My earliest inkling of anything to do with Afghanistan was a short story by Rabindranath Tagore titled Kabuliwala. A bittersweet story of strapping Pathan and his tender love for a little girl who reminds him of his daughter back home.

While we don’t necessarily have to venture over seven seas, oh ok ok, over the bridge to Little Kabul in Fremont to indulge, Salang Pass was however our first taste of Afghani food and one always remembers ones first Aushak no?

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The Lowlands

What can one say of the bard of Bengalis across America that hasn’t been said? Sorry, I mean the bard of Rhode Island Bengali academics. She who represents them with dignity and poise and examines with a clinical eye the unhappiness and aspects of their daily lives with fine-tuned precision? Much of what I have to say has probably already been said.

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Turkey Time

It’s that time of the year when most folks look forward to holidays, home and hearth. That’s most folks. We looked East (or East with a West hangover if you are going to be picky) – towards Turkey. As in the country, not the bird which I decree to be the most tasteless bird I have had the (dis) pleasure of eating. I guess size isn’t everything. So onward or east ward as they say.

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Ship of Theseus

If the title didn’t clue you in, fear not, the director makes allowances for people like us by spelling out the Theseus paradox: which essentially raises the question that if all the parts of the ship are replaced is it the same ship; thereby framing his film in the context of identity, authenticity and change.

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Snooze fest Karachi

Impressed by Sabiha Sumar’s earlier film Khamosh Pani with its strong script and poignant take on Pakistani politics, although admittedly sometime sketchy direction, I was intrigued enough to want to see Good Morning Karachi at the 3rdi film festival despite its rather predictable plot.

Intrigued enough, I might add, to pick this film to end my four year drought of not having seen the inside of a theater, I was ready to be more forgiving than usual and even hoped to gain some insight into her creative mind at the Q&A. Alas, all I have is a migraine and an even lesser understanding of her inspiration and work thanks to a disappointing film topped by a lackluster discussion.

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Breaking b(re)ad

Ever since we heard about Euro Grill serving up halal Bosnian food, TBH and I have been plotting a trip to get there. We planned some degree of working up an appetite beforehand so we could indulge in what we assumed would be hearty meaty options and halalelujah Euro Grill doesn’t disappoint.

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As the curtain falls on this light-hearted drama reminiscent of PTV days of yore, a fond farewell to team Aunn-Zara for having us in splits, singing choice item numbers and feeling the sting of Dadi’s chappats….

On the surface of it, the story is hardly new- a coming of age tale where Auun, suffocated by his family’s attention, and Zara, eager to run away from her fauji father’s regime see marriage as an escape. The motley crew bumbles though warm relationships, familial duty, madcap misunderstandings; subversive scheming foiled by reverse psychology and finally grows up. What is different however, is the refreshing treatment by writer Faiza Iftikhar.

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