Stories published in December, 2013

14 myths about New Year’s Eve that you would not believe!

Although many of us do not admit to it, we do believe or follow some superstition at one time or another. We may cross our fingers for good luck, wear a lucky ‘dress or shoes’, get married on a rainy day for a long and happy marriage or even stop a dog from howling to prevent death. Some people grow certain plants in their homes or keep a money plant for financial success, while others avoid resting under a peepal tree for fear of ghosts and witches. And then, there are the mysterious superstitions about the full moon or ...

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26 amazing Pakistanis who have made us proud!

Pakistan, a land that has become synonymous with ‘versatile’ crime, crude jokes about Talibanisation in the West and a euphemism for all that is dark and grey. There are always two sides to a coin; the first side is seldom the accurate or the complete picture. There are plenty of problems in this country, yet somehow I always get the impression that the media outlets in Pakistan do tend to overemphasise the negative aspects over the positives. I am sure this statement would fetch many comments that can be classified as nefarious by any linguistic measure. But, please, do try ...

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13 ‘Do-Nots’ housewives can wave goodbye to in 2014

After having devised my list of housewife ‘Dos’ for 2014 (keep an eye out for it on ET), I realised that just as we devise what to do during the coming year, we should similarly devise what NOT to do as well. This year, in order to make sure I have my goals crystal clear for a sparkling 2014, I have not only devised ‘14 Dos for 2014’ but also ‘13 ‘Don’ts’ in remembrance of 2013’. Personally, I find that the best way to make and keep resolutions for a new year or in remembrance of a year past is ...

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I entered Jerusalem as a Pakistani Muslim

While I was planning a trip to Jerusalem, I knew that I was taking the risk of losing my money on hotel bookings and transport, as well as the time and effort that went into planning the trip. I visit Pakistan quite frequently and had been to Lebanon, which Israel is technically still at war with since 1948. I planned to enter Jerusalem via Jordan so that in case Jerusalem did not work out for me, I could fall back on Plan B and start my trip to Jordan earlier than scheduled. I set out at 7am from Madaba in central Jordan, still doubtful ...

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The award for best Pakistani drama of 2013 goes to…

In truth, 2013 was not quite the bumper year for Pakistani dramas that 2012 was. It was not that there were not any good dramas – there were – but the level of consistent quality that a serial needs to maintain in order to be memorable, seemed lacking. However, a curious thing happened. With no clear-cut blockbuster serials, we noticed quite a few smaller serials blooming in the wide open spaces left behind. Although sometimes low on budget, most of these dramas were high on quality, proving that funding needs not be a limiting factor. Serials such as Talkhiyan and Aunn Zara managed to punch above their weight by ...

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PTI walay, ‘kon log o tusi?’

After being beaten in the May 11, 2013 general elections in Punjab, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) came back to the heart of Lahore in their attempt to portray a ‘real opposition’. They carried out a protest rally on Mall Road against rising inflation in the country. Their action left curious political minds wondering why they chose Lahore. Why couldn’t they give a tough time to the government by raising their concerns within the walls of parliament? Or why couldn’t they stage a hunger strike in front of the Parliament? After all, inflation is a federal issue and can be addressed in a legal manner. So, why ...

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An oracle’s predictions for Pakistan 2014

On a recent trip to Karachi’s Hawks Bay beach, I was taking a walk and thinking about the past year. There were some highs and lows, both on a personal level and for the country. In all respects it has been an extraordinary year. The country went through a massive election and witnessed a peaceful change of guard in the political spheres. It also saw the meteoric rise and then farcical irrelevance of a major political party while another came to terms with an ever changing post-election scenario. There were pockets of good news followed by disheartening reports of attacks, economic issues amid promises of a ...

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Cyber love, Skype affairs and affection that kills

“Hi, would you like to become friends with me?” “Well, you are a stranger and I am not allowed to talk to strangers.“ “If we talk, we can get to know each other, then we won’t be strangers anymore.” And that is how it all begins… just some ‘harmless fun’. Stories of rape, blackmail and abuse have become quite frequent of late. These tales are not limited to any particular class or strata of our patriarchal society. To quote just one personal incident, my maid’s daughter, a girl who was hardly 17-years-old at the time, eloped with a relative’s acquaintance and was recovered from another city. The ...

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Bilawal Bhutto Zardari: The new hope for Pakistan’s future

During his recent speech, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari stunned everyone. His style and tone of addressing the masses at Garhi Khuda Bux turned the tide and changed the way many political experts used to think about him – such a performance from him was unexpected and refreshing for everyone. He was consistent with his words and fluent in Urdu, which has been his weak point in the past. He was emotionally riled up and involved the audience. His speech was even witty, especially when he discussed the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) stance on extremism and their passive approach to the issue. Along with other political issues, ...

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Haaf Playt: 90 minutes of rib-tickling laughter

I would choose to watch a good theatre play over a movie any day. The choice becomes even easier when the play happens to be Anwar Maqsood’s. His plays are simply a treat to watch, especially after a long shift at work. I became familiar with theatre in Karachi when I started working for a TV channel and got my hands on free passes for a musical. And boy, was I glad that I did. The venue turned out to be incredibly crowded and I could only find a place to sit on the stairs, which I ever-so-happily accepted. By ...

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