Stories published in November, 2013

On the 5th anniversary of the Mumbai attacks, let us take an oath

Five years ago, it was the worst of times for my neighbouring country. Mumbai, India’s commercial hub was under attack. The eve of November 26, 2008 was one of the bloodiest days for India. When the calendar marked November 29, the death toll exceeded 100 people.  Everything was deplorable. The entire Indian nation was mourning and rightly so. It was the worst of times for my country as well, as the whole Indian government and the media turned hostile towards Pakistan and built war hysteria. The attackers were reported to come from my soil. This was a shocking revelation. The after-effect of ...

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Don’t blame Imran Khan for your own mistakes!

Imran Khan seems to have become a lightning rod for mass criticism. Aisha Ghumman’s recent blog is yet another addition to an already overflowing list of complaints against Imran Khan. In a nutshell, she questions his promises spouted during the May 2013 elections, labels him and his tactics a failure, and demands his resignation from the party. Ironically, it is the attitude of the author and not that of Imran Khan which is more reflective of why we have refused to see meaningful political change in the country. Students of philosophy and Greek mythology are familiar with Sisyphus. He was a king but his actions ...

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Shed those pounds: 10 easy tips that guarantee weight loss!

Everyone wants to look smart and slender. But most of us have extra pounds which we want to get rid of. All those nights of binge eating and food therapy will catch up with you eventually. I’m always looking for tips to get rid of that extra weight. We need to remember that there is no short cut to losing weight, even though it takes less time to gain it and more time to shed off those pounds. We have to work and be patient about the results. We can be assured of results, but to expect these results to be ...

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In loving memory of a friend lost

I am sitting here thinking of what I want to say, But it just won’t come out so I found another way.   Though I am writing out my thoughts, but you’ll never really know, Everything you meant to me, that I couldn’t really show.   In all the ways you have changed my life, I can’t ever tell, Upon me, it looked like, you had cast a magic spell.   The way you calmed my angry moods, You showed me love when I was blue.   For all those gruesome times in which you assisted me, For all the confidence and optimism you poured in me.   I can never express enough gratitude, For helping ...

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Great win boys, but here is how you can keep it up!

The Pakistan cricket team has finally made their supporters proud by sealing a historic ODI series victory against the Proteas in their backyard. This made Pakistan the first team from the subcontinent to win a bilateral series in South Africa, which is indeed an honour worth celebrating. Pakistan’s youngsters stepped up and made amends for the embarrassing 4-1 defeat at hands of South Africa in the UAE, which raised a lot of questions and disappointed fans all over the globe. The entire squad played positively and aggressively, which brought about an overall change in the team morale that seemed down and out just a few ...

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In Italy, I was asked why I was not wearing a Burqa

It was our last day in Rome. My friend and I decided to spend it at our two favourite places in the city – Piazza Navona and the Trevi Fontana. It was almost noon on a pleasant day with the brilliant autumn sunshine warming the cobble-stoned square and illuminating the magnificent Roman sculptures in the centre of the piazza (city square in Italian). It was as if both of us wanted to take a part of Rome away with us in our hearts as we sat quietly on the stone bench simply absorbing the relaxed Italian life around us. I had my camera ...

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Mr PTI Chairman, we have a problem

Dear Mr Chairman (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf), Your meteoric rise as a powerful alternative political force in Pakistan was a reflection of the belief of the educated middle class in your slogan of ‘change’. For the first time, in recent history, our people saw a ray of hope against corruption, nepotism, plutocracy, injustice and entrenched hereditary politics. You mobilised the sceptic and the idealist, the old and the young, the religious and the liberal, the elite and the poor, by your strident call, ‘Tabdeeli aa nahi rahi, tabdeeli aa gayi hai’ (Change is not yet to come, change is already here). Men and women flocked to your jalsas in millions to ...

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Can’t a Pakistani and Indian live in harmony? We used to…

Like most Pakistani’s, I too experienced an overload of nationalistic fervour when I left Pakistan and that too for India. India evoked a psychological barrier and conjured the dreaded feeling of being ‘the other’ even though I had spent my formative years away from the jingoistic identity formation of the Zia years and had been brought up with the tolerant outlook of my parents (although my Kashmiri father did have staunch nationalist ideals). In hindsight, it was a sad, instinctive conditioning. I remember our Indian neighbours in the UK, where I spent most of my childhood, and despite the exchange of formal pleasantries ...

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The evolution of the Apple logo

The history of Apple logo is very unique. When Steve Jobs coined the name of his company, he was in talks with Steve Wozniak about the name. When Jobs uttered the name ‘Apple’, Wozniak laughed and said, ‘It’s a computer company, not a fruit store.’ The Newton Crest logo (1976) In 1976, Ronald Wayne, who is the third co-founder of the Apple Company, designed its first logo. It showed Sir Isaac Newton, sitting beneath the very tree from which an apple had fallen to his head and he revolutionised the laws of gravity. If you look carefully, the phrase on the outside border reads, ‘Newton… A mind forever voyaging through ...

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‘Catching Fire’ with The Hunger Games!

With its dark and powerful plot coupled with an abundance of fantastic performances, Francis Lawrences’s Catching Fire is as gripping a watch as its former film. But unlike The Hunger Games, the latest instalment in the franchise based on Suzanne Collins’ popular books, portrays a much darker world and leaves no stone unturned to show the horrors people suffer under totalitarian regimes. Catching Fire takes us back to the dark, despairing country of Panem. After winning the 74th edition of the Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) return to their home in District 12, the most suppressed sector of Panem. They are on their ...

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