Stories published in February, 2011

The Oscars 2011: Fashion hits and misses

The envelopes may have been upgraded from plain white to embossed crimson and gold but the 83rd Academy Awards didn’t live up to the hype that surrounded them. Touted as being ‘younger and hipper,’ the ceremony left one yearning for hosts that were ‘older and funnier.’ Alec Baldwin and Billy Crystal should have grabbed the stage for themselves while they had the chance during the ceremony. It’s unfortunate that politically correct Hollywood doesn’t appreciate comedian Ricky Gervais’ candid brand of British humour (remember the crazily entertaining Golden Globes that he hosted this year?). Had Gervais been asked to host the 2011 Academy Awards ...

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Save the shalwar!

As summer approaches I see colourful billboards everywhere! Skinny models in glam make-up are wrapped in designer fabric – all to impress female consumers. The models wear long qameezes and short ones, baggy shirts and tight ones – what they do not wear are shalwars. The traditional shalwar has all but disappeared from the modern silhouette. It has been replaced by the more Western inspired pants, capris, trousers and churidaars. The shalwar suit that was once a cultural icon is now, nowhere to be seen! The dupatta has met a similar fate. Not so long ago, the dupatta was a cultural symbol worn by Pakistani women and was ...

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Take a lesson from Bahrain

Imagine a lonely man without a job. His community barred from political representation, having no rights and no future to look forward to. With extreme frustration and deep-rooted anger, he one day gets off the wrong side of bed, thinking it’s time to bring about a change. That was the situation with the people of Bahrain. People with no real rights to speak of. Pushed over the edge, this man, along with a few others, decided to make himself heard, albeit peacefully. They take to the streets just so they get noticed. Understandable so far, but the plot thickens. The ...

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Pakistan’s ‘ad-woman’ stuck in a time warp

Most ads in Pakistan show women as maids. Their major worries seem to be their family’s health, their complexion, hair and aging skin. All they do is cook, wash and their whole lives revolve around their family. But is this a true reflection of Pakistani women today? Gone are the days when men were capricious and women servile. Today, Pakistani women are empowered and active in every arena including government, military and sports. The concept of a joint family is fading in our society and women are (or aspire to be) as independent as men. But our ads continue to remain ...

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Will ICC investigate the England vs India match?

I was unable to understand why England was unable to secure a victory against India in the recent Group B World Cup match until I heard the breaking news on TV. Shane Warne’s Twitter prediction, although it reached me late, resolved the whole matter. Warne wrote on his Twitter account: warne888 Shane Warne Looking forward to the game between india and England today should be a cracker… My prediction a tie ! Soon after the match ended, Warne tweeted again: warne888 Shane Warne Before u think there was something untoward re prediction of a tie, thought it was going to be a cracker-tie was tongue ...

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Tech for thought: The geeks have overcome

My phone today is exactly as powerful as the brand new computer I bought 12 years ago. It is not just processor power; we have come a long way with Internet connectivity as well. The Internet speed I get on my mobile phone today is faster than my dial-up internet speed ten years ago. Terrorists, militants and fundamentalists have obviously not slowed down the advent of technology in Pakistan. I can order books online from Kitabain.com and pay on delivery. I can buy anything else on homeshopping.pk and beliscity.com and do the same with nearly anything except groceries. It may not matter ...

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World Cup 2011: Why isn’t India prepared?

If India has one thing to learn from the Commonwealth Games debacle in New Delhi last year, it is to improve organisational skills before hosting a mega event. And if you think India has learned a thing or two before hosting the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 to avoid a similar embarrassment, you should think again. Since the start of the tournament, controversy has followed the Indian administrators running the World Cup. Indian cricket is a gold mine which is as deep as the Earth’s core. Immense fan interest, competitive advertisements and media attention has given it more money than anyone ...

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They smuggled my poems to Delhi too

At Jamuna’s bank, I, too, got my blessed Ganges bath, so to say. These are the days of Faiz dip. The centenary festival is on the move. It is natural for Pakistan, of course, to celebrate Faiz but the person and the poetry have also won admirers far beyond our lands. India, in particular, has a claim on Faiz in that an entire epoch of Faiz’s poetry was written in the undivided India. It was also the days of the Progressive Writers’ Movement, which for a decade and a half dominated the literary scene in the subcontinent. Faiz’s poetry immediately after ...

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Pakistan beat Sri Lanka: Victory is sweet!

After having made two wins in two games, the Pakistan cricket team has given the country a reason to rejoice. For most of us Pakistanis, the World Cup has in fact just begun. We are beginning to believe that Pakistan are a force to reckon with after defeating Sri Lanka, one of the favourites. However, as extensive praise is being heaped on the team and congratulatory messages being sent across, we mustn’t forget that this was just the second game of a fairly long tournament ahead. We must cheer the boys on, but ensure that complacency doesn’t creep within the ranks, as ...

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Cricket fever goes digital!

It’s finally here! What we’ve all been waiting for — the ICC World Cup 2011. The tournament has brought with it a month of cricket madness. But what happens to the dedicated cricket fan when, God forbid, you miss an important match? The world wide web may have a solution. While you wait for match highlights on TV, you can also obtain a complete low down of what went on during a match through numerous cricket websites. You can view a ball-by-ball commentary of the matches, get updates on the latest news in the world of cricket, as well as ...

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