This post should really have Owais Mughal’s by-line at the top. You will see in a minute why it does not (I wanted to talk about him and other ATP authors).
First, about the picture. Owais took this in Karachi last week and it beautifully combines his enduring passion in rickshaws and an interest in the unusual. We wondered what the appropriate title may be. One thought was ‘The Blind Leading the Lame’ (the ‘blind’ referring to the daredevil driving attitude of some rickshaw drivers; although this one seems to be not so!). Another thought was: ‘Rickshay pay ricksha, darr ricksha.’ Readers, any suggestions?
And now to some nice news about this and other Pakistani blogs.
Our friend SAJ Shirazi just did a couple of posts on his blog where he unveiled his lists of the Best Pakistani Blogs of 2006 and the Best Pakistani Blog Posts of 2006 (the later compiled with Ayesha Saeed).
We at ATP feel honored that he has chosen Pakistaniat.com on his Top Pakistani Blogs list. And there are three different posts from ATP on the Top Pakistani Posts list. These include Mast Qalandar writing on Turbans of Pakistan; Raza Noor writing about Lahore, Lahore Aye; and, of course, Owais Mughal’s classic piece on Rickshaws. Actually, we would like to claim 5 slots on the list: Bilal Zuberi’s post on Muslim Nobel Award Winners on his blog we would claim by association, and while SAJ Shirazi has too much humility and did not include any of his own posts, I would rank the one on Kelash that was reposted on ATP from his blog, as good as any.
I just wanted to use this post to congratulate all of them and thank them for making ATP a community of such a multitude of topics and people. I was to especially thanks Owais Mughal and Bilal Zuberi for sharing the load of the daily management of this blog. Of course, these lists are the opinions of those who compiled them. Others might wish to add or subtract things. But the real point I take from the lists is about the vibrancy of the emerging Pakistani blogshere and that, I feel, is the most heartening thing of all. This is reflected not only in the posts but in the discussions. That is where we get some of our best ideas from.
I also happen to know that there are many many who visit ATP regularly but do not comment – maybe afraid of being ‘pounced at’ by the eternally angry. I hope that in this coming year we will ‘convert’ more of them to commenters and maybe begin curbing the passions of the angriest amongst us. I really want to thank those who do post comments and make up the vibrant conversations; but for them there would be no ATP – at least, not in this form. These lists also make me want to thank the larger Pakistani blogsphere. I hope people will explore the blogs on our blogroll (and beyond). There is a remarkable world of Pakistani conversations out there; and while some conversations scare me, most give me hope that better things are possible.
Finally, I wanted to introduce a new feature – The Editor’s Choice SURPRISE @ Pakistaniat.com. You may already have seen the icon on the right hand column. Pressing this button will lead you to a ‘Post from the Past’ selected by the ATP Editors. We will change the selection (hopefully) twice or more a day (if the color scheme of the button has changed, that means the post has too). We will try to select those posts that many might have missed but which we feel are worth taking a look at. I hope people will find it useful.