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Finding Neverland Blog Archive

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Famous Greek Theater and Dramatics.

Ancient Greek Comedy Theatre

The ancient Greeks loved live theater. Every town had at least one open air theater. These theaters attracted crowds of 15,000 people per performance. Each town bragged about how wonderful their plays were and how marvelous their actors were. The Greeks were very competitive. They had drama contests between towns. Winners were treated with great respect, nearly as much respect as the Olympic winners.

The Ancient Theatre of Delphi.
The Greek architects built theatres on hillsides. That let them position long benches in rows, one above the other, so that everyone could see what was happening on the stage. The stage was located at the bottom of the hill. They could also hear. Greek theatres had great acoustics by design.

Types of plays.

The ancient Greeks invented three types of plays.
1.      Tragedies always had a sad ending.
2.      Comedies always had a happy ending.
3.      Satires poked fun at real people and events.

(In ancient Greece, it was illegal to poke fun at the gods. Punishment for mocking the gods was death.) Comedies and tragedies entertained, but a well written satire could sway public opinion.

Famous Play Writers.

The first great tragedian, Aeschylus, was born around 525 b.c.e. He produced his first dramas in 498, and he had his first victory in 484. He died in Sicily, having returned there sometime after 458. His tombstone mentions that he was an Athenian and that he fought at Marathon, but does not mention his plays. His life linked the Archaic and Classical ages, and Aeschylus' plays reflect that fact. Considered even by the ancients to be difficult and old-fashioned, Aeschylus was also quite innovative in the structures, personnel, and even subjects of his plays. He wrote around 89 plays, of which we have only seven.

Sophocles, was born 497/496 b.c.e. He won eighteen victories at the Great Dionysia, and he never placed lower than second. He was strategos (one of ten elected generals) with Pericles, an office he probably held more than once. He was also personally involved in bringing the healing cult of Asclepius to Athens. He died in 406. Aristotle admired Sophocles (and particularly his Oedipus the King) because he wrote good plots about important people. Many people share Aristotle's point of view and consider Sophocles the greatest Greek playwright. He wrote a total of 123 plays written by Sophocles, of which a mere seven survive.

Euripides was the youngest of the three great tragedians. Born in the 480s b.c.e., Euripides first competed in the Great Dionysia in 455. He competed twenty-one more times, but won only four times, including with the tetralogy that included Bacchae and Iphigeneia at Aulis, produced after his death in 406. Most of what has come down as Euripides' biography is pieced together from jokes made about him in comedies, and thus is not particularly reliable. He seems not to have taken part in public life; he may have had a bad marriage; and one of his sons (or a nephew) was a tragic poet, too. There is also some evidence that he may have been an intellectual loner, and he perhaps had a large library. There are nineteen plays by Euripides.

Aristophanes, the most famous writer of Greek comedies, was born in the 440s b.c.e.
Many of his plays comment on the long war—perhaps the most famous is Lysistrata. He often made fun of tragedy and the tragedians: Aristophanes' Frogs is one of the best ancient critiques of the other playwrights that we still have. He produced his first play in 427. Before his death in the 380s he had written 44 comedies, of which we have eleven.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Monsoon is all set to rock Pakistan


Written By: Tanzeela Ahmed
(She is a lecturer and writes for different online platforms such as Dunya TV and ARY )

Monsoon shower lashes, soothing smell of earth, crispy samosas, pakoras and a cup of hot tea / coffee... What a fantasy… In fact, it’s our ritual and that’s how we cherish cloudburst here in Pakistan.

Interesting fact is that despite the high probability of catastrophe, monsoon is thoroughly adored in Pakistan.

No hotter days and nights, the curse of scorching heat waves is about to end. Hot spells and dearth breaking rainfalls are anticipated to reach Pakistan very soon.

Pakistan Meteorological department has revealed the outlook for summer monsoon 2016. The good news for all the rain lovers is that the annual rainy season is forecasted to embark in Pakistan from the 3rd week of June comprising the spell of 3 months from July till September. 

The prediction is that it will rain 10-20% more this year. So be ready to witness more than average showers in all across Pakistan. Excited? Me too.  Let’s be thankful to the climate change!

Current oceanic and atmospheric conditions are demonstrating good summer monsoon season in the country. It will kick off water deficiency and certainly will tremendously boost up the Agricultural and water needs of the country.

Pre-monsoon activity has commenced in upper and central divisions of the country. It’s all set to portray rain-thunder showers along with dust-storm and strong gusty winds are likely to crop up at isolated places of North Baluchistan, AJK, Punjab, Sindh and KP.

The awful news is that “Heat impression in Chitral, upper KP and Gilgit Baltistan is causing glaciers melting and thus accelerating the tendency of Glacier Lake Outburst Flooding (GLOF) and landslides”.  

Another dreadful report is that the amplified percentages of monsoon rains will leads to flash flooding. Flood warnings have already started buzzing around...

Considering the high probability of extreme downpour, there are eminent chances of flash flooding along Suleiman range as well as urban flooding can also grasp big cities of Pakistan like Karachi.

It’s already drizzling in Karachi. Foretell is that Karachi must experience heavy downpour. Ineffective and improper system of rain water drainage in Karachi may pose urban flood situation. 

As a consequence of monsoon rains, ponds of water left in many areas of every city are responsible for the outbreak of manifest diseases like Malaria and Dengue. Stagnant water provides the safe breeding habitat for mosquitoes, many species of bacteria and parasites.

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has chalked out the work plan at Federal and Provincial level in order to diminish the impacts of potential floods. In a meeting held on 9th June 2016, they have examined all the preparations to streamline the rescue and relief measures and flood rehabilitation plans.  

Looking forward to a treasure safe and sound monsoon in Pakistan! 

The Story of Younis Khan (Part-5)

Younis Khan best inning

So this is what it was three weeks after the innings of Younis' career, one that put him on the verge of becoming, statistically, Pakistan's greatest batsman. The 171 not out was his 30th Test hundred, already five ahead of Inzamam-ul-Haq. His average at the end of the game was 54.07, one and a half runs better than Miandad. The only significant record that was not his was of most Test runs by a Pakistani, and he was only three sixes away from equalling that.

Pallekele was much more, though. Of Younis' many exceptional innings, it is difficult to pick one through which you could explain to someone with sufficient accuracy the meaning of Younis. Not the 313 in Karachi because on that pitch Coldplay's Chris Martin could have scored runs, let alone New Zealand's Chris Martin. The 267 in Bangalore maybe, but that was in the tone-setting first innings of a match. A pair of 190s against India - meh, dead tracks in dead Tests in Lahore and Faisalabad. The unbeaten, chase-completing 67 in Port Elizabeth is close but not quite it.

If the scorecard of the Pallekele Test was the only one you ever saw, you would not need to see any more to be able to understand Younis' worth. Did he usually arrive with his side tottering, like in this case, at 13 for 2? You bet. Was he expert at batting on the final days of Tests, as he did here, thriving in the last two sessions of the fourth and the first two of the fifth day? Yessir. Was he daunted by distant and difficult match objectives, like chasing 377 or batting out for a draw? Kidding, right? Was he good to bat with, because I see two pretty big stands with him in it? Hell yes. I see young Shan Masood got his maiden hundred - that happens often in the company of Younis? Damn straight. In short: Younis Khan? See Pallekele '15.

In long: see Slumdog Millionaire. Or that, at least, is how Younis - an avid movie-watcher, Bollywood and otherwise - understands his life: as a neat construction of episodes and experiences, each of which provides the answers that, collectively, reap the prize that is his career.

So the first answer is his brothers. In 1979, Yusuf Khan secured a managerial position at the state-owned Pakistan Steel Mills, moving from Mardan in the country's north-west to the eastern outskirts of Karachi, a migration of more than 1500 kilometres. Younis, the youngest of six brothers, and the rest of the family followed a year later, settling in Steel Town, a serene mini-city built for employees on the edges of this larger, less serene city. Younis and much of the family have lived there since, as citizens of Karachi but not its sons. When I asked him whether he thought himself to be a Karachiite, he didn't pause before saying no. "Inside, I still think of myself as a kid from Mardan. A Pathan." This despite having hardly lived in Mardan, though he did move back briefly in the mid-'90s, in part for cricket, in part to fulfil the obligations of a son: his retired father had returned and had only the women of the family around him. Younis' "no" was so unhesitating that the identity needed no further probing: a Pathan, goes the beloved stereotype, is a kaifiyat, a state of mind, impenetrable to piddling forces such as geography.

His brothers played cricket with unfettered spirit. "My eldest brother Ayub Khan, and after him Sharif Khan and Shamshad Khan, were real shaukeen [fanatics]. Sharif bhai was an allrounder. Ayub bhai was a wicketkeeper and a very dashing batsman. He used to sweep really well, even fast bowlers, and the faster the bowler, the more he would sweep. I used to watch him a lot. He had a formula. My father used to say, 'Watch out, you will get hit on the face.' Ayub bhai used to say, it has to bounce first to hit me in the face. He was so quick and fast - he used to play hockey as well - he used to sweep before it even pitched."

The brothers took him to their club games around Karachi. None of the grounds had dressing rooms, so young Younis was in charge of looking after team kits and other valuables. Young Younis also loved eating food that was not the food he ate at home. Lunch, even at this level, could get fancy: niharis and chicken kormas with hot naans. As he grew older, his duties expanded. He became responsible for knocking bats. Then, when he was 11, he started substituting as a fielder for those who didn't like fielding, of whom there were plenty. On dusty, uneven grounds he often fielded entire innings, developing such love for the duty that he resolved to always do it with so much commitment "even the ground enjoys it, that this guy was diving on me". See why he's the only Pakistani with over 100 Test catches?

Monday, June 20, 2016

In the land of misinterpreted terror

A Trip to Iran

From ayatollahs railing against the Great Satan (aka the United States) to whip-wielding policemen on motorbikes, Iran hasn't presented the most inviting face to the outside world over the last few decades. But a few days ago the UK Foreign Office stopped telling travellers to avoid non-essential trips. So what's it like for a visiting foreigner? Amy Guttman shares her experiences.

I'm fairly fearless in far-flung places, but arriving in Tehran made me nervous. As a single, white female, I stuck out. I scanned the hall for my guide Amin, and didn't relax until I spotted his placard with my name on it.

British, American and Canadian tourists must be accompanied at all times by a guide. This meant Amin, short in stature, but long in kindness, would spend the next eight days with me - many of them stretching from dawn until late at night. Amin, with his warm smile, sharp sense of humour, and gentle nature became like a brother to me. He also became my accountant. Hotels, food and souvenirs are roughly on a par with American prices, but for an outsider working this out can be tricky - Iran uses the rial, but prices are often in toman, which equal 10 rials... Let's just say there are several zeros to contend with, and long-division skills are a necessity.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Cliché but not so Cliché

It is not easy to stand alone and be recognized when you don't want but then you have no choice.
There is no shame in admitting that I am not good with people when it comes to asking them to stay and time and time again this thing has cost me some dearest people in my life. But then, I just don’t get the point of people leaving. They should not. Maybe they have their own reasons, or friends are influenced by something that I do, but still that is not a good excuse.

One thing that I notice is that they will be kind to you for the first time, they will be nicer the next time but the third time they will become the usual rude and show their true colors. Unfortunately, that is something I have observed a lot. That old Cliché.

I have to maintain my privacy but are so good at fooling themselves and don’t seem to be trustworthy enough, which leaves me no choice. It is so hard to stand alone and feel the world crumble under your feet. There is no way I am going to compromise on anything that can harm the peace in my life, I have struggled a lot to obtain it.

But I still believe, that no matter what, people who want to be a part of your life will always come back to you. Sooner, rather than later and I am not giving up. I will wait.

These have been some happening days for me. My semester result was the best I have ever had. That has more to do with me being on my own instead of me studying properly. When you just have one thing to focus on, you are able to perform well. The more I am studying, the more I realize that Bachelors level degree does not have that much importance these days. I don’t want to study more, but then I don’t really see what else the option will be.

Ramadan is supposed to be good, a blessed month for everyone. It has been nice, but there has been something bothering me. I don’t know what it is, and I don’t know why I feel this way, but always some sort of unknown tension on my mind is doing me no favors.

I am badly in need of some cricket, be it playing or watching. Still more than a month to go in the series between Pakistan and England. Football is there, and it is a good time pass, but when your favorite team gets to play a minimum of three games throughout the tournament, it is had to maintain the excitement. One the flip side, going out with friends at a pub (not to drink okay) and enjoying football the British way has been an amazingly different experience.

I have this fear that my habit of writing will finish very soon just like the habit of reading completed all of a sudden. I really can't afford to do that since that is the only peaceful activity along with photography that I can do. I need a way to balance all my routines and give some time to writing. I mean, I can write very few lines every day instead of trying to write a complete article in one go? Maybe that will help.

Happy Ramadan to everyone! Along with following the cliché ways of reading Quran and Namaz and thinking your fast is complete, try to pray in a different way. Try to help people I am sure there are several other sunnah we can follow instead of the typical ones. Holy Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) was versatile like that.