Stories published in August, 2012

So, what do Canadians think about Pakistan?

I was discussing some of my design work with a friend of mine, wondering what the film and design industry in Karachi is like, and how my work could make a difference back home. Considering I have an educational background in film and design, she pointed me in the direction of a video blog post. She sent me a couple of examples of what people were currently doing and I was inspired to do something similar. Having lived in Pakistan most of my life, I knew that most people abroad saw Pakistan through the lens of the media and news channels, and it was not half ...

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Is Aşk-ı Memnu, the next Humsafar?

Remember the time when Hum TV’s show Humsafar became the talk of the town? Be it the song or the characters, the show got thousands hooked onto television screens with its twisted romance, plots, and of course, the indelible Fawad-Mahira chemistry. As of late, however, there has been another TV show that has been gathering audiences in a similar manner. Surprisingly so, it’s not your everyday ‘saas-bahu’ Star Plus-type show, but from an altogether different culture and genre. It is none other than newbie Urdu1’s Aşk-ı Memnu or Ishq-e-Memnu (forbidden love). Set in the beautiful locales of Istanbul, ...

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Christmas with Rimsha

It has been nearly two weeks now that 11-year-old Rimsha, who is reported to  have Down’s Syndrome, is languishing in Adiala Jail. All this time a wounded child has been in a jail for hardened criminals while the experts determined whether she is 11 or 12, mentally ill or not. I don’t have words to express my outrage and utter disgust, so instead I want to share these photographs with as many people as I can.  I want to share these photos of a cartoon character called Amai – the bird of light, along with her friend Santa, celebrating Christmas ...

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A doctor’s symbol of hygiene: A (dirty) lab coat

Tariq Road perhaps becomes one of the filthiest shopping areas in Karachi after hours. As one passes by the next morning, blue plastic shopping bags scrape along the sidewalks, dragging in the dust along with numerous small scrap pieces of turquoise, hot pink and dusty beige coloured fabric. There are also trashed plastic bottles, which one could have easily recycled. It is strange, especially in Karachi — potentially the country’s most filthy city — that doctors, who are required to be sterile when dealing with different patients, wear their lab coats far from their practicing facilities; Dolmen Mall, where I observed ...

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Riding the roller coaster of happiness that is Facebook

Facebook is not just a social network, it is a phenomenon that has changed our lives in significant ways. No matter how real it seems, with the familiar faces of our friends and family, at the end of the day it is a virtual, make-belief world, which lacks reality. For most of us, life has become too busy. The rat race coupled with our relentless pursuit of growth and finding happiness in some distant part of the world has resulted in us being more disconnected with our close ones. It is not surprising that about a billion people are active ...

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Todd Akin, what exactly is ‘legitimate’ rape?

Missouri Congressman Todd Akin, a conservative Republican candidate running for the hotly contested US Senate seat, recently made some crass comments on ‘legitimate’ rape. He also gave insight into the female reproductive system that have instigated much outrage amongst Republicans and Democrats alike. His statement was meant in defence of his anti-abortion stance and with regard to pregnancy as a result of rape. It poorly attempted to render the question of abortion irrelevant by asserting that “It seems to me first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body ...

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‘Revenge’ is my favourite word

Ramazan had begun and my dear Khursheed’s college had ended. I loved meeting her. Every day I would prepare Iftari for her, all set with a bottle of chilled Rooh Afza. She would come, collect the Iftari, stay with me for a while and then leave. One day she told me that her father had accepted her cousin’s marriage proposal on her behalf and so I should not meet her anymore. I was enraged, furious at the thought of her being with someone else. I just couldn’t let her go away like this. I thought to myself, If she can’t be mine, ...

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An ‘A’ grader’s secret to success

Throughout my study span, I have seen fellow peers working hard to achieve some good grades to improve their grade point average (GPA). Few, out of many, were able to do it; the rest failed even when they did manage to get hold of the notes of their ’4.o-GPA-friend’. Where does the latter lot of students go wrong then? Is it because the friend who you borrowed notes or books from might have left you in the dark and not provided you with the complete material? Yes, we all have that thought. There will always be something kept from you, whether unintentionally or not. ...

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Hanumant Singh, I will always remember you

I remember Hanumant Singh. Now, how many in Pakistan would say that? For that matter, how many in India can say that today? But it is true! I remember him well and owe him a debt which can never be repaid. One hears you asking, why would an individual living in Karachi, have anything to do with an Indian prince? I speak from faded memory, because to go into historical statistics is to lose the charm and mystery of what is just so natural. Sometime in February 1964, aged five, I saw two of my uncles huddled together listening to a Grundig ...

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Fashion: Guys vs the Guru

It’s a common myth that men generally don’t agree with women’s fashion choices. We wanted to put the myth to test and see how the verdict of a female fashion expert tallies up against the opinion of regular guys. So, meet the boys Essa Malik: 28, is a graphic designer and photographer who likes all things beautiful. He is currently single. Taha Farrukh: 28, plays the Xbox for a living and works as a Finance Advisor in his free time. A globe-trotter who samples all kinds of cuisines, but draws the line at escargots. He is married. Shaheryar Popalzai: 28, is a journalist by day ...

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