Stories published in April, 2014

I didn’t know who Sarmad Tariq was… until he passed away

Can someone you’ve never known, someone whose name you’ve never heard of, inspire you enough to rethink your entire life? Apparently it can. It was only a couple of Facebook posts and the news of his death that moved me, leaving me feeling a little broken inside. When I logged on to Twitter this morning, I found my timeline flooded with people mourning the death of Sarmad Tariq and talking about what a great person he was. Initially, I didn’t care much. I mean, people die all the time. Famous people die too. And everyone sings their praises after they are gone. There was nothing ...

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A mosque named after Mumtaz Qadri? Well done, Pakistan!

I was spending a lazy afternoon lounging in the Osama bin Laden library, bemoaning the dire lack of buildings honouring our local murderers, when my Smartphone informed me of this fascinating new development. I learned of a mosque being erected in Faizabad that is to be named after the man who killed the former governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer. The very idea of a mosque, a sacred house of worship, being named after a man who attained his glory by murdering another man in cold blood, may reasonably offend certain people. Certain people like, say, Sherbano Taseer, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and Mehreen Zahra, who expressed ...

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Dale Steyn: The best fast bowler ever!

While the whole cricket fraternity was going gaga over Dale Steyn’s bowling heroics during the second Test match of the last series played between South Africa and Australia, a couple of my friends came up with a peculiar yet interesting theory. According to them, due to the dearth of good fast bowlers in Test cricket, batsmen, in general, have become complacent, and as a consequence, their techniques have become more vulnerable against top quality swing bowling. Some very good bowlers, taking advantage of the technical deficiencies of modern batsmen, have mustered up career figures that are comparable to the best of all time, even if ...

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Damon Salvatore and Edward Cullen better hide, we want a Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie!

Being a die-hard fan of the classic television show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Sarah Michelle Gellar, and knowing that there are many others like me out there, I think it is about time a Buffy movie was released. The show was based on Joss Whedon’s 1992 movie with the same name. After the movie failed to top at the box office, it was converted into a television series. Buffy the Vampire Slayer which aired on television from 1997 to 2003, gained a huge fan following and has been listed as one of the best shows of all time. Although Buffy was a major success for Warner Brothers and the United Paramount Network (UPN) and inspired many ...

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Indian Elections: I vote ‘None Of The Above’

As India inches towards the half-way mark at the parliamentary elections, political commentary aside, what caught my interest, as a former citizen, was the ‘None Of The Above’ (NOTA) option on the electronic voting ballot. Just the fact that one could register a no-vote is in itself fascinating, as it moves the arm chair critic from the couch and into the voting booth. On digging deeper, it seems that this concept of registering a no-vote goes back to a recent Indian Supreme Court ruling where the voter, in all his or her wisdom, must be given the right to register a NOTA vote ...

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The worth of being a Karachiite = Actually worthless!

Being a democratic country, Pakistan is governed by the National Assembly comprising of elected representatives from all over the country. The very essence of democracy is that all citizens are considered and treated as equals with equal rights and opportunities given to all of them. The total population of Pakistan is currently said to be 182, 490,721 out of which around 23, 500,000 lives in Karachi which means that almost 13% of Pakistan’s population are Karachites. Although the last census was conducted in 1998, the data used here is based on estimates in 2013 calculated through the population growth rate as accepted by the ...

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Home is where the heart(less) is

April 25, 2014 Friday, 4:08pm:  I finally check my regular worldly news and social media updates. After a hectic day of running errands, wading in the rain and running around for meetings here and there, spending time at the library with its semi-hushed warmth seemed like the perfect end to a long week.  The promise of a late afternoon catching up on reading turns into just that, a promise. There was a blast in Defence, exactly an hour ago, when I had been rushing out of class. It was too close for comfort to where I lived. Sickened, I look at my ...

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Forget polio, Pakistan is ‘BIGGER’ than India and size is all that matters!

A few days ago, a leading British newspaper carried a news story that stated: “The World Health Organisation certified the south-east Asian region – which includes India but excludes Afghanistan and Pakistan – polio-free after three years without a single new case being reported. The WHO said this meant 80% of the world’s population lived in polio-free regions, an important step towards global eradication of the crippling disease.” It is a massive coup for the people of India, for the people of those other countries now free of polio and for the world in general, for achieving an 80% eradication of the disease. ...

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Walter Isaacson’s ‘Steve Jobs’: The definition of perfectionism

Did you know that Xerox was the first company to invent the three-button mouse and use a Graphical User Interface (GUI)? Also, to add on to your knowledge, the original design for Mac in 1984 was inspired by Tiffany, Cuisine Art, Sony and Porches and Bill Gates, who made an investment worth $150 million in Apple to help it avoid going bankrupt. You will find all these facts and a lot more in Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs. After Benjamin Franklin: An American Life and Einstein: His Life and Universe, Steve Jobs is Isaacson’s third biography, based on 40 interviews conducted during Apple Inc.’s cofounder’s severe cancer ...

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The bloody world of dog fighting: Victory or death, there is no mercy!

Warning: This post contains graphic content.  With the ongoing global and national humanitarian crisis that I have been witnessing, working on and voicing out, I had never fathomed the thought of discovering a blood sport that would send shivers down my spine. It may seem outlandish to some in Pakistan to show unease over animal rights, while we all know a bit too well how our basic human rights are persecuted. Nonetheless, blood sport, of any kind, is never acceptable and should not be tolerated in any way. Recently, I came across a Facebook page that encouraged dog fighting. Then, I saw a few horrifying videos of this ...

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