Book Excerpts

Independence day in Pakistan: An Excerpt from ‘Karachi Raj’

Jashn-e-Azadi came around soon after she concluded the census. Six decades on, the wonder of Independence remained fresh, a miracle that by rights ought never to have happened in the first place. National songs blared constantly on the radio: ‘Ay watan, pyare watan’, ‘Main bhi Pakistan hoon’, ‘Jeevay, jeevay Pakistan’. A mela, held in what…… Continue reading Independence day in Pakistan: An Excerpt from ‘Karachi Raj’

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The Role Ajmer Sharif Played in Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan being Chosen the Successor to Fateh Ali Khan

Nusrat’s father Fateh Ali Khan was diagnosed with throat cancer and died in March 1964, just when Nusrat was appearing for his school-leaving exam. Shortly before his death, one of Nusrat’s sisters, Kaniz Fatima, recalls an intense moment: ‘When our father was going to leave us forever, he called us all around him and asked us to chant the Kalima. We were doing…… Continue reading The Role Ajmer Sharif Played in Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan being Chosen the Successor to Fateh Ali Khan

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The Little Qawwal: Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

From very early on, Nusrat was deeply interested in everything related to music. In secret, he followed the classes when his father was teaching some of his students, absorbing and storing away all the knowledge he could, even trying to play the harmonium when his father was out of earshot. One day, while Nusrat was engrossed in his attempts to play one of…… Continue reading The Little Qawwal: Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

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How Pervez Fateh Ali Khan was named Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

On 13 October 1948, a baby boy was born to Fateh Ali Khan’s family—Pervez Fateh Ali Khan, also known by his nickname, Paiji. He was the first boy, born after four girls, which made him the centre of attention and everybody’s darling. His birth was celebrated with great ceremony. Many reputed musicians, like Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Lal Khan, and the…… Continue reading How Pervez Fateh Ali Khan was named Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

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When dreams become a refuge from a loveless marriage

The Magic Within, by Manal Shakir The scene before Adnan was familiar. Childhood memories flooded his mind as he stared at the tent’s bright red-and-yellow-striped tarp. Long ago he had visited a circus with his father and the magic that had ensued within the great tent was now returning mysteriously, in a manner as bizarre…… Continue reading When dreams become a refuge from a loveless marriage