I've been maintaining this blog (for better or for worse) over the last eight years. Over these years, its natural evolution has led it into becoming something of a niche place for discussion of music in general and Qawwali in particular. Rather than trying to return my existing blog to its pre-Qawwali eclectic roots, I decided I’d start anew on Tumblr. So if you’re interested in music, Qawwali and subcontinental culture, keep reading/listening/watching/commenting here. For all of the above and everything else under the sun, head on over to my Tumblr page .

Saturday, December 20, 2008

...In Memoriam

    There was only one place in Pindi worth spending time in, and now that's burned to the ground.
    There were at least a hundred odd shops and businesses in Gakkhar Plaza, and many people that I used to see on a monthly if not weekly basis, like the bloke who would sell us a new stage play every week and promise to find the old NTM/STN comedy shows if he had to dig Rainbow Centre Karachi inside out and who found out that I had a counterfeit 500 bucks note and told me to go spend it somewhere else before anyone found out.
     Cheap chinese shoes,occasionally a decent pair of denims and the Garden Grill on the top floor (which I'd been to only once) were all reasons to go to Gakkhar. But the one thing that made Pindi worth living in was on the 3rd floor and it was what they called "The largest DVD store in Asia". Sadaf CD was the centre of all my excursions and 3 or 4 days wouldn't pass without me taking a peek up there and leaving with a shopping bag full of (grossly overpriced) CDs or DVDs.I figure I've spent more than 60% of all my money in that one place.
     The screwed up internet (a result of some undersea cables being cut, so they tell me) prevents me from waxing too lyrical about the place.Suffice to say that without everything I've bought from that place over the last 4.5 years, I don't know where I'd be...
       I bought my first Dylan there. I bought my first Bergman there. First Kubrick. First Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. Hell, first of almost everything...my entire education. I'll end by going to my DVD rack and writing down everything I bought from Sadaf and sparing a moment to thank my lucky stars that I got here 5 years ahead of the game.
     In no specific order,
                        Wild Strawberries
                        Smiles Of A Summer Night
                        The Bicycle Thief
                        Porridge (Season1)
                        Yes Minister,Yes Prime Minister
                        Red Dwarf
                        The Monty Python movies
                        Kind Hearts And Coronets,Passport To Pimlico
                        The Birth Of A Nation
                        Chori Chori
                        Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi
                        Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro
                        The Haunting
                        All Quiet On The Western Front
                        Mr. Smith Goes To Washington
                        The Adventures Of Robin Hood
                        Citizen Kane
                        All About Eve
                        Sunset Boulevard
                        Judgement At Nuremberg
                        A Streetcar Named Desire
                        The Maltese Falcon
                        North By Northwest
                        Strangers On A Train
                        A Clockwork Orange
                        Easy Rider
                        Blow Up
                        The Producers
                        Dr. Strangelove
                        Woody Allen's Sleeper
                        Being There
                        The Big Lebowski
                        Ed Wood
                        I'm Not There
                        Masked And Anonymous
                        Walk The Line
                        The LastWaltz .....................

               I shudder to think what I'd be without any of these.
                May God grant those who died eternal rest, and those who lost their loved ones or suffered monetary losses, the composure to overcome their grief and their loss.


  1. I can so relate. 'It just hit home,' my sister upon being told ghakar plaza was the bulding which until recently housed Sadaf CDs.

  2. Exactly,that's what puts it into perspective.Plus the fact that Pindi's first proper fast food place, "Mr. Big" used to be there...

  3. In Karachi the place to get your kind of movies isn't Rainbow (though you can find anything there if you're able to spend weeks searching) it's Laraib at Boat basin.

    You have all my sympathies. My life would stop if Laraib or Khadda burned down.

  4. Weeks browsing in a video store would be awesome,if slightly impractical.Thanks for the heads-up though,and the sympathy . . .

  5. Yeah,you know the ones I'm talking about.
    Cheap (in more ways than one) entertainment for the masses . . .