Stories published in May, 2016

If there is a sequel to Warcraft, I sincerely hope Duncan Jones doesn’t direct it

The video game has 12 million subscribers and not a single one of them could have asked for another director for this movie adaptation. But guess what, contrary to the expectations, Duncan Jones birthed a disaster. Based on the video game franchise, Warcraft is set in Azeroth and tells the story of humans (including dwarves, imps and various other mythical creatures in the fringes) in conflict with beasts; orcs to be precise. The former party is exposed to the threat of colonisation and the latter fears extinction. The orcs are able to enter the human world via a dark portal and that is when ...

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She came to me for a contraceptive but her husband dragged her away

It was a few years ago when a 40/41-year-old mother of five children (her eldest in his late teens) came to me asking for contraception. After we discussed the pros and cons of the various contraceptives available, she decided to pick a pill that was appropriate for her age. Half an hour later, her husband, a man in his early 60s, stormed into my clinic, flashed me the same medication in his hand and asked, “What is this?” “This is a medication for women,” I said. “Is this a contraceptive?” “Yes.” He threw it in the dustbin and warned me that if I ever dared ...

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The dirty old men of Pakistan

In the world we live in, there is no dearth of pious men who believe that most of the world’s problems can be fixed by giving their women a little thrashing. And this business of a man’s God-given right to give a woman a little thrashing has brought together all of Pakistan’s pious men. A few weeks ago, Pakistan’s largest province passed a new law called the Punjab Protection of Women Against Violence Act. The law institutes radical measures that say a husband can’t beat his wife, and if he does he will face criminal charges and possibly even eviction from ...

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Dear PEMRA, why can’t we talk about sex?

As of 2015, Pakistan’s estimated population was frighteningly over 190 million. We are growing so fast that the United Nations estimates we will hit 300 million by 2050.  Now, I am sure some of you read this and thought, “Masha’Allah.” But the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) warns that we will start running into water scarcity by 2025. Yes, we are already overpopulated, and our resources can’t sustain our growth. In essence we are a giant growing elephant riding a tiny single-wheel cycle. Photo: Jusscope And this unicycle is going to fall, except we are told by our ...

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Rahul Gandhi is inexperienced and lacks vision

The Indian National Congress has been enjoying unbridled power ever since independence. Until 1999, India did not have any opposition party strong enough to challenge it. However, with the emergence of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), as a national party in the late 90s, the face of Indian politics changed. The BJP led National Democratic Front first came to the national scene in 1996, and after a brief interregnum for two years, they won the general elections in 1999 again, where they remained in power for five years. The party has gone from strength to strength ever since. However, BJP’s victory in the 2014 ...

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What would Barbie be like if she were to come to CII’s Pakistan?

Let’s open a can of worms (an interesting exercise if indulged in occasionally) and wonder what it would be like if Barbie (of Ken fame) came to Pakistan as a franchise. Since a non-Muslim woman before being co-opted into a Muslim family must become Muslim and change her name, Barbie, before being launched in Pakistan must do the same. I speak of Pakistan which rejoices in the name ‘The Islamic Republic of Pakistan’ as of a family, however dysfunctional, and of Barbie as a sort of Qaum ki bahoo, (the nation’s daughter-in-law) which puts Sania Mirza’s nose out of joint. It’s ...

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Why does Virat Kohli turn Pakistan so green?

Whether it’s a tickle past fine leg or a glorious drive through the covers, the man has it all—and everything in between. Years of struggle, an unyielding passion, supreme talent and hard work have made Virat Kohli the cricketing tour de force that he is. Yet, every time he strides onto the pitch and takes guard, a nation of over 200 million people turns whichever shade of pale or red they possibly can. Those on the yellower side fear the onslaught, while viewers with blood rushing to their faces are wishing the Indian maestro nothing short of death. Such is ...

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Alice’s unnecessary journey Through the Looking Glass

Following through with Lewis Carrolls’ two-book series, the movie Alice: Through the Looking Glass, directed by James Bohin, was recently released in theatres, but it did not fare so well at the box office. It felt like an unnecessary sequel to Alice in Wonderland (2010). Alice (Mia Wasikowska) inevitably returns to Underland through a giant mirror in order to help her dear friend, The Hatter (Johnny Depp), who is lamenting the “loss” of his family. Alice (Mia Wasikowska) inevitably returns to Underland through a giant mirror in order to help her dear friend, The Hatter (Johnny Depp), who ...

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Ain’t no mountain high enough, except maybe Rakaposhi base camp!

Foreword: I am not a travel writer and neither do I intend on being one. This narrative is simply an attempt to articulate a once in a lifetime travel experience to the fabulously mountainous north of Pakistan. Day 1 of expedition: On which all, except me, start the ascent to Rakaposhi base camp. Day 1 of expedition: On which all, except me, start the ascent to Rakaposhi base camp. When I woke up the day our expedition was to start, I felt a bit odd. I couldn’t quite pin point the oddity. I ignored the intangible (not quite bordering ...

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A ‘taroo’s treat’ in Karachi

Before I begin, there is something I want to say: My wife is a stupid woman.  There I said it. I don’t know what goes on in that miniscule female brain of hers but she is really getting on my nerves now. I was leaving to hang out with my boys when she told me to take a water bottle with me. There’s a heat wave, she said, you’ll get dehydrated. “Bottle of water? What is wrong with you, woman? I am not a weak little girl. I am a man. A MAN.” I yelled and repeated for further reassurance to her and ...

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