Lahore, the city of culture has become a city brimming with events of all nature. Much as I would like to attend all such events, it is impossible to keep up with all of them and I have decided to only show my presence at selected events that promise depth of content or intellectual diversity in company.
So when a dear friend Rima Bokhari invited me to her mother’s book launch and reading, it was impossible to resist, particularly, when her mother is the prolific Navid Shahzad.
The event took place in the swanky X 2 restaurant in Gulberg. And I managed to see some old friends and spotted some English teachers from the Kinnaird I remember from more than twenty years ago.
I wondered who all the other guests who I did not recognize were. Possibly experts from the art or entertainment industries, both of which fascinated me but sadly , particularly in reference to the former, I could never formally join. Rima however did later fill me in on who some of them were. Among several of the notable guests who attended were Muneeza Hashmi, Saleema Hashmi, artist Ijaz ul Hassan, former governor Punjab Shahid Hamid, former Aitchison College principal Fakir Ijazuddin, Punjabi poetesses Sarwat Mohyuddin and Anjum Qureshi, Musarrat Salamat of Salamat school system, Directors Lahore Grammar School Mrs. Nighat Ali and Mrs. Sultanat Bokhari, CEO shaukat Khanum Mr. Azam, Former secretary Petroleum and Railways Capt. Naseer, CEO and owner imperial cinemas Syed Rehmani, Adeel Hashmi and artist Shahnawaz Zaidi.
I spotted my friends Zara Qizalbash who will be joining LUMS as the Registrar and Ayesha Hussain, founder of the Khayal Literature Festival and instantly felt at home.
When I entered, the hall was already packed.
It took me back to that time of 1993-1997 when I used to recite poetry and prose, religiously, in the Hladia Hall of Kinnaird College. And then to hear Navid Shahzad read from her book was a joy, not just because of the interesting manner in which she had captured the various nuances of her experiences, knowledge, acquired wisdom and obvious language acumen, but also because she knows how to convey her story and then tell it well.
I bought a copy for myself and made my way to get it signed by her as a keepsake and reminder of this beautiful evening, also as a reminder that one must always make time for literature, stories and intellectual opinions in life.
The book is a delightfully written insight into how the Turkish television shifted standards and ideals in mainstream media to reimagine and define who the ‘Muslim Hero’ can be and offers an interesting read into history, culture and possibilities when one dares to aspire.
‘About the Book
For the aspiring media practitioner, the book offers a detailed study of the literary sources that inform contemporary drama narratives such as the poetry and works of Nazim Hikmet, Orhan Veli, Seneca, Shakespeare, Freud, Fromm and Faiz; even as it examines the Turkish TV Industry and the new directions it is presently exploring in terms of recently established digital platforms and foreign investments impacting the country’s economy’.’– Naveed Shahzad.
Book Title: Aslan’s Roar
Author: Navid Shahzad
Number of Pages: 419
Publisher: Sange-Meel Publications Lahore
First Published: 2019
The book is available in Lahore at Variety books, nationwide at Liberty books and in Islamabad at Mr books and Saeed Book Bank.