Beggar at Ghazi Chowk


Meeting Ali Hamza.

18 Aug 2010

So I did manage to finally meet one of the Noori guys. Ok, this is assuming I don’t count the time where Ali Noor passed within three feet of me at Nando’s. To which fellow Noori Nut FS (who was there with me but didn’t see him) remarked: That is one person I would have lost all shame to meet, why didn’t you tell me. (Roughly translated and I think, censored)

My meeting with Ali Hamza was more legit, I think.

So I’m in Hafeez Centre trying to sell of my iPod to raise money for a computer, and Ali Hamza appears. Also dealing with the same guy I’m trying to convince about Apple’s warranty being valid in Pakistan. I realised that was futile, and also that I would later bang my head in the wall if I didn’t talk to Hamza, and so I went up to him as he was about to leave with a meek “Hamza Bhai…”.

Hamza, by the way, is a really nice guy to talk to.

Now for some context. My friend Hamza M (yes what irony, or maybe not) is launching Smudge Magazine, which in the vaguest terms would be a collection of idealistic people talking about stuff they, well want to talk about. But trust me the promos are better than this. If you are an advertiser, note not to hire me in the future. So HM got hold of me to write a story on Noori and their upcoming album, since my Noori Nut status is not a secret. Not at all.

Well he came over, we discussed music that he and I have discovered, him being an event organizer who regularly gets concerts going, and me just having ridiculous amounts of time I like to waste unproductively. We realised it was unlikely we’ll get a face to face interview, considering their recording schedule. We decided to do it over email (which I don’t like but succumb to), as we thought of new ways to convince them that would also, ultimately fail.

And, so, as fate would have it. I run into Ali Hamza. Also, as I would have it, I failed to mention that I was on a research mission for university trying to get Pakistani artists highlighted abroad and giving them basically great PR, and also that I worked closely with Noor Zehra Kazim, Ali Hamza’s mother at TEDxLahore. Get-Brownie-Points-When-You-Can Fail.

Let’s see where that goes soon.  I only have another two weeks (less actually) to see them face to face.

But whether or not that happens, I will remember speaking unusually fast and getting in Ali Hamza’s way awkwardly and having my toes almost crushed. Also he was trying to get something to 4.0 (this was him talking to the shop keeper not me). And he was also about to give out his phone number, my ears perked up, only to tell him that his was the same number as ‘big boss’ (in the words of the shop keeper, I’m assuming Ali Noor) with the last two digits changed. So no, I don’t have his number.