Tuesday, 29 October 2013


The rising middle class is a global phenomenon; it is often predicted by 2030, Asia will have two-thirds of world’s middle class. Urbanism is often associated with the middle class due to their numeric superiority. I think Urbanism is essentially the aspirations and values of the middle class, defined by the young generation of a country. Over the past decades, urbanism in Pakistan has gone through many transformations and varies from one city to another.

Since the onset of the last martial law, Karachi (along with other provincial capitals) have experienced a growth in leisure activities, such as an increase in eating out places, bowling explosion, and rise of shopping malls. This has caused a shift in the outing habits of youngsters, who were initially only used to visiting each other places or at most a guy group hangout at dhabas.

Mix gathering outings were always a problem because of lack of places where friends could have gone. Restaurants in the 1990s were mostly either international food franchises or family places like China Town; therefore not a lot of option was available. I still credit Park Towers as the pioneer mall which was somewhat built on international standards and was developed considering the aspiration of individuals belonging to all age groups. I still remember the food court being my favorite place to hang out with friends before other places popped up throughout the city.

The teenagers of 1990s used to rely on PTCL landline for keeping in contact with friends, and had to go through the awkward moments of parents picking up the phone. The whole day used to get spend by sitting in front of computer, chatting with friends on MSN messenger since there was no Whatsapp or Viber. There used to be a restriction and a concept of ‘odd timings’ between even best friends. Thanks to mobile phone revolution, ‘odd timings’ are nearly nonexistent.

We end up  having change of plans due to unpredictability of our daily lives; may be the class ends late (in university life), a plan with friends get extended or there is a late sitting at the office. We have a way of informing our loved ones using mobile phones; imagine what hassle a simple change of plan would have been in 1990s.    

May be the concept of good old days is just a myth that individuals like to tell. The way I see it, we are a lot better off now, with all the facilities and technology, than compared to all the previous eras.

Do you feel nostalgic about 1990s? Write back to me and share your thoughts about my blog.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Vampires - The good guys?

With the likes of Twilight, True Blood, and the famous Vampire Diaries, vampires have gone through a major image transformation from being the bad guy to every teenage girl’s fantasy. The transformation depicts the power of the social media by demonstrating how mythical creatures, always associated with dead, evil, and misfortune are now the ones saving the day. I won’t be surprise if people start sympathizing with the devil in the future.

I still remember reading Dracula (the original version of course) and shivers running down my spine. Vampires were never meant to be idolized or loved; instead they were an inherent force of evil, which the society had to fight for survival. The newer generation has almost shunned this image of vampires and has adopted a more liberal view towards them. Media had started changing the image of vampirism as early as 1970s with the release of Love at First Bite - one of the most horrible movies I have ever seen. The concept at that time did not proof to be popular and took nearly 2 decades to be accepted by the public.

If you were a teenage in late 1990s, you would be aware of Buffy the Vampire Slayer; yes it did all start from there, when our beloved vampire slayer fell in love with a vampire. The spinoff series Angel further established a soft corner for vampires amongst the masses. The image was further consolidated by the Blade Trilogy, which demonstrated that vampires can be good.

Apart from character transformation, vampires have also gained new powers, such as walking in the day light, glowing in the sun (hope no Twilight fans here) and even flying at will; with all these powers and ‘chick magnet’ properties, who would not like to be a vampire?

Vampires are not the only mythical creatures undergone a major transformation, we also have werewolf and witches in the same category. Witches were accepted by the media as good guys long before the others. Sometimes I wonder how the Europeans, alive during the Salem witch trials, would feel about series like Charmed or Bewitched.

The new image of vampires is here to stay, since it proved to be more popular with masses and does not restrict the writers to focus only on how to kill vampires (like all old movies and series early followed the same storyline with the death of the vampire antagonist in the end). The vampire fever is set to rise in temperature with the arrival of new shows (like The Originals) and movies in the near future.