finding a 3D compass under the skin that is only visible when held under a black light on the night of the first full moon of the summer solstice. The Memon-cultists in the meantime, enlist the aid of their most powerful member: The hunchback area-nazim whose face is always hidden because of his tendency to stand in shadows. He is recognizable only by his penchant for smoking cigarettes that have particularly fiery glowing tips.

Our bold hero and heroine find themselves in the underground kingdom of the ancient civilization of midget-people who ruled the planet a millennia ago. Dodging fantastically complex traps that require gears and cogs to function and have miraculously avoided decay over the centuries, the two make their way to a cavern deep under the bowels of Karachi. There, the hot archivist who conducts all her adventuring in a pair of fetching tight pants, discovers herself to be the last living descendant of Forces of Light and suddenly manages to translate the fading words on the Penis-of-Truth. They discover the tomb just minutes ahead of the Memon cultists who have used their devious occult powers of in-breeding to create a mutant creature that is half-man and half-cousin. Inside the tomb they find all the treasures of the world, but rather than let the villains have it, our bold traffic policeman unleashes the power of Light lying dormant in the hot archivist by kissing her in a way the puberty-ridden audiences have been clamoring for. The temple is destroyed and the Memon-cultists and their mutant monster and crushed under rubble. But not before a single stray bullet fired by the city Nazim ricochets off a pebble and strikes the hero in the chest. He falls to the ground, laying there as the archivist bends over him weeping, her cleavage completely destroying any emotional poignancy the scene might have had. She moves his hand away from his chest to blood! Just then blinks, gaps and raises his head. Inside his breast pocket, was the tattooed penis, now smashed beyond recognition by the force of the bullet it stopped. They kiss passionately and then make the journey back up to the surface, a journey that on the way down took hours of dodging near-fatal traps but now will be covered in mere minutes.

Or at least that's what I think is causing the digging on my road. Might just be the ruptured sewage pipe. But really, how plausible is that?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


My theory that the city nazim/mayor is actually the Mole Man from Fantastic Four and he is remodelling Karachi to become the Capital of his New Subterranean Global Underground Empire (N.S.G.U.E) holds true.

Why don't people listen to me? I am never wrong about these things. If Nostrodamus was half as accurate as me we would all be dead at the hands of the Anti-Christ by now and the world would be populated by men with faces of swine.

A few months back the local government decided it suddenly needed to dig up the road in front of my house and lay down sewage pipes really deep. So for a week my road looked like the Tunguska Meteor had smashed through it. Pipes were laid. Phone lines were accidentally ripped apart. But the work was done. Sewage would now flow 25 feet deeper than before and the world would become a better place.

Or so we were told.

Two days ago I opened the gate to find a 4 foot high geyser of shit. This morning we were informed the sewage lines were (surprise surprise) improperly placed and had thus ruptured. Now the street looks like one of the Sandworms from Dune just did a drive-by. Work is happening with superb efficiancy. Phone lines have once again been accidentally ripped up. As has my television cable line. And today I tripped into one of the freshly dug-up ditches and was ankle deep in dirty water.

Am thinking of amuptating my foot and cauterizing the wound with a heated sword. It'll be less painful than living in Karachi.


Go read this interview with comedian Louis CK. Really great interview and he lit a fire under my ass. Time to think about finishing that short-film script that's been knocking around in my head for the past year.

Friday, June 09, 2006


The official website for the Live-action Transformers movie.

My keyboard is now wet and sticky. That, my friends, is known as a geek-gasm.

I recently wrote an article for SPYDER Magazine about the difference between Geeks, Dorks and Nerds.

If you're too lazy to buy it here is the unedited article:



It's never easy conversing with a Geek.

Before elaborating on that statement, a few clarifications are needed. Geeks are not to be confused with Nerds or Dorks. Here is, for convenience sake, a breakdown of each:

Dorks: Someone who says stupid things or acts stupid. Dorks do not have to be skinny with spectacles, bad hair and a collection of hard-disks in their back-pack. A dork can be anyone. Can look like anyone. Their only distinguishing trait is excessive stupidity, often described as "dorkiness".

Nerds: These are your typical social outcasts. The products of a childhood full of beatings at the hands of larger boys (or girls), Nerds are noticeable in their ability to find solace in the study of one subject, usually science or math. Nerds are also, almost always, true to their stereotype; skinny, awkward hairstyle, unfortunate dress-sense and usually gigantic spectacles perched on a bird-like face. During the 1990's, Nerds enjoyed a brief period of celebrity. They have since returned to their caffeine and potato-chip infested dungeons where they create code and hack each others home pages.

Geek: All of the above and none of the above. Geeks are obsessive about a single topic, often science, but it can even be about an obscure aspect of pop-culture. They can, however look like anyone. Their social skills are not as damaged as a Dork's or a Nerd's, but they suffer from a sort of factoid-Tourette's Syndrome, spouting obscure nuggets of information at odd times. Geek's are categorized by their area of speciality, i.e. Comic Geek, Film Geek, Tech Geek, ad infinitum.

The explanation being sorted, it is time to return to the central thesis of this piece, that being that Geeks are difficult to have a conversation with. It should be noted that this isn't too say that Nerds and Dorks are easier to talk to. In fact, this piece is centered around geeks because trying to talk to a Nerd or a Dork is as futile as spitting in a hurricane, or tugging on Superman's cape (a Comic Geek would take this moment to point out that during the late 1990's it was actually impossible to tug on his cape as he was a being of electricity and therefore...see how it will get?).

Talking to a Nerd is useless unless you are fluent in either "L33t Speak" or "n00bish". Don't know what they are? Then when next cornered by a Nerd, shove and run. If, however, you are feeling adventurous, or are in a situation where pushing someone might not be socially acceptable, a crash-course in these languages (both are actually different names for the same language) can be provided on Wikipedia. Be warned however, the initial introduction alone reads like this:

"The mechanism began simply: taking standard text and corrupting it with a dynamic cipher, with only those privy to the cipher understanding what was being conveyed in the ciphertext. "

The alternative survival tack is to just talk about "World of Warcraft". Don't waste time wondering, just say you love MMORPG's and are a Druid Night Elf from Kalimdor. An opening line like this will send any Nerd leaping off the couch slapping his Dorito-stained forearms together with joy.

Talking to Dorks a not that much of a challenge, and is actually a fun spectator sport. Just ask their opinion on a matter, any matter, and then sit back and watch the bumbling and stumbling mess that dribbles from his/her lips completely envelope and befuddle. This can be dangerous though from time to time. Dorks are to be avoided at some social functions where the wrong thing being said can have disastrous consequences, ex. Funerals. They are generally not aware that "Crap happens and then it decomposes" is not an acceptable consolation.

Which brings us to Geeks. Not as easily avoidable because of their casual look, Geek's are however problematic conversationalists and generally should not be engaged unless one is aware of the tell-tale warning signs:

1) Converation Steering: Geeks have no interest in your opinion. And they generally have no patience for any conventional topics. Indeed they tend to abhor all topics of discussion that do not feed directly into their obsession. So if your ideas about how President Musharraf can creatively cross the city of Karachi without inconveniencing the locals does not involve either a reference to the latest Marvel Comics Crisis or an Akira Kurosawa film then it's falling on deaf ears. Geeks will always try to steer the conversation into their area of speciality. This is never subtly done. It is also almost never an topic a normal person has any knowledge about, thus creating a temporary sense of superiority in the Geek's head.

2) One-upping: Geeks love to out-geek someone. If you have a modicum of knowledge about the subject, please oh please don't share it. This is seen as a challenge and an affront to a Geek's area of speciality. Responses become less about an exchange of ideas and more about proving that they know more than the other person. Sometimes the comments demonstrate technical superiority by revealing some improvement and other times it's by dismissing an idea by proposing a new idea that makes the original idea appear inferior. This most often happens in groups of more than two, but it can happen with just two as well. And there's a spectrum. Sometimes conversations are thick with geek talk and others where it's very subtle.
An example of geek talk:

Geek 1: I've been fiddling with X for some time and really like it but it's missing Y
Geek 2: You're using version 1, last week on Slashdot there was a post saying that version 1 was crap
Geek 3: And using X was advised against by XYZ Security
Geek 2: No, you can use version 1 as long as you patch it with patch 1.1
Geek 3: Yea but then X consumes three times as much CPU and doesn't deallocate memory
Geek 2: Hardware is cheap, grab a few XZ200 boxes and throw in 10 sticks of memory
Geek 3: Even so, if you want to do Y there are 10 solutions better than X
Geek 2: I've been using A, it's much faster and has no disk-performance issues
Geek 3: A is good, but only when you compile it with the --little-known-fact option
Geek 1: Our team has been using X for a long time and it works pretty well except for it's missing Y
Geek 3: X is legacy, you should be off it by now
Geek 2: The predecessor to X, W, was written for DOS (ha ha ha), X inherited all that DOS-based junk
Geek 3: If you want Y you shouldn't be using X, it wasn't designed for that
Geek 2: (to Geek 3) You think there was a design behind X? (both laugh)

The alternative to this conversation might have been something like:

Geek 1: I've been fiddling with X for some time and really like it but it's missing Y
Geek 2: Interesting, what kind of things are you doing with X?

If one is aware of these pitfalls, avoiding them is easy. It is simply a matter of knowing where the trap is and how to spring it. Much like Lara Croft in the Tom Raider: Legend when she has to free the Sword of Destiny from behind the Pool of Serpents. Which is made quite spectacular by the new 3D-rendering engine that actually allows sweat to bead on her forehea....

Get the idea?


Thursday, June 08, 2006


I won't be going to the Open-Mic at the Basement tonight. Some work cropped up. Kinda bummed though, as I wanted to try out new audiences and new material.

In other news:

One of the most talented regulars at Saad's Open-Mic is this musician Omar Akhtar. His band is having a performance worth checking out. If you go, ask the band what their name stands for and tell them I sent you.


is performing

An exclusive show where the band will be previewing tracks from their upcoming debut album.

Also featuring opening act "DHUN".

Location: Caffeine (Seaview)
Date: Wed. June 14th
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: Rs. 150 if purchased in advance. Rs. 200 at the door.

Contact: Imran Lodhi 0333 3740554
             Omar Akhtar 0321 2437335


My cut-copy-paste commands aren't working for some reason so I just typed that whole bit by hand. They better be grateful!

Sunday, June 04, 2006


Spent the weekend in Faisalabad.

That's right. Faisalabad. The whole city is like one big broken alleyway. Oh and the most exciting thing in the city is a tiny clock-tower. Whee. Why the suicide rate is not higher in that area is beyond my understanding.

Telenor's Djuice team proves once again that they have no clue about their target market nor the target market for Black Fish.

I still maintain that if all IBA and CBM Marketing Majors are beheaded on sight then the world will be a better place. Never has a single group of people been so dedicated to Mediocrity before.

In other news: There is a new Open-Mic night being held every Thursday at a local cafe. Will be going by this week to check it out. If it really is weekly then that may be the motivation I need to get off my ass and write new material.

Friday, June 02, 2006


Sami cannot update his blog right now on account of his having melted into a bespectacled puddle on a sizzling Karachi sidewalk.

He asks that you please not step in said puddle, as he might splash up onto your pants. Contrary to popular belief it is not easy to wash out Sami-stains from your pant legs.