Saturday, March 24, 2007


Me and my University buddies went to the new GoAish Adventure Park the other day to check out the new `Paintball Arena` that had been set up there. A friend had played this game in Lahore and was all praises for it, especially for the CS-addicts (and there are quite a lot of them nowadays!). Anyway, around 15 of us gathered at the 'Arena' inside GoAish relishing the prospect of kicking each other's butt!

The 'Arena' is nothing more than cleared out "Jhaarian" with chopped-down trees and rocks placed there as objects for taking cover. Nevertheless, the fact that they've bothered to work on bringing something like this to Karachi is admirable. A single game costs Rs. 200 which gets you 12 bullets, and for every extra bullet you pay Rs. 8. Kher, we bought ourselves a game, listened to some instructions and finally donned the warlike gear they gave us which was reminiscent of CS uniforms. Although the guns were a bit shabby, the headgear made the CS-transformation complete! We looked like real soldiers believe me, too bad we didn't have a cam to capture it. The bullets, meanwhile, are small and full of paint but they hurt like hell once you get hit trust me ! :P

There were a number of flags spread across the Arena and the objective to collect as many as a team can until they run out of bullets. I was in the black team and once the game started, started running here and there calling on my `Call of Duty` exploits to take cover, order covering fire and grab the closest flag. Needless to say, the entire operation was not without pain and I got hit more than anybody else i.e., a whopping 16 times ! :P The bullets, I tell you, hit you like a pebble thrown at 30mph! Especially if you happen to venture off into the enemy territory and get spotted, evoking a fearsome response from the opposition. Yeah, imagine being the sole target of 5 people raining bullets on you from all directions !! Ouch! It hurts and I've got marks all over my body to prove it!

I've been nursing those bruises ever since ... but still dying to go back with my cousins next week :P! The whole experience was really fun and although the game didn't last as long as we'd hoped for, everyone still enjoyed and had a great time ! There are other interesting activities there too, like Wall-Climbing, Quad Bikes, Rope Courses etc. They are worth checking out but very tiring physically. All in all, a wonderful place to go and spend your pastime. If you're a CS addict or enjoy playing first-person shooters, you must go paintballing ! The more the merrier, take as many friends as you possibly can. It is the perfect place to practice your headshot-skills in real time! Good Shootin' ;)!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

TOEFL iBT Preparation Tips

I have been thinking of doing this post for quite a while now since a lot of people have asked me for helpful tips and links to resources on the web for preparation of the TOEFL iBT (a revamped version of the TOEFL CBT). For starters, iBT stands for Internet-Based Testing as opposed to CBT which stood for Computer-Based Testing. From what I've learnt by giving the old Paper-based TOEFL and CBT, the new iBT is considerably 'harder' and a lot more challenging, especially with the addition of a brand new Speaking section.

You can complete information on TOEFL from the ETS website located at: TOEFL tests are held 2-3 times a week at two test centers in Karachi (one in Gulistan-e-Jouhar and the other in P.E.C.H.S). As for the format, the new iBT consists of four sections each of 30 marks namely Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing. Anything above 85 constitutes a good score on the iBT, although I've seen a requirement as high as 100 in the case of some top-notch universities in the US and elsewhere in the world.

Anyway, moving on to some helpful resources on the web which I found extremely useful during my prep.

Free Practice
iBT Test

Excellent Blog with Speaking Examples

Sample Questions

iBT Tips

Score Comparison Tables

Make sure you also download all the TOEFL material from the ETS website, including the Official Bulletin, Test Center Locations etc. Registering for the iBT also gives you access to TOEFL-Access, a portal for students with a lot of helpful material on it. Plus, you can always Google for more TOEFL resources on the web.

The only downside with the new iBT is it's length in my opinion. The test lasts around 4 hours with only a 10-minute break between the Listening and Speaking sections. Nevertheless, the test (although revamped and much more challenging than before) is still not overly difficult as it is sometimes made out to be. With good practice, you can score great too ! All the best !

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Farewell Bob

The news of Bob Woolmer's sudden demise was pretty shocking for me like everyone else. At a time when tempers were flaring high across the country over Pakistan's woeful ousting of the WC and the team was being cursed from left, right and center (The news channels playing their part too sadly), news suddenly broke of his demise and everyone went silent. More in shock than anything else; and then the tributes started pouring in. Ironic, but true. I felt real sad for the guy who had only one match to go as Pakistan's Coach (and I don't think he had plans to extend his contract). He was exposed to a lot of stress already coaching a mercurial Pakistani Cricket Team that undergoes more ups and downs then your regular Disneyland roller coaster! That said, I guess this loss was too hard to take for him and he finally gave in. Although it's hard to imagine someone as light-hearted and firm (from what his colleagues say) would give in to stress like this. Nevertheless, he might not have been successful at turning a team of prima donas into anything resembling professional cricketers but you can't fault him for not trying hard enough. As DAWN rightly points out in today's Sports section, he was the man who brought computerized coaching to Pakistani Cricket - a trend that could only be positive.

I agree wholeheartedly with Adil Najam' suggestion that National Stadium, Karachi should be renamed to Woolmer Stadium in honor of his services to Pakistan Cricket. Elsewhere on the blogosphere, Adnan Siddiqui has written a moving post on Woolmer entitled `Dear Bob! Please Forgive Us!`. There are plenty more tributes over at Cricket Bloggers of Pakistan.

Farwell Bob! R.I.P.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Black Day

What unfolded before our very eyes today was nothing less than appalling! So much for projecting a 'soft' image of Pakistan Mushy! At this juncture, when the country is dealing with it's worst judicial crisis, the police stormed the office of GEO TV in an ignominious turn of events that defied belief!

In fact, for the last couple of days starting from that jackass Wasi Zafar's comments on Voice of America to Kamran Khan's show being pulled from air, the country has become a laughing stock on the international stage amid the deepening judicial crisis which seems set to go on for considerable length of time. No wonder people in the West have this image of us in their minds of scores of people protesting on the streets for one reason or another and not only protesting but violently dissenting, bringing life in cities to a standstill and either being roughed-up themselves or causing extensive loss of property either way reaffirming their belief that Muslims are no more than violent and despondent hoodlums disseminating nothing but malevolence amongst themselves and towards other nations of the world.

It remains to be seen what direction these cataclysmic events take next and I, for one, solemnly pray that this is over asap. Amen ! God save Pakistan.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Grade 3 Geography Test

Try to place all of the US states correctly on a map within a certain amount of time. A lot harder than I thought, and pretty fun too.

read more | digg story

The Impossible Quiz

One of the most annoying yet fun things I've seen on the web in a while. A host of the most meaningless questions you can ever accumulate in one place! Take this quiz and try to finish it if you can! Best of luck! ;)

Here's the URL:

P.S. It takes quite a while to load but worry not, it's well worth the wait!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Amreeki Pithu Ka Junoon!

I couldn't help but chuckle at this title written on a banner held by some people protesting the recent dismissal of the Chief Justice by our President. That is exactly what Mushy seems to have become sadly of late, giving into everything the US has been asking him to do in return for military and financial aid. He argues, however, that any sane person leading Pakistan would do the same things he has done simply because they are in the 'national interest' of Pakistan.

This term often gets me since it follows from ideologies of introversion and possessing a egocentric attitude towards fellow countries who have stood by us when we needed them. The Democrats are clearly against courting any favors to Pakistan and if they find themselves in power come 2008, Pakistan may well see some harsh words being spoken to them by the incumbents of `White House`. I bet given the opportunity, they would love to cut all such support to Pakistan leaving us 'out in the cold', marking an end to the honeymoon period between us. What policy would be adopt then ?

Friday, March 09, 2007


Cool or what ?! More to come...

What Am I?

You are The Hierophant

Divine Wisdom. Manifestation. Explanation. Teaching.

All things relating to education, patience, help from superiors.The Hierophant is often considered to be a Guardian Angel.

The Hierophant's purpose is to bring the spiritual down to Earth. Where the High Priestess between her two pillars deals with realms beyond this Earth, the Hierophant (or High Priest) deals with worldly problems. He is well suited to do this because he strives to create harmony and peace in the midst of a crisis. The Hierophant's only problem is that he can be stubborn and hidebound. At his best, he is wise and soothing, at his worst, he is an unbending traditionalist.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Just upgraded to the new blogger ! Kinda cool!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Graduated !

Duplicate post on and

We had our convocation today the NED University and I, along with my batch mates, were officially graduated ! The chief guest, Dr. Eshrat ul Ibad, was a no show leaving us wondering whether he'd gone headlong to welcome Meera jee into their prestigious (read pilfering) political party!

In terms of what to do next ... I'm keeping my options open for now, let's see what the future has in store for me.