Wednesday, June 29

New Music

Chinese Whispers - Rouge

As predicted, the song we initially used to prove just how little musical talent the three rouge girls have has made it to my play list. It's the curse of familiarity, it's grown on me, however you want to put it I know that I've sold out. They're still fit though.

Tuesday, June 28

Lost: One Pair of Linens

While looking for stuff to take to Dubai (Saturday, baby), I've found that I no longer have a pair of linen trousers. Thinking back, the last time I know I had them was in Bangladesh, and now they're nowhere to be found.

I will not accept that I left them in Chittagong; someone must have nicked them of course. However what bugs me the most is not that I don't have them now, but that I don't know where they are.

So if you were the one that has borrowed my linen pants for an extended and open amount of time, let me know anonymously. I won't be angry or ask for them back, but I will be able to rest in peace. Thanks.

Star Trek and Me

After countless consecutive years, Star Trek is finally off our screens. Well I say "our", but since I cheated I'm ahead of the UK telly schedule by a couple of weeks and so I'm probably alone in this. But hey.

I've seen every episode of the newer stuff (TNG, DS9, Voyager and Enterprise), and doing a quick bit of maths makes that 700 or so episodes in total. I first started watching when I was an early teenager, so it's pretty safe to say it's been with me for a long time. It's safe to say that it's some of the best television I've seen.

I can't deny that it has also had a bit of an effect on my life; it was 'cos of ST that I was (and still am, I guess) into the sciences - if there is any geek in me, blame Starfleet. ST has also been responsible for demonstrating to it's fans some of the more important political, social and cultural issues and lessons of life; they were just wrapped in a wonderful fantastic universe.

The people in power have always provided ST in some form or another since TNG begun in '87 and it's said that at any moment in time someone is broadcasting ST somewhere in the world (although that was probably more true back in the 90s). I think this is the first time the beginning of TNG that there has been no ST in the UK and it's ironic (but probably understandable) that Enterprise got cancelled during its best season.

I guess a few may wonder how I can write all this about what is after all just a telly show. But it must be said that ST is a part of the stuff that makes up who I am*, and to deny it would be to deny me. So nyah.

Goodbye for now, Star Trek.

* Other things include Dawson's Creek and to a lesser extent, Buffy. Sad, I know.

Saturday, June 25

Film: Kung Fu Hustle Click for more info

Previously seen by a couple of mates and me on DVD (it was released last year), it was so good I felt it deserved a second viewing. Unfortunately watching it the second time around didn't impress me as much as the first; what was an almost perfect film became instead one of the best films I have seen this year.

Yes, you read that right, and yes, it is that good. Comic book capers of the most basic kind, Hustle has only one job, and that's to entertain in spades. There's really no point in my typing anymore, but if you want to know how simple a good film can be, then watch this. My only regret is that I can't watch it for the first time anymore.


Friday, June 24

Shak The Heavyweight

It took me two steaks, but I've finally broken the 10st mark. 10st 4lb to be precise. That's 65.3kg for the metric fans.

Ok, so I'm just one dump away from regressing back to my weako 9st days, but at least I now know that it's possible.

Just remember, mess with me and I may have to sit on you.


xxx says: cool yyy can give me a lift back
yyy says: pussy
zzz says: do you like mine ?
xxx says: man... i aint stroked a pussy for ages
zzz says: really, when was the last time ?
xxx says: must have been around a year ago.... around a friend's house.
zzz says: he let you stroke his ?
xxx says: she did yes
zzz says: i stroked one last week at a shop
yyy says: lol
yyy says: brb
xxx says: ooh which one? did you have a choice of which pussy to play with?
zzz says: nah only a young one
xxx says: i cant wait till the yyys get theirs - if im lucky ill get to handle two at a time
zzz says: hehehe
yyy says: lol
yyy says: you sic bastards
yyy says: i did jus the one lar niggt
yyy says: but 3 times in a row
yyy says: ooo, too much?
zzz says: ^o)
zzz says: yes
yyy says: hahaha
xxx says: you should be careful with the young pussies... theyre smaller and may get hurt if handled rough
zzz says: lol
yyy says: i know
xxx says: and dont worry, ill still be around to play with your pussy zzz. its closer and therefore more convienient
zzz says: lol

A Poem

The unimaginative soul's excuse not to rhyme,
Often making no sense, vomit of the mind,
People flock in their ignorance to give it praise,
Indeed, Poetry is the lame duck of literature.


Wednesday, June 22

Shak's Choice: Sania Mirza

The Indian Tennis star, Sania Mirza.

She lost, but I don't care. She oozes talent, and I still reckon is one to watch in the future.

Shak in non-shallow shockah? Possibly, although she is kinda hot irrespective of her performance on a Tennis court...

The Beautiful People

Yesterday I attended a presentation hosted by Clifford Chance LLP in their Canary Wharf building. The subject of the presentation itself doesn't matter, but it was aimed at professional Muslims. And before you ask, no, it wasn't a singles event.

So here I was on the 30th floor (with a fantastic view of London) of a swanky building feeling totally out of place in my jeans, trainers and t-shirt. I was surrounded by the more conventional suited and booted "professionals": so doctors, lawyers and consultants (although I think that some may disagree about that last one).

Of course being the odd one didn't bother me (you know, me being the attention seeker I am), but the inverse snobbery instantly kicked in. I knew that I probably had just as good a job (and no not in the "I'm proud that I clean toilets" sense, but more in the "pissing contest" one) than them, more likely a better degree and academic record too, as well as being more balanced with respect to other qualities. The difference was that I was more "real" - I don't do expensive suits, or weird shoes the name of which I can't pronounce. I didn't sell out to the corporate man.

Of course this is all balls; I'm sure they were all as nice and interesting and down to Earth as anyone else was, and talking to them I found that that was indeed the case. They were still different though. I don't want to say more posh but their make up and attitude was definitely more Harrow than East London.

I wonder whether, if I had chosen a more "professional" subject to study, if I woulda turned out like these guys. To be honest, I'm not sure I could have pulled it off, and it's why I never went to the Deutsche Banks or Accentures. I hate to generalise about the people who work in these places but it really would have been like being someone I'm not.

Tuesday, June 21


xxx says: its raining :9
xxx says: :(
xxx says: and av worn white again and flip flops
xxx says: disastrous combo
Shak says: you foool!!!
Shak says: even i know never to do that
xxx says: i didnt know it was goint o rain
xxx says: :S
Shak says: go hom bare footed i say
xxx says: or walk in skating manner?
xxx says: try not to lift my feet off the floor
Shak says: never works
Shak says: you can be as careful as you can.... but youll still get THE SPECKS
xxx says: :(
xxx says: hope it dsnt rain some more
xxx says: as long as there aint no puddles.. i'll be fine
Shak says: good luck
xxx says: its murder washing out mud stains from white

Book: Islam And Democracy, Fatema Mernissi

Some of you may recognise the author as she who wrote "Beyond The Veil". I only managed a few pages of that book before losing interest, but although I didn't realise Islam And Democracy was written by the same author until past the half way mark, it was still interesting enough for me to carry on reading it.

Don't let the title fool you; this book isn't really about democracy in the Middle East (or the lack thereof) per se, but more about the Islamic World's resistance to change altogether.

In my opinion, Mernissi is quite a presumptuous, patronising, generalist and at times arrogant (although in a soft and justified manner) writer. Now I've not read much sociology, so perhaps that's just how books about this subject are, but I feel that the tone of her books are kinda unnecessary. On the other hand it does sound somewhat familiar... Ahem.

Still the book makes some good points (even after you've detected the Sistahood propaganda in it), and is a good read if you want a more human (and therefore possibly more real) assessment of the Muslim situation in the Arab world. I may not agree with a lot of what Mernissi has to say, but I think she'll be happy with the fact that her book has stimulated new and furthered existing arguments in my mind.


Stupid Cleaners

I know they have a crap job but that doesn't mean that they should keep on throwing away my water bottle. Idiots.

Monday, June 20


One of the things I miss after joining the rat race is being able to watch Wimbledon. There was nothing like a lazy post-exam Summer day, lying on the sofa with the fan blowing and watching a couple of unknowns battle it out down the road in SW19. I only realise that I didn't do it often enough now that I can't do it at all. But hey, there's always the weekend plays.

Today saw the start of the 2005 Championships, and also Sania Mirza of India's first match. Following it via the scores wasn't ideal, but I still got an idea of the match and how down to the wire it got (S Mirza Ind bt A Mori'mi Jpn 6-3 3-6 8-6) - hopefully they'll cover it in tonight's highlights. I'm glad she won - I wanted to see her play before she got knocked out.

Saturday, June 18

Film: Batman Begins Click for more info

A identity crisis gets in the way of making this film really really good. On the one hand it pays homage to what were, in my opinion, the Time Burton Batman classics. On the other hand, it tries to remain dark and powerful by being realistic. Of course the two don't mix, and what you end with is a film with more personality issues than it's main character.

The action scenes weren't really up to much either, the makers choosing to imply violence rather than show it. Good points include a strong cast, passable acting, and a pretty good premise (if you didn't know it's about how Batman comes about); and of course Katie* was the cherry on the cake.

So yes, a curiosity at best and one you may like.

* On seeing her again, I've managed to forgive her for being so stupid as to accept a proposal of marriage from Mr Cruise (or anyone). Anything I may have called her in the past few days were said out of anger and are not true.

Tuesday, June 14

Shak's Choice: Melissa Theuriau

It's been a while, but let me present Melissa Theuriau. Possibly the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. And she reads the news too, apparently. Lucky French barstads. They get Melissa, and we get Moira Stewart (no offence Moira fans, but c'mon).

Every guy (and girl come to think of it) I've shown approves of Melissa, so she seems to have general appeal too. Apart from one guy, but I suspect that he's gay anyway.

Sunday, June 12

Film: Mr. And Mrs. Smith Click for more info

Before seeing the trailers I hadn't expected much from this film; after all it was clear that it was just a og fest for it's two main stars. After watching the trailers I took that opinion back and was suddenly looking forward to a film that potentially offered both the eye and mind candy that usually makes a good flick.

I say potentially because, unfortunately, my initial gut feeling about this movie turned out to be quite true. A wasted effort really, this film coulda been so much more than the deflated tyre it was. I don't really want to go into why it was bad, and don't get me wrong, this film is still watchable, it's just a bit depressing that it wasn't so much more.

Wait for the DVD. At least then you'll be able to watch the Jolie bits again.

Saturday, June 11

Link of the Day

'Nuff said.

Hair Crisis

So I'm sitting here waiting for my dad to come how to ask him... nay TELL him that I'm gonna shave all of my hair off. It seems that my folks are the only people who don't like my hair super short, which is enough to make it an issue for me. I'm not sure my mum cares much, but my dad seems to think it a big deal.

So what do I do? Get what I think and others tell me looks good, or the freshie cut my dad wants? Short hair will come in handy for Dubai and will at that time be the right length for the wedding.

Finally, how sad is this? Other guys are scared to tell their parents about their secret girlfriends. I, on the other hand and in classic Shak fashion, have my hair to worry about. So sad.

Friday, June 10

New Music

Lots today. Guess what I was up to last night?

Piyu Bole - Parineeta

Not sure why I have this one. Sure, it's sweet and ditty, but it's not that great. I don't expect it to last on my playlist.

Ghar Jayegi Tar Jayegi - Baby Doll Hot Ones

Otherwise known as the "one with the prostitute". An ever rising key and playful lyrics make this one accessible to everyone; in fact I'm not sure of anyone who doesn't like it.

Ban Jaayiye - Silsiilay (Himesh Reshammiya)

Bit of a mixed one and again one I may have added on a whim. Powerful and poignant though, but I fear I am becoming less discerning about what I listen to...

Bulla Ki Jana - Rabbi Shergill
Tere Bin - Rabbi Shergill

In my opinion the two best tracks from his album, Rabbi has a free spirited hippy sound that everyone seems to relate to and know. Watch them sway as they listen.

Mausam - Nitin Sawhney Ft Reena Bhardwaj & Murtaza Khan

My first Nitin track (yeh yeh, I know, but it's not my fault I'm not cool). A very chilled out and easy going tune to bring you down after a hard day's work. Or something like that anyway.

Nach Baliye - Bunty Aur Bubli

Only here because of the next track.

Kajra Re - Bunty Aur Bubli

Now this song has a bit of a story behind it. Initially repeatedly played by The AN a month or two back, I didn't realise how much I liked it till they had stopped. And of course I didn't pay attention then to its name or where it had come from, and so I was stuck when trying to get myself a copy; and it not being a part of the official AN playlist didn't help with my futile research. In desperation I even asked the friends who I thought would know ("It's sung by a woman. Erm, that's all I can remember"), but they just looked at me like I was mad. Even I started believing I had made it up, the song itself beginning to fade from my memory. However, thanks to my contacts at AN (cough, splutter etc) and a bit of luck not only did I finally manage to get the song name and source (the B&B soundtrack would have been the last place I'd have looked) but also a dedication on the radio to boot. Frankly, I'm surprised a song caused so much hassle and grief, but hey, it's currently my tune of the moment and so it was kinda worth it. And as a bonus it's even sung by Ashy in the movie...

Wednesday, June 8

Book: Instant European History, Robert Libbon

Weighing in at a palsy 220 pages, this books presents us with over 300 years of European history in what seems an amazingly concise volume. However Libbon does a good job of only covering the important bits while filtering the rest and what we end with is a nice introduction for the non academic.

As well as being brief, the book is also well written. Going against the typical stereotype we have of historians, Libbon manages to make history relevant and engaging by using contemporary language to communicate with the reader. For example:

The Renaissance was a sweeping artistic and philosophical movement that not only celebrated human form and potential but also supplied names for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles*.

Some may wonder what the point of such a course history book is; well I also took out a 720 page volume (The Penguin History of Europe, J. M. Roberts), which, frankly, scared me off (although to be fair it does seem like an easy read too. Long, but easy). I guess most history books are written more as a reference than a novel, but it's good to see the few that are more accessible to people like me. My only major gripe was that the book started very late into the history I wanted to read about (I'd have liked to have read about the Roman empire and Muslim influence which was pretty relevant before the 1700s) especially since getting this from any other source would mean losing Libbon's unique style, but I guess we take what we can get. If you want to focus on modern European history, then this book is ace.


* In primary school, we once had to create a restaurant menu based on a theme of our choosing. Since Gavin Pascal (my partner for the task) and I were such big TMNT fans, we ended up with Michelangelo Milkshakes, Raphael Rolls etc. Our teacher was so impressed that we based our menus on the major players during The Renaissance. We kept quiet of course, but mainly 'cos it was all new to us. True story.

Tuesday, June 7

Train Girl, No More

She now has a name.

(Cue dramatic filmi-twist sound effect)

Sunday, June 5


Those that know me will say how anal I am about schedules and time keeping, and when I was younger there wasn't an appointment I'd miss (I came late for only one out of however many lectures I had in my four year uni course. Sad, but impressive regardless I reckon). However, an recent ongoing trend for me is to be late for stuff.

This morning I was fifteen minutes late for my 20 minute optician's appointment, and so missed it. There was no penalty or anything and the guy was actually quite easy about it, but I was still quite disgusted with myself. It doesn't matter that it was 'cos of running or Quran recitation that I was late (instead of, say, just not getting out of bed), the fact was that my and others time was wasted, thrown away, discarded.

I also barely made the start of Sin City arriving just as the age certificate thing came up. In fact meeting Steve et al in the seats is more common than meeting them in the foyer.

What's going on? Am I becoming lazy or complacent? More chilled out and less worried about timekeeping? Who knows... I don't like it though.

New Music

Crossroad - Bon Jovi

I think it's accurate to say that I've been listening to Bon Jovi for as long as I've been listening to music (although it helps to know that I've only started doing that since the age of 15 or so). "Always" remains one of my favourite songs of all time, and a friend deciding on whether to buy their greatest hits album spurred me to obtain the same. Most of it was a blast from memories past, but the ones I've kept are decent tracks and a worthy addition to my playlist I think.

(Songs added to my playlist: Livin' On A Prayer, In These Arms, Someday I'll Be Saturday Night, You Give Love A Bad Name, Keep The Faith)

Ladies First - Ms Scandalous

Hot on the heels of Aaja Soneya comes the rest of Ms Scandalous's debut album. Needless to say Spread Love makes it to my playlist, but surprisingly so do two other tracks from this otherwise filler contribution. I will say that the album is varied enough for me to admit everyone will like something from it, so check it out if you have nothing better to do.

(Songs added to my playlist: Spread Love, Don't Rush, Summer Breeze)

Film: Frank Miller's Sin City Click for more info

Dark, moody and quite frankly looking like it's been drawn on screen, this is amongst the quickest 124 minutes I've ever had the pleasure of watching on the big screen.

Split into three quite disparate stories, Sin City seems to just exist in order to show other films how it is done. An engaging plot from start to finish, excellent direction and a superb cast (cue my mentioning Alba, Murphey and Gugino) make you wonder in which places the inevitably cut corners were. And as hard as I struggled, I just couldn't find any.

A good enjoyable romp that, in my presumptuous opinion, few won't enjoy. Go watch.

Saturday, June 4

Thorpe Park

Today was spent in that fun corner of Surrey called Thorpe Park. It must have been ten years or so since I last went, and boy has it changed.

It's now more roller coastery and actiony than the sublime and peaceful I remember it to be. This is no bad thing, but the Old Thorpe Park had its place too, being a place that everyone, bravados and pussies alike, could enjoy. Now, if you're not a rollercoaster nut then there's not much left for you.

Still I think we (all 17 of us, aged three to well over thirty. Not mentioning any names, of course) had a laugh anyway, but not due to the park itself. From the convoy to and from there, to the utilisation to the fullest of our disabled party status to the biryani lunch it was hella fun, and where we did it became largely irrelevant.

Strangely we got sent home at 6; I'm pretty certain theme parks used to open later than that in the old days. Them cheekily selling cut price tickets on the way out may have had something to do with this new policy though. Luckily thanks to some acrobatic time scheduling we managed to complete our tour of the Park missing out only on a few of the smaller fairground rides. I'm astonished that they have the gall to charge 28 quid entry, although judging by the number of people who had 2-for-1 vouchers (including 8 of us), I'm not sure many pay full whack.

This one was a long time coming, but I reckon we all got the taste for this now, so hopefully next time will come sooner rather than later.

Friday, June 3

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

I so need a haircut. I feel a number three all over coming up.

Unless someone stops me. If so, you have one week. Dum dum duuuuh.

Getting Kicks

Y'know, guys who get their kicks and then go back home might have the right attitude. Perhaps they're ultimately happier 'cos they've already got certain "things" out of their system and so are more mature about what they want from a life partner? The fact is the girls that they originally went after were probably never seen as wife material, but no, this blog isn't about blame and judgment.

On the other hand, people who "refrained" (for want of a better word since I want to avoid implying that all seedhi saadhi people are horny as hell) may want both the important stuff and the superficial teenager giggly stuff. They have yet to get over their stud complex and so want a partner who'll fulfill that too; and of course, these be rare beasts. Naturally, something has to give - either they'll be with a real man/woman or they'll be with a superficial trophy. Either way there's a danger they'll end up unhappy 'cos they'll feel something is missing - they are yet to have their respective fixes.

So yes, much as I hate to admit it, perhaps all the guys we criticise for messing around are on to something, even if they didn't realise it at the time. They certainly seem happier after settling down and getting on with their lives. Perhaps more importantly their partners are also happy - they don't care about history, preferring to live in the now. And good for them if so.

Alright, so there's a lot of frustration and stuff up there. But I do have a serious point (just in case you've already dismissed the above as not being that). Do past relationships make it easier for one to find their final perfect partner? If so, where does that leave the (possibly few) of us who've chosen not to have any relationship apart from that long lasting final one? Is there any hope for them?

Well, there must be some, since there are many examples of successful, happy and long lasting first-time-couples. However, some would argue that they belong to a time long gone. Back then it may have been the norm to have no or neglible experience with relationships, but we now live in a time where people who haven't been in past relationships apparently make up a minority.

And so, finding someone who is likeminded on this issue becomes somewhat difficult (and that's ignoring the fact that people who have been about don't necessarily restrict themselves to others who have done the same. Not that they should, of course). This isn't just simply about parity (and digressing a bit I still don't think your virgin status gives you more currency to demand the same of your partner than a non virgin), but more about fulfilling an idealistic notion of compatibility that others long realised doesn't even really matter.

Add to that the fact that we all seem to be more obsession with romance than the more practical issues of relationships and marriage and, well, it becomes even more difficult - especially for that minority whose belief this same obsession may contradict.

Wednesday, June 1

One to Watch

Whistleblower, today at 9pm on BBC One.

Investigating dodgy parking attendants, tonight's show promises to tell us stories of corruption, theft and bribery in the parking ticketing industry. Worth a profanity or two at the telly anyway.

Desperate Housewives, today at 11:05pm on Channel Four.

This season finale has come way too soon in my opinion. A great show that had me gripped from the start. Not sure how well a second season will fare (what else is left to cover? I've recently said how they should do away with multiple seasons of a show and stick to more short lived serials) but if they ended it here I'd be more than happy.

Just When I Thought I Was Safe

Went home to a fit of sneezing, hot flushes and a bunged up nose last night and came into work this morning with the same. Yep, just when I thought I had gotten away with it, my hayfever has finally kicked in.

I usually get it earlier than most - from mid May to Julyish, but for some reason it's started later this year. My dad reckons it's 'cos of the new house or something, but hey, as long as this doesn't mean it will carry on till August I can't complain.