Stories published in August, 2016

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’s teaser is out and it was worth the wait!

We finally caught a glimpse of Karan Johar’s ambitious project, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, starring Ranbir Kapoor, Anushaka Sharma, Aishwarya Rai Bachan and our very own Fawad Khan. What I gathered from the snippet is that the movie is fresh, dark, passionate and has a melodious soundtrack. This is Karan Johar’s first directorial venture after Student of the Year (2012). But Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is expected to be comparatively bigger, better and more appealing. Ranbir Kapoor, Anushaka Sharma and our very own Fawad Khan.Photo: Instagram Karan Johar and Fawad KhanPhoto: Instagram I am extremely excited about the following things. 1. Music Karan Johar is famous for the euphonious music ...

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Pakistani squash: Lack of infrastructure and no recognition, yet a great performance

Pakistan’s junior Squash team recently won the World Junior Squash Championship, held in Poland. Abbas Shaukat, Ahsan Ayyaz and Israr Ahmed led Pakistan to victory with Pakistan winning two of its three matches against Egypt in the final. It is Pakistan’s fifth title in World Junior Squash Championship.Photo: Tumblr I am, much like any other squash enthusiast in Pakistan, exhilarated by this news. Pakistan winning the Squash Junior Championship title after years of being beaten consecutively by the same opponent is definitely news worth celebrating. Undoubtedly, the efforts of the trio and their coach must be appreciated and ...

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Is the state of parental leaves in Pakistan more unfair towards men or women?

Switch on your TV. Pick up your newspaper. How are they selling you what they are selling you? Your favourite tea? Presented to you with the loving hands of your doting wife. Oil? Helps fry the food your wife will make for you when you come home from dinner. What about investing in property? Pretty wife, handsome husband, almost fully grown kids walk into what seems to be a manor – but of course, it’s so affordable! Oh, look. Your favourite drama is on. It’s all about weddings again. And the problems associated with rishtas and more weddings. Ah, the ads are back. What a ...

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Pakistan’s inhumanity is robbing our children of their innocence

The other day, my son wrote a story about a king and a prisoner who wanted to kill the king. The prisoner made an extraordinary gun and wanted to shoot the king to avenge his imprisonment. After two attempts the captive was successful in murdering the king. When my son finished reading his story out to me, I was literally in a state of panic. I asked him to stop writing stories that mention guns or killings and warned him against sharing them at school. He innocently informed me that he had already shown it to his teacher and that she ...

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Why are we allowing the murder of animals?

To anyone who grew up in Pakistan, such as myself, it has always been taken for granted that animals are inherently ‘lower on the food chain’, so to speak. They have never been given much importance, and in the grand scheme of things, no one thinks of their rights. While humans have their own plights, as Pakistan can be a laborious and challenging place to reside in, animals go through the same, and often worse, struggles than we do. They do not have the capability to speak up for themselves, and so their circumstances are often not considered One such animal, ...

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Change begins at home: Stop blaming France for the Burkini ban

When I lived in Saudi Arabia, religious policing of women’s bodies was the norm. I remember a time when my mother and I were casually strolling down Suwaiket street – one of the most busiest and populated areas in downtown Al-Khobar – when we suddenly witnessed the religious police, most commonly referred to as ‘mutawa’ (or mutaween for plural) approach a young woman, and angrily demanded that she cover up, as she wore the abaya (full Islamic body covering), with the scarf resting loosely around her shoulders, her face and hair bare. When the woman, who was too shocked to speak or didn’t comply right away, ...

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Nerve: It’ll surely get on your nerves

With the Pokémon Go epidemic sweeping worldwide (which is getting people to run into traffic while looking at their smartphones) it seems the timing for Nerve could not have been better. It is a thriller about people performing embarrassing and increasingly death-defying stunts in the name of a shadowy online game in an attempt to gain popularity and cash. Emma Roberts stars as Vee, a high school senior who lives on Staten Island with her clingy but hardworking mother Nancy (Juliette Lewis). Vee is afraid to tell her mom that she wants to go across the country to an arts college in California because she is ...

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How can France assume the basis of our choices?

The dupatta has been around in our part of the world for thousands of years. The word itself is of Sanskrit origin, ‘du’ meaning ‘two’ and ‘patta’ referring to a strip of cloth. In ancient times it was worn as a symbol of modesty as part of an outfit that was comprised of three pieces and, as centuries passed, it became part of the cultural, religious norms in this region – not just for Muslims but also Hindus and Sikhs who cover their heads when walking into a religious building. These days it is worn by many young girls as ...

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How long will our country insist on keeping its boys out of the kitchen?

How long will this country insist on keeping its girls in the kitchen? Another 70 years according to the Punjab Government, which has announced a program to exclusively provide girls schools with poultry to ‘teach them about the kitchen.’ The aim of this program is to teach the rudiments of nutrition and “train these small girls about kitchen waste.” The reason only girls’ schools are included in this scheme is because, “Girls, mostly, have to deal with the kitchen and they are more responsible and caring than boys.” Firstly, the move in itself is a sensible one; schools in many developing countries include practical agriculture ...

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Could Sami Aslam be the answer to our opening woes?

Temperament is not a word often associated with us Pakistanis. We like whatever excites us the most. In other words, passion is what drives us and adrenaline is what keeps us alive. There is never a dull moment in the life of a Pakistani. I guess that’s just how it is. But sometimes (almost every time) all this “thinking from the heart” culture can have dire consequences. If we are ready to accept the fact that this ‘culture’ affects our lives in one way or the other, how can we not believe that this same ‘culture’ seeps into our sports, ...

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