Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Year By Gone - 2011

2011 - well...the year Saif's Den was born

2012 is being purported as the year when the world will come to an end, which we love to hate and disbelief. However, 2011 proved to be a handful of a year for a number of reasons. Let’s take a look at the events and stories that made headlines.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Rally of the Decade

As unpredictable as Karachi is, the day of Quaid-e-Azam's birthday also started in that same fashion. For a rally that had been announced well in advance to all and sundry, critiques and oppositions wanted to spoil the party for every one by creating ripples in the city, like the PM of Pakistan did when he hastily organized a ceremony at Quaid-e-Azam's Mazar, much late by their set schedule, or by fueling news of Airport shutdown and flights being barred to fly in and out from the airport.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fall of Yet Another Pillar

Our new national airline?

It seems like this present government has taken an oath to squash every desire or realization that Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah had when he saw Pakistan come into existence. There have been numerous examples in the last 4 years of their governance where these imbeciles have choked and strangled every institution to its death. We have seen law enforcement agencies being completely ineffective, the education system is in tatters, an age-old railway system is on its last leg, and now the government have set their eyes - or perhaps had it the day they came in to power – on the national airliners of Pakistan, Pakistan International Airlines.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Basic Guide to Online Safety

In this growing age of machines, technology and internet, it has been often argued that it gives an option to make life easier and less arduous for its users on various counts but then also leaves a dilemma of preying eyes, stalkers, unwanted visitors and, more importantly, hackers.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

An Expensive Pile-up

A day to rue for those who love cars but then you don't necessarily have to be a car-lover for this either. A seemingly normal petrol-head meet-up went awry when as much as 14 cars met a fateful end in Japan. The 14 cars that crashed to their own deaths included (hold your breath!) eight Ferraris, one Lamborghini Diablo and three Mercedes-Benz and Nissan Skyline GT-R in what is being described as an expensive pile-up. According to some estimates, the worth of the pile-up may well be around $1 million to as much as $4 million. Trust me, that hurts.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Nothing gets more nerve wreck- thrilling than a race against time, with a game of life and death involved and that too of an innocent teenage girl. And trust me; this line up doesn’t get more gripping than when it is coming from Karin Slaughter. Fractured is suspense personified as a novel that has enough power to keep you hooked all night and has all the qualities of a good story.

Monday, November 28, 2011

An Impending Attack II?

A question mark now hangs over the whole of Middle East

There is a reason why we have used the same title but it is a continuation of what we wrote acouple of weeks ago on Saif's Den. In fact, if we are honest, this isn't exactly a continuation as much as it is an after-thought of what we wrote in that article of ours. We argued that the coalition between US-UK-Israel with the assistance of UN Security Council would try to win favour from other nations to attack the facilities of Iran's nuclear installments on the pretext that Iran poses a direct threat to Israel's existence.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Australia's tour of South Africa 2011

Both the captains contemplating how to end the series on a high

Never has there been a dull moment in cricket when these two teams meet together. Most of cricket experts and commentators believe that, and so do we as cricket-lovers. None of us can forget the 1999 World Cup Semi-final between the two sides, or the record chase of 434 by South Africa in 2006, or the 1997/98 epic Carlton & United Series (which also featured New Zealand) or this Australia's tour in 2011.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Boom Boom Show

Customary X-man celebration of Boom Boom

One can't be really sure about the origins of this oft-repeated phrase “Boom Boom” - perhaps it was the evergreen David Lloyd, renowned English commentator, to first use it – but whoever coined it, now this is by what we name our very own Shahid Khan Afridi, as Boom Boom Afridi. And Boom Boom he did in the 4th one day international against Sri Lanka to clinch the match as well as the series for Pakistan.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

In A Dark House

This time in the week we look to post one of the reviews of a novel that we had been reading, or rather read is the right word.

By now you must have got the hint that we read - and then review - crime-thrillers and this is no different as well. Today we have a review of a novel by a Brit author, Deborah Crombie, who has over the years have enthralled her readers with her crime thriller series featuring two respectable detectives, rich in characterisation, intricate description and multi-layered plot.

Monday, November 14, 2011

2013 Nissan GT-R

Yes, the Godzilla's back. The car touted as the “baby Veyron” of the motoring world has, since its inception, never stopped to evolve. The makers of the GT-R have said categorically that they'll keep on evolving their original GT-R to match with its supercar competitors in this demanding world of power and speed. But to that, add Japanese precision and we have 2013 Nissan GT-R. They've already lived up to their promises.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Mad Day at the Office

They say “strange things happen in cricket,” but trust me they don't happen more stranger than this.

On this day, 10th November on a pleasant, yet less threatening, afternoon in Newlands Park, Cape Town, South Africa, the world witnessed a day of cricket of unbelievable proportions. It was already shaping up into a fantastic Test match with a sublime hundred by the Australian captain, Michael Clarke, staying unbeaten last night to resume the day at 107 with a tail-ender, Peter Siddle, yet to open his account and score of 214 for the loss of 8 wickets. But little did we know that the 2nd day of this Test match itself might have so much to offer.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sri Lanka's Tour to Pakistan – 2011

Younus Khan celebrating his 18th Test Century

We are aware of the fact that the title doesn't exactly sound apt for the reason best known to us, but whichever way we look at it, it was an away-from-home home series for Pakistan and Pakistan has won a series after quite some time.
Pakistan went up one-nil in the 2nd Test match, played in Dubai which we reckon was a proper 3-Test series between the two sides, unlike those meaningless two-test series which didn't eke out a result if both the tests ended up in a draw or won by either side.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

An Impending Attack?

Since the start of this year, things have been rather messy, though in most parts of the world, but precisely talking about this region – the Middle East.


Karin Slaughter was already a big name in the world of crime fiction novels with her high-acclaimed and equally popular Grant County Series. But with Triptych, set in Atlanta, Georgia, she comes back home, where she grew up.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Israeli Belligerence

Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Israel who approved The Operation Wrath of God.

“A reminder we do not forget or forgive.”

A bouquet with the above lines written on the card, was given to the families of the victims of Munich Massacre, in 1972 during the Munich Olympics when 11 Israeli were killed by a separatist faction of Palestine called the Black September.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Good Samaritan - Pakistan Army's subdued and calculated response to Indian helicopter landing

Pakistan Army reported a border violation on the Kargil post by an Indian Helicopter, which had landed mistakenly due to the bad weather. The Helicopter was carrying 4 Indian personnels, who were immediately escorted by the Pakistan Armed Forces for interrogation. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

Finally, the saga of Lisbeth Salander comes to its rightful end with this book, though with a question as to what might have followed after this novel had Stieg Larsson lived to write more.

The action picks up exactly from where it had been left off in "The Girl Who Played with Fire" where an injured Lisbeth Salander is rushed to the hospital for the bullet-wounds she received during the confrontation with her father and her half-brother.

The New BMW 3-Series


Last week in a rather low-key, in-house ceremony outside the Munich factory, arguably the best sport sedan maker – BMW – churned out the latest offering to the world of their bread-and-butter model in the lineup, the sixth-generation 3-series.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ferrari 458 Italia Spider

Some have in the recent past been complaining of cars losing their verve and vim, their pizzazz and panache, and more importantly losing their spirit and soul. And all this hullabaloo is attributable to reforms and restrictions of different regulatory bodies around the world that have barred this generation from experiencing what the past ones have seen and felt when it came to cars - real exotic cars, that is. Fortunately enough, there are just a few of them left that have been carrying the burden of making cars with boundless passion, that are carefree and just about oblivious enough of rules and regulations for us to enjoy them. One of them is Ferrari and with their new addition - 458 Spider - they've rekindled that magic again.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ever-Confused Americans

So now we have the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton saying that the US is “not shutting the door on trying to determine whether there is some path forward.” These were her words when she was questioned on whether she believed the most-talked and much-sensationalised group, the Haqqanis would look to reconcile with the Afghan government. It can be clearly construed from her statement that even the US is looking to get the Haqqani network on the table and negotiate a peace deal with them.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Broken Window

The quadriplegic forensics expert, Lincoln Rhyme with his partner, Amelia Sachs are back, in Jeffery Deaver's 8th Lincoln Rhyme Series, to solve the killings that are taking place in the city where the alleged suspects are fitting to charges perfectly against them, or rather, too perfectly. Lincoln's estranged cousin, Arthur Rhyme is also one of the suspects to be arrested on charges of murder.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

BMW F10 M5

The car that has been highly anticipated not only among its fans but all car-enthusiasts for more than two years, the car that has set new precedents for its competitors, is finally out - the all-new BMW F10 M5.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lesson for Pakistani 'Free' Media

US military and media go hand-in-hand

While there are risks inherent to going down a more punitive path with Pakistan, the recent information on ISI links to the attack in the US Embassy leaves the US with no other option,” says Lisa Curtis, a South Asia expert at the Heritage Foundation in Washington.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Surgeon

The Surgeon! I didn't have the vaguest of idea of what it could mean, in terms of a crime thriller. I was looking for this novel since a long time and having read it now, I must say Tess Gerritsen has done a fantastic job as a medical-cum-crime thriller writer.

Monday, September 19, 2011

England vs India - NatWest Series 2011

Par for the course - another Indian player falls

The World Champions of 2011 have slumped to fifth position in one day ranking following their win-less stint in the limited-over leg of the tour. This is in itself worth making headlines for the team that ascended to the top of the world when Mahendre Singh Dhoni, captain of Team India, lifted the most coveted trophy in cricket - World Cup trophy. It was 2nd April, 2011, when along with the entire nation of 1 billion, Team India celebrated the day of lifting the trophy that had eluded them for 28 years. The cruel part is that, after nearly 6 months, it seems as if that day never existed.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 Years of Death and Drama

We've heard these all-too-familiar lines from the Presidents of US about the courage shown by the US military and intelligence officials and the never-die attitude of the Americans in the face (frankly, idiotic) threats over the last 10 years, since the first anniversary of September 11, 2001 attacks. Unsurprisingly, on the eve of 11th September, this is what President Barack Obama has to say, again:

“Thanks to the tireless efforts of our military personnel and our intelligence, law enforcement and homeland security professionals, there should be no doubt: today, America is stronger and Al Qaeda is on the path to defeat”

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Girl Who Played With Fire - Stieg Larsson

International Edition Book Cover

The second part of Stieg Larsson’s international best seller Millennium Trilogy is all it could be expected of. It’s a mystery thriller that takes a turn on crime suspense while enveloping the story with secret agencies and sex trafficking. The Girl Who Played with Fire is the pinnacle of Larsson’s posthumous master piece trilogy thriller.

Friday, August 26, 2011

India's Tour of England 2011

Facing down the barrell, Dhoni has a lot to think about

On 22nd August 2011, England not only completed an astounding drubbing of 4-0 against the Number 1 ranked team, India, but also toppled them, atleast for some time now. In fact, by the looks of things, India would be glad their period of suffering is over with the conclusion of this Pataudi Trophy series and with that perhaps Team India's honeymoon period is all but over.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Telling A Vision on Pakistani Television

A few weeks back, I got to meet two of my most beloved friends after around five years. I was surprised and happy to see that the time gap and geographical distances had not created any difference in us or our friendship. A thousand different topics sprung up as we talked about good old days and all the people from college. Who was doing what, who had the best job, who got married and who was in a relationship, and there was no end to the gossip. “Remember Alia?,” Farah said, “you wouldn’t believe it is her if you see her now.”  And I was suddenly curious, why? What happened? “I have no idea. She used to be such a sophisticated girl and she got married in a family that knows no manners and after just two years, Alia has lost all her elegance and grace, you should see her unkempt hair and the way she talks now…..OMG!!”  I felt a little sad for poor girl, “She should have been herself at least.” And I got the reply “but slowly, she has just become what she sees around her, she can’t help it”. I thought how true it is for every one of us actually.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Friend or A Foe?

With regards to Pakistan's relationship with United States of America, former US President Richard Nixon quoted Ayub Khan:

“It may be dangerous to be America’s enemy, but to be America’s friend is fatal.”

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Pakistan!!

Today is our 64th Independence Day, next year it will 65th, then 66th, hence so on, God willing that I must add. However, it is hard to believe that we are going to complete 64 years of a piece of land that came in to existence for the sole purpose to serve the needs of the Muslims. And it's even harder to believe that in such a young life - which it is, especially considering the fact that it was a country that had to literally start from scratch - it has gone through so much of ups and downs.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Autobiography of Malcolm X (As told to Alex Haley)

All Negros are angry and I am the angriest of all.”

This is one quote that pretty much sums it up a) the appalling condition and treatment the blacks received by the hands of the white at that time and, b) the person who stood up to fight against the white man's prejudice against the black race, namely Malcolm X, did certainly confront with a lot of ferociousness and an absolute dagger drawn approach.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Boys' Day Out

One of the advantages of living in a country like UAE, apart from its weather (oh you know it's not true) and especially in a region which is filled with love for cars and if you happen to be, whatever they call, a car enthusiast then rest assure the fact that you won't be disappointed. All you have to do is click 'Like' on Facebook of cars and automobile industry pages, mostly the local ones and keep an eye on the events on the internet, or better still, acquaint a friend that happens to cover up all these events, we call them 'motoring journalists'. One can safely bet on joining various motoring related pages on Facebook which would be more than enough.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (original Swedish title: Män som hatar kvinnor – "Men Who Hate Women") is the first of the bestselling Millenium trilogy by Steig Larsson, all three published posthumously. It is a gripping, spine tingling tale from the genre of crime thriller as much as it is about unleashed attributes of hatred, sex, politics and murders.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Story Of A Failed Nation

Whenever there is an issue containing an attack on our country's sovereignty, integrity or freedom, it looks as if we are programmed to say these two words “Pakistan Zindabad” which translates into “Long Live Pakistan.” We start to wield these two words almost immediately as if this would save us and our country Pakistan.