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Friday, October 9, 2009

Farhan Saeed... Up-close and Personal - Us Magazine, The News International


Farhan Saeed...

Up-close and personal

By S. Hamza Asad and Noman H Malik

A talented individual may not necessarily translate into a charming personality. Today's celebrities are the prime example of this statement. But we were in for a surprise when we talked to one of the coolest youth icons of our country. This 25-year-old energetic soul is one of the rare genuine human beings one can find in today's celebrity list. Being the lead vocalist of Jal, his spirits are akin to the bottle of soda, which starts off with a lot of energy, and then its fizz settles down leaving a soothing effect on your soul. He sizzles you with 'Main Mast Hoon' while staying wonderfully relaxed. We are talking about none other than the very dynamic, Farhan Saeed. He has a distinctive vocal style based on the coalescing of classical as well as of modern contemporary music trends.

Farhan did his A' Level from KIMS in 1999 and started singing in front of the audience within the institute. He participated in a number of events organized by his school and was highly appreciated and encouraged by students and teachers alike. He went on to win numerous singing competitions and gained the experience and confidence to perform live, flawlessly. In 2001, Farhan got accepted by FAST, from where he obtained his bachelor's degree. Throughout that time, he continued working on his vocals and often participated in competitions.

Farhan's songs are always well penned and innovative. Apart from Jal's debut single 'Aadat' which was re-done in Farhan's vocals, he has to his credit seven other soundtracks for Jal's debut album which include 'Rangon Main,' 'Ik Din Aaye Ga,' 'Lamhay,' 'Teri Yaad,' 'Manchala,' 'Har Jaga Hai Jal,' and 'Bikhra Hoon Main'.

Lately, Jal has bagged a couple of awards including Best Album (Boondh), Best Song of the year (Sajni) and Best Video (Sajni) at the Lux Style Awards 2008. More recently, it got the award for 'Best ballad' for their song 'More Piya' at the MTV Awards 2009.

Talking to Us, Farhan spoke about a lot of things like their music to their fan base and Jal's popularity in India to their videos to his take on one's fashion style.

It wouldn't be wrong to say that music is in Farhan's blood. While most of the singers have some or the other inspiration, Farhan's inspiration for entering this field was someone very close to him. According to Farhan, his father, who is a doctor and also a brilliant musician, inspired him to pursue music.

It is said that music is the food for soul; it is the medium through which the message of peace and unity, which may not be that effective through sermons, can be delivered. And the good thing is, by using music as the medium, one can ensure that the message would not only reach the masses, but it would be accepted, too, as everybody understands the language of music. Talking about peace, it is a fact that our singers have always tried their level best to be ambassadors of peace when it comes to Indo-Pak relationship. In fact, our pop singers have always been on the forefront in the promotion of friendly feelings between the two countries. Regardless of what the politicians and even the media may try to tell us about the 'hatred' that exists between the two countries, our singers get warm welcome when they go to the other side of the border and we have always shown the warmest hospitality to Indian people -- celebrities or not . "Honestly speaking, the response that we get from that side of the border is over whelming. The people there are very welcoming and acknowledging, and it's always wonderful visiting and performing there," says an enthusiastic Farhan who has only good things to say about his experience of working in India. "We try to represent Pakistan in the best possible way internationally, and particularly try to promote the feelings of love between India and Pakistan," he further says. "Being Pakistanis, we feel it our duty to do as much as we can for its betterment, especially keeping in mind the current socio-political environment of the nation."

Once upon a time, songs used to be a treat for ears. It's no more the case. Now, a good video plays an essential role in making a song a success. In fact, in some cases, it guarantees the success of a song. Jal can boast of some memorable music videos, especially 'Ik Din Ayega -- The earthquake special'. Their last video 'Main Mast Hoon' which was shot near the Taj Mahal, has a touch of Sufism. Since it is touted to be an out and out commercial fare, one does expect yet another good musical score from Jal in the near future. "We will be coming out with a video soon. As for the album, we have also started working on that. You'll get to hear it, hopefully, by early next year," Farhan says.

Showbiz in general and the music industry in particular is all about glamour. Our musicians are well-known for their unique sense of style and are hugely followed by the youth. Farhan Saeed is also regarded as a fashionable and stylish musician of our country. And why not? It's his confidence in himself that makes him stand out in a crowd. "Be yourself," he says. "Don't follow others; make others follow you."

All over the world, musicians have carved a name for themselves by participating in worthy causes like providing aid and recreation to poor and needy people, and for taking part in relief work for people suffering from natural disasters like earthquakes and other traumas. Internationally, the band U2 is famous for its charity work. In India, the turnover from most of the concerts (Rock on!! etc.) is used to help the poor. Our musicians also try their level best to bring a positive change in the lives of destitute and traumatized people. "We are working for a campaign by the name of 'Save SWAT, Save PAKISTAN'. Under this, we would be performing at concerts, and would be making media appearances to raise funds for the IDPs. Apart from this, we are working on other projects as well," Farhan says.

For the Pakistani youth, Farhan has a small message: "Be true to yourself and to others around you. Be honest with whatever you do. And most importantly, always feel proud to be a Pakistani!"


Number of winters you have seen?

Emmm…. 25 may be :)

Date of Birth/ Zodiac Sign

September 14. I'm a Virgo.

Favourite punch line

Sub ho jaye ga! :)

Sum up yourself in three words

Careless. Passionate. Loving.

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three items would you take with you?

Well, that's very typical but I am never able to answer this. Perhaps, I would take my piano, guitar and my girlfriend. Emmm…I really don't know man!

Are you a party animal?

Used to be.

What kind of gatherings do you like the most?

Those with close friends around.

Whom do you admire as a singer?

A lot of them.

Is Gohar a good friend or just the lead guitarist of Jal?

We are very good friends.

What was the last book you read?

I don't remember. :)

What is your favourite colour?

Black…anytime, anywhere!

Your recent crush

Recent and last! You'll know… :)

Five songs in your i-pod

I don't carry i-pod.

You are very conscious about…

My hair.

What is the one thing about our music industry that you'd like to change?

Would like to make it more professional.

Things you cannot live without?

Family, friends and music.

Thing you hate the most?

Double faced people.

One true confession...

I am a flirt.

One biggest fear …

Going away from my parents.

On Sundays, you …

Do what I usually do everyday.

The last gift that you got...


Perfect idea to relax….

Beach, guitar and friends.

Your friends describe you as...

A good companion.

What do you think is the most important invention during the past 10 years?

The Internet.

Closing statement…

I'm proud to be a Pakistani and I hope it's the same for all of you! Stay rocking and contribute in making Pakistan a better country!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Black Magic - Us Magazine - The News International

Black Magic

By Syed Hamza Asad

Some threads along the needles

Beneath a heavy stone

Were found behind a tree

With a scissor and a comb

From skull arose the smoke

The burning ache in the head


Allahuu Empowered

And needles left the threads!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sports Disasters - Us Magazine, The News International

Ground Reality

Sports disasters

By S. Hamza Asad

The moment I think of sports, the picture of an incredibly talented athlete hits my mind whose sweat appearing on his powerful biceps and thighs shows the capacity of zeal and zest in him; whose moves arouse enthusiastic sentiments, whose versatility speaks volumes and who plays the sport like a pro.

Exciting sports have always kept the crowds on tenterhooks till the end and there have been some memorable moments, unexpected and bizarre, that have left their prints in the sands of time. Here goes…

Manchester United Team Crash

On February 6, 1958, seven Manchester United footballers were among 21 people who died after an air crash in Munich, Germany, which shook the world and in particular the City of Manchester to the core. The British European Airways (BEA) Elizabethan class plane, flight 609 Zulu Uniform caught fire shortly after take off with 38 passengers and six crew on board. The footballing world reeled from the loss of some of its most talented young players. Their average age was 24 and they included Roger Byrne - the captain - Mark Jones, Eddie Colman, Tommy Taylor, Liam Whelan, David Pegg and Geoff Bent. Eight British sports journalists and several club officials were also killed in the disaster. An 8th player, Duncan Edwards "the greatest of them all" was to die 15 days later after a heroic struggle for life that had astonished the doctors who treated him.

The ManU team, managed by Matt Busby, was named the 'Busby babes' for their youth. They were returning from a European Cup match in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, but had to make a stop in Munich for refuelling. After refuelling, the pilots tried twice to take off, but had to abandon both attempts due to technical problems. On the third attempt to take off the plane over-shot the runway, hit a house with its port wing, veered to the right, hit another building and burst into flames. The fuselage did not catch fire and several crew and passengers went back into the wreckage to rescue the injured.

Of the 44 people on the aircraft, 21 were killed instantly and several others were knocked unconscious. Matt Busby, who was severely injured, resumed managerial duties the next season (1958–59), and eventually built a second generation of Busby Babes, including George Best and Denis Law, that ten years later won the European Cup, beating Benfica. Bobby Charlton and Bill Foulkes were the only two crash survivors who lined up in that team.

Munich Massacre

The Munich Massacre is considered to be the worst tragedy in the modern Olympic history. During the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany, some members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostages by a militant group called Black September. By the time it all ended, the terrorist group had killed eleven Israeli athletes and coaches. One West German police officer was also killed while five of the eight members of Black September were killed by police officers during an abortive rescue attempt.

Johnson's doping

Benjamin Johnson is a former Canadian sprinter and a winner of two Olympic Bronze medals. In the 1988 Summer Olympics, Johnson set a world record of 100m race in 9.79 seconds and left the stadium awestruck after his victory. When he underwent some medical tests later, the reports showed that he had used steroids. After his confession, he was disqualified for doping and Carl Lewis was promoted one place to take his gold medal.

Tyson's biting off an ear

The former undisputed heavyweight champion and the youngest man ever to win the WBC, WBA and IBF world heavyweight titles, Mike Tyson has been one of the most amazing boxers the world has ever seen. He is still remembered by his fans for his ferocious behavior inside and outside the boxing ring. On 28 June, 1997 the world saw one of the most abnormal spectacles of Tyson's career. The Holyfield-Tyson: II match is unforgettable because during the match Mike Tyson bit off a portion of Holyfield's ear! He did not stop on that. The match referee declared Holyfield to be fit for the match despite the injury and so the match resumed. This time, Tyson bit off Holyfield's other ear, too. On this the match was stopped. Tyson was suspended from playing and his license was withheld.

Zidane's infamous head-butt

A controversy arose in the final match between Italy and France in the FIFA World Cup 2006 between Zinedine Zidane and Italian defender Marco Materazzi when Zinedine Zidane was issued a red card in the 110th minute. Zidane, rammed his head into Materazzi's chest and knocked him to the ground. It was one of the most stunning moments in the history of Football. After that incident Zidane became the fourth player to be given a red card in a World Cup final.

Bob Woolmer's controversial death

Cricket has always been an unpredictable game. The unexpected elimination of Pakistan at the hands of a team like Ireland in the Cricket World Cup 2007 was terribly shocking. However, the sudden death of the former Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer a few hours after the match was even more disturbing. Woolmer was found dead in a Jamaican Hotel on March 18, 2007. The initial reporters speculated that Woolmer had died of a heart attack. According to a Jamaican pathologist's report, Woolmer had died of asphyxia due to manual strangulation. But, Lucius Thomas, the commissioner of the Jamaica Constabulary Force refused the report put forward by the pathologist and announced on June 12, 2007 that Bob Woolmer died of natural causes, and was not murdered.

Attack on Sri Lankan cricket team

The attack on the Sri Lankan team came at a time when Pakistan was facing some serious security issues like terrorism and suicide bombing and no foreign cricket team was willing to play in Pakistan. Despite all this, the Sri Lankan cricket team agreed to play on the Pakistani soil. On March 3, 2009, when the Sri Lankan team was going to Qaddafi Stadium to play the third day of the second Test against the Pakistani cricket team, 12 terrorists attacked the bus in which the Sri Lankan team was travelling. Six members of the Sri Lankan team were injured in this attack and six policemen and two civilians were shot dead.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Website Review - KIDIPEDE - Young World Magazine - DAWN, May 2009

Website Review

By Syed Hamza Asad


Hey kids, I know you all have a bee in your bonnet, searching for your intended material on internet. Yet many a times, most of the kids' websites either focus on history or reflects current ideas, debates and information. But do not frown, I have an Aladdin's Lamp for you. If you are browsing around for information of history, science, religion, art or any subject you enquire, simply trot towards the website www.historyforkids.org as the kidipede has put info about several subject in only one website!

The 'history' section of this website deals with the periods from 2000BC till AD2000. The facts are described so interestingly that it will whet your apatite to know more and more about your area of interest.

The world map on the interface of the website shows different continents. You can get info about food, art, people, clothing, religion, wars, architecture, economy, books and everything of any continent just by clicking its name. Moreover, this site also provides an in-depth knowledge about Greek pottery.

In short, if you have a quest related to history, this site has a lot to offer you. So kids, what are you waiting for? Go discover the world, log on to www.historyforkids.org and become a well-informed individual._Hamza Asad*

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Braille Version Of Harry Potter - Young World Magazine - DAWN, April 2009

Book Review:

By Syed Hamza Asad

Braille Version Of Harry Potter

We all are aware of the fact that Harry potter series has a tremendous curiosity value among the youth and is one of the biggest sources of recreation. Harry Potter _ that enlightens you, moves you, motivates and deflates you, even shocks and surprises you and of course, entertains you _ is truly a Revolution. The undisputed queen of Potter Mania, J.K Rowling, this time comes up with a whiff of fresh air for the blind ones _ Braille version of Harry Potter.

Yeah, raise your eye brows and look for the logic, isn't it a revolution? Of course it is! At first when I actually heard about the braille version of harry potter, I was left wide-eyed. I mean, come on, everything is spoon-fed this time. The imagination that captured the gloss and grandeur of millions of minds to the minutest, is now also a feast for the eyes that can't see!

Mostly our intelligent visually handicap kids force themselves to rely on their wits to survive. But keeping the others tongue-tied, this time Harry Potter is vying for the attention of his special friends around the globe. For this, J.K Rowling truly deserves to be lauded for having ventured into this territory.

So for those, who have been missing out on the magic of Harry Potter because of their handicap, it is an excellent time to present him/her the Braille version of Harry Potter. _ S. Hamza Asad *

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Degree or Knowledge? - Young World Magazine - DAWN, March 2009

A Degree or Knowledge?

My Contribution to Noman Hussain Malik's Article!!

Degree VS Knowledge!

Many people believe that getting a degree is a clear proof of having obtained knowledge. The poet of the east, Dr Muhammad Iqbal, having a degree, instilled dignity in man whereas the poet of the west, William Shakespeare, having no degree, ruled over the pulse of man! I personally feel that a degree is not the ultimate criteria of knowledge.

Jabir Bin Hayan being the father of chemistry is a role model for chemists of the world, despite the fact that he had no degree. Similarly, many Poets and philosophers from this side of the world had no degrees yet they attained worldwide recognition. However, a degree cannot be discarded as a whole. It is In pursuit of a degree that knowledge is perused. Therefore it can also prove to be a good measure of knowledge. But than again, there are many cases where incompetent people are earning masters and even PhD degrees despite poor performances, on the basis of 'Capital Investment into their education' _ Hamza Asad *