Raakin Iqbal Speaks

“Never be afraid to try, remember… Amateurs built the ark Professionals built the Titanic”

Meeting the Stars (Pakistan 2008 Series) Pt.1 (Ali Noor & Ali Hamza)

I am sure I am not the 1st lad writing a series of whom I met. But my series is quite temporary. I am basically going to be writing about people who i have had the pleasure of meeting in my recent trip to Pakistan.

So to show case my 1st person or in this case persons is Ali Noor and Ali Hamza from the hit rock band, Noori.

Noori is one of Pakistan’s most demanded rock bands. In some case I consider them a “formation father” of the Pakistani Rock scene. A casual way of putting it is they basically picked up the remains of Junoon and 90 Rock and fused educated lyrics to it. Which is what the industry needs.

Well here is how the story goes of our meet up…

Once upon a time there was a dude named Raakin who was staying with a really good friend and his family in defense sector or Lahore. Raakin decided to pick up the phone and see what was Ali Hamza upto..maybe an ice date @ hotspot was lurking the evil mind of Raakin Iqbal. Well when Raakin had called and offered to take him and Ali Noor for Ice Cream, He offered that he comes over to there residence for some good chai and amazing pastry’s.

Well when Raakin arrived, Ali Noor, Ali Hamza and Raakin got engaged in a very heated conversation about what is happening in our industry and what role must be played by the artist, organizer, sponsor, and government. As one topic lead to another topic and one pastry to another, Ali Noor and Raakin found out they share a common fear together… 😛

Later on I met there manager and Ali Noor’s very supportive wife, Mandana, who I must say was the most creative in practical skills.

Overall the meeting was very productive and I got to learn more about the band and the creative minds behind such success….


Mexico Beauty Queen (Laura Zuniga ) Got GUNS and WAS CAUGHT

Mexico’s Beauty Queen was caught in a truck filled with vans…Now thats a chick who listened to her self defence intructor!


Laura Zuniga is crowned Miss Sinaloa 2008 in Mazatlan, Mexico on July 2, 2008.



Images via Getty images & AP

Raakin Iqbal Show…

SO I am not quite sure if you still remember my old post about being told about doing a show. Well as you know, I do not trust Pakistani Television channels with my work due to previous experience so I have decided to full-fill reader’s email by doing a road show.

Basically I will document my trip to the Middle East on a handy cam. No editing or nothing..ok maybe a little..but its going to be neat…So just keep an eye out for me…If you see me in any foreign countries…just come on up and I will interview “Raakin Style”….

Bollywood plans movies (6 of them) about mumbai attacks

Bollywood is planning a movie about the Mumbai attacks. pretty great stuff.

Here are the names which have been registered by the Motion Picture of India:

“Taj 26,”
“Taj to Oberoi,”
“The Taj Encounter,”
“11/26 Operation Taj,”
“Mission Taj”
“Mission Oberoi.”

I know 1 movie is good enough..but man… 8 more hours of killing people…

Taj @ night...coming soon...camera and more lights

Taj @ night...coming soon...camera and more lights

A Video Example of the Best Pick-Up Lines..but can you handle Rejection? (case study)

Men are always trying out pick-up lines to get women to come along with them. That is why they are called pick-up lines. But this guy is the MASTER @ PICK-UP LINES but there is a little issue..WELL HERE WATCH…

Pakistani Popstar Ego? What in the hell do you think you are?

Readers tell me this…dont you hate it when you offer any type of assistance to anyone in general and eventually they just giving you the “shoulder treatment”? Dont you just hate it when you deal with people who think they are the biggest thing since Rhianna or SRK (for my Indian/Bollywood readers)?  Well that is what I am facing when ever I bring or meet a Pakistani Popstar…”Egotism”.  Now, not all of them are like that…Quite a lot are the friendly, joking, and humble ones…But then you have the ones who think they are the best thing since Oprah! but minus the advice and good Samaritan aspect of it.

My most favorite thing is how the ones who are bigger in fame and name value are 85% chance of the more humble and down to earth V.S the ones who only have 1 song out in the market and expect you to do a tour for them for $7K base price. So does that mean the black hole in the universe crashed and the bigger the name you are in Pakistan media, the more humble you are with people who either are supporting you, fans, and your surroundings…???? Its an interesting theory which has to be tested… So I am going to test it…I still remember my dreadful days in elementary school and the science fair. Remember those neat Science Fair projects we would have to assemble and present to a panel of judges and your score on that would determine if you are smart enough in elementary school? Well I guess 4 years of doing crap like that might payoff. So here are my variables:

Independent Variable (what changes)- The people in there Category. Such as there will be a category for – Musicians – Actors  -Event Coordinators -Fashion Designers

Dependent Variable (what remains the same)-My attitude towards them

Excluded- Models (We all know they are hot, arrogant, and men in Pakistan use them to pass time..not even to commit…{you never know..I might defeat that theory and come backed hitched!} <—- HAHAHAHA 😀 )

After running this test, I will see if my theory holds its value:

“The larger your are known in the Pakistani music media, the more humble you are & the more larger you are in the fashion media the more arrogant and hot you are”

{I am just wondering if I could appeal that B+ on my Science exam I got 5 years ago If I present such a hypothesis}   :/

Its funny, people say I have such a witty, blunt, and happy charisma (blunt and happy..this dude is soo getting high as he writes this post}…Like I my self am pretty chill and love animals and BBQ tandoori chicken! but when you give me that ego..I will shoot you down back to hell with me. And its funny how such Pakistani popstars feel so offended when I do..They are like…WTF? did he just say what I think he just said? Who does he think of him self? I told 100,000 albums in Pakistan and 2 million downloads on pakmusic.com! Who is this Raakin Character who just said that to ME..MUUAH!?????? and its funny..such arrogant people make it sooo obvious! ITS HILARIOUS! OO god…if Pakistan wasn’t a small country..I would call out names! but MAAN! those are PRICELESS MOMENTS!

anyhow…I am going on a trip soon and I will document it! and post it up on my blog very soon! Lets see how it goes!!!!!

The Raakin Iqbal Show? …What are you talking about?

I wanted to start off by saying thank you for giving me 1200+ hits on my blog. It quite interesting how people do read what I write…didn’t really expect it…and the response in the amounts of emails I am getting it just ..wow…you make me feel if I am worth of something in this society..

Well a few emails I have gotten say I should take my “blogging energy” and start a T.V show. Believe it or not, even a few Pakistani music artists have insisted on it. Offering me to help get a package together and introduce me to the right C.E.Os and all…Which I am very thank full of. I think a show would be an excellent idea! Well atleast I can stop exposing the fact that I cant write and also how much of an idiot people are when they just can’t seem to read my disclaimer “This blog is not grammatically correct..So lay off the English professor card..”.

One thing I am very hesitate on starting a television show in the Pakistani market is:

– How many more emails would it take for a station to swipe my idea again?

Now I know that I am very thankful for my position that Allah has put me in. But makes me realize how many other people in the media industry have been ripped off just as I was. I can start a whole different topic on that one day…

But my show would be amazing if I start thinking about it more.

I think the best part would be in having my own show is the nice comfy seat I will have as I talk to the biggest names in Pakistani media industry like Atif Aslam, Ali Zafar, and my imaginary friends Walleed and Babbo. (I am officially mentally insane now)

Anyhow, I think I might keep this post short. Thinking about getting a designer to change up the look. Lets see….

Happy Holidays!

No unity in Lollywood + Greediness = What Industry are we talking about?

Before I start. I would like to thank God for keeping me alive and strong to see this day which history just unfolded. In which a hard working Republican, John McCain and running mate Sarah Palin, put up an amazing campaign against the 1st African American President, Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

– Its official on November 4th at 11:00PM EST that Barack Obama will be the 44th President of the United States of America.

Ok a more entertaining and “WOW” note for me, I would like to thank Mr. Ali Hamza of the wide acclaimed Pakistani rock pioneer band, Noori, for writing me such a warming comment on my facebook inbox. Ali Hamza said {I quote}

“I find you to be a rather ‘developed’ 21st century ‘desi‘”

That is just bloody amazing!

Thanks man!

Ok so now to the post: Where do I get this topic from? Well here is my spill. Lollywood isnt united and the industries which function within it does not function with each other as it should be. Like Lollywood has all of the necessary sectors..such as sponsorship, a very competitive fashion industry, rock, pop, classical, ghazal, movies, dramas, and stuff I could mention which you would find in a hidden ally under the “blue area” of Islamabad. Some of the sectors which Lollywood has makes it more diverse than Bollywood (the heavy weight champion) believe it or not. One common and well known is the Rock sector, Pakistan has rock bands and India doesn’t have yet (well has but in the “copying” process). Like its easier to get into the Bollywood industry if your a unique rock band which can dual appeal to two different audiences.

So what keeps Lollywood out of the ranks? Well its a chain reaction. Its starts from one point and leads to the next. I can get political, but I wont. I would like to come a visit Pakistan and slap the idiots who come from Pakistan to the U.S with an ego for an event…But I cant do that if I go commando on politics! But very tempting….

SO here is the quick general chain. Lollywood is ruled by suppression of media which comes after lack of attention from any government, which comes after less funding, that is before lack of resources, that is lack of no self government, which comes from no national rating or cinema distribution outlets, which comes from no Union.

I hope you didn’t get lost? Cause I did 😛

That is just a quick overview which I will discuss in another topic.

1.) No UnionLollywood isn’t united. Each industry is fight with another. Like the Rock will never work with pop unless its for some “schematic cause”. Movies will never fade with Drama, Models think there 90 LBS (or -0.0001 KG to be sarcastic) bodies are the hottest thing which rules the earth and will never lay sight on any other guy or gal in other industries. Like they are in there own pack. Like a Pack of Wolves…just hotter looking :). What I am talking about it that we need each industry to fade and click together.

Like from my research on different industries and experience on working with them gives me a very critical knowledge on where we are all messing up. Like what I need is Models to work musicians and charities. Musicians to work with Drama producers which can keep a momentum and eventually END a drama with a big bang. Movies to work with models, musicians, charters, and think of the well growth of the industry and a more unified country as a whole.

2.) Destroy the barrier and greediness. NO it doesn’t mean if Reema donated some million rupee’s to the Edhi foundation as an anonymous donar, it makes you all good souls! I know a few personally who do donate, which is good. But seriously. I would never trust a Pakistani Foundation. Never…Not even that foundation GEO and ARY run in trying to make dreams come possible for low income “Featured citizens” of Pakistan. There are like maybe 1 or 2 foundations which have made a name and creditability for them self’s to operate as a functioning foundation.

I am talking about I want to see for example…Imam Ali, Amna Haq, Ali Zafar, etc… physically helping the kids who were just effected by the earthquake a few days ago. I want to see Dino and Anoushey hosting a special show which helps young kids get into the media industry!

The elite (investors, celebrities, politicians) have created there own circle and minusing everyone out of the equation. Isn’t it quite funny if we did minus 98% of the population, then you the elitist would be the one making me my daily batch of soccer balls and cleaning out my vacation home in Islamabad 🙂

Like I have scenes is that Lollywood never thinks about anyone else..except for them self’s. Like here is a great example!

When Barack Obama was running for President here in the United States. He clearly said if you were making less than $250,000 in your household income, you will never see your taxes raised by a penny during his 4 years. Now obviously celebrities make WELL OVER $250,000 a year (man they make $1.1 million per movie…do the math!). Regardless of his view which gave a negative effect on taxes for the high-media-income families and performers, Obama was able to charge $15,000 USD PER PLATE at a celebrity fundraising dinner. Now you tell me..which celeb would pay $15,000 for a plat for half eaten waffles and a glass of wine/coke/water and see there taxes raise by 25%? Now they thought about the people who wernt making $1.1 million per movie. The people who live day to day..hand to hand to keep a family well fed and dressed for the days ahead.

Now if these guys had a “Lollywoodtemperate…then Barack would only $500 per plate and a few good hearted people would show up.

So what I am trying to say is please try to come together…provide each other with your resources you have access to help fluoresce your industry which you claim you work in! Crack-down this Berlin Wall of yours and give back and think about the days you and YOUR family went through before hitting the lime-light or making that 1st 100,000 RS +/- cheque!

Did Bollywood Really Die?

Welcome back to the blog! Well I am sure you are scratching your head about the title I have chosen for this blog post. So before I start lets play a classic game of “Lets guess what does Raakin’s Blog title mean?”..Did Bollywood really die? Is SRK ok? Did Bollywood copy a “writers” strike as how it took place in Hollywood earlier in 2008? Well what can I say, you are so wrong. Bollywood did not literally die, If anything happened to SRK, I am sure I would not be your 1st source in hearing that, Your Desi Hungama Mobile SMS Subscriptions would tell you 1st, and We know Bollywood is a big copy cat machine in movie concepts but no Bollywood will still have more movies coming towards your way in 2009.

The real meaning of of this post is did all the Bollywood song writers die? Well at least the creative ones? What do I mean? Well I have notices that in the past 7 years of Bollywood music compositions is that the lyrics for Bollywood musical hit tracks are the exact same lyrics from 10-26 years ago as according to research and very reliable Bollywood Music Junkies that I have in my group of friends on my Facebook. Some old examples I can give you it the very popular DJ DOLL “remixed” CD collections or the recent Bollywood movie number from the movie “Bachna Ae Haseeno” Its quite a really old song. Do the research.

So again, back to the title. SO why does it say “Did Bollywood Really Die?” and not “Did Bollywood Musical Creativity Really Die?” The 3 things which keeps Bollywood Different from Hollywood:

1.) It Represents the Indian Culture (Well not anymore as much as it did back 15+ years ago)
2.) Its in Hindi (English is blending in quite slowly..give it 35 more years and Hindi will be gone)

The Main Key Aspect which keeps it Different:
3.) Bollywood Musical Intermission Numbers which go out through out the motion picture.

Movie without any musical numbers? Well there are a few but Bollywood Musical Numbers is almost 89% of Bollywood, without a catchy soundtrack, it gets quite hard to remember the movie. Like for instance if I Say “Darka Disco” you know “BOOM its OM SHAANTI OM” which starred SRK…

Haven’t you also noticed how more recent Bollywood numbers are coming from Pakistani song writers? For example “CALL the Band for Laaree Choote”, Kamran Ahmad for “Judai” Could I forget to mention Atif Aslam and Adeel Ch. Like I am not saying its bad…(I cant cause iam part Pakistani)…Its good..really good that they have opened up to Pakistan…but wasn’t Bollywood created to be Indian Only back 40 years ago and Pakistan has there “Lollywood” Gig? What I mean from this paragraph is the creativity of Bollywood Song lyrics coming from Lollywood song writers who did not get the exposure in the Lollywood market due to the suppression and lack of resources? and now there taking out there talent in Bollywood?

Its so bad that I have seen Talented Pakistani writers trying to go to India instead of trying to improve Lollywood cause obviously its “All about the money”. I will get into that in my next post….
Now now, I am not saying Bollywood Musical Writers have ALL died out. I am not saying that. You just don’t get that FULL AMOUNT of Creativity in the big batch of songs we all listen to. Like I know about 10+ years ago you had this awesome musical single that had everyone dancing to and beaming it on there tape players. Now its like 78% of musical tracks are old tracks from our parents and grand parents time and the 22% is actually composed from scratch to finish. A few examples I can give you from recent movies tracks like “Pappu Cant Dance”, or just mentioned example above “Dardi Disco” from OM SHAANTI OM”.

So we need more Bollywood musical writers to be more creative. Lets move on…Redo Bollywood…Have some fun with the lyrics. Anyone who is becoming a aspiring Bollywood Director or Screenwriter, take this INTO consideration. Your movie can suck and have the worst concept behind it, but the music is really what makes it sell. A GREAT example is “JHOOM BARAR JHOOM”. Horrible movie, awesome songs. SO remember that. If you cant afford the SRK, SALMAN KHAN, PRYINKYA CHOOPRA for your next film, just get a creative musical director on board and you will be set!

political analysis- Musharaf Resignation

Today Pakistani civilian elected President Musharraf announced his resignation on National Television after serving his country for over 9 years. He meanings and intentions behind the resignation was to avoid any impeachment that “may” take place with the opposing government that is in control. He said in a hour long press conference that what he did for Pakistan was for the best for Pakistan. Also before he made this rash decision he had consulted with many political alias and legal console.

Usually I don’t talk about politics in my blog. My blog is geared more towards entertainment, business management, and some life experience that may come in handy or so. But in a sense to me, because of the support Musharraf, the entertainment industry in Pakistan Flourished and media became more stronger than ever. So that is my excuse for this post.

So lets get started…

During Musharraf’s reign in power, Pakistan faced great economy gain and the Pakistani Rupee also gained more in value against the United States Dollar. Like before his time, when did you see the Pakistani Rupee valued at 56 RS +/- = 1 USD? Well that actually happened for a well 2 1/2 4 years during his term.

Living life in Pakistan during the 1st 4-6 years of his term was very “tense-less”. No food issue, no low shadowing, Water supply in tact, like domestically, Pakistan was improving. Which is why TIMES Magazine called Pakistan the most progressed country within 5 years back in 2006/7 (I would love to cite that information out, but Time magazine doesn’t really have an online archive).

The Entertainment industry went places. He worked with many media outlets to get them privatized and some adequate funding for start-ups to help encourage competition. Which led to over 25+ Pakistani “home-breed” Channels. The modeling industry was more liberal on what they would wear on the catwalk. Designers were”exploring” new dress options. Musical Rock bands came into the scene. It was like the Domino theory. Cinema’s were starting to appear and actually play HIGH QUALITY AMERICAN and INDIAN MOVIES! <—And have good seats and not musty popcorn and all for a low cost of 150+ RS +/-.

These are just the broad examples I can give you about the progressive movement that he took the country. Now here is where is started screwing up..and some may be out of panic…

1.) The whole emergency. That really did piss people off. It wasn’t really needed. In a sense I would call it a “Pakistani Low Shadowing”.

2.) Free Media. Yes this flaw seems wired coming from me..because I support free media and press press…obviously I am exercising it right now as I write this blog..but that was a mistake. Why? Well his intentions were good. Free news media is the way to go. But always check the demographics. Pakistan has a 76-80% illiteracy rate. Basically meaning that whole percentage can not read or write. Also a very vital demographic category…Education….It sucks…..The don’t learn….Women in Rural area’s are still oppressed by there fathers and 20 year older then them husbands….in which 15%+ don’t preach Islam but hate….

Free media should only be implemented when the demographic is…(I am sorry to say)…is smart enough to understand both sides of the story. Civilization needs to occur.

Those are just the two major flaws I see that are important to me that must be discussed in this blog.

SO what should we do now?

Well 1st of all…advice to Musharraf….

1.) disappear out of scene for a bit…Keep a very low profile….Take a Vacation…Shall I recommend the Bahama’s…the Weather is simply amazing! You and I know the county is going to be in ruins….Like I am not sure if you saw my previous post..but I had a chat with a few IMF people at OPEN Washington D.C picnic…and they are projecting the 1 USD = 176 RS +/- within 1 year. That is what they are seeing….at we are already 78- almost 80 within 2 months since of 1st projection was casted…it can come really close….anyways…

When you see it Pakistan in ruins..come back with a more stronger team! run advertisements on GEO (and keep it on GEO…I have noticed that Pakistan’s are calling GEO News there 1 source of information and belief dummy) about how YOU made the country so much better…a great indicator for you to come back..When the cost of Naan (Bread) has reached 30 RS +/-.

2.) Work to with the connections you have to get Financials statements released! and Also release yours as well. Try to get it validated by Great Britain Notary….The Brits still have Psychological control on most Pakistani’s…

3.) Work out an Alliance with Dubai! Get them to favor you.

I can give you many more suggestions as well..But the ones I have said so far have a “coded” message behind it….I am sure your smart self can crack it and maybe take it into consideration…

But heck who am I to say…I am just a guy in the entertainment industry….