Mahwash.Badar.

Mahwash Badar

The author is a clinical psychologist, a mum to two boys and permanently in a state of flux. She tweets @mahwashajaz_ (twitter.com/mahwashajaz_)

Why is Sana Safinaz plagiarising and giving copy-right notices at the same time?

Ever look at those expensive designer dresses in the display windows and felt sad? Ever felt left out because you couldn’t possibly afford to buy a Dior or a Balenciaga dress? Fret not, for Pakistani designers have a genius way of saving you of this misery.  No, no, I’m not talking about cheap knockoffs. Oh no. This is a strangely real deal. You’ll still be wearing designer clothes, probably might even cost an organ, but you’ll be halfway there on the social ladder. One of Pakistan’s leading fashion houses, Sana Safinaz is under the spot light once again and for the same ...

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Madiha’s only crime was that she was unable to bring a motorbike in her dowry

Madiha was a 22-year-old girl in Gujranwala who had just gotten married. You know how it is for newly-wed girls; the apprehension, the stress of adjusting to a new home, the worries about making everyone like you and leaving your family behind. For Madiha, these worries became small compared to the horror she ended up facing. Her husband, Amir, would beat her regularly. Madiha’s crime? She was unable to bring a motorbike for Amir in her dowry. Two months or so after the wedding, Amir and his family doused Madiha with petrol and set her on fire. She died within ...

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Karan Johar, Kangana Ranaut and male privilege

There is no doubt about Karan Johar’s immense talent. He sees Bollywood from a unique eye that captures its essence as well as its soul – what he creates on the big screen is nothing short of magical. In a gargantuan $4.5 billion industry like Bollywood, Johar and Dharma alone stand at $200 million. Johar combines the idyllic with the marketable. He is truly a dream merchant – whether it is when Shah Rukh Khan runs towards Kajol in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai or Deepika Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor dance at a wedding –Johar has a unique eye and an ...

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Congratulations Asghar Farhadi for winning an Oscar and for boycotting the event

Forty four-year-old Iranian veteran director, Asghar Farhadi boycotted his visit to the Annual Academy Awards where he won the award for ‘Best Picture in a Foreign Language’. His film, The Salesman, won in this category and Farhadi chose two accomplished Iranian-Americans to accept the award on his behalf.  His film’s leading actress, Taraneh Alidoosti, also boycotted the ceremony in light of Trump’s recent visa ban. Farhadi’s boycott comes at a time when the world stares at American borders in askance and confusion. A Syrian cameraman and rescue worker were unable to attend the ceremony because the Syrian government cancelled their passports. Trump’s visa ban, now jammed in federal court, ...

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Our society needs drama’s like Sammi

The most recent episode of the on-going serial Sammi is all about how brilliantly Mawra Hocane and Sania Saeed have performed. Sammi, airing on Hum TV every Sunday, talks about the prevalent custom of vanni in Pakistan. According to Pakistan’s Penal Code, vanni is a custom that is outlawed and has a fine imposed along with imprisonment for anyone who practices it. However, the state organs are weak and vanni continues to be practised in many parts of Pakistan. Simply because the cultural practice has a stronghold in the country and the predominant jirga system has now been given constitutional cover. Through these dramas, however, one can hope that more and more ...

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If you’re a die-hard Hrithik Roshan fan, watch Kaabil

The plot is simple. The clichés are common. There is an A-list actor in the lead. The Bollywood formula is locked and loaded. Aim at a public holiday and fire. Kaabil hit the screens on Indian Republic Day and gathered around 20 crores in its first week. *Minor spoilers ahead* Directed by Sanjay Gupta, of the Kaante (faintly copied from Reservoir Dogs), Zinda (Old Boy) and Jazbaa (the Korean film, Seven Days) fame, comes Kaabil which seems to be loosely adapted around the Korean film, Broken, where the protagonist’s teenage daughter is raped and murdered. In Kaabil, Rohan (Hrithik Roshan) vows ...

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Sang e Mar Mar: Truly a masterpiece

As most of you already must know, Sang e Mar Mar is now inching towards its finale with its plotline coming to a heartbreaking and poignant end. (Warning: spoilers ahead.) In a shattering episode, three deaths simultaneously occur: Safiullah kills Saifurrehman to take revenge of his brother Gauhar’s death, Torah Khan kills Safiullah at the same time to avenge the cruelty Safiullah’s father inflicted upon Torah Khan’s mother – and he does this to make it look as it was Saifurrehman who killed Safiullah. In another place, Gulalai is hit by a bus as she is coming back to the ...

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A domestic helper is not a slave. A child is not a servant. #JusticeForTayyaba

Exactly one year ago, a man heard a little girl cry out from the cold floor of a washroom in Rawalpindi. She is a 12-year-old domestic worker in Rawalpindi Cantonment. As the man tries to contact the police, he realises there is no proper method to save a child like that from a family that refuses to understand that such treatment towards young children, or any person, is nothing but inhumane. The man who heard this little child’s cry wrote about the incident in a piece published on January 01, 2016, with the hope that by this year, she ...

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The good, the bad and the ugly of Pakistani dramas in 2016

This year’s Pakistani dramaverse was filled with a lot of unlikely hits and misses. While some storylines I expected to be worth the wait were substandard, there were many others that performed exceedingly well. Our storylines this year also proved that Pakistani audiences are maturing and the drama market is the best way to reach into the very core demographic of the Pakistani household. Udaari This show was a powerful crime-drama that highlights the crucial issue of sexual abuse in the country. The drama entails a cast full of stars such as Ahsan Khan, Urwa Hocane, Farhan Saeed, Samiya Mumtaz, and Bushra Ansari playing key roles. The plot follows Meera (Urwa) and Zebo ...

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Our actors are wasting their talent on Pakistani dramas like Sanam

Does anyone miss Fifty Fifty? Studio Dhai and Ponay Teen? It’s the age of Snapstories going viral and two second GIFs primarily providing the fodder for comedy. I have often tried to watch some comedy serials on television but it’s difficult to tolerate them for more than five (10, if you’re really that starved for entertainment) minutes. That’s all the more reason why I feel terrible when I see a talented comedian like Osman Khalid Butt playing regressive, emotional, and clearly messy roles like Haarib in Sanam. In the recent episode of Sanam, Haarib berates Aan (Maya Ali) for not picking up her phone because her mother just had ...

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