Talib Haider: “News is my passion”

This interview I took when I was working in Geo TV in 2012. This interview was posted on Geovision website. I am sharing some chunks of the interview over here for my readers.

talib 2The passion of doing something new every other day landed him in the field of Journalism. A go-getter by nature, Talib Haider is a television journalist and a news presenter who loves every bit of his job.

Haider has joined the broadcast industry of Pakistan since 2004. Initially he started off with the business and finance news coverage; his specialty in business studies was the main support for his in-depth knowledge about the subject. There are lots of achievements under his belt.

In the span of time, he got an opportunity to be a part of special news coverage which varies from USA elections (2004 and 2008), UK general election (2010) to live reporting the aftermaths of Balakot and Muzzarafabad districts after 2005 earthquake. Apart from Business news, he had also co-hosted cricket world cup (2007) and football world cups (2006 and 2010).

Haider also presented main news bulletins featuring political, current affairs, sport, business and local news at Geo News.

With his suave demeanor and a twinkling passion in his eyes, Geo Vision brings you up close to Talib Haider who believes in planning ahead in his life.

Madiha Akhtar: Why you choose to be a news anchor?
Talib Haider:
Any job in a news channel is extremely dynamic, be it a producer, editor, reporter or a presenter. One has to be ahead of the clock, ‘all the time’. News presentation is just one end of it which viewers get to watch. I love it because of the very nature of the job; providing information to people. And doing something new every day, every hour, every minute feels extremely rewarding.

MA: How did you enter the field of news anchoring?
TH:
I guess it was something that developed on the job. As a business graduate from Institute of Business Administration (IBA), one of my strengths is presentation which helped me in getting into this field. Also, interest in the news and better general knowledge provided me off the screen support. But it was the curiosity of knowing everything that was undercurrent, which really developed my journalistic skills.

MA: According to you, three qualities that are needed to become a successful news anchor?
TH:
Firstly knowledge, secondly one should look presentable and lastly voice of the person. Two skills are pretty much; however, possessing three is a bonus.

MA: Who is your inspiration in anchoring?
TH: Jeremy Paxman, Larry King and Riz Khan.

talib 3MA: Give one positive and negative point of being a news anchor?
TH:
It is good to tell news to the viewers but the drawback is likewise; informing people about bad stories as well.

MA: While doing live bulletins, did you face any mishap?
TH:
Being a newscaster, it’s one of the essentials to avoid being emotional. However, we are not inhumane and of course sometimes it’s hard to control your emotions. I remember once there was a terrorism activity because of which many innocent children were killed—while giving the news, the female newscaster started sobbing continuously therefore I was called in immediately. But she was crying so badly that just by looking at her, my voice also got choked during the bulletin.

MA: Any news that made you speechless or gave goose bumps? How did you recover yourself?
TH:
Every day, all stories are important and can make any person speechless, yet we survive. There are some which when we think about, do make us speechless for some time though. For instance, the decisions of sacking of the Prime Minister by Supreme Court of Pakistan or the death of Osama bin Laden or the crash of Air Blue plane in Islamabad.

MA: What has been your favorite news that made your day?
TH:
I love the time when Pakistan cricket team wins any match or especially the stories in Eid – these are some of the stories which beams my face with joy while reading the news. The recent ‘save’ by the PIA pilot of flight PK787 going from Karachi to Islamabad carrying 167 passengers where the left engine stopped working but luckily, the pilot landed the plane safely.

talib haider 1MA: Among noted personalities at Geo News, who is your favourite one?
TH:
Kamran Khan because of his well-researched news analysis with focus mainly on the News.

MA: Other than you, who is your favourite anchor in Geo TV?
TH:
Danish Anis Sheikh; he is versatile and can present different formats.

MA: Your most memorable moment while doing news bulletin?
TH:
When Captain Wasi of MV Suez was released from the Somali pirates and he didn’t arrive in Pakistan yet; we arranged a telephonic conversation between Captain and his family especially his daughter; it was an extremely emotional moment.

MA: Are you a planner? Do you have any goals?
TH: I have always planned in life; otherwise it will be like driving on a road with no destination. Even after two masters in business and journalism, I want to study further.
I plan to do research to help mankind (haven’t decided which field). I also plan to write what I have learned in life, met people with great wisdom yet many do not know about them, and also share my travel experiences through my writing.

MA: How has been your experience working with Geo?
TH: Amazing, amazing, amazing. I love Team Geo, there are good days, bad days, yet every day is extremely dynamic. Each day is a new day with new challenges. Every person gives his/her best which is the best in the industry; so if you want to be the best and continue to be like that, this is the place.

MA: What you want to say to your readers?
TH:
A person’s goals are mainly divided into career/money, social/family, and dream /to be something/someone or to achieve something etc. Try to correctly define what you want to do in life and go for it. If you continue on the same path as you planned for a few years; you will or will be very close to achieving it.

 

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Home Is Where The Heart Is…

corniche

Corniche, Abu Dhabi (Photo by writer)


It is said that the place where you are born always stay with you no matter where ever you go.

I think it’s true and this I felt when I went to my birth place after seven years. It was like I knew this place and the minute I arrived there; I got connected to everything around me. I felt I have reached home.


 

khaliydiyah

Al Khalidiyah Park (Photo by writer)


The park in the photo is Al Khalidiyah Park, which is in Abu Dhabi. This park has been there for many years. I remember my father used to take me and my sister after coming back from office. I still remember vividly how I and my sister would run on the garden. We would go on slide and see-saw which were the best rides for us in those times.

Fast forward to 2015, I am a grown up person. And I was happy to find a small part of my past in the present. This park, where I had laughed and played, still exists. Now, the play part was replaced by brisk walking and jogging. I spent time with my parents and enjoyed every, single moment over there.

Although I live in Karachi now, the city that has my heart is my birth place — Abu Dhabi.

khalidiyah

Photo by writer

I spent my initial years here, made wonderful and beautiful memories with my loved ones (read cousins), attended Junoon concert for the first time, danced on my cousin’s wedding, had a childhood crush, watched Bollywood movies on cinema, talked about our future plans with my cousins under the blanket, had my Aqiqah (Islamic tradition of the sacrifice of a sheep or goat on the occasion of a child’s birth and distribute the meat to the poor), birthdays and what not…

I bid adieu to my birth place long time but still it haunts me ( in a good way). Abu Dhabi has given me so much more than this which will always stay in my heart till my last breath. It’s goodbye for now till I see you again!

Have you ever felt like this for your birth place? If possible, share it in the comment section.

 

 

What Is So Great About Friday?

masjid nabwi

Photo by the writer

This photo is of Masjid-un-Nabwi in Madina. A place filled with tranquility and calmness. This is the beautiful gate of the mosque. It was a dream comes true when I and my parents prayed our Friday prayer here.

I have always loved Friday, the reason being the blessings which you receive on this day. The day is full of barakah and it only matters if you give importance to this day. I remember when I was in school; Friday was a weekend over here in Pakistan. I would wake up early and after my traditional breakfast of puri (unleavened deep-fried bread, originating from South Asia) and tea, I would take shower before Friday prayer, put on itar (scented perfume), and then I would pray. After prayer, we all would have a grand lunch. Those were good old days…

Now, there is no off on Friday, however, still I wake up early, take shower and then wear my nice clothes to work and I do use itar. This is the ritual I religiously follow even today as well.

For Muslims, Friday is a blessed day and we usually celebrate this day with religious fervour. We make sure to clean up nicely, go to mosque, listen Khutbah (Islamic sermon) and pray Namaz in congregation. It’s good if you also recite Surah Kahf and make sure to perform good deeds for example giving alms to poor and greeting strangers with a smile.

On a side note, do give some time to your parents because they are not getting young and you will regret it once you lose them.

 

Karachi In Focus: Affordable Living

11 A KEstablished in the late 1980s, Sector 11-A, North Karachi is a residential neighbourhood located near Shadman Town. It is accessible via Al-Amna Avenue and Shahrah-e-Usman.  Over the years, the sector has become a self-sufficient residential community thanks to its thriving commercial pockets.

Stroll around Sector 11-A and you will notice a mix of residential houses and apartment complexes; they are available at affordable prices and cater to every budget. The presence of reputed schools such as Falconhouse Grammar School and Oxford Grammar School as well as hospitals adds to the sector’s appeal.

For fitness enthusiast, consider heading to Gul-e-Lalah and Muhammadi Parks where you can do brisk walking and jogging on the tracks. Play area is the main attractions for children which include swing, slide, see-saw, merry-go-round, in addition to cricket sports ground for youngsters.

hilal-park-defence-karachiThe sector is dotted with several commercial pockets where you will find shops ranging from car repairs, tailors and groceries. Houses along main thoroughfares are increasingly being used for commercial purposes. A few banks, furniture shops, salons, pharmacies and wedding halls are also located on Shahrah-e-Usman that forms the sector’s commercial spine. A Wednesday bazaar is also held there and is a major crowd puller thanks to the bargains it offers.

If you are fond of cakes, consider heading to the Nice Bakers And Sweets, the sector’s first bakery that was established in 1990. Over time, the bakery has gained popularity for its delectable cakes and chicken patties as well as other menus which include mithais, biscuits and chips.

BakkeryFor food lovers, several small restaurants are located there. They include Dawat Inn Restaurant and Liaquat Bhai Food Centre which are famous for their karahis and fish katakat respectively. Fast food joints such as Pizza Max and Pizza Abroad also have a presence there.

Sector 11-A is poised to become a coveted residential neighbourhood thanks to the presence of foodie and shopping options, as well as a significant number of schools, hospitals and parks.

 

Muhammad Junaid: “Love To Engage With People”

This interview I took when I was working in Geo TV in 2012. This interview was posted on Geovision website. I am sharing some chunks of the interview over here for my readers.

muhammad-junaid1Tall and impeccably dressed, he is currently one of the popular faces of Geo News who comes to your living room every other day. He does not like to be called Micheal Jackson, the other reason of fame among his fans for his resemblance to late pop singer. His charismatic persona is felt when he is around, he speaks his mind and inspires you by his eloquent speech. In the race of broadcasters, Muhammad Junaid is a breath of fresh air!

Born in Lahore, with a graduation degree in Journalism and Political Science, later trained by veteran broadcaster Poonam Sharma, Junaid joined Geo News on October 2009 after which there was no looking back. His potential to put on a congenial appearance even while reading heart-wrenching news is commendable. In short span of time, he has already proved himself by achieving a place in some of the top-notch news-casters.

Geo Vision provides you an opportunity to know more closely about your favorite news-anchor Muhammad Junaid who is in his own words; ‘love to relate with people’

Madiha Akhtar: Why you choose to be a news anchor?
Muhammad Junaid: It was coincidence or it was destined to be; but I love to connect with people and my job defines who I am.

MA: How did you enter the field of news anchoring?
MJ:
After my studies, I joined the field as Associate Producer but it was actually a screen test that turned out to be a path changer in my career. During training period, it was Poonam Sharma, who discovered my talent of an anchor and rest is just history.

MA: According to you, 3 qualities that are needed to become a successful news anchor?
MJ:
For me, they are (a) Sound knowledge (b) confidence and (c) ability to face the challenge.

MA: Do you think that looks are given more importance than knowledge for being an anchor…your take?
MJ:
I do not find myself good-looking, but that does not matter a bit because my job is to speak and speak well! It used to happen previously but in the recent times, you cannot be a news-anchor if you have no knowledge. It’s important for a broadcaster to have a worldwide awareness and of course know-how of the past events for the reference. The trend has changed with the challenges associated and if one only relies on looks, they will not be able to survive for long in the field.

junaid 1MA: Who is your inspiration in anchoring?
MJ:
Anderson Cooper, Riz Khan and from Pakistan, Talat Hussain all the way! These are some of the anchors that have inspired me.

MA: Give one positive and negative point of being a news anchor?
MJ:
For me, the positive point is that I can relate to people and my journalism is actually a way to connect with the masses. The drawback is to deliver news that people do not like to listen as it’s painful for instance suicide bombing, killing etcetera, though they don’t know that sometimes it is hard for me as well to read but I have to deliver no matter what are the circumstances because at the end of the day this is my job!

MA: While doing live bulletins, did you face any mishap?
MJ:
Yes, there was one such blunder which was embarrassing. I had to talk to former DG ISPR to gather information on any incident, during the call; I made a grave mistake of fumbling the DG rank. He was actually a Major General and instead I was calling him Major for 3 to 4 times which my control room also noted.

MA: Your most memorable moment while doing news bulletin?
MJ:
‘Long March of Lawyers’ in 2009 was one such coverage that I felt proud to lead. I was appreciated for my work and it was a day of achievement—one of the best moments which still lingers in my mind.

MA: Any news that made you speechless or gave goose bumps? How did you recover yourself?
MJ:
Nothing, so far but there was one time when I had a lack of concentration while I was giving the details of some survey; I felt really bad because I was unable to say anything and my job is to speak otherwise you are kicked out.

junaid 2

MA: What has been your favorite news that made your day?
MJ:
When Nasim Hameed, a Pakistani athlete won the title of fastest runner in South Asia, it was just great feeling.

MA: In our present lot of politicians, who do you think is the rational one?
MJ:
I can’t comment.

MA: Other than you, who is your favorite anchor in Geo TV?
MJ:
Danish Anis Sheikh.

MA: Are you a planner? What goals you want to set now?
MJ:
I do make plans, I think where I am today is just a starting point and my aim is to excel in field of broadcasting. Moreover, I want to earn respect through my profession and also want to be known as authentic journalist.

MA: How is your experience working with Geo till yet?
MJ:
One of the best experiences of my life, where I have learned a lot by facing challenges and major happenings that has been great so far.

MA: To your fans, what you want to say?
MJ:
Believe in yourself, never try to be over-confident and over-ambitious because humility is one of the keys to success.

 

Shopping, Food And Much More…

block 13 d 1

Photo by White Star

Accessible via Allama Shabbir Usmani Road, Block 13-D, Gulshan-e-Iqbal was established in the early 1970s. Over the years, the block has evolved from a sparsely populated residential area to a hub of commercial activity.

Thinking about jazzing up your home, consider heading to Block 13-D where several furniture and home stores are located. There you can find a wide range of dining tables, bookshelves, jhoolas, bed sets, vanity tables and cupboards. Not to mention, these furniture are also made-to-order.

One of the main attractions of these stores is the fact they offer reasonably priced wedding package deals for bridal furniture bedroom set – an ideal offer for newly married couples.

Other than furniture, you can also find a wide variety of stores dealing in curtains, carpets and mirrors to spruce up your home and that too on a budget.

There is plenty of choice in and around the neighbourhood when it comes to satisfying the appetite. For desi treats, head to Kashif Foods, Meerath Kabab, Baba Biryani Restaurant and Al-Shaikh Restaurant where you can devour kabab parathas, biryani, haleem, chicken tikka, gola kababas and paratha rolls.

Block 13 D.JPG

For fast food lovers, Pizza Point and Burger Lab are the go-to places where you can feast on delicious, juicy burgers and hot piping pizzas. And for those with a sweet tooth, a stop at Delhi Sweet Bakery is a must and grabs some fresh mithai, cakes and pastries on the go.

Walking through the neighbourhood, you will note the presence of well-maintained houses that have stood there for decades. Most of the houses located on the main road are increasingly repurposed and serve as commercial enterprises. An increasing number of banks, mosques, schools and wedding halls can also be found there, adding to the area’s appeal. Several grocery stores are located there, and cater residents’ daily requirements.

A few parks are also located in the vicinity where you can take a stroll or do mornings jog. In addition, Aladin Amusement Park, a popular recreational spot, is also few minutes’ drive away, where you can go with friends and family and enjoy rides on merry-go-round, ferris wheel, free fall, discovery, UFO ride, skater, bullet train, chairlift and many more.

If you are planning to buy a house in this area, do not give a second thought because this block has everything under the sun, be it parks, shops or eateries.

 

Book Review: Typically Tanya

typically tanya

Photo by the writer

While attending the Karachi book fair in December 2018, I went to one of the book stalls. There I saw a book with yellow bright cover and a girl with red shades and fonts, and I instantly decided to buy the novel.

Coming back from the book fair, I began reading this novel but then I shelved it because I didn’t find it interesting. At that time, I was only five pages in and I got bored. However, last weekend, I picked this novel again and honestly I finished it in one go. With few more pages in, the story starts making sense and believe it or not, I actually find it interesting.

To be fair, the story paints a dysfunctional setup which is why I decided to try it one more time. Living in Karachi and being a journalism student myself, it was nice to read about the other side of the bridge, which is surreptitious.

Taha Kehar, an author and journalist, is based in Karachi. Typically Tanya is his second work of fiction. The first I haven’t read it, but this novel revolves around young journalist Tanya Shaukat who is juggling her way through career, love, friends and family in a metropolitan city of Karachi.

typically tanya 1

Photo by the writer

She works in Karachi’s Daily Image newspaper as a sub editor. Her work requires her to edit the news reports filed by journalists or emailed by independent news agencies. She also writes and covers events which is assigned to her by her sleazy city editor Hassan. She is friends with Sonia and Hafiz. There are few tiny problems with her friends; her friend Sonia’s shaadi is called off and partly she blames Tanya for this as the protagonist got intimate with Sonia’s ex fiancé Saad in a drunken state. Whereas, Hafiz is someone who likes her but he is confused in his own emotions.

I also liked how Tanya’s relationship with Khirad (her colleague) developed. Though they are contemporaries, they understand each other very well, more than her friends.  Tanya’s mother is also lovable as she is full of drama and fun.

While reading this story, I felt that the writing is somewhat inspired by Saba Imtiaz’s Karachi You are Killing Me and Moni Mohsin. I like the way Kehar depicts a realistic picture about relationships, friends and workplace. The author has touched a few topics for example workplace harassment by the boss and how Tanya quits; media rule by male dominated scums, a gay man marrying to a woman because of family pressure; the blind love of Insafian for his party, and several others.

The writing is crisp and riveting which do not let you put down the book. Kehar’s knack of describing the mundane routine is exciting and funny. This book is a light read and for all those looking for something to take their minds off for a while, this one will surely not disappoint you.

I will rate this novel 3.5/5.